I was just reading this old 2012 interview with songwriter/performer Ivan Matias and saw this Q&A mentioning Whitney. I knew Whitney had expressed interest in writing, but still surprised by the sentence in red.
UrbanBridgez.com: You were one of the biggest songwriters in the 90’s/early 2000’s of R&B hits with everybody from Toni Braxton to SWV to En Vogue. R&B music has changed so drastically since then and in a bad way…as a songwriter have you changed your style to fit in with today’s radio hits or do you stay true to what you’ve done from the start and why do you think it’s changed so drastically?
Ivan Matias: There are many contributing factors to the change. Music naturally evolves & reflects the social trends & change. Much of the decline in quality I believe has to do with the fact that many artists will only record the best songs they can write or buy & take credit for as opposed to the best song they can get from a seasoned writer. Managers & television have convinced artists that they will be broke or aren’t being authentic if they don’t write their own songs or appear like they do. Whitney made a career for herself & only wrote “Queen of The Night.” I remember meeting with Clive Davis & he told me he had a cabinet full of songs that Whitney had written & submitted for her own project. He explained that her talent was in her vocal interpretation of songs; not in the writing. He also said she wouldn’t have had the same career if she’d written for herself. Many artists today are not great vocal interpreters & are intimidated by a well sung demo. They are greedy & believe they will be broke if they don’t attempt to write themselves a hit. They forget that owning a small piece of a hit is more valuable then owning 100% of a flop! My style has always been as versatile as my influences. I don’t feel pressure to acclimate to current trends because a good song is still a good song & can be updated with the track.