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Chart Topper Richard Marx talks *NSYNC, Justin & JC

Submitted by on September 30, 2010 – 9:41 amNo Comment

Chart Topper Richard Marx talks *NSYNC, Justin & JC

Singer and songwriter Richard Marx has scored hits for himself while also writing chart-topping songs for artists like *NSYNC, Luther Vandross and Kenny Rogers. Whatever the genre, Marx, who takes the stage at bergenPAC in Englewood Oct. 1 with Matt Scannell from Vertical Horizon, one thing has been consistent. He knows how to write a good love song. The evidence is in his own hits like “Right Here Waiting” and “Now and Forever,” or *NSYNC’sThis I Promise You” and Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father.” But despite his consistency of 30 years of writing power ballads that last, there’s no simple formula for making his hits.

“Every singe one of them is different,” Marx said.

“People always want to write something really universal, but I’ve found that when I get really personal and I write about me and my relationship and what I want to say to my wife, or back even far enough to when I want to say something to that particular girl, the more personal I got with it, the more universal it became,” he said. “I think it’s the only way to do it without sounding like greeting card.”

Marx keeps his music from sounding like “Hallmark Central” by never writing when he is too good of a mood. Although a good R&B song that happens to be happy, like Earth Wind and Fire’s “September,” can put him in a great mood, he really prefers listening darker music.

“When it comes to rock songs or pop songs I generally find happy songs to be really boring,” he said. “I think we all relate to being heartbroken or upset more than happy stuff because, let’s face it, most people aren’t that happy in their lives.”

Realizing this gave Marx a dilemma, but one he’s fine facing.

“I’m generally sort of happy, so I need to find another mindset to write more interesting songs, because that happy place doesn’t provide a lot of inspiration,” he said. “But I’ll take it, because I’d rather be happy and have to try to find things to write about than be miserable and have tons of things.”

That aspect of songwriting doesn’t change whether he’s trying to pen a song for himself or another artist, but the approach is still different.

“The things that’s sort of interesting about that part of my career, which has really taken over my career, is that it’s not about me, what I want to say or what I would be willing to sing,” he said. “It doesn’t matter. It’s all about me trying to help someone see their vision through.”

His songwriting career got a major boost ten years ago when he worked with *NSYNC. He liked the whole group and wishes JC Chasez had a more successful solo career, but he knew Justin Timberlake would be a break-out artist. When Marx worked with one member of the group the rest of themplayed ping pong or talked on their cell phones with girls, except for Timberlake. He went to another room in the studio to write songs or practice the keyboard and guitar.

“He was always focused on his music and working on stuff, and it wasn’t because ‘Well, I need to go do this,’” Marx said. “He got the secret code, just like I did, which is ‘What’s more fun than this? I don’t want to play ping pong, I want to write songs.’”

Watching young artists mature has been one of the joys for Marx during his longevity in the music industry.

[Read the rest of this article at NorthJersey.com ]

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