Carole King on process

Carole King

Carole King is one of the few who can claim chart-topping success as a writer for other artists (The Shirelles, Four Seasons, Dave Mason, Ben E. King) and platinum success as an artist, with her 1971 release Tapestry.

What is your process of writing?

KING: It’s different for every song. Sometimes I get a lyric and I – the lyric, you know, comes off the page and goes into my brain, and comes out with a melody. Other times, I may create a melody first. Sometimes, they come together when I’m the writer of both. “You’ve Got a Friend” really just came out. I don’t think I had to apply any craft – at least, not that I was conscious of.

Is there an example you could give, of a song that pulled in all that level of craft?

KING: I guess I can. It’s much later in my life. It’s a song called “Love Makes the World,” which I wrote with Sam Hollander and Dave Schommer. They were in hip-hop world. And when I was writing with them, there was inspiration but there was also, how do we blend hip-hop with me? It’s not a combination you would think would work. But that is actually one of my most fun songs to perform.

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