Story Behind the Song: Keith Urban, ‘Shame’
On his 2013 album Fuse, Keith Urban included the song "Shame" as the record's fourth track. Written by Mikkel Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Benjamin Levine, Ammar Malik, Ross Golan, Daniel Omelio and Justin Parker, the song -- which was produced by Urban, Stargate and Benny Blanco -- comes decidedly from the pop songwriting world.
"Shame" came out of a week-long songwriters' camp -- a writing-intensive gathering of tunesmiths, a popular setup in pop music. As a single in Australia and New Zealand, the song became a Top 40 hit. Below, Golan -- whose podcast, And the Writer Is ..., has been focusing on country music during the week of Nov. 6 -- talks with The Boot about how "Shame" came out of a particularly productive writing camp (the same one, in fact, that Lady Antebellum's "Compass" was written during).
That was one of the more enjoyable weeks, because I think it was the next day, or two days later, [after writing "Compass"] ... we're in another room, and this time, Ammar's playing bass, and I think I'm playing guitar, and we just start writing ... and out comes the verse from "Shame" in a very short amount of time. And this was one of those where we literally had all the writers on that song ... all of us in an actual room together, just like, "Hey, what about that?" and "Let me play this line!" and "What do you think about this melody?" ...
In pop, you credit -- certainly in a camp environment, like those two songs were written in -- I think the assumption is that you give the credit to everybody [who was in the room] ... You're listing -- basically, those who contributed to the record process also get credited in the song process ...
Keith heard it because Keith was hanging out with Mikkel and Tor from Stargate ... I'd written with a lot of pop artists, and at the BMI Awards that year, Keith came up to me and said, "Thank you for letting me have the opportunity to cut that song," because I sang the demo vocals ... You would never expect Justin Bieber or Nicki Minaj to walk up to the songwriters and say, "Hey, thank you for the opportunity to cut this song;" that's never gonna happen. But Keith went out of his way to do that ... The artists in country are just -- they're the best.
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