Seasoned Songwriter and Producer Sam Hollander Shares New Book “21 Hit Wonder”

Sam Hollander
Photo by Danny Clinch

Today, Sam Hollander exists as the songwriter and producer responsible for more than a few chart-topping hits released by a wide range of artists in the last fifteen years. But that hasn’t always been the case as his new book 21 Hit Wonder from Penguin Random House painfully reveals, reminiscing on the days in which the burgeoning was struggling to catch a break. As the one to pen songs for a stunning catalog of bands — from Blink-182, Panic at the Disco, and Weezer, to pop giants like Katy Perry, One Direction, and even Ringo Starr — Hollander did eventually find himself at the center of a surreal world in which he was working with artists he only ever dreamed of meeting.


In the book, Hollander describes his eventual success less as an incline he conquered and more as a series of flops he survived. The early run-ins he had in his career with failure and bad luck constantly had him questioning his choices. While also leaving him with the sense that he was being left behind by an industry that had summarily decided it wanted nothing to do with him. Part of the book’s message is meant precisely for those like Hollander struggling to keep their motivation and optimism afloat. But Hollander also wrote it to record his weird odyssey-like trajectory of his career since he caught his break.


Even if you haven’t heard of Hollander, you’ve heard Hollander. His songs have been sung by some of the biggest voices in rock, pop, and a myriad of other genres over the years. He wrote two tracks for Train from their album Save Me, San Francisco; the hit track “Cupid’s Chokehold / Breakfast In America” from Gym Class Heroes; “Lost In Stereo” for All Time Low; “Girls Were Made to Love” for Sugar Ray; “Wherever You Are” for Michael Franti & Spearhead; and so many more!

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More recently Holland has been involved with writing new music for every from indie-pop icons like Fitz and the Tantrums, as well as some of the new music shared by Billy Idol and The Goo Goo Dolls in the last few years. And His book covers the entire expanse of his work with such a mind-boggling collection of talent.

Visit Sam Hollander on his website, Twitter, and Instagram.

Words by Steven Ward

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