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The Importance of Self-Care for Songwriters: ‘If You’re Not Refilling the Well, What Do You Have to Give?’ Recapping Parx Studios’ Burnout Camp, Pt. 1

The first of a two-part Chart Beat Podcast sparked by Tayla Parx's Burnout Camp.

“Your job is to empathize,” Tayla Parx says of songwriting.

Specifically, of co-writing, where a collaborator’s mindset is, at its most receptive: “If you’re happy, I’m happy. If you’re sad, I’m depressed.”

Of course, channeling such emotion can take its toll, and that’s what, in part, inspired Parx to launch Burnout, a camp for music creators that took place Oct. 9-13 in Brooklyn and New York City with a key focus on wellness for those responsible for crafting songs, a calling that can leave little time for self-care amid intense competition for chart hits.

As Parx says about the importance of artists being mindful of their well-being in such a potentially draining field, no matter how much their craft is a labor of love, “If you’re not refilling the well, what do you have to give?”

On the latest Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, welcome Parx and four other music talents: Tommy Brown, Leon Thomas, Sarah Hudson and Lara Andersson.

Also joining are longtime Billboard Chart Beat Podcast guests Dave Penn and Yael Penn from Hit Songs Deconstructed, which analyzes the compositional characteristics of top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits, among other services.

Among their chart successes, Parx co-wrote Ariana Grande’s first two Hot 100 No. 1s, “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings,” as well as Khalid and Normani’s “Love Lies” and Panic! at the Disco’s “High Hopes,” along with Hot 100 entries for BTS, Mariah Carey and Fifth Harmony.


Brown co-wrote and co-produced “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings,” after first hitting the Hot 100 as a co-writer of The Black Eyed Peas’ “Just Can’t Get Enough,” which rose to No. 3 in 2011.

Thomas is part of production team The Rascals (Grande, Toni Braxton, Meghan Trainor), after breaking through in the role of Andre Harris on Nickelodeon’s Victorious. Hudson co-wrote Katy Perry’s 2014 Hot 100 leader “Dark Horse” (featuring Juicy J) and Iggy Azalea’s No. 3-peaking “Black Widow” (featuring Rita Ora), while Andersson has penned songs primarily for Scandinavian artists and collaborated with Parx, Justin Tranter and other writers.

Enjoy the first of a special two-part Billboard Chart Beat Podcast and check back for additional upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes! Plus, the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast is also available on Acast, Spotify, Google Play, Overcast, PocketCast, Podbean, Stitcher and TuneIn.