This week, we sat down with Michael and Anthony Hannides, otherwise known as MakeYouKnowLove (@makeyouknowlove). They are brothers from the UK, multi-platinum songwriters, and practicers of martial arts. Just to give you a snapshot of their resume, Anthony and Michael co-wrote and produced Zayn’s smash hit Pillowtalk which went #1 in 75 countries, as well as many other songs on Zayn’s debut album Mind of Mine and Zayn’s follow up project Icarus Falls. They also co-wrote Kiss Me by Rita Ora which appeared on the Fifty Shades Darker Soundtrack, as well as worked with artists like Jay Sean, Alesha Dixon, Conor Maynard, and McLean.

Back in 2005, Anthony and Michael sang in the group 4-Tune which made an impressive run to the finals on X-Factor, which we will get into more later. After touring for a couple years playing 4-Tune gigs, Anthony and Michael took that money to create their own makeshift studio. At first, they made music using a cupboard with curtains as the vocal booth. Working, eating, and sleeping out of the same place, they barely made any money for the first three years in the studio. As Michael and Anthony say, “A song’s success isn’t what makes us happy - writing the song itself, that’s the happiness.”

With that mindset, the songs they’ve created have reached nearly 3 billion streams to date, and they have now released their own project called MakeYouKnowLove. I learned a lot from this conversation, including insights into fitness, meditation, and what it takes to make a living as a creator. Even if you have zero interest in music and songwriting, this conversation will broaden your perspective, and hopefully, leave you with some tools and messages that can apply to your everyday life.