• From ego to we-go. The secret to writing an anthem lies in the WE.

  • Music can make a statement,

    give voice to a movement,

    and has the power to unite us.

  • Good lyrics pull us into a song. Strong imagery, well crafted words speak to us. Most songs are written in the "I" form and are written for one single person. The lover. The friend. Me to You. Examples of famous songs that follow this rule are "When I Fall in Love," written by Victor Young and Edward Heyman or"I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton or  "Someone Like You" sung by Adele and a gorgeous anthem to heartbreak co-written and produced by Dan Wilson.

    Most of the songs heard on the radio are always written in the first person, the "I" form. They focus on the relationship between two people versus a relationship to the whole of mankind. Either the singer is in love or falling out of love with a partner, he is sad or has been misunderstood or he is happily sharing his adoration for you. Writing an anthem shifts the perspective of the average song.

  • Writing a powerful anthem

    entails igniting the bigger

    "WE" perspective.

  • The "I" has now shifted to "US." Here are some lines from anthems I cherish. "All we are saying, is give peace a chance." John Lennon,  Message of Hope, "It's the greatest story ever told. How the smallest voice turns meek to bold. We have the strength to rise above. Believe in hope and love." written by Fabrizio Pigliucci and myself or "Heal the world. Make it a better place. For you and for me, and the entire human race." by Michael Jackson.

    When writing an anthem, you want the audience to become part of an identifiable crowd. You want the listener to identify with your vision, your cause.

  • Be bold.. When you say "we" are together on the idea of world peace, or healing cancer, or cleaning up the oceans, you are courageously taking not only your space, your are voicing what millions wish to say but do not dare. This kind of music has the power to stay in the collective consciousness for a long time.

  • Write in the "we" form and you are including everyone. No one feels isolated.

  • The most important aspect of anthem writing is creating and owning a powerful message. The second aspect is, can this message appeal to many people? Is it a universal message? One that has a broader appeal? 

    There are universal themes in writing that every human carries deep within: hope, faith, peace, trust, kindness, compassion, love. Everyone can join in.The audience feels empowered. 

  • When we shift to expressing
    the needs of the whole,
    ANTHEMS are born.


    • Focus your lyrics on morals, ethics or joyous celebration as a whole.
    • If you are writing an anthem in a slower tempo, you can look at addressing social, political or religious themes.
    • Choose a tempo based on how it relates to your lyric.
    • Big ballad anthems that speak about social justice or morals
      use slower tempos (70-100 bpm). Examples are We Shall Overcome
    • Anthems making a political statement or getting the audience join in a jubilation and celebrate as a community, are set at a faster tempo (120-140 bpm.) Examples of anthems using quicker tempos are "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang, or Rockin in the Free World" by Neil Young Young, or "The Revolution will not be Televised" Gil Scott-Heron.
    • You often find that anthem-style music in slower tempos use a larger chord-set. If you have a powerful message to transport and are using a larger chord-set, you need to slow down the tempo.
    • Try adding a pre-chorus for a power ballad. Pre-chorus melodies work well to start softer and have a melody that generally work in an upward movement which helps generate the energy needed for the bigger tones that are coming.
      If you want to hammer in the message, try repeated-note melodies.


  • Remember, the final test of a great anthem

    is if the audience wants to sing the song


  • The lyric needs to make the listener believe that they are not alone. They are part of a bigger picture. They are standing together with others and for something of value.

    For an anthem to resonate with millions and become an anthem that transforms the world, the "we" is crucial. The power of "we" means that the audience will be singing together and carrying the melody and message out into the world.

  • Enjoy the journey. And share with me and the Voice Your Essence community what works for you! Here's to your continued success. Stay Gold!


    Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it.

    KARA JOHNSTAD IS KNOWN AS A VISIONARY,  SINGER-SONGWRITER AND MENTOR TO VOICES CHANGING OUR WORLD Kara works with luminaries, healers, new thought leaders and creative conscious souls to realign their voice to their true calling. She gives them tools to raise their vibrational frequency and tap into an abundant field of creative energy.  Kara's most downloaded songs are Message of Hope, Love Never Fails and Thank You. Passionate about transforming the world through voice, Kara is available for interviews, concerts, online sessions and training. Her monthly ezine goes out to 10.000 spirit driven souls and includes her Voice Your Essence Podcast. Join the community and experience how to align your body-mind-spirit system through voice. For free articles and teachings go to:  www.karajohnstad.com

  • Photo Credits:

     Arena  - Photo by Unsplash 7929 
    Kara Johnstad in Concert Rome Photo By Mari Pigliucci
    Concert_photo by Unsplash 7829 
    Kara Johnstad_Photo by Joerg Grosser-Geldermann