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... ™
Today’s guest is an American record producer, musician and songwriter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As the son of Philadelphia soul icon Dexter Wansel, he grew up in the music industry and began writing and producing his own music at the age of ten, citing rapper Nas and Motown songwriting team Holland–Dozier–Holland as his early inspirations. In 2006, today’s guest reached out to Nicki Minaj via Myspace message looking to collaborate. After her initial interest, he sent her an idea that would eventually become the basis for "Your Love". Nicki recorded the track and the unmastered demo subsequently leaked in 2009, landing at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 Rap Songs, and launching our guest and production partner Warren "Oak" Felder to international acclaim. Since then, today’s guest has collaborated with an impressive list of artists including Ariana Grande, Usher, Demi Lovato, Kehlani, Rihanna, Alessia Cara, Megan Thee Stallion and many more. And The Writer Is… Pop Wansel! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Based out of Williamsburg, VA, today’s guest first rose to national prominence with The Way It Is, his 1986 Grammy-winning debut album with The Range. The title track became the most-played song on American radio in 1987 while Tupac Shakur’s timeless song “Changes” builds on “The Way It Is” and set the stage for many subsequent versions of the track, including Polo G’s current single “Wishing For A Hero.” In 1991, Hornsby collaborated with Bonnie Raitt, playing on her iconic hit “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Additionally, Hornsby was a part-time member of the Grateful Dead from September 1990 to March 1992, performing over 100 concerts in America and Europe. He has written six full film scores for Spike Lee including his recent Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It, and contributed music to four others, including 2018’s BlacKkKlansman. Last year, Hornsby released his acclaimed album, Non-Secure Connection, which featured collaborations with James Mercer, Jamila Woods, Vernon Reid, Leon Russell, Justin Vernon and more. The 13-time Grammy nominee has solidified his status as a highly sought-after collaborator. Hornsby’s own 21 albums have sold over 11 million copies worldwide, and he has appeared on over 100 records including releases with Bob Dylan, Don Henley, the Grateful Dead, Ricky Skaggs, Bob Seger, Chaka Khan, Brandon Flowers, Bonnie Raitt, Sting, Mavis Staples, Willie Nelson and more. And The Writer Is… Bruce Hornsby! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Throughout a catalog streamed nearly half-a-billion times and highlighted by two gold albums, two gold singles, and a platinum single, today’s guests perennially raised the bar for both pop and punk. Since 2003, the group notched five straight Top 10 entries on the Billboard Top 200, spanning the gold-certified Nothing Personal , Dirty Work , Future Hearts , and Last Young Renegade . The latter attracted tastemaker acclaim from the likes of Rolling Stone, Paste, and more as the band canvassed the world, headlining arenas on three continents. 2019 saw them celebrate Nothing Personal with a string of sold-out shows and a re-recorded liveperformance of the album at RedBull Studios. The record’s influence remained prevalent with Rock Sound citing its impact on Fall Out Boy, 5 Seconds of Summer, and more. Along the way, they achieved honors such as “Album of the Year” at both the Alternative Press Music Awards for Dirty Work and Rock Sound Awards for Last Young Renegade. After nearly two decades together, they rekindled the spark they first ignited in a Baltimore basement on their 2020 eighth full-length studio album, Wake Up, Sunshine [Fueled By Ramen]. These four lifelong friends—Alex Gaskarth [lead vocals, guitar], Jack Barakat [lead guitar, backing vocals], Zack Merrick [bass, backing vocals], and Rian Dawson [drums]—walked into a tiny room, plugged in, and turned up with the same spirit, but a little more wisdom, a lot more experience, and proficiency gained by performing to millions worldwide. As a result, they delivered a dynamic body of work at the apex of pop punk prowess, rock energy, and genre-busting adventurousness. And The Writer Is… Alex and Jack of All Time Low! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Described as “A signpost for modern female complexity,” by Billboard, today’s Warner Music Nashville / Atlantic Records recording artist guest was nominated for three GRAMMY Awards and was the only country artist nominated in the general field “Big Four” categories as a Best New Artist nominee. Tied as this year’s most-nominated country artist alongside Miranda Lambert, she co-wrote and co-produced every song on her debut album, Lady Like, which earned a nod in the Best Country Album category as well. The critically-lauded project features her Platinum-selling, No. 1 debut single “More Hearts Than Mine,” also nominated for Best Country Song, and her current single “Lady Like,” which is climbing the country radio charts now. In addition, the 2020 CMA, ACM and CMT Music Awards nominee took home Song of the Year honors earlier this year from both the MusicRow Awards and NSAI’s Nashville Songwriter Awards. She has received widespread acclaim from outlets such as The New York Times, NPR, HUFFPOST, Entertainment Weekly, ELLE, Teen Vogue, WWD, PAPER and Wonderland to name a few and has made several national TV performances including appearances on ELLEN, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Late Late Show with James Corden, TODAY, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The 54th Annual CMA Awards and The 2020 CMT Music Awards. The accomplished singer / songwriter has penned songs for artists including Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, FLETCHER and Dove Cameron. Having started last year touring with Keith Urban on select dates, Andress’ 2020 tour dates also included shows with Dan + Shay, Tim McGraw and Thomas Rhett. And The Writer Is… Ingrid Andress! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Multi-platinum, GRAMMY nominated artist/producers – comprised of brothers Kyle and Michael Trewartha – are known for their chart-topping style of pop music, blending crisp electronic production and infectious vocal melodies. Each amassing over 2 billion global streams, our guests' viral hit singles “The Middle” and “Starving” introduced the duo to virtually every corner of the world. In 2016, RIAA Quadruple-Platinum song “Starving” with Hailee Steinfeld and Zedd reached #5 at the US Top 40 and was nominated for an American Music Award. In 2018, “The Middle” – in collaboration with Zedd and Maren Morris – became a certified RIAA Triple-Platinum record, held the #1 spot on the US Top 40 charts for five consecutive weeks, and accumulated three GRAMMY nominations, two iHeart Music Awards, a Billboard Music Award, and an AMA nomination. The duo has performed “The Middle” with collaborators Zedd and Marren Morris on The Billboard Music Awards and Ellen. Other notable releases include Camila Cabello collaboration “Crown” for Netflix’s Bright Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2017), and “Grey Area” featuring Disney starlet Sofia Carson (2019). In 2020, our guests offered their most personal and genre-defying installment yet in the form of sibling EPs: LIGHT and DARK. The 11-song project features vocals, writing, and production from the brothers on every song, and represents a new and exciting phase for them. Michael explains, “This time the music is really coming from us. It’s about our lives and our friends, the good and the bad.” And The Writer Is… Grey! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
She is one of the most versatile artists in the music and entertainment world. A true pioneer and multi-talented woman with unprecedented success as a world-record composer, singer, producer, communicator, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and dedicated philanthropist. All in one. Born in Panama, of Brazilian, European, and Asian roots; our guest was raised in a multicultural and multilingual environment, which allowed her to be the versatile professional she is today in a global market. Her songs have been recorded by Justin Bieber, Akon, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Marc Anthony, Chayanne, Gloria Trevi, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Prince Royce, and Ha-Ash among others. She is the only Latina woman, in history, to achieve a #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, with a Spanish song. She is also the female composer with the longest number #1 record on Billboard, the first Hispanic woman to obtain a Grammy nomination for a Major Category (Song of the Year), the composer with the most reproduced song of all time (worldwide) on digital and radio platforms, and the youngest person to enter the Latin Composers Hall of Fame. About 200 CDs and more than 40 singles have been released with her songs, (including the unprecedented worldwide success "Despacito"). Simultaneously, with music, she has a respectable career in the media world, both in front and behind the screens. Through her company ENDERTAINMENT, she creates formats and produces shows and diverse contents, with high results, not only in numbers but also, in social impact. Her true mission has always been using arts as a vehicle for the common good. This task has been successfully achieved through her Foundation (Puertas Abiertas), by benefiting thousands of children and young people, with projects such as TalenPro, which unites entertainment, culture, values, social responsibility, and education. In 2020, She released her new album ‘MP3 - 45,’ a multilingual concept album that pays tribute to the music of her past while charging head-first into the sounds of her future, celebrating the dichotomy of a modern woman who both honors tradition and embraces change. And The Writer Is… Erika Ender! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
For more than five years this guest has quietly and steadily become one of pop’s brightest rising stars. He has released all of his music completely independently with 5 billion streams to his name while writing for some of the biggest stars in the world, performing late-night talk shows, playing stadiums opening for Ed Sheeran, and selling out shows in 21 countries as a headliner. He first gained attention in 2015 when his single “The Other” went viral, peaking at number three on Hype Machine and hitting Spotify’s Global Top 100 before eventually being certified Gold. After concentrating on working with other artists, he hit again with 2017’s “I Like Me Better,” which reached #7 at Top 40 and #2 at Hot AC and was certified 4X multi-platinum in the US and platinum in 12 other countries. “I’m so tired…” his duet with Troye Sivan, has also been certified platinum, with over 600 million streams worldwide. His official debut album ~how i'm feeling~ featured 3 new collaborations with Alessia Cara, Sofia Reyes, and BTS. Accepting and celebrating the multiple facets of ourselves and the different personalities we carry with us, is a theme throughout the debut album, even extending to the cover art. And this artist has been open about his struggles with anxiety and depression and has taken action on the issue with his Blue Boy Foundation, which supports programs that help young people feel more comfortable reaching out for help with mental health. In 2019, he launched the “My Blue Thoughts” initiative, a community-building mechanism for fans to anonymously write down or record whatever is on their mind, as a way to engage with people around the world who may be having similar experiences. And The Writer Is… Lauv! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
There are two stories you can tell as a songwriter: yours or someone else’s. Today’s guest not only tells the stories of some of the biggest artists in the world as a songwriter, but she also shares her story as an artist. By 10-years-old, she began writing songs for herself and learned five instruments. After graduating from Berklee College of Music, she founded New York indie upstart band, Amy & The Engine. In 2018, she wrote the multi-platinum hit “Back To You” by Selena Gomez and opened up the floodgates to collaborate with A-list talent, including Halsey (“Without Me”), Harry Styles (“Adore You”), Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Sam Smith, and Marshmello. Forbes named her on the coveted “30 Under 30” list, while Variety dubbed her “Hitmaker of the Year.” Reclaiming her passion for performing in 2021, she introduces her sound as an artist on her full-length debut for Warner Records. All of her past experience has led her to this point, to creating a collection of personal and meaningful songs that make up her debut album. Her songs are lived-in tales, reminiscent of the American troubadours that have come before her - heroes like Tom Petty or Sheryl Crow, Carole King or John Prine or Bruce Springsteen. Heralded by her initial song releases and a debut album to follow, she tells her own story now. And The Writer Is… Amy Allen! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Growing up in suburban New Jersey, this singer, songwriter, and producer has always been surrounded by music. In 2015, he released his first EP as a freshman at Colorado College pursuing a degree in Molecular Biology, and by 2017 he had signed a major label record deal with Republic Records. Since then, he has released four EP’s with breakthrough singles, such as Gold Certified singles, “talk is overrated” featuring blackbear and “all the kids are depressed,” and his biggest song to date, “comethru,” which is Platinum Certified and has surpassed over one billion streams. In 2019, he collaborated with Chelsea Cutler on ‘brent’ and their Platinum-Certified global viral hit, “you were good to me.” Last spring, he released his long-awaited debut album, ‘love is not dying,’ to praise from critics and fans alike, as he recently crossed over a staggering 3.2 billion total streams across his catalogue with his latest single, "supercuts." Most recently, he and Chelsea Cutler released their new single “this is how you fall in love” and EP, ‘brent ii.’ And The Writer Is… Jeremy Zucker! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
When this Grammy-nominated artist and songwriter moved across the country from New Jersey to Los Angeles only a couple of years ago in pursuit of his dream career, he started by writing a song a day in exchange for a floor to sleep on. Soon after, he landed a feature as the iconic voice behind Kanye West's hit single, "All Mine" and found himself atop the Billboard charts. His overnight success is years in the making. As the epitome of a “rags to riches” story, he spent nights on park benches, couch hopping, and using songwriting as a means of currency. Today, he is recognized as one of the most in-demand songwriters and upcoming artists, due to his work with Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Camilla Cabello, Kanye West, Kali Uchis, H.E.R., G Eazy, Pharrell, etc. In 2020, he released his debut LP, ‘Happy 2 Be Here,’ which features Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, and Ty Dolla $ign and is nominated for Best R&B Album at the 2021 Grammy Awards. And most recently, he performed his song “Better Days” with Justin Timberlake at the Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. And The Writer Is… Ant Clemons! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
He is a Grammy Award-winning producer, engineer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter who has worked with a diverse roster of artists, including Adele, Haim, Sky Ferreira, Vampire Weekend, Charli XCX, Usher, Brandon Flowers, Madonna, Tobias Jesso Jr., Carly Rae Jepsen, Cass McCombs, and Justin Bieber among many others. He co-wrote and produced Usher’s 2012 single, "Climax", which won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance. In 2014, he was nominated for a "Producer of the Year" Grammy and won for his production on Vampire Weekend's ‘Modern Vampires of the City,’ which was awarded "Best Alternative Music Album." In 2017 he won for his production work on Adele's 25, which was awarded "Album of the Year." In 2020, he won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album for his production work on Vampire Weekend’s ‘Father of the Bride.’ And most recently, this year he is a 2021 Grammy nominee for Album of the Year his writing and production on HAIM’s ‘Women in Music Pt. III.’ And The Writer Is… Ariel Rechtshaid! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Today’s guest is the epitome of a modern artist - a Grammy-nominated multi-talented and versatile singer, songwriter, vocal producer, and dancer; an artist that lives up to the hype. Her unique and truthful perspective showcases her duality; fresh and familiar, sexual and substantial; a feeling of nostalgia blended with modern and youthful aesthetics. Selected as Apple Music's Up Next artist in 2020, Monét released her critically acclaimed project JAGUAR in August, which was the #1 R&B album on iTunes in 66 countries. The self-assured young artist we know today as one of the most promising singer-songwriters of 2021, who is responsible for some of the biggest hits in contemporary pop, hip-hop, and R&B for top 40 and critical darlings alike, including Ariana Grande, Brandy, Chloe x Halle, Nas, T.I., BLACKPINK, Selena Gomez, Lucky Daye, and Kehlani. Her songwriting is just an extension of her ability to shine as an artist in her own right. Her music and art play with the idea of gender roles, themes of femininity, and owning one’s own sexuality. And her motivation to bring honesty into her music makes it possible for many to find their truth in it. And The Writer Is… Victoria Monét! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Hailed as “the most promising and influential new country star of the last five years" by The New York Times, he is a multi-platinum, ACM, CMA, CMT, and Billboard Music Award-winning artist from Asheville, NC. His new deluxe album, What You See Ain't Always What You Get, recently debuted at #1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart as well as Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. It also set the new weekly streaming record for a country album with 102.26 million on-demand streams, breaking his own record, which was set last November with the release of his platinum-certified, global #1 album, What You See Is What You Get. The new deluxe album features all 18 tracks from What You See Is What You Get as well as five new songs including “Forever After All,” which debuted at #2 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart—the highest entrance ever for a male country solo artist. Adding to a series of groundbreaking and historic years, Combs recently made history as the first artist ever to have their first two studio albums spend 25 weeks or more at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart—breaking Taylor Swift’s previously held record at 24 weeks. The achievement comes as What You See Is What You Get topped the chart for the 25th time, while his 2017 debut, This One’s For You, has spent 50 non-consecutive weeks at #1—tying the record for the longest reign atop the chart. Moreover, Combs recently won two awards at the 55th ACM Awards, three awards at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, and two awards at the 54th CMA Awards. Continuing his triumphant run at country radio, Combs’ recent single, “Lovin’ On You,” spent multiple weeks at #1 on both the Mediabase/Country Aircheck chart and the Billboard Country Airplay chart. This is Combs’ ninth-consecutive #1 single—a first on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart—as well as his eighth single to spend multiple weeks at #1. His current single, “Better Together,” is already top 10 at country radio and rising. And The Writer Is… Luke Combs! Artwork: Michael Richey White See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
She is a three-time GRAMMY Award-winner who has achieved global success as, among other accomplishments, a performer, songwriter, frontwoman for ska-punk heroes No Doubt, and multi-platinum solo artist. To date, she’s sold more than 50 million units worldwide, including her four-times-platinum debut solo album ‘Love.Angel.Music.Baby.’ The 2004 release delivered the hit singles “Rich Girl,” “What You Waiting For?”, and the Pharrell Williams-produced No. 1 hit “Hollaback Girl.” Her 2015 solo album, ‘This Is What the Truth Feels Like,’ debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Most recently, she released her new reggae-tinged single “Let Me Reintroduce Myself”, which she co-wrote and recorded in quarantine with our very own, Ross Golan. The single finds her reminding fans of what she does best: create vibrant, uplifting music that is real and honest to who she is as an artist. “Let Me Reintroduce Myself” caps off a busy 2020 for Stefani. She had two top 10 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart with fiancé Blake Shelton, “Nobody But You” and “Happy Anywhere.” And her holiday album, ‘You Make It Feel Like Christmas,’ was just reissued with two new songs, including Ryan Tedder co-write “Here This Christmas.” And The Writer Is… Gwen Stefani! 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.