The Songwriters: Justin Tranter and Emily Warren

The Songwriters: Justin Tranter and Emily Warren

Meet the masters at work behind music's most well-known hits.

Meet the masters at work behind music's most well-known hits.

Text: Ian David Monroe

This article originally appeared in V109, on newsstands now. Order your copy here.

JUSTIN TRANTER

PHOTO BY ROBIN HARPER

HITS INCLUDE: "BAD LIAR" BY SELENA GOMEZ, "BAD AT LOVE" BY HALSEY, AND "USED TO LOVE YOU" BY GWEN STEFANI

"I was a baby musical theater queen and I was getting super frustrated that the songs for boys weren't dramatic or fabulous enough. So I figured, why not try and write my own? One time, while watching something about LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson, the lyric 'you'll remember me for centuries; came into my head. That lyric birthed the Fall Out Boy song 'Centuries,' which was my first big song and also the biggest sports anthem of that year. It felt like some sort of poetic justice that makes me very proud. I hope [the songwriting industry] becomes more diverse. It's still very white, straight, cis male dominated. More diversity would be better for humans and for music. Also, I'm still waiting for Stevie Nicks to write a musical with me. Until that happens, I'm nothing."

EMILY WARREN

PHOTO BY DAVID O'DONOHUE

HITS INCLUDE: "NEW RULES" BY DUA LIPA, "STAY TOGETHER" BY NOAH CYRUS, AND "DON'T LET ME DOWN" BY THE CHAINSMOKERS

"My parents were really set on my brother and I taking piano lessons. When I was in eighth grade, my dad encouraged me to record an EP. By ninth grade, I'd started a band that played all over New York City. then, when I got to college, I started going into writing sessions with other people and signed my publishing deal my junior year. The most unbelievable songwriting session I've had was probably with 'Don't Let Me Down.' It sparked an incredible and personal relationship I now have with the Chainsmokers, which lead to more songs, features, and ultimately them asking me to go on tour with them. I was already getting the itch to start releasing my own music and performing again, so the experience of touring arenas with them for two months was invaluable. It's entirely possible that the audience for my solo stuff ends up being completely different from the one for the Chainsmokers, but peoples' tastes are pretty fluid nowadays and I love the idea of being able to create a body of work that's ultimately got a little something for everyone."

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