The documentary It All Begins With A Song takes us behind the scenes to meet those that are, well, behind the scenes of the music industry.
These are the boys and girls who write the songs for some of the biggest artists on the planet, from Elvis to Michael Jackson, Pink to Ne-Yo, and a lot of Country music stars as well.
The director Chusy’s (“Gigante”, “Born In Bristol”) sets up his stall in Nashville, which means that the majority of writers are talking about Country music, so it helps, a lot, if you know that music. It’s not so big outside of USA so a lot of the songs that were claimed to be ‘big’, I’d never actually heard of.
Still, generally speaking this doesn’t detract too much from the focal point of the documentary which is how a writer actually writes a song. What method do they use? Is there one to follow? Can anyone do it?
We hear from a plethora of writers, and a few artists too, but where the documentary really works is when Chusy’s inquisitive nature takes over and he begins to ask questions you feel weren’t pre-determined.
Those a moment when he provides a bunch of short statements, written on some bits of paper, to a writer and asks him to create a song. Within minutes he’s created something that you could recognise as a song.
Another scene we jump straight in as a young man is sat at a piano, playing the drums. He loops that, switches to piano, loops that, picks up an acoustic guitar and begins playing along, then begins humming, speaking in nonsense, until finally, on the fly, creating a song.
It’s this insight that makes It All Begins With A Song an exceptional documentary. Seeing this creativity in real-time (ish) is remarkable.
The writers talking about who they’ve written for or where their inspiration comes from is fine, but you get the sense very quickly that it just happens, there’s no rhyme or reason most of the time.
The documentary is funny, interesting, surprisingly moving and, if you love music, or creativity in anyway, gripping.