"I Wrote That Shit," a series deconstructing hit songs -- performed by the songwriters who brought them to life -- wrapped on Wednesday night at Los Angeles' Genghis Cohen. The brainchild of Warner Music Group creative officer and Artist Partners Group CEO Mike Caren, the sixth edition, and last for the year, featured Sarah Hudson (Iggy Azalea's "Black Widow," Katy Perry's "Dark Horse"), Emily Warren (Daya's "Don't Let Me Down") and Scott Harris (Shawn Mendes' "Treat You Better").
Previous participants include Sam Martin (Jason Derulo's "Want to Want Me," Maroon 5's "Daylight"), Mozella (Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball") and Ross Golan (Ariana Grande's "Dangerous Woman," Flo Rida's "My House") and even a few artists have stopped by - among them, Charlie Puth and Flo Rida.
Caren's business is hitmaking, as the head of his own firm APG and the owner of a new 6,000 square-foot studio complex, he hears songs in their most nascent stage and stewards them through a process of fine-tuning and eventually mixing and mastering. The purpose of "I Wrote That Shit," then, is to highlight the DNA of a great song, which rings through even in its most pared down form -- most often with the accompaniment of an acoustic guitar or keyboard -- and to tell the story of how the track came to be.
On the Nov. 16 edition, Hudson recounted how "Black Widow" was intended for Katy Perry, but treaded too closely to "Dark Horse," which also contained an animal theme. Warren shared how a post-Coachella comedown inspired her to write about needing her friends in moments when you're not all there. Harris, meanwhile, apologized for not having the vocal range of a 17-year-old Mendes.
"We're honoring songwriters and bringing their talents to the forefront," says Caren.
The invite-only series, which takes place every other month, or whenever key writers become available, will continue in 2017 with another session slated for January.