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Stevie Wonder says his songwriting process begins with the "music and the melody first"

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Credit: Dante Marshall

After 15 years, the legendary Stevie Wonder has returned from his music hiatus to release two new inspiring and socially relevant songs, “Where Is Our Love Song” and “Can’t Put It in the Hands of Fate.”

Stevie told ABC Audio during a virtual press conference Tuesday that his process for songwriting and creating music has always been the same, “for the most part.” 

“Probably the difference is I do have a lot of songs that I’ve written that I have not necessarily written all the lyrics for or words,” he said. “And it might just have the melody and music.”

Stevie said he always writes the music and melody first to let the words become their own, as he did on his Songs in the Key of Life single, “I Wish.” 

“Now, originally ‘I Wish’ was gonna be about ‘The Wheel of 84’ and be all spiritual and stuff,” he said. “But then it was one time we were in the studio…just talking about things that happened when we were kids…back in the day…So it turned into ‘I Wish.'”

This time around, Stevie felt more inclined to address the pressing matters going in society, in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement, protests against racial brutality, and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I definitely am inspired to write about it. As I think they say, ‘Art is a reflection of society, society’s a reflection of art or whatever,'” he explained. “We as [song]writers always are going to be motivated to write about what’s going on. And I think that’s true for every single artist that’s a songwriter.”

“You know, we feel the pain,” added Stevie. 

By Rachel George
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