And The Writer Is...with Ross Golan show

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... ™

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 Ep. 97: Lori McKenna | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:22:24

Home and the people who make it have captivated this artist and songwriter for years. Over the last 3 decades, as she became a wife and mother of five, she has also emerged as one of the most respected, prolific singer-songwriters in popular music. Her 2016 release ‘The Bird and the Rifle’ netted 3 Grammy nominations, along with Americana Music Association nods––all firsts for her as an artist. In 2016, she became the first woman ever to win the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year two years in a row thanks to co-writing Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” and penning Tim McGraw’s no. 1 “Humble and Kind” solo. Both songs also clinched back-to-back Grammy wins for Best Country Song. In 2017, she became the Academy of Country Music’s first female Songwriter of the Year. Her highly anticipated new album, ‘The Balladeer’ is her most personal album to date featuring songs that reflect firsthand on her relationships with her children, husband, and family. And The Writer Is...Lori McKenna! This episode is sponsored by Bandzoogle and BMI. Art: Michael Richey White  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 96: Terrace Martin | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:10:29

He is one of the most versatile and freely collaborative artists of his generation. Renowned as being one of the top jazz musicians in the world, this three-time GRAMMY-nominated artist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist has become a creative engine at the epicenter of LA's progressive hip-hop scene. His noteworthy production has included major collaborations with Kendrick Lamar (‘good kid, M.A.A.D. city’ and the GRAMMY-winning ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’), Travis Scott, Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock, Leon Bridges, and many other influential artists. His versatility as a musician and producer has led his path in parallel with the greats including Quincy Jones and Dr. Dre, while also launching his vibrant, progressive, genre-crossing record label, Sounds of Crenshaw. This year he collaborated with Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, and 9th Wonder on the supergroup album project, ‘Dinner Party’ which features guest vocals from Phoelix. As the name lends, Dinner Party is an authentic connection and camaraderie. Years of friendship, shows, dinners, conversations, laughs, and life experiences, all converging into one moment. And most recently, his new album 'DRONES' takes him from being a ’secret weapon’ within the industry and renowned in the jazz world, to a household name on a mainstream level. Featuring contributions from friends and frequent collaborators, the record is a career in the making. Stepping out from behind the boards of so many iconic records and into the spotlight, he has created a classic of his own. And The Writer Is…Terrace Martin! Art: Michael Richey White  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 95: Daniel Lanois | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:21:13

He is one of the world’s most influential music makers. An artist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist, and producer. Hailing from Hull, Quebec, this guest is the sonic shaper and spiritual inspiration of albums by the likes of U2, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris, and Bob Dylan. An ambient music pioneer, his unique and innovative approach to sound is a key ingredient to the many well-loved songs he’s written over the past four decades that appear on his critically acclaimed solo albums such as ‘Acadie,’ ‘The Beauty of Wynona,’ ‘Shine’ and Grammy-nominated ‘Belladonna.’ His music, whether vocal or instrumental, has always maintained a cinematic quality, which carries through to his steel guitar symphony projects ‘Flesh And Machine’ and ‘Goodbye To Language’ albums. Most recently, he co-wrote and produced the ‘Red Dead Redemption 2 Soundtrack’ and is currently working on his upcoming project, ‘Daniel Lanois & Heavy Sun’, soon to be released via eOne. “The road is calling as the music keeps on guiding me through the labyrinths of song, messages, and inventions. Surrounded one more time by talent I admire, this new body of work features harmony singing with built-in capacity to raise the spirit." And The Writer Is...Daniel Lanois! Art: Michael Richey White  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 94: Elena Segal | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:09:17

This week’s episode features an industry executive who is Apple Music’s first Global Senior Director of Music Publishing. She leads a team that cultivates and fosters relationships with music publishers and songwriters, ensuring licensing, payments, and creative solutions are readily available and handled appropriately. Our guest began her career in the entertainment industry as a barrister in the U.K. and then an entertainment litigation attorney at Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp in Los Angeles, CA. She was appointed to her post at Apple in 2018 when she hung up her barrister’s wig and transitioned from the legal side of the entertainment industry to the business. In her more than 14 years at Apple, she has been intimately involved in the expansion of iTunes to countless countries around the world, the launch of Apple Music in more than 100 countries on one day (including being responsible for licensing of all publishing rights for the service outside the US), and played a key role in all 10 editions of the iTunes Festival (the Apple Music Festival in its latter years). Over this time she has become very well-acquainted with the music publishing landscape, and the music publisher and collection society community around the world, having been in the thick of numerous shifts in the music publishing landscape since 2007. The creation of music, and the ecosystem and industry that nurtures that, is her passion. And The Executive Is… Elena Segal! Art: Michael Richey White  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 93: Drew Taggart (The Chainsmokers) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:08:18

He is one half of the GRAMMY Award-winning and Billboard Chart-topping artist/producer duo, The Chainsmokers, who have evolved into a dominating musical force with a diverse repertoire of songs that have led them to become one of music's hottest recording artists. In 2016, the group catapulted to worldwide stardom with three Multi-Platinum certified hits - "Roses (ft. Rozes)”, "Don't Let Me Down (ft.Daya)”, and "Closer (ft. Halsey)”, which went on to become the longest-running #1 single of 2016 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 2017, the group released its debut album via Disruptor/Columbia Records titled ‘Memories... Do Not Open’. The album, which has been certified Platinum, debuted at #1 in the U.S. on the Billboard 200 chart and produced Multi-Platinum certified smash hits "Paris" and "Something Just Like This" featuring Coldplay. In 2018, The Chainsmokers released the album ‘Sick Boy’, which has accumulated over 1 billion worldwide streams to date and includes Platinum-certified single "This Feeling (ft. Kelsea Ballerini)” and Gold-certified single "Side Effects," featuring longtime collaborator Emily Warren. The duo’s latest album, titled ‘World War Joy’, which includes "Push My Luck," Gold-certified single "Takeaway" with ILLENIUM featuring Lennon Stella, Platinum-certified singles "Call You Mine (ft.Bebe Rexha)” and "Who Do You Love (ft. 5 Seconds of Summer)”, "Kills You Slowly" and "Do You Mean" featuring Dolla $ign and bülow. Additionally, the duo has been nominated for a 2020 Kids' Choice Award, a 2019 American Music Award, a 2019 MTV Video Music Award, multiple 2019 Teen Choice Awards and was honored with two wins at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards for Top Dance/Electronic Artist and Top Dance/Electronic Album for Sick Boy. And The Writer Is… Drew Taggart!  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 92: Jimmie Allen | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:04:06

The epitome of the phrase “persistence pays off,” today’s guest laid it all on the line to make his dreams a reality. This artist and songwriter moved to Nashville from Southern Delaware with $21 in his pocket. He lived in his car and worked multiple odd jobs waiting tables, making smoothies at a gym, stocking shelves at Wal-Mart, etc. Now signed to BBR Music Group’s Stoney Creek Records, a lifetime of never giving up has brought him full circle. His debut single “Best Shot” from his 2018 debut album ‘Mercury Lane’ is an RIAA certified Platinum hit that claimed the No. 1 spot on Country radio for three weeks. On the heels of that success, his second single “Make Me Want To” hit the No. 1 spot on the Country Airplay chart this year, marking the first time in history that a Black artist launched their career with two consecutive No. 1 singles on Country radio. His talent for songwriting is undeniable, with a knack for razor-sharp hooks and a love of deep messages. In 2019, he received his first ACM nomination for New Male Artist of The Year, a CMT Music Awards nomination for Breakthrough Video of the Year for “Best Shot” and won Breakthrough Artist-Writer of the Year at the 31st Annual MusicRow Awards. His current single “This Is Us” is a genre-defying track featuring Noah Cyrus has garnered 30 million streams – his fastest consuming single to date. It is featured on his new collaboration project, ‘Bettie James.’ Inspired and named after his late father and grandmother, the EP was co-produced and co-written by our guest and combined his deep love of family and wide ranging musical sensibility. It features collaborations with hitmaking artists such as Nelly, Noah Cyrus, Rita Wilson, Tim McGraw, Mickey Guyton, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, The Oak Ridge Boys, and more. To him, it is a musical composition of love, heartbreak, perseverance, hope, and faith. NPR calls the project an “announcement of his arrival” and a “huge step for country” while Billboard hails it “a powerful statement from a developing voice.” And The Writer Is… Jimmie Allen! This episode is sponsored by SESAC.  Art: Michael Richey White  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 91: Glen Ballard | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:10:08

He is a six-time Grammy Award winner and one of popular music’s most accomplished producers and songwriters, whose records have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide. During his diverse career, he has worked with the biggest names in music, from Barbra Streisand and Aerosmith to Dave Matthews and Katy Perry. He wrote and arranged “Man in the Mirror” for Michael Jackson, and co-wrote and produced the Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated song “Believe” by Josh Groban for the feature film ‘The Polar Express’. He has written and produced songs for Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, Shakira, Idina Menzel, George Benson, George Strait, Wilson Phillips, Van Halen, Chaka Khan, Patti Austin, Al Jarreau, Andrea Bocelli, and many others. And his production credits include producing and arranging records for Annie Lennox, No Doubt, and POD. Also quite notably, he produced and co-wrote Alanis Morissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ which sold 33 million records worldwide, earned four Grammys and was named Best Album of the Decade by Billboard Magazine. The album also inspired the musical called ‘Jagged Little Pill’ which debuted on Broadway in November 2019 with Diane Paulus directing and a book by Diablo Cody. Expanding on his successful theater background, he wrote original lyrics and music for ‘GHOST the Musical’ (now in its eighth year of world-wide presentation), and presently he is co-producing and writing original music and lyrics for a stage adaptation of 1985’s ‘Back to the Future’. The musical, in collaboration with film composer Alan Silvestri and director John Rando, premiered in Manchester, England at the Manchester Opera House in March 2020 to glowing reviews just before performances were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His work in film includes composing original songs for ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ ‘Beowulf,’ ‘A Christmas Carol,’ ‘The Croods,’ ‘The Mummy Returns,’ and ‘Valentine’s Day.’  Today his production company Augury is currently developing original, music-driven content for television, film, and stage. His most recent project is a Netflix Original series called ‘The Eddy’: a music-driven and multicultural drama about a jazz band trying to survive in chaotic modern-day Paris, for which he serves as executive producer and has written and composed original music for the show as well. And The Writer Is...Glen Ballard! This episode is sponsored by BMI.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 90: TRAKGIRL | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:59:31

Today’s guest is a music producer, songwriter, and entrepreneur who brings a versatile and dynamic dimension to the music industry. Her skill within multiple genres, as well as melody alignment, makes her a highly sought-after collaborator. Having worked alongside well-known producer and music executive, Ernest Dion “No I.D.” Wilson, She is the next “it producer”. Her work includes “MAINTAIN (ft. Nav)” by Belly, “Overstimulated” by Jhene Aiko, "Bad News" and “Pearls” with Luke James, “Slim Thicc” by Dawn Richard featuring our guest, as well as collaborations with Andra Day and Vic Mensa. She launched her DJ career at the renowned Soundset Festival and has also scored original music for projects with Rhude Menswear’s SS 2021 Paris Fashion Week short film ‘The Audacity to Dream’, Reebok, Gimlet ESPN/The Undefeated, and the feature film ‘This Changes Everything’ starring Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Geena Davis, and Zoe Salanda. As an advocate, she encourages women to seek greater access to roles in the male-dominated production and business facets of the music industry by providing mentorship and workshops. And her brand promotes self-awareness and women empowerment through production in music and technology. In 2018, she created The “7% Series,” (based-off the statistic that women producers and engineers make-up less than 7% of the industry) which is a unified and inclusive platform designed to highlight and create a haven for women in music. Additionally, she is a member of the Recording Academy’s Diversity + Inclusion Task Force and on Spotify’s EQL board. She has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Billboard, BET's digital docu-series 'Beauty & The Beats', NYLON, The L.A Times, ID magazine, The Fader, and The Huffington Post. Most recently, she launched “TRAKGIRL TV” on the streaming platform Twitch. The channel features original music and gaming content featuring interviews with DJ Dahi, Stro Elliot, and composer Amanda Jones. And The Writer Is...TRAKGIRL! Art: Michael Richey White  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 89: Michael Stipe and Mike Mills of R.E.M. | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:56:19

Our guests this week are two Grammy Award-winning artists, songwriters and musicians who were members of the alternative rock band, R.E.M. Having established a powerful legacy as one of the most enduring and essential rock bands in popular music history, R.E.M. pioneered the alt-rock movement of the ‘90s, influencing the likes of Radiohead, Nirvana, Pavement and Pearl Jam. Formed in 1980, the group enjoyed an extraordinary three-decade-long run of creative vitality and multi-platinum sales before amicably disbanding in 2011. With the massive commercial and critical success of 1991’s ‘Out of Time’ and 1992’s ‘Automatic for the People,’ in just a few years, the Athens, GA, four-piece had become one of the biggest, most recognizable bands in the world, thanks to hits like “Losing My Religion,” “Man on the Moon” and “Everybody Hurts.” Despite great success, the band members never lost track of their core values—remaining outspoken in their views about political, social, and environmental issues, and never wavering when it came to artistic integrity. Throughout the course of their career together—an immense legacy which approaches a 40-year tenure in 2020—R.E.M. released a total of 15 studio albums, won three GRAMMY Awards, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2019 Craft Recordings released a 25th-anniversary reissue of R.E.M.’s acclaimed ninth album, ‘Monster.’ And The Writers are...Michael Stipe and Mike Mills of R.E.M.!  This episode is sponsored by Bandzoogle, SESAC & Royalties. Art: Michael Richey White  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 88: Nija Charles | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:57:23

Our guest is a 22-year-old Grammy-winning songwriter, record producer, and artist from Union, New Jersey. She is best known for her work with Beyoncé and Jay Z (“Heard About Us”, “LoveHappy”), Cardi B (“Ring”, “I Do”), and Chris Brown and Drake (“No Guidance”) as well as her releases with Post Malone, Meek Mill, Travis Scott, Anitta, 21 Savage, Ella Mai, Major Lazer, and many more. Most recently she celebrated her first No. 1 for Lady Gaga’s single with Ariana Grande, “Rain On Me”, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. She has also gained attention as a featured artist alongside Beyoncé and Tierra Whack on the record, "My Power" from the Lion King live-action soundtrack album,’The Lion King: The Gift’. This year she was named an honoree in Forbes 30 under 30 Class of 2020. And The Writer Is...Nija Charles! Artwork: Michael Richey White Photo: Nailah Howze This episode is sponsored by BMI and ROYALTIES, a new show from Darren Criss available exclusively on Quibi. Watch the whole season now and hear soundtrack courtesy of Republic Records.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 87: Ali Tamposi...Stays At Home | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:53:11

This Season 1 guest is a Grammy-nominated and multi-Platinum-selling songwriter who was recently recognized as the 2019 BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year and whose works have been collectively streamed over 12 billion times globally. Some of her most notable co-writes include the 3-time Grammy-nominated "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson, the multi-format No. 1 “Let Me Love You (feat. Justin Bieber)” by DJ Snake, international hits "Havana (feat. Young Thug)" by Camila Cabello, "It Ain't Me (feat. Selena Gomez)" by Kygo, "Lonely Together (feat. Rita Ora)" by Avicii, “Anywhere” by Rita Ora, “Wolves” by Selena Gomez & Marshmello, “Let Me Go (feat. Florida Georgia Line & watt)” by Alesso & Hailee Steinfeld, “Girls (feat. Cardi B, Bebe Rexha & Charli XCX)” by Rita Ora, and “Youngblood” by 5SOS. Most recently, she co-wrote 9 songs off the latest 5SOS album, ‘CALM,’ 7 songs on Rita Ora's album, ‘Phoenix,’ 6 songs off the latest Camila Cabello album, ‘Romance,’ The Chainsmokers’ x Bebe Rexha single “Call You Mine", "Senorita" by Shawn Mendes x Camila Cabello and Dua Lipa's newest single "Break My Heart”. And The Writer Is… Ali Tamposi! Please join us to help keep the music community alive and thriving, giving it as much as it gives us. To donate or to apply for assistance visit the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund site: Watch this video interview on YouTube at or on Instagram at @andthewriteris.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 86: Ricky Reed...Stays At Home | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:44:51

This guest from Season 1 is a songwriter, producer, artist, and father who has built an incomparable resume over the past decade. He is known for his work with Lizzo, Meghan Trainor, Twenty One Pilots, Christina Aguilera, Halsey, Leon Bridges, Kesha, Phantogram, Bomba Estéreo, and more. Been nominated for 5 GRAMMY Awards, two of which for Producer of The Year in 2019 and 2016. He’s launched his label, Nice Life Recording Company, and founded the publishing company Nice Life Copyright Company. He was a major contributor to Lizzo’s breakout album ‘Cuz I Love You’, and co-wrote and co-produced the No. 1 hit “Truth Hurts.” These days you can find him on his weekly YouTube series, ‘NICE LIVE’ where he sat down with Ross for this interview. And The Writer Is… Ricky Reed! Please join us to help keep the music community alive and thriving, giving it as much as it gives us. To donate or to apply for assistance visit the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund site:  Watch this video interview on YouTube at or on Instagram at @andthewriteris.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 85: Ashley Gorley...Stays At Home | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:26:25

We last spoke with this guest in Season 2. Since then he has earned 47 No. 1 singles and has had more than 300 songs recorded by artists such as Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, and Darius Rucker. He has been named the ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year 7 times. And the NSAI Songwriter of the Year 4 times. He has been nominated for multiple Grammy, CMA, and ACM Awards and is the most decorated CMA Triple Play Awards recipient with 15 total trophies to his credit. In 2011, he formed Tape Room Music, a publishing company with a focus on artist development. And The Writer Is… Ashley Gorley! Please join us to help keep the music community alive and thriving, giving it as much as it gives us. To donate or to apply for assistance visit the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund site:  Watch this video interview on YouTube at or on Instagram at @andthewriteris.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 84: Nicolle Galyon...Stays At Home | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:42:35

This Season 2 guest is a mother, singer, songwriter, producer, label head, and BMI Country Songwriter of the Year winner from Sterling, Kansas. Since we last spoke to her, she launched her label, Songs & Daughters, an imprint of Big Loud (which will soon have a publishing division). The company is dedicated to signing female artists and nurturing both the art and the artist. She also co-wrote the No. 1, 4xPlatinum single “Tequila” by Dan + Shay, which won the GRAMMY Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. The song also won Single and Song of the Year at the CMA’s and BMI’s Country Song of the Year. Many of her songs have been recorded by Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Camila Cabello, Kenny Chesney, Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Lee Brice, Kelsea Ballerini, Raelynn, Walker Hayes, Martina McBride, among others. And The Writer Is… Nicolle Galyon! Please join us to help keep the music community alive and thriving, giving it as much as it gives us. To donate or to apply for assistance visit the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund site: Watch this video interview on YouTube at or on Instagram at @andthewriteris  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 83: Jason Evigan...Stays At Home | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:37:32

This Grammy-nominated, Season 1 guest is known for his big hooks, masterful use of dynamics, and innovative sound design. Since we last spoke with him he’s had a global hit with Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You (ft. Cardi B)” which he produced and co-wrote. As well as Maroon 5’s smash single “What Lovers Do (ft. SZA).” He’s co-written and/or produced for Selena Gomez, RUFUS DU SOL, Jonas Brothers, Ingrid Michaelson, Clean Bandit, Hobo Johnson, Charlie Puth, Bebe Rexha, Charlotte Lawrence, Chromeo and more. And recently, he and his wife formed a music duo called Elephant Heart, which pushes genre boundaries and expresses ideas of love and spirituality. And The Writer is… Jason Evigan! Please join us to help keep the music community alive and thriving, giving it as much as it gives us. To donate or to apply for assistance visit the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund site:  Watch this video interview on YouTube at  See for privacy and opt-out information.


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