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Swiss Music Awards 2024

The composers behind the best hits

The composers behind the best hits
SUISA presents the “Best Hit” award at the Swiss Music Awards (SMA).
Photo: CH Media
Text/interviews by Erika Weibel
Every performer knows how important good songs are for success. And good compositions don’t just happen like that. You need to put your heart and soul, time, inspiration in it – and labour. For this reason, SUISA presents the “Best Hit” award at the Swiss Music Awards.

The songs nominated in the “Best Hit” category at the Swiss Music Awards 2024 are “Amigo” (composed by Stefan Buck, Chris Filter, Christoph Schröter, Daniel Gisler, Philipp Morscher and Thomas Fessler), “Juicy” (by EAZ and Mykel Costa) and “Watergun” (by Argyle, Tribbs and Ashley Hicklin).

We asked the songwriters of the three nominated songs in writing and verbally how their songs actually came about.


Photos: Tabea Hüberli; Emanuel Muhl

What inspired you to write the song?

Stefan Buck: The line “Amigo, wetsch verbicho” [Amigo, wanna swing by] came to my mind. That was the origin of the song. I just thought “Amigo” was a good word to make a song about. Then I thought about who could say “Amigo” to whom and that’s how I quickly came up with the story in the song.

How did you go about writing the songs?

Stefan Buck: When I had the story in my head “Man meets woman again after years and the sparks started to fly again” I wanted to musically convey the feeling of a hot summer night on Langstrasse. Everyone is outside, everyone has summer on their faces and then you meet someone you’ve always thought was cool and you’re both in the mood.
Thomas Fessler: As already mentioned, Stefan came up with the idea of the story and a layout of the instrumental. We tinkered with the guitar riffs and beats for a long time until we had the shimmering summer night vibe. A lot of detailed work also went into the structure of the song, the vocal lines and the lyrical groove.

What characterises the song, why was it so successful?

Stefan Buck: It’s always difficult to talk about your own songs, but I think the song is catchy and tells a story. He carried us through the great festival summer of 2023 and the people were all ready to sing along to “Amigo” at the top of their voices, which was a very nice feeling, from the studio to the stage.
Thomas Fessler: The combination of hip-hop, pop, melodic dialect singing and the locally based story gives the song a special mood that has probably lodged itself in many ears and doesn’t want to leave anymore.

What does it mean to you that the song has now been nominated for the SMA?

Stefan Buck: I don’t write songs to get SMA nominations, but of course it’s cool when it actually happens. It shows that we are relevant as a band and that people are not only singing along to our songs but also streaming them.


Photo: Fabio Baldo

What inspired you to write the song?

EAZ: That’s a funny story, because this song came about completely unexpectedly. The melody of “Juicy” came to into my head on 22 December 2023, before eight o’clock during my morning routine in the bathroom. I knew immediately: Something exciting can emerge from this melody. That’s why I got in touch with Mykel Costa, my producer, early that morning and told him: I have a great idea for a new song.
That’s how we ended up meeting on the evening of 22 December in his studio and produced the song together in an hour and a half. Mykel was responsible for the beat, while I wrote the other parts of the song. In my experience, songwriting for hits often happens very quickly.
Mykel Costa: What fascinates me so much about this song and, in my opinion, also contributed to the success of “Juicy” is that the song was created so spontaneously and effortlessly: the melody was a flash of inspiration in the bathroom in the morning, the beat was created in an hour and a half of work in the studio.

What characterises the song, why was it so successful?

EAZ: The melody of the chorus is extremely catchy, and the lyrics are also easy to sing along to. The simplicity of the song paired with the very in-depth rhythm also makes the song exceptional. For me, it’s impossible to put “Juicy” into a specific genre drawer, that’s what makes the song unique.
Mykel Costa: I used rhythms ranging from Afro to Balkan beats and customised the beat to EAZ’s idea.

What does it mean to you that the song has now been nominated for the SMA?

Mykel Costa: It means an awful lot to me. As a producer, I’ve already taken part in the SMAs around five times as a guest and have always asked myself when I could really get involved. I am extremely pleased about this nomination.
EAZ: I am absolutely delighted. The whole journey with the song, the many successes it has had, and now the nomination for the SMA is a great gift and I am enormously grateful for it. The only thing missing now is to bring the stone home.


Photos: Carlos Cordero-Rosales; Nina Müller; Tabea Hüberli

What inspired you to write the song?

Ashley Hicklin: The song is about conflict, but it was actually written a couple of years before the troubles started in Ukraine. It’s written from the perspective of a young soldier who remembers holding a Watergun as a child, but now standing on the front line it all becomes very real. My father is from Ireland and saw a lot of conflict growing up, and this definitely sparked the initial inspiration.

How did you go about writing the song?

Argyle: While Mikki [Tribbs] and I were in the studio together at the SUISA Songwriting Camp Ash[ley] joined us via Zoom. Ash had the original idea of the word “Watergun” while Mikki played those beautiful piano chords which you can still find on the track today. With my voice over the track originally, we started to write and it came almost effortlessly.
Ashley Hicklin: My co-writers were messing around with some nice chords and melodies, and I’m normally the “lyrics” guy. I’d had this title sleeping in my laptop a few years – “Watergun” and on that specific day the word really jumped off the screen. Somehow the word fit really well with the melodies the guys were riffing.

What characterises the song, why was it so successful?

Ashley Hicklin: I think the song, the vocal performance and the production are full of a lot of emotion – of course having a platform like Eurovision certainly helps make a song successful, but the song/artist/production has to make people “feel” something. So I guess we did that.
Argyle: I think the message of “Watergun” is very strong. We have always known war and the tragedies which follow such events. It’s a very painful and relatable topic for many people around the world. Of course, on top of that having the Eurovision platform really helped the song to be heard.

What does it mean to you that the song has now been nominated for the SMA?

Argyle: It means the world to me that the music which we create together can be recognised. Although the topic is bigger than that and should be the main focus, to win our first SMA award would be truly incredible! I hope to receive many more one day with my own artist project.
Ashley Hicklin: It’s an honour! The greatest gift is always seeing the reaction from the people and how they connect with it all over the world – it’s good to be able to spread an important message. But awards like this remind us that we should be proud of the little songs we make.

Making of video and more about the song “Watergun” in the article “The Swiss song for Liverpool: created at the SUISA Songwriting Camp” on the SUISAblog.

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