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Excerpt from Simon Cowell’s autobiography…

From the chapter ”Find Good Material”:

”When I came back from America after my first long stretch away, I switched on some of the music channels and started watching them for a while to re-acclimatize myself to what was happening over here. I have to say I was depressed. Much of the problem is the crap material. One of the reasons Take That did so well was that Gary Barlow wrote some good songs, like Pray and, obviously, Back For Good, that were mixed up with some very carefully chosen covers. But if you’re signing an artist who doesn’t write their own material you have to be able to tap in to successful songwriting talent.

    One of the best songwriters in the world for pop – in fact probably the best pop songwriter in the world now – is a guy called Jurge Elofson. He’s about 45 years old, and he’s one of the most talented and insecure people I’ve ever met. His ability to take situations and write songs to match them is unparalleled. It’s a kind of genius. I remember saying to him in the middle of the first series of Pop Idol one day, ‘I need a song that typifies what the person who wins this competition is going to feel at the moment after all the pain, after all the anguish, after all the hype. That person will be standing on the stage alone; what will he or she be feeling at that moment in time?’

    Two weeks later he phoned me. ‘Let me play you a chorus, Simon.’ I waited and then it came on: ‘I’m gonna take this moment, and make it last forever, I’m gonna take this night and make it evergreen.’ I couldn’t believe it. It was just so right. Jurgen has written a ton of the Westlife records, some of the Gareth Gates hits, songs for Kelly Clarkson and others. But in the main there is a lack of good songwriting teams, which is why so many of the pop records today sound bland.”

Text © Simon Cowell 2004
Ebury Press, Random House, UK
ISBN 0091898285