Laura Veltz on Songwriter Success: ‘The Common Denominator Is the People I Write With’
Many fans know about Billboard's Hot Country, Country Airplay and Country Albums charts, but fewer know that in June of 2019, the publication established charts celebrating the successes of producers and songwriters. The Billboard Top Songwriters chart measures a song's popularity, using streams, sales, downloads and more as a guide.
Since its launch, the Top Songwriters chart has featured a number of Nashville's most in-demand hitmakers; in particular, Ashley Gorley has dominated the chart, spending seven weeks in total and four consecutively in the top spot. Gorley is a massively accomplished country songwriter, who has 47 No. 1 cuts to his name and has written for the likes of Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett and many more.
In early 2020, though, another name edged out Gorley's for the No. 1 slot: Laura Veltz topped the chart for the first time, becoming the first female songwriter and, other than Gorley, the first songwriter who isn't also a major country artist to do so. (Blanco Brown topped the chart for 18 weeks as a result of his massive hit "The Git Up;" Luke Combs led twice and Hardy once, according to Billboard.)
Three songs took Veltz to the top of the Top Songwriters chart: Maren Morris' "The Bones," Ryan Hurd's "To a T" and Lady Antebellum's "What If I Never Get Over You." The community of people with which Veltz created those tracks were what pushed them toward success, she reflected to The Boot and other outlets at a No. 1 party for Lady Antebellum, who topped the country radio chart for the first time in six years thanks to the song that Veltz co-wrote.
"I can say that the common denominator is the people I write with," Veltz pointed out. "A ton of these songs are all written with the same room of people. When we first get to town, we get this team, you know? You don't really know that you're forming a team, but you kind of do, like, gather these people that are the people that stick."
For example, Veltz wrote two of her three songs on the chart -- "To a T" and "What If I Never Get Over You" -- with Hurd. The other song was recorded by Morris, who is Hurd's wife.
"Ryan and I have been writing songs for I don't know how long now -- probably eight years? A long time ago," Veltz continues. "And [the people I write with and I] are friends. Everyone knows my kids. We're all part of each other's lives ... Maren and I have had a lot of success together, and it's so exciting, because I met Maren after I met Ryan."
For Veltz, songwriting isn't just about climbing a chart or having hits -- it's also about building a tight-knit musical group. "It's like building a village, a family," she shares.
"For me, it's massive, for my life and my life story, to have found all these people that have stuck to my world," Veltz adds. "That's the only explanation that I have, is that I've found all these great people to write songs with."
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