And The Writer Is...with Ross Golan
Summary: Every week, we sit down with an acclaimed and venerable songwriter to intimately discuss what happens behind closed doors in the music industry. There are millions of singers, thousands of artists, and only 40 top songs per genre at a time... this podcast is about the people who make them. Produced by Joe London & Ross Golan in association with Big Deal Music & Mega House Music. And The Writer Is... ™
Your weekly update with industry news and happenings from ATWI. Update for the week of July 12th 2021. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Today’s guest greets everyone by saying, “Happy Birthday.” For as unexpected as it may be, it always incites a smile. Then again, everything about the two-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer, songwriter, producer, and entrepreneur is just as unpredictable. His gracious demeanor belies a downright unbelievable career. Earmarked by blockbuster smashes such as Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?”, Usher’s “Caught Up,” Dan + Shay’s “10,000 Hours,” and Chris Brown’s “I Can Transform Ya” [feat. Lil Wayne & Swizz Beatz] as well as the 13-times platinum “Despacito (Remix)” [feat. Justin Bieber] for Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, his catalog has registered sales of over 350 million records worldwide, dozens of multi-platinum certifications, and 100 billion streams and counting. Our guest has worked with artists ranging from 112 and Lupe Fiasco, to Jack Ü (Skrillex & Diplo), J Balvin, and DJ Khaled, from J-Lo, Mariah Carey and Billie Eilish, to Ed Sheeran and Zac Brown, among many others. At the same time, his entrepreneurial portfolio includes Black Star Burger, HFACTOR water, Wonderbrett dispensary, gaming team 100 Thieves, and his own Bearthday Music record label. As of late, he signed a joint venture agreement with Def Jam Recordings and released his latest single, “The Day You Left” on June 11 via BMG! And The Writer Is… Poo Bear! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In a career spanning over 30 years, today’s guest has been the guiding force behind selling over 50 million records and instrumental to some of the most musical moments of this generation. He has written and produced many chart topping R&B and pop singles and albums such as: Rihanna’s GRAMMY winning "Umbrella"; Beyoncé’s GRAMMY winning “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)"; Justin Bieber’s "Baby"; Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body" and "Obsessed"; Mary J. Blige's "Just Fine"; Frank Ocean’s “Novacane”; The-Dream's "Love/Hate" and "Love vs. Money"; Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”; Beyoncé’s “4”; Ciara's "Ride"; Frank Ocean’s “Nostalgia, Ultra”; the Britney Spears and Madonna collaboration "Me Against the Music” and so many more. He has also discovered and/or developed game changing talents like: Ester Dean, Frank Ocean, Justin Tranter, Ricky Reed and writing partner The - Dream. Our guest is head of his own record label and commercial studio complex, RZ3 Recordings, based in Atlanta and he previously served as President of A&R at Epic Records. In 2012, Billboard named Stewart to the “40 under 40 list of Music Executives”. And The Writer Is… Tricky Stewart! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Today’s guests are the dynamic duo from the foothills of Boulder, CO to a household name – if we’re talking house parties.Since 2008, the American electro-pop duo has rocked sold out venues, amphitheaters, and college campuses around the world, playing shows on every major continent except Antarctica (too cold). With over 15 million singles sold worldwide and three U.S. RIAA Certified platinum songs, this duo has cemented their sound with global hits like their 3x multi-platinum single “Don’t Trust Me,” which reached #1 at Top 40 Radio and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as hugely popular songs “STARSTRUKKK” (Feat. Katy Perry) and “My First Kiss” (Feat. Kesha) and memorable performances on American Idol, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and the MTV Video Music Awards. Over the past decade, they have pivoted to more behind the scenes work, having written and produced hits for other artists such as Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody,” Steve Aoki’s “Waste It on Me” (Feat. BTS), MAX’s “Lights Down Low,” Ariana Grande’s “Tattooed Heart,” and Kesha’s “Blah Blah Blah” among many others. They continued to play in front of thousands of fans while celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their RIAA certified Gold album WANT. Now, the duo is back with Photo Finish Records, where it all started – and they’re coming harder than ever. Their new single “LONELY MACHINES” (feat 100 gecs) is the first taste of much more music to come. And The Writers Are… Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte of 3OH!3. Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Today’s guest boasts a more diverse catalogue and interesting journey than your average songwriter. With multi-platinum hits across genres, her own label/publishing/management company, Jinsing, and a Senior A&R position at Parlophone Records, she has achieved so much since hanging out in her Grandad’s reggae shop as a child. Recognising the early talent of the now seven times #1 artist Jess Glynne whilst hosting a song-writing masterclass at Jess’s college, our guest went on to co-write the UK No. 1’s ‘Hold My Hand’ which led to her Ivor Novello nominations and to her winning a BMI Award. She has gone on to collaborate with a host of international producers and artists and recently co-wrote the 2021 UEFA Championship x Pepsi anthem ‘Rotate’ by Burna Boy and Becky G. Other collaborators include producers such as Fraser T Smith, Toby Gad, Stephen Di Genius, Diplo and David Guetta, and artists Jax Jones, Paloma Faith & Sigala, RAYE, Madison Beer, Sean Paul, Rita Ora, Clean Bandit, Craig David, Gary Barlow, Jennifer Lopez & Maluma, Joel Corry and Hailee Steinfeld. In recognition of her achievements she was nominated for Songwriter Of The Year at the Music Business Worldwide Awards 2018, and won the “Music Creative” Award at Music Week's 2018 Women In Music event. She also recently won her second BMI award for Madison Beer’s ‘Home With You’ and joined the board of Directors of the prestigious Ivors Academy in 2020. And The Writer Is… Jin Jin! Artwork: Michael Richey White. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Today’s guest is a songwriter, producer and musician from Long Island, NY. After playing in his own pop-rock band, ‘As Tall As Lions’ as lead vocalist and guitarist, he relocated to Los Angeles to work as a songwriter and producer. In the years since, he's worked with artists as disparate as Olivia Rodrigo, Sky Ferreira, Carly Rae Jepsen, Caroline Polachek, Empress Of, FINNEAS, Conan Gray and many more. Most notably, he co-wrote and produced the entirety of Olivia Rodrigo's debut album Sour, which broke the record for the biggest album debut week by a female artist. This record includes the record-smashing single "good 4 u", which holds the Spotify record for most streams of a song in a single week (passing her other record-smashing lead single "drivers license"). Our guest also enjoys a similar long term creative relationship with the singer-songwriter Conan Gray. And The Writer Is… Daniel Nigro! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Today’s guest is a New York City-based indie pop band composed of brothers Adam (vocals/bass), Jack (vocals/guitar), and Ryan Met (ukulele/piano/vocals). The band is a DIY pop group who write, produce, and mix their own material in the living room of their Chelsea apartment. Their music style has been described as “eclectic”, combining elements of pop, barbershop, electronic, and dubstep music. They have opened for Demi Lovato, Hoodie Allen and the Wanted. In 2013 the trio released their debut independent single, "I'm Ready." Well-received, the track peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart, and appeared on an initial EP as well as the band's 2015 full-length debut album, Living Room. Today, the Multi Platinum indie pop trio have made their first Top 10 entry on the Billboard Hot 100 with their hit single, “Bang!”. It cracked Top 10 at three radio formats—peaking at No. 6 on Pop Radio, No. 2 on Alternative Radio and No. 1 on Adult Pop Radio—and is double platinum certified, marking their sixth platinum song to date. And The Writer Is… Jack and Ryan of AJR! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Today’s guest is an American music producer, musician, songwriter and entrepreneur, based in Nashville, Tennessee and is a three-time Grammy Award nominee and winner of the 2011 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Song for Fantasia’s “Bittersweet". After college, our guest relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where he garnered his first major songwriting credit as a co-writer alongside Ne-Yo on Celine Dion's "I Got Nothin' Left" from her 2007 album Taking Chances. Since then he’s earned production, composition, and songwriting credits on songs by artists including Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Toni Braxton, Jesse J, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Olly Murs, Kanye West, Janet Jackson, John Legend, NAS, Kelly Rowland, Johnny Gill, Keyshia Cole, Keri Hilson, K'naan, Bono, Corinne Bailey Rae, Seal and Sara Evans. In 2015, our guest partnered with longtime collaborator Claude Kelly forming the progressive band Louis York and released their debut EP, Masterpiece Theater – Act I, which they released through their creative hub and independent record label Weirdo Workshop. In 2017 the two partnered again to form the educational and community building initiative Tiny Book Club through their Weirdo Workshop umbrella which has held in-person events in Nashville, New York, Los Angeles, and New Jersey as well as virtual meet-ups online while the country has been on shutdown throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Our guests’ main objective is to continue to promote excellence in music through first class musicianship, empathetic business practices, and pure inspiration. And The Writer Is… Chuck Harmony! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Today’s guest took the world of country music by storm in 2015 with her critically acclaimed full-length debut, Untamed. The record not only bowed in the Top 15 of the Billboard Top 200 and registered at #2 on the Top Country Albums Chart, but it also yielded her double-platinum GRAMMY®, CMA and ACM-nominated smash single, "Burning House," which remains the bestselling country song by a female solo artist since its release in 2015. Since then, our guest has continued to thrive as both a songwriter and musician. She recently released her sophomore album, The Otherside and she’s lent her writing voice to Miley Cyrus' 2015 album, Bangerz, and co-wrote "Palace" with Sam Smith for his 2017 album, The Thrill of It All. She broke boundaries with her bold and empowering 2017 lead single, "Diane," and further showcased her range when she teamed up with Diplo for the genre-bending Thomas Wesley 2019 debut single, "So Long." She has consistently sold-out shows across the globe, cementing her status as an international powerhouse on stage. She performed alongside Sam Smith for 4 sold-out shows at the O2 Arena in London and joined him on his 2018 North American tour, opened for Harry Styles at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, delivered standout festivals sets including the coveted sunset slot at Stagecoach in 2019, headlined top venues across Europe and Australia, and performed a "game-changing" (Rolling Stone) debut-headline gig at The Ryman Auditorium. By taking risks and standing up for herself, our guest has continued to hustle and pave her own way. And The Writer Is… Cam! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
And The Demo Is… “Every Season” by Philip Bowen, “Never Have I” by Ahlei, and “Sundress” by Devin Kennedy! In Part 2 of Episode 1 of Ross and Joe’s new live web series, “And The Demo Is…”, the guys critique the songs “Every Season” by Philip Bowen (Twitter: @Philbow55, IG: @philipbowenmusic, TikTok: @philipbowenmusic), “Never Have I” written by Ahlei (Twitter: @itsjoeyc_, IG: @itsjoeyc_, TikTok: @itsjoeyc_) and M Basa, and “Sundress” by Devin Kennedy (Twitter: @DevKennedyMusic, IG: @DevKennedyMusic, TikTok: @DevKennedyMusic). Big thanks to YouTube for their support! To submit your demo for Ross and Joe to critique visit: https://linktr.ee/andthewriteris See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Today’s Grammy nominated hit songwriter and mega-producer guest, has been the man behind a decade of sound, helping some of the biggest artists in the world use their voices and he is now returning to his roots as a solo artist. He is a 4x BMI Songwriter of the year and has penned smashes that include 30 No. 1 songs and other chart climbers for stars including Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, Darius Rucker, Kenny Chesney and P!nk, Dierks Bentley, and so many more. Our guest has also produced acclaimed and GRAMMY-nominated albums for Urban, Bentley, and others. Now focusing on his own artist story, today’s guest is releasing his EP, Somewhere There’s a Light On, a five-song collection of his shimmery Southern pop. Featuring back-to-back singalongs and our guests’ ferocious musicality, the EP is radio-ready piano, staccato percussion, synths, snaps and smooth vocals, with country music’s love of cohesive narratives. He co-wrote Somewhere There’s a Light On with favorite collaborators, including a pair with Ed Sheeran. And The Writer Is… Ross Copperman! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
And The Demo Is…“Shatter” by Malena Cadiz, “Staying” by Kyle Reynolds and “Where Do We Go” by Naashi! Ross and Joe’s new live web series, “And The Demo Is…”, launched on the ATWI Official YouTube Channel December 17th, 2020. In the series, dedicated to highlighting and mentoring new songwriters, Joe and Ross provided a real-time critique and offered tips on the featured demos. In Part 1 of Episode 2 which aired on Friday, March 26, the guys give feedback on the song “Shatter” by Malena Cadiz ( IG: @malena.cadiz / TikTok: @malena.cadiz) who collaborated on the song with songwriter, Marshall Gallagher (IG: @swinghero). They also critique “Staying” by Kyle Reynolds (Twitter: @KyReynoldsMusic / IG: @kylereynoldsmusic / TikTok: @kylereynoldsmusic), which was co-written by Ellee Duke (IG: @elleeduke). The last demo they went over on Part 1, Episode 2 of ATWI was “Where Do We Go” by Naashi (IG: @naashiwroteit / Twitter: @_naashi_ / TikTok: @naashi) who wrote the song with Kyle Junior (IG: @kylejunior). Big thanks to YouTube for their support! To submit your demo for Ross and Joe to critique visit: https://linktr.ee/andthewriteris See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Today’s guest is one of the most in-demand rap producers of the decade. He’s produced entire projects and hundreds of thundering, wildly different beats for critically-acclaimed rappers like Rico Nasty, Vince Staples, Freddie Gibbs, Denzel Curry, Key!, 03 Greedo, JPEGMAFIA, and Ski Mask the Slump God. Today, the 29-year-old’s signature tag (“Woah, Kenny!”) is virtually inescapable. Born and raised in Connecticut, today’s guest inherited his eclectic ear from his father, whose tastes ranged from Sheryl Crow to Dr. Dre. He played drums and guitar throughout his childhood and began making beats in high school, imitating idols like Timbaland and Pharrell. While studying music business at Berklee College of Music, he interned for renowned rap label Cinematic Music Group and began placing beats with rappers like Schoolboy Q (“Party”), Smoke DZA, and Ab-Soul (“Hunnid Stax”). During his senior year, he moved to Los Angeles and made a brief but successful foray into EDM. Once he’d accrued enough funds DJing around the world, Kenny returned to rap and opened The Cave, one of the most vital studios in contemporary rap. He is also a member of D.O.T.S. (Don’t Overthink Shit). A tight-knit and ever-evolving creative team, D.O.T.S. assists artists with every aspect of their careers, whether that’s beats and music videos or merch and art direction. They are creative midwives, helping musicians birth all their gestating ideas. And The Writer Is… Kenny Beats! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Today we are joined by two highly-influential music creators’ rights advocates. Kris Ahrend began his career in the music industry working in the Law Department at Sony Music, where he provided legal services to all of Sony’s US divisions, including its publishing company. He subsequently worked in the business and legal affairs department at Sony BMG Music Entertainment before accepting a senior executive role at Rhino Entertainment. Kris Ahrend now serves as Chief Executive Officer for The MLC, where he leads the organization’s mission to ensure songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers receive their mechanical royalties from streaming and download services in the U.S. accurately and on time. Most recently, Ahrend led the development and launch of Warner Music Group’s Center of Excellence for Shared Services in Nashville, where he oversaw the operations of fifteen different functional teams providing a variety of administrative, financial, and legal services to Warner Music’s U.S.- based publishing teams, record labels, and corporate divisions. Michelle Lewis is an award-winning songwriter, composer, singer and music creators’ rights advocate. From her early career as a recording artist signed to Irving Azoff’s Giant Records, to her first radio hit, Cher’s “A Different Kind of Love Song” in 2002, to the 2014 worldwide #1 single “Wings” by the British girl group Little Mix, Ms. Lewis brings authenticity, musicality, and heart to a diverse range of pop music. In 2015, Michelle Lewis co-founded the non-profit advocacy organization, Songwriters Of North America (SONA) in response to the ever-increasing complexities and inequities in digital royalties paid to songwriters and composers. Through her roles as SONA’s Executive Director, on the ASCAP Board of Directors, as an LA Chapter board member of the Recording Academy and on the Executive Committee of the Music Peer Group for the Television Academy, Michelle is solidly situated on the leading edge of issues facing songwriters: the ongoing fight to make streaming royalty rates more fair to creators, education and empowerment of creators through metadata, the implementation and utilization of the new Mechanical Licensing Collective, and fighting for songwriters to get healthcare and workplace safety standards in place. And The Executive are… Kris Ahrend and Michelle Lewis! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Today’s guest is a Grammy nominated songwriter, former American Idol judge, producer, music executive and publisher. For the past seven years, she has been a Herb Albert Visiting Scholar at Berklee College of Music, mentoring the likes of Charlie Puth and Ingrid Andress. As one of the most successful contemporary songwriters in the world, her songs have appeared on more than 160 million albums. She has won over 23 BMI awards for most performed songs, including BMI’s 2007 Songwriter of the Year award. She’s had over 320 songs released by major labels, 150 songs on platinum selling albums, and over 50 charting singles. Her credits include successes and collaborations with artists such as Pink, Katy Perry, Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato, Gwen Stefani, Carrie Underwood, Colbie Caillat, Enrique Iglesias, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry, Darius Rucker, Fletcher, Faith Hill, Santana and many more. She discovered Jon Bellion and Ingrid Andress; who are both signed to her publishing company Arthouse Entertainment. Dedicated to giving back, today’s guest built five recording studios at Phoenix House, one of the nation’s leading nonprofits dedicated to leading individuals, families and communities affected by addiction from disrupted to productive lives. She also has an educational scholarship in her family’s name at the Columbus Citizens Foundation that provides financial support to students of Italian descent. In 2017, she co-founded Inspired Nation, a non for profit that creates youth talent shows across the country with all benefits going to youth oriented charities. She is an advocate for creating awareness and legislative reform around child sexual abuse. She is also on the newly created MLC (Music Licensing Collective) board. And The Writer Is… Kara DioGuardi! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.