Today, we’ll be looking at an interesting topic; choosing the right song title. Ever found yourself in a situation where your friend just released a 14- track album and you know you don’t have the patience to stream all 14 songs on Spotify or Boomplay? Usually, what we do in such situations is select which ones to stream based on how interesting the song titles are, isn’t it?
This simple illustration shows us the importance of choosing the right title for your song. And I know a lot of musicians struggle with this, especially upcoming musicians. I know this because, I’ve heard good songs with very poor titles over the years. In fact, this article was inspired by one that I heard recently.
What’s the use of a title?
So, before we get into how to choose a song title, I think it’s important for us to know what role the title plays. Simply put, a song title is to the song what a person’s name is to the person. Now, I’m not sure if that was simple or rather confusing (smiles). What I meant was that the song title is the name of any song. It’s what we use to identify the song. It’s the first thing we hear about your song (before we even listen to it). Your song title can make someone to either want to hear your song or it could make him not want to hear it at all. It’s important that you give your song a title that suits it, especially in this age where music streaming is the order of the day. Music streaming sites have millions of songs; what usually informs someone’s choice of which music to listen to is the title.
So, how do I title my song?
I’m writing this with the assumption that you have already finished writing the song. Now, choosing a title for your song could be likened to choosing a heading/ caption for a news publication. Think about news headlines, I’m sure you’ve noticed how they are captioned, right? Usually, the headings gives you an idea of what the news is about, yet they are captioned in such a way that you definitely want to read that news. That’s exactly how you should title your song.
Summarize the song
So, the first thing you should do is to try to summarize the entire message of the song using a single phrase/ sentence. The shorter, the better. Make sure that phrase captures the main theme/ message of the song. Now, the phrase does not necessarily have to be a line from the chorus. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a line from the song.
Make your title unique
The next thing you should do is try to make your title unique. As much as possible, don’t use clichés or song titles that are too common. For instance, titles like “You are great” are common in the Christian music industry; avoid titles like that. If the summary of your song’s message rhymes with a very common song title, try and use synonyms to get something different. For instance, instead of using “God’s Mercy” as title for your song, you can substitute it with “The Father’s pardon” or something similar. That way, the message is the still the same but the title is a little more unique.
Make title attractive
As I mentioned earlier, News headlines are captioned in such a way that you would definitely want to read the news. Apply this technique to your song title. Think of how to phrase your title in such a way that it arouses the curiosity of anyone who sees and makes them want to hear your song. I will give one example. The first song I published talks about the truth that God cares for his children in a way that no parent can. But guess what I titled the song, “Father like a mother”. Now, there’s no way you’ll see that title and not be curious to know what the song is about. That’s what I mean by making the title attractive.
This is where I’ll stop on today’ article on choosing the right song title. I hope you have learnt a lot from it.
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