Best-selling songwriter Sam Hollander’s new book is a hilarious look at the world of music, stars and creativity – 97.9 WRMF
Brigid Pearson/Kamp Kennedy/Penguin Random House
Panic! At the disco’s “High Hopes”. Fitz and tantrums‘ “Applause.” Form“Marry me.” Subway station“Shake it up”. gym class hero‘ “Cupid’s strangulation.” They all have one thing in common: they were co-written by sam hollander. His new book, 21-Hit Wonder: I worked my way to the top of the charts, should be of interest to anyone with an interest in pop culture, the music industry, or looking to boost their creativity.
Hollander, whose resume also includes dozens of other artists, from Blink-182 to Katy Perry, tells ABC Audio that he thinks the book could be a model for “creatives who research and simply question their choices.” He also thinks aspiring musicians and songwriters might resonate with his stories of “30 years of getting shit kicked out of me.” There are also a lot of celebrity dishes.
But it is inspiring to read of Hollander’s many failures and how his attitude of perseverance allowed him to outlast several musical trends. For example, all those pop-punk hits he wrote years ago are suddenly back in fashion.
“It’s fascinating,” Hollander says after suddenly receiving “excited” calls about “Cupid’s Chokehold,” “Shake It,” and boys like girls‘ “Great Escape.” He notes, “There was a [whole] decade when nobody mentioned them!
But don’t ask Sam to write a song that will be a TikTok hit. “You can’t mess with the system,” he notes, pointing out that “nobody cared” about a song he wrote in 2017: Banners’ “Someone like You.” That is, until 2020 when it went viral on TikTok.
“The fact that it is whoever reacted, who took it from 50 million streams to 600 million streams… I can’t play that anymore,” he laughs. “So I’m just gonna keep writing for myself and writing what I think I’d like to listen to.”
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