The One Liner

From AR Rahman to Taylor Swift: Learn how to produce your own music.


I never thought a career as a musician was possible. I only started making music because it was fun and something I wanted to do.

Billie Eilish

Imagine a world without the ethereal compositions of A.R. Rahman or the heartfelt lyrics of Taylor Swift. These two musical powerhouses, hailing from different corners of the world, exemplify what it takes to create music that resonates universally. 

Sometimes, we don’t understand the language but love the music. Look, for example, at the impact of the song Despacito. Nobody understood the language, but people loved its tune and beats. Good music is not restricted to language; people love the tune, beats, rap, etc. 

Is making good music so easy? What is the impact of a song? How do people make good music? 

There is so much to answer for people who either have a good ear or are intrinsically interested in making songs.  


In this article, let’s explore everything that goes into making good music, illustrating how these components come together to create music that captivates and endures.

What is good music?

However, when we create our playlists, we listeners don’t consider whether the music is good or not. Instead, we create a playlist with everything from classics to recent releases, as well as several compilations of similar sounds and performers. Often, the makers of such playlists are folks working either on a dull assembly line at a factory or at a desk.

Listeners also depend on music to give them a sense of variety and support through whatever mood they’re in. So, the music they listen to has to do some heavy lifting to keep things stimulating for them. 

And if you look the other way around.

For some people, excellent music works on several levels, such as watching “The Voice” and getting interested in what makes good food a good dish by watching “Masterchef”. 

Instagram Reels feed us with music by storing it in our subconscious mind, making us hum the song, and finally making it our favourite music. 

Good music has no description, but if someone listens to a track on repeat even after several years, it obviously must be great music. For example, I still love listening to songs from the movie “Ghar” and some classics from RD Burman, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, etc. 

“One Love” from Blue still trends on Instagram, and if kids born in the 2010s are aware of “Waka Waka”, then it is obviously great music. 

Not only that, these days, if any pop song crosses the 1 billion listen mark on YouTube, then one can even consider it good music. 

There’s no such thing as “good music.” You could effortlessly assess a musician’s talent in instruments and singing, but others may consider highly technical music just a decent soundtrack.

However, the lyrical content is entirely subjective.

And in current times, Instagram Reels are feeding us with music, storing it in our subconscious mind, making us hum the song, and then finally making it our favourite music. So..

How to produce your own music?

Here is how one can start. Choose one song you wish to improve. You may even try a new genre. Try out this fantastic take from the music you just heard recently. 

As a result, it reduces your stress and allows you to focus on finishing the track and achieving the objective without being overwhelmed.

For instance, Rahman often draws inspiration from his cultural heritage and global influences. At the same time, Taylor Swift takes inspiration from personal experiences. Her album Red explores themes of love and heartbreak, with songs like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” reflecting her relationships.

2. Create your own tune

Hymn a tune and save it somewhere; create your loop. 

Creating loops means recording a short section of music and setting it up to repeat seamlessly. These loops can be made from all sorts of musical elements.

Loops are a powerful tool for music producers because they allow you to:

Quickly build a foundation for your song. So, play around and create some loops. Have fun!

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
AR Rehman
AR Rehman

3. Focus on composition and transitions

In this step, the general structure of the track is made up.

It includes all the requirements: What parts should it have? Where should they go? How long should they play? 

Intro, verse, buildups, choruses, etc., goes into making good music.  

When you have a solid plan for the structure, it’s easier to finish the whole track!

As you must have observed, Billie Eilish’s recording process, often conducted at home with her brother, emphasises intimacy and innovation. The minimalist production of “Everything I Wanted” showcases their ability to create compelling music with limited resources.

Now that you have the full, general song, start tidying up the transitions. Maybe changing up the melody a bit can help the transitions flow better. Artists usually add some fills, FXs, and stuff as well.

4. Polish and fix

Creating a to-do-list!

Artists create a to-do list of things they want to fix with the track and small things they might want to add. Then, they’ll make sure they’ll be able to check them off after trying them. The important part is to have a deadline so you can move on and will only get stuck if something you seem to fix!

Let me give you the example of “Fearless,” which Swift re-recorded after frequently studying feedback on her song from trusted peers. For her re-recording, she revisited old tracks, refining them with new insights gained over her career.

5. Master the Art of Sound By Crafting Audio Presets!

Between each track you finish, try to spend some time creating new cool sounds that you can use in future projects. Examples include leads, Pads, Kicks, snares, etc. 

Whatever you feel like! And then put them into a specific folder. This creates a new sample/preset pack! This way, you can spend less time with sound design when you want to get your ideas down.

If we take Prince as an example, his extensive experimentation with guitar effects, synthesisers, and drum machines allowed him to create a signature sound that was both innovative and instantly recognisable.

6. Final touches and send to get it mastered

Listen to the track again, look through the feedback, and create another to-do list. Then, I try to add some automation to the mix, in things like FX, volume, etc., just to give it some more movement.

The rest is up to the engineer; send it to an engineer for the mastering process.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell

Creating good music is an intricate blend of art and science, as demonstrated by the works of A.R. Rahman, Taylor Swift, Prince, and Billie Eilish. Even Arijit Singh took an enormous toll on his voice modulation and how we listen to him today.  

Mastery of melody, harmony, rhythm, lyrics, timbre, and production quality, combined with their creative processes and ability to connect emotionally with listeners, sets them apart as exceptional musicians. 

By understanding and appreciating the elements that go into making good music, we can deepen our appreciation for these artists and the universal language they speak.

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