On November 1, songwriter and producer Sam Hollander will release his new book, 21 Hit Wonder, Flopping My Way To The Top Of The Charts on BenBella Books Inc., a true story about his adventures in songwriting.
As one of the most renowned multi-platinum selling songwriters and producers in the game, Hollander has written and produced for the likes of Panic! At The Disco, One Direction, Katy Perry, Weezer, Def Leppard, blink-182, Fitz and the Trantrums, Train, Ringo Starr, Carole King, Tyga, The O’Jays, Gym Class Heroes and many others.
But rising up the charts seemed, at many points in his career, highly unlikely. This is his story of failing his way to the top. Sam Hollander spent thirty years trudging through the peaks and valleys of a songwriting career. Before he was stacking up hits, he was piling up bad luck, calamitous flops, fake starts and feeling like the world was moving on and up without him while he spun in place. Now he wears his failures like a badge of honor.
In 21 Hit Wonder, Hollander has collected anecdotes from his weird waltzes around the banquet of pop to help aspiring songwriters and other creatives learn about survival, endurance, scheming, hustle and the importance of laughing even on the worst days of the journey.
21 Hit Wonder is one part chronicle of a songwriter’s storied career and another part love letter to anyone who has been counted out-from no hit wonders to the novelties and never-beens – and just needs a bit of inspiration to persevere. Sam’s inspiring story is proof that setbacks are just steps on the road to success.
Today, Hollander has achieved 22 Top 40 Hits as well as 10 Number 1’s, 10 Top 5’s, and 87 Top 10 chart positions globally. His songs have streamed over 5 billion times and in 2019 he held the #1 position on the Billboard Rock Songwriters chart for nine weeks, a year-end record. Sam has also been featured on Variety’s Hitmaker list as well as being named as Rolling Stone’s Hot List Producer Of The Year.
Hollander’s career has recently hit new heights from collaborations with Fitz and the Tantrums’ multi-platinum, billion streamed worldwide hit, “HandClap” and eight songs he co-penned on Panic! At The Disco’s Billboard 200 No. 1 album Pray For The Wicked, including the billion streamed, record-breaking global smash “High Hopes” (5x platinum) and “Hey Look Ma, I Made It!” (2x platinum) which replaced “High Hopes” at No. 1 on the Hot Rock Songs chart. Other notable recent successes include writing Banners’ “Someone To You” (platinum), blink-182’s Alternative Top 10 single “Blame It On My Youth”, James TW’s “When You Love Someone” (platinum) and writing and producing two songs on the legendary Ringo Starr’s recent release What’s My Name.
“Looking back on my career thus far, I think I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve been able to bridge so many generations as a collaborator,” says Hollander. “There’s something really special about getting in a room with different types of creators and allowing them to inspire each other, and we can make something great out of it. I feel like the luckiest conduit in the world. I’ve written tunes with artists age 13-90.”
Hollander’s career began when he collaborated with Carole King on her critically-acclaimed Love Makes The World record. This lead to co-writes with industry legends like Paul Williams, Nile Rodgers, Cyndi Lauper & Donna Summer. Within a few years, he achieved his first platinum successes with Gym Class Heroes (“Cupid’s Chokehold”) which went #1 at Top 40 radio, Metro Station (“Shake It”), Boys Like Girls (“The Great Escape” & “Love Drunk”) & We the Kings (“Check Yes Juliet”), Daughtry (“Waiting For Superman”) Train (“Save Me San Francisco” & “Marry Me”) among others. These triumphs lead to producing 25 songs for the second season of NBC’s Steven Spielberg-helmed series SMASH including the Emmy-nominated “Voice in a Dream.” In 2019, Hollander sold his songwriting catalogue to Hipgnosis Songs Fund. His current work is administered by Sony Music Publishing.
Beyond songwriting, Sam has served as a Governor of the New York Chapter of The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (The GRAMMYs). He currently sits on the Advisory Boards for Musicians On Call and Songwriters of North America (SONA). As an essayist, he’s been published in The New York Times, Variety & Billboard among others.