COVID-19 Hiatus

To all our valued listeners and guests,

Song Talk Radio will be on a (hopefully short) hiatus. The station where we record the podcast is pretty small, and our guests are literally within spitting distance of the hosts and others.

In the meantime, we’ll be re-publishing some of our favourite theme episodes in our Throwback Thursday Themeshows series!

You can also take a listen to our vast archive of shows, read our blog, and take advantage of isolation and get some songwriting or recording done!


Michael, Neel, Phil, Don, and Vanessa

Fresh Content

Show date:  Mar. 08, 2020

Kristen Karma is an award-winning singer-songwriter based in Toronto. Her latest single “Dear John” has already won Best International Song at the American Tracks Music Awards in Los Angeles, peaked at #35 on the iTunes Canada Pop Charts, and placed in several International Film Festivals.

In 2019 Kristen Won Pop Artist of the Year from the International Music and Entertainment Association (IMEA) Awards. and had her singles ‘Party Heroes’ and ‘Try’ peak on the iTunes Canada Chart #17, and #27 respectively. In December of 2019 Kristen was featured as an Emerging Artist in the Women in Music Edition of Billboard Magazine gaining worldwide exposure.

In 2013, Kristen Karma was selected as one of two performers to play the Lady Gaga Born This Way Ball After-party and open for Tour DJ/Lady Gaga BFF Lady Starlight in Vancouver. With rave reviews from her performance, she then went on to work with lil’Jon on her single Sirens. In 2017, she opened for Grammy Award Winner Akon in Guelph, Ontario on his Canadian Promo Tour. Hot off the heels of her performance, Kristen was then approached and selected to play the Lady Gaga – Joanne World Tour VIP After-Party once again in Vancouver after Lady Gaga’s performance at Rogers Arena.

Catch Karma around Toronto as she continues to wow audiences with her energetic live performances, and she does it all with a neon pink microphone stand.

We talked about

Show date:  Mar. 03, 2020

Anatomy of a Song book cover with Neel reading

I recently finished reading a great book by Marc Myers entitled Anatomy of a Song: The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits that Changed Rock, R&B, and Pop. Myers interviewed the people involved in historically significant songs from the 1940s to the 1990s. He ended his examination in 1991 because, as he explains it, you need a generation of time to really claim a song is long-lasting and significant. I don’t know, The Decemberists released The Mariner’s Revenge in 2005, and I think I’ll love it forever.

The book has some interesting and entertaining stories, and it’s fun to hear the points of view of the actual people involved in all these classic songs. Naturally, there’s a Spotify playlist to go along with the book.

As I was reading (and listening), I noticed there were many great tips on songwriting, collaboration, and production, directly from the words of the writers and producers themselves.

Here are some of the tips I discovered, with my commentary and links to other resources to reinforce the wisdoms. In general, many of these tips talk about finding opportunities to jump-start your songs, ways to develop your songs, and being open minded when collaborating with others.

Read more »

Show date:  Mar. 01, 2020

Don, Neel, Donna, Matt, and Phil

This week SongTalk welcomed Donna Linklater to our studio.

Soprano and composer/songwriter Donna Linklater studied opera with Sylvia Richardson at Brandon University. Toward the end of her studies, she began to focus on new music and was especially taken with the aleatoric music of John Cage which gave her greater freedom of creative expression.

Her solo album “A Singer All Alone” was funded through Ontario Arts Council’s Deaf and Disability Arts program. The album explores themes of social isolation (both forced and desired), sadness, madness, and how society deals with it.

Alongside writing music and performing, Donna’s other great loves are teaching music to children ages infant to 5 years, and making music with her 4 year old, Marvin. She was also the co-chair of CS Info’s board of directors for 2.5 years, volunteered coordinating music events for Mad Pride Toronto, and has had her writing published in the West End Phoenix. She is currently studying early childhood education at George Brown College.

We talked with Donna about:



Twitter: @ddonnaalink