Diane Warren: I just wrote a Beyonce song that might be my best yet

Jarett Wieselman 06/01/11  NY Post

 

“Because You Loved Me.” “How Do I Live.” “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” “Love Will Lead You Back.” “If I Could Turn Back Time.” “Un-Break My Heart.”

Six songs. Six different artists. One brain responsible for all those — and countless other — hits. Diane Warren has enriched the musical landscape for the better part of 30 years, penning hits for Aerosmith, Tina Turner, Faith Hill, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Cher, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Hudson

Now she’s celebrating all these accomplishments with “Due Voci: The Music of Diane Warren,” an hour-long HSN celebration of her biggest hits, brought to brilliant life by singers Kelly Levesque & Tyler Hamilton. I recently had the privilege to catch up with the award-winning juggernaut for an in-depth conversation about her career, her thoughts on the industry today and what’s next (hint: it’s a song she predicts will be Beyonce’s biggest to date)!

PopWrap: What made you want to form Due Voci?
Diane Warren: It’s interesting because there aren’t any duos out there right now, especially when it comes to this kind of subject. That’s what gave me the idea, so it’s this romantic duo performing lots of songs my fans know … and a few they don’t.

PW: Given your resume, how hard was it to narrow down the choice to fill just one hour on June 2?
Diane: You know, it was hard – some like “Because You Love Me” and “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” were obvious, but then there were some new songs like “Can’t Fight The Moonlight” that we got to flip on its head and turn into a whole different song. But there’s a lot more volumes in this series. There are so many songs I wanted to include but couldn’t.

 

PW: It’s clear that you’re quite humble, but was there a moment going through the list of possible songs that you just thought, “damn, I’m good?”
Diane: [laughs] You know, I get that but then five seconds later something happens and I suck again. I’m really excited about the music and I feel good today, but catch me tomorrow. Yes I’m proud of what I’ve written, but I’ll always be more excited about what I’ve just written.

PW: Such as?
Diane: I just wrote something a week and a half ago that Beyonce recorded and I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. She sang it amazingly. I think it’s a career song and probably my favorite thing I’ve ever written … right now.

PW: That’s a pretty lofty claim.
Diane: Well, to be honest, I always like my newest songs the most. But I’m also really proud of stuff like “Because You Loved Me,” “Unbreak My Heart” and “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.” I love the song I wrote for Justin Bieber’s movie. Or this new song I’m doing for Jennifer Hudson’s movie – they’re all my favorites. But I have to say, this Beyonce song … I think it’s really, really going to touch people.

PW: After the career you’ve had, what still gets your excited about an artist?
Diane: You know what I love? I love great singers. I love someone new and exciting. I’ve wanted to work with Beyonce since Destiny’s Child and it took this long, but this was the right song, the right time. I’m never jaded about that. I’m working with Mary J. Blige again, Steven Tyler again and I’m excited about that. You like Kristin Chenoweth?

PW: I adore her.
Diane: Ok, well I’m executive producing her country pop record. She’s so adorable. I saw her on “Glee” and I said, “she’s Carrie Underwood’s big sister!” I had this vision and she embraced it — hired great country producers and we ended up with this Carrie Underwood/Faith Hill record that I wrote five songs for. The first single is called “Bitch About” – “I want somebody I can bitch about, I want somebody I can’t live without.” It’s fun, you have to check it out.

 

PW: On that tip, I’m curious to get your thoughts on something like “Glee” that for all intents and purposes alters the way music is delivered to the public.
Diane: You know, it’s just another way to get past the gatekeepers. For a while it was only radio – and while that’s still extremely important, it’s not the only thing anymore. Look at the audience – it’s massive. Plus you have “The Voice” and “X-Factor” and “American Idol.” I’ve worked with all the Idol’s – Carrie and Kelly and Fantasia. All of them, so it’s a cool thing for songwriters. It’s good whenever you can get stuff out to find an audience.

PW: And now you have Kara DioGuardi doing “Platinum Hit,” a songwriter reality competition show — thoughts?
Diane: You’ll never see me doing that [laughs]. I turn a lot of stuff like that down. I don’t have time. I want to be writing. I’ll do the odd thing every now and then, but I have no desire to judge a show.

PW: That show is about shaping the next generation of songwriters, what advice would you give to people who want to do what you do?
Diane: I’ve always been a sponge. I’m always listening to what’s out there. Maybe some hip-hop rhythms get into my songs. Rhythmically, rap infuses into my phrasing. For instance, I did “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” for Whitney Houston, and in the chorus there’s a hip-hop phrasing. Where the words are really speedy – that’s something I did on purpose because I wanted to see what that would look like in a ballad. I thought it was fresh. But I take everything from everything. I’m always listening.

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2 Responses to “Diane Warren: I just wrote a Beyonce song that might be my best yet”

  1. jaclyn1013 Says:

    Diane Warren is a creative genius!! In fact, I just saw this amazing profile on her in Theodora & Callum’s Creative Factory today– check it out!! http://bit.ly/j59qkU

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