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. 70: James Bay | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:13:32

This Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum artist and songwriter is the definition of a modern-day rock star. With the recent release of his EP ‘Oh My Messy Mind’ which featured the infectious duet “Peer Pressure” featuring Julia Michaels, and the heart-wrenching ballad “Bad,” he continues to highlight his songwriting and musical prowess. This past year he finished his sold-out US heading tour and this summer he opened for Ed Sheeran on his overseas European arena tour. In 2018, after the release of his sophomore album ‘Electric Light,’ he won the world over again with its singles “Wild Love,” “Pink Lemonade” and “Us.” Following the release of his debut album ‘Chaos And The Calm,’ featuring the singles, “Hold Back The River” and “Let It Go” he was nominated for Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song, and Best New Artist at the 2016 Grammy Awards. In the UK, the record became the “Biggest New Artist Album Release” that year and has sold nearly 5 million albums and generated 3.5 billion streams worldwide. Receiving the BRIT’s Critics Choice award in 2015, this songwriter has also gone on to win Best Male Solo Artist at the BRITS, International Newcomer at the ECHO Awards, Best New Act & Best Solo Artist at the Q Awards, and Most Performed Work for “Hold Back The River” at the Ivor Novello Awards. On the other side of the globe, he has also received a nod for “Best International Artist” at the ARIA Awards in Australia. And The Writer Is…James Bay! This episode is sponsored by Bandzoogle.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 In Loving Memory: Michael Busbee | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:26:42

Busbee fought for songwriters. He was one of the key advocates during the passage of the Music Modernization Act and was one of the first elected to the MLC. He wrote pop hits. He wrote country hits. But most importantly, he was our friend. The entire Nashville and LA songwriting community has lost a champion. We are sending all of our love to Jess and his three daughters. busbee Full name: Michael Busbee  1976 - 2019 With Love,  Ross, Joe and the ATWI Family.  "Originally hailing from the Bay Area and now based in LA, this Grammy-nominated songwriter, producer and publisher has deservedly become an untouchable force in the songwriting community. Best known for carving parallel careers in mainstream Pop and commercial Country, busbee has written with and produced for a wide range of artists, including Gwen Stefani, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Jon Bellion, Timbaland, Rachel Platten, Christina Aguilera, 5 Seconds of Summer, Lady Antebellum, Shakira, and more. Recent smash hits in the Country market include "The Fighter“ by Keith Urban (feat. Carrie Underwood), "My Church" & "80s Mercedes" by Maren Morris, and BMI of the Year "H.O.L.Y." by Florida Georgia Line. Additionally, many of busbee’s hits in both the Pop And Country markets have been 50/50 collaborations. A true musician's musician and family man....And The Writer Is…busbee!"  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 69: Sarah Aarons | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:22:18

Our next guest is an Australian born and raised, No. 1 charting, Grammy-nominated songwriter. Her passion for music sparked at a young age after winning a songwriting grant, which inspired her to follow the career path of her idol, Sia. After learning Sia – along with her other favorite songwriters Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift – were signed to Sony/ATV Publishing, she submitted a demo to their Sydney office which impressed Head of A&R, Maree Hamblion and she was later signed. Since then this songwriter has used her unique talent to co-write US and Australian radio charting songs such as LDRU’s “Keeping Score (feat. Paige IV),” Cosmo’s Midnight’s “History,” David Guetta’s “Don’t Leave Me Alone (feat. Anne-Marie),” and two of Zedd’s No.1 hits, "Stay (with Alessia Cara)” and the 2019 Song of the Year Grammy-nominated song “The Middle” with Grey and Maren Morris. She has also crafted songs for major artists such as Camila Cabello, Galantis, Dua Lipa, Demi Lovato, Jonas Brothers, Ruel, Mabel and contributed four songs to Khalid’s No. 1 Billboard Top 200 debut album 'Free Spirit'. In 2018, she received the APRA Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year award and then won APRA’s Songwriter of the Year award the very next year. Additionally, she is nominated for Song of the Year at the 2019 CMA Awards for co-writing Maren Morris’ No. 1 single, “Girl.” And The Writer is… the unstoppable, Sarah Aarons! This episode is sponsored by BMI and Bandzoogle.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 68: Sam Nelson Harris (X Ambassadors) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:53:37

This week our guest is a songwriter and the lead singer of the band, X Ambassadors. X Ambassadors’ debut platinum-selling album ‘VHS’ saw the band transition from Ithaca alt-rockers and Brooklyn indie scene outsiders, to Billboard stalwarts. The album was an intimate insight into our guest and his brothers’ youth, studded with audio snippets from home movies, and early recording sessions and sound checks. With it, came the genre-defining, multi-platinum hits “Unsteady” and “Renegades,” a three-year global touring odyssey and a string of high-profile festival performances. His songwriting became increasingly personal resulting in the shattering, shimmering 2018 singles “JOYFUL” and “Don’t Stay” followed by a North American headline tour. With X Ambassadors our guest has co-written and featured on songs such as “Home” from the Bright Soundtrack with Machine Gun Kelly and Bebe Rexha, “Transmission” with Zedd and Logic, and the 3x multi-platinum song, “Sucker for Pain” from the Suicide Squad Soundtrack with Imagine Dragons, Lil Wayne, Logic, Ty Dolla $ign & Wiz Khalifa. He has also co-written songs for other artists and projects including, “American Oxygen” by Rihanna, “Bad Husband” by Eminem, “Jerome,” “Cuz I Love You,” and “Heaven Help Me” by Lizzo. Additionally, he co-wrote 8 songs on the 2019 album, ‘For The Throne (Music Inspired by the HBO Series Game of Thrones)’ which featured artists such as Maren Morris, X Ambassadors, SZA, The Weeknd and Travis Scott. Always looking to give back to the community that raised them, X Ambassadors returned to Ithaca for the second annual Cayuga Sound Festival this past September creating and curating two days of musical performances and raising money for local charities. In 2019 X Ambassadors released “BOOM,” a quick-fire anthem for emphatic recovery and personal revolutions from their new album, ‘ORION’. This episode features two parts; an intimate discussion with Ross and the other a live audience interview held at the Deutsch agency in Los Angeles. And The Writer Is… Sam Nelson Harris!  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 67: Finneas | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:30:04

Kicking off Season 5, at 22-years-old, this multi-talented guest has already become a buzzing and sought-after producer, songwriter and artist. Working behind the scenes on numerous hit singles, he has stepped out into the spotlight with his own innovative and ambitious solo project. Born and raised in East Los Angeles, he was homeschooled alongside his younger sister, Billie Eilish. Music was always an important part of their childhood and education and by the age of eleven, his parents had taught him the guitar and piano. He took to writing his own songs and by the time he was a teenager, he was already teaching himself to produce. In 2015 he wrote a song titled “Ocean Eyes” in his bedroom studio. That song became the breakout hit for Billie Eilish, quickly grabbing her a record deal with Interscope and gaining major media buzz. The siblings continued to write and record together for Billie’s solo project, creating her debut EP ‘don’t smile at me’ and No. 1 debut album, ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’. He has also had the opportunity to collaborate with artists including Khalid, Kehlani, Jessie Reyez, Ashe, Olivia O'Brien, Sabrina Claudio, Marian Hill, Bruno Major. Already regarded as a major producer and songwriter to watch, as an artist his anticipated debut EP, ‘Blood Harmony,’ is set to be released this October featuring the first single, “Shelter.” Unafraid to be vulnerable and unfiltered, his songs are rich with pure unadulterated emotion. And The Writer Is… FINNEAS! This episode is sponsored by Bandzoogle.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 66: Ross Golan's 'THE WRONG MAN' - Special Episode with Guest Host Ricky Reed | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:43:03

Ricky Reed hosts this episode of “And The Writer Is!” Ricky interviews Ross in a candid conversation about Ross's 14 year project called “The Wrong Man.” Ricky produced the concept album released on Interscope Records that is being adapted into a musical opening in NYC by the Hamilton director by Tommy Kail and music director Alex Lacamoire. How does a project grow through word of mouth to a major label release and Off Broadway show without every releasing recorded music until last week? Listen to find out about this amazing journey from a West Hollywood apartment in the mid 2000s to a worldwide distributed album!  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 65: Wyclef Jean | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:02:58

The music that our Season 4 finale guest has written, performed, and produced — both as a solo superstar and as founding member of the Fugees — has been consistently powerful and a pop cultural force for over two decades. In 1996, his band the Fugees released their monumental album ‘The Score’. As a solo artist, he has released eight albums that have sold nearly nine million copies worldwide, including his 1997 debut ‘The Carnival’ and 2000’s aptly titled ‘The Eclectic: 2 Sides II a Book’. His album, ‘Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee’, was named one of the “25 Most Anticipated Albums” of the fall by Billboard Magazine that year. And his recent release, ‘Wyclef Goes Back To School Volume 1’ is a collaboration with students he met while touring the United States and visiting colleges across the country. He is a 3 time Grammy award winner who has worked with mega stars such as Whitney Huston, Santana, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, Missy Elliott, Destiny’s Child and more. As a highly esteemed musician, he has undoubtedly influenced the artistry of musicians all over the globe. With his ethos centered around nurturing and growth, he has persistently made efforts to make positive changes, whether that be by holding charitable events, running for presidency in Haiti or just using his music to make others aware of actualities that don’t get enough media coverage. Live from South by Southwest, And The Writer Is…Wyclef Jean! This episode is sponsored by SONOS.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 64: Matthew Ramsey (Old Dominion) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:57:08

Originally from Buchanan, Virginia our guest is an award winning, multi-platinum artist who moved to Nashville to pursue his passion for songwriting. There he met his future bandmates and together went on to form the band Old Dominion, in which he is the lead singer. He co-wrote the band’s first hit song, "Break Up With Him," which is RIAA certified platinum. Old Dominion’s sophomore album, ‘Happy Endings’, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart & #7 on the Billboard Top 200. The album produced three platinum, #1 singles, “Written In The Sand,” “No Such Thing As A Broken Heart” and “Hotel Key,” all of which our guest co-wrote. He also co-wrote the band’s single “Make It Sweet,” which recently hit #1 on the Country charts. In addition to his band, he has written hit songs for other artists such as Kenny Chesney ("Save It for a Rainy Day"), Sam Hunt (“Make You Miss Me”), Dierks Bentley (“Say You Do”), Luke Bryan ("Goodbye Girl") and Tim McGraw (“Kiss A Girl”) among others. He is a three-time winner of the Association of Independent Music Publishers “Artists Writers of the Year” award, a two-time CMA “Triple Play Award” winner and the recipient of the ASCAP “Artist Writer of the Year” award. Additionally, he is a two-time Academy of Country Music Award winner for “Vocal Group of the Year,” and Country Music Award winner for “Vocal Group of the Year” as a part of Old Dominion. And The Writer Is...Matthew Ramsey! This episode is sponsored by SONOS.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 63: Warren 'Oak' Felder | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:01:45

His remarkable story wasn’t the result of any long-term plan, but more a tribute to his hard work and creativity. Recent chart-topping hits include Kehlani’s “Distraction”, The Chainsmokers new single “Who Do you Love?” with 5 Seconds Of Summer, and Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” for which he recently won a BMI Award. He has co-written and co-produced breakout hits for Nicki Minaj, K. Michelle and Alessia Cara and worked with stars like Rihanna and Alicia Keys. He has 5 songs on the new Alessia Cara album and co-wrote and produced 8 records on Kehlani’s 'SweetSexySavage’ album. Our guest has celebrated consecutive #1 Billboard Mainstream Top songs with Alessia Cara’s “Here” and “Scars to Your Beautiful”, and two Grammy Awards for his work on Alicia Keys’ ‘Girl on Fire' (Best R&B Album) and Rihanna’s ‘Unapologetic' (Best Urban Contemporary Album). And The Writer Is… Oak Felder! This episode is sponsored by SONOS and BMI.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 62: Teddy Geiger | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:10:13

She is a multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated artist, songwriter and producer hailing from Rochester, New York. At the age of 15 she signed her first record deal with Columbia Records and released her debut album, ‘Underage Thinking’. The album’s lead single, “For You I Will (Confidence),” quickly found a spot in the Top 40. After a brief stint as a teen pop star, she began to co-write and produce music for other artists. She has written songs for acclaimed artists across the musical spectrum including P!nk, Maroon 5, Anne-Marie, Dej Loaf, Leon Bridges, Christina Aguilera, One Direction, Tiesto, Matoma, Empire of the Sun, Niall Horan, 5 Seconds of Summer, Birdy, DJ Snake and DNCE. Most notably her compositions and productions with Shawn Mendes have earned her multiple #1s and include the 2017 BMI song of the year “Stitches,” hit singles "Treat You Better,” “Mercy,” "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back,” the Grammy nominated “In My Blood,” as well as Shawn’s new single “If I Can’t Have You”. And she played an integral role on the Billboard #1 self-titled Shawn Mendes album producing and co-writing 11 tracks. As an artist, she recently released her new solo album ‘LilyAnna’ under the moniker teddy<3 which features the singles “Body & Soul” and “I Was in a Cult”. And The Writer Is…Teddy Geiger! This episode is sponsored by BMI.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 61: Shane McAnally | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:14:33

Our guest is a three-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer who has earned 40 No. 1 singles to date. He was named Songwriter of the Year by the Academy of Country Music in 2014 and 2019. Hot Country Songwriter of the Year by Billboard in 2015. This writer co-produced Kacey Musgraves' 2012 award-winning debut album, ‘Same Trailer Different Park,’ which earned him the Grammy for Best Country Album, and her 2015 follow-up, ‘Pageant Material.’ He's also produced debut albums for Sam Hunt (‘Montevallo’), Old Dominion (‘Meat and Candy’), Midland (‘On the Rocks’), Walker Hayes (‘boom.’) and more. In 2016, he arranged and produced "Forever Country," a collaborative song featuring Luke Bryan, Faith Hill, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood and more to commemorate the CMA's 50th anniversary celebration. "Forever Country" debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, making it the third song to debut at No. 1 on the chart since it began in 1958. He earned a five-times-platinum No. 1 co-writing "Body Like a Back Road," by Sam Hunt, which was the longest-reigning No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Song chart by a solo artist, spending 34 weeks atop the chart. Last year, our guest announced his co-presidency of Monument Records (with industry veteran Jason Owen) in conjunction with Sony Records, adding "label head" to his impressive list of accomplishments. He earned his latest No. 1 song with Old Dominion's “Make It Sweet“ and was named to Billboard's 2018 Country Power Players list. He also co-wrote Kacey Musgraves' "Space Cowboy," which recently won Best Country Song at the Grammys. This summer he will serve as a producer on NBC’s new musical competition series “Songland.” And The Writer Is…Shane McAnally!  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 60: John Shanks | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:38:08

Our guest is a Grammy winning and six-time nominated songwriter, producer and guitarist. He has produced and/or written 45 #1 singles, 91 #1 albums and 60 million records sold to date in the genres of Rock, Pop and Country music. He has won a Grammy for Producer of the Year. And to those in the industry, his work is considered the gold standard. He started playing guitar in high school and performing with his band around LA. His incredible talent on guitar was the source of his first break, when he was asked to become Teena Marie’s tour guitarist at the age of seventeen. But songwriting was never far away, and he was soon writing jingles and themes for commercials and movies of the week, even as his guitar skills remained in high demand for demos and session work. A meeting with Melissa proved to be the next turning point in his career. After briefly playing guitar in her band, he left to concentrate on his own writing and production. Since then he has worked artists such as Alanis Morissette, Melissa Etheridge, The Corrs, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Santana, Michelle Branch, Fleetwood Mac, Miley Cyrus, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Annie Lennox and numerous others. And The Writer Is...John Shanks!  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 59: Priscilla Renea | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:19:23

This Florida-born, LA-based singer-songwriter wrote her first song at age eight and got her start posting self-recorded songs on YouTube as a teenager. Now, after spending nearly a decade as a chart topping songwriter, penning hits for stars like Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Pitbull, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Mary J. Blige, Madonna, Demi Lovato and many others, Renea has emerged to tell her own story with the chameleon-like stylistic range and emotional intelligence that has brought so many others’ hits to life. Spanning classic R&B, dark-edged country and urban-soul, her current album 'Coloured' is a fierce, political, and personal collection of stories that reckon with Priscilla's childhood in rural Florida, sublime love, violent heartbreak and racial trauma. And The Writer Is...Priscilla Renea!  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 58: Brian Lee | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:46:43

Our guest this week is hit songwriter who was trained as a classical violinist from the age of three and got his start in pop music with the Chicago area band he co-founded, Made in Hollywood. He is a powerhouse behind huge global hits including the 7x multi-platinum single “Havana” by Camila Cabello, the 5x multi-platinum “Work from Home” by Fifth Harmony, 4x multi-platinum “Let Me Love You” by DJ Snake & Justin Bieber, “Wolves” by Selena Gomez & Marshmello, “It Ain’t Me” by Kygo & Selena Gomez, “Let Me Go” by Hailee Steinfeld and Alesso ft. Florida Georgia Line and watt, and more. He has also contributed to several major albums and artist projects for Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Lukas Graham, Rita Ora and Carly Rae Jepsen, amongst others. This musician effortlessly carves pop melodies with more consistency than most songwriters in the game. And The Writer Is… Brian Lee! This episode is sponsored by BMI.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ep. 57: Greg Wells | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:30:29

He is a Grammy award winning record producer, songwriter, musician, and mixer based in Los Angeles. With over 120 million units sold, few producers in music can rival his pedigree and resume. His credits include Adele, Twenty One Pilots, Katy Perry, Dua Lipa, Pharrell Williams, Grace VanderWaal, The All-American Rejects, Timbaland, OneRepublic, MIKA, Deftones, and Keith Urban among others. Most recently, he produced and mixed the 2x multi-platinum ‘The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’, which held the #1 spot on the Billboard Top Albums chart for three consecutive weeks. As a fluent guitarist, bassist, drummer, and keyboard player, he has mastered the balance between being hands-on and drawing out an artist’s own sound regardless of genre. For this creative, the goal is to shine the best light on the artist and help them be as true to themselves as possible. It is this diversity, versatility, and musical fluency that continues to make him one of the most talented and sought-after producers, songwriters, and musicians in the industry. And The Writer Is… Greg Wells!  See for privacy and opt-out information.


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