Darren Criss Explains His Songwriting Process, Sings Examples & Shares Sondheim Story

Darren Criss Explains His Songwriting Process, Sings Examples & Shares Sondheim StoryBroadway headliner and Glee breakout star Darren Criss explains his own personal songwriting process and sings some of his favorite songs to date as part of a new fan interview.

Comparing writing pop songs versus theatre music, Criss relates, "It's really a case-by-case thing."

Elaborating, Criss shares, "When you are writing for musical theatre, it's a little different because you have characters already allotted out for you - and you have a scene and a goal and a character; and, a character has a literal voice and a vernacular and there's all of these things."

Furthermore, Criss opines, "You are basically painting-by-numbers - a lot of the groundwork has been laid for you."

Additionally, Criss says, "I think it's actually easier and more fun to write for characters than writing for yourself, which is a much more personal and more difficult thing to do."

And, Criss even shares a candid and instructive story shared with him by a master songwriter in his own right, the one and only Stephen Sondheim!

Plus, Criss reveals "Granger Danger" written for a Team Starkid project is one of his personal favorite compositions to date, as is "Human", a standalone song he wrote as a teenager.

Check out the full interview here.


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Pat Cerasaro Pat Cerasaro contributes exclusive scholarly columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Theatrical Throwback Thursdays, Flash Friday and Flash Special as well as additional special features, world premiere clips and extensive news coverage. His work for the site has appeared in The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, US Weekly, The Biography Channel, NBC and more. He also wrote and directed two sold-out 2014 BroadwayWorld charity concert events featuring all-star casts, EVERYTHING'S COMING UP BROADWAYWORLD.COM: A JULE STYNE TRIBUTE and THE LORD & THE MASTER: BROADWAYWORLD.COM SINGS THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER & STEPHEN SONDHEIM.