Rosh Grove is a R&B singer and songwriter from Toronto, ON, Canada. As an artist, Grove is a dreamer, believer and driven to be an achiever of success in the music industry. His music tells his story of perseverance and overcoming adversity regardless of circumstances.…
Actor, playwright, filmmaker, and musician, Michael Louis Johnson shares his experiences with his improvisation bands Rambunctious and Little Rambunctious, 13-member and 5-member brass bands, respectively.
We talked about:
- Michael’s approach to improvising a lyric for a song title suggested by an audience member
- How to create lyrics based on who’s in the audience
- The value of a band that only exists “in the moment”
- How to get the audience dancing
Canadian Juno and Latin Grammy winning artist, Alex Cuba joined us to talk about his songwriting process and perform a new song, Solo Mia, live on the show.
We talked about:
- Alex’s first visit to Canada as part of his father’s band
- How a melody-first way of songwriting tells Alex what the song is about
- The differences between solo writing and collaborating with others
- How to develop unique and rich chord progressions (hint: jazz)
- Writing in Spanish vs English
- How Alex’s playing style is unique to him, and why this is important – this applies to everyone!
On this episode we are talking about the great John Prine. This American treasure, perhaps a modern day Mark Twain, a peerless songwriter and chronicler of the lives of regular folk sadly passed away recently – one of the many victims of the Covid 19 pandemic.…
Song Talk Radio is happy to welcome our good friend Blair Packham to the studio. This episode, Blair is talking about his songwriting and the latest songs that he is working on. In fact, he will preview one of the songs he is considering for his new collection/album.…
One of our favourite guests drops by to give practical advice on performing. Blair Packham – songwriter, teacher, performer and 80’s hitmaker – talks about the best practices to entertain and present your songs to an audience, live or on-line.
Blair also shows off his dulcimer, which is very impressive.…
This week on SongTalk we look at a simple songwriting technique that may be more complicated than you think – songs with one chord progression.
That’s right, no guest this week just the SongTalk team – Phil, Neel and Mike – talking about the ways songs with just one series of chords repeated over and over have become huge hits.…
In this throwback from 2017, we talked about the benefits of attending the live Song Talk Meetup (formerly the Songwriter’s Meetup, formerly the Songwriter’s Cafe). This month’s meetup (May 2020) is online (and will be for the next while), so wherever you are in the world, you can attend.…
For our first podcast while in self isolation, we talked about things we can do as songwriters while in isolation :).
We talked about:
- Taking the Song Talk Meetup online – stay tuned for details on April’s meetup
- The We Should Write Sometime app
- Frank Horvat’s project: Music for Self-Isolation
- Neel’s working on productions for Melanie Peterson
- Phil and Neel working on re-mixes for Mike’s song from our Songwriting Challenge
- Resources for rhyming: B-Rhymes and Rhyme Zone – don’t forget about our episode on rhymes with Blair Packham!
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.…
This week SongTalk welcomed our old friend Blair Packham to our studio.
The Toronto-based artist, first gained attention for his work with ’80’s power pop band The Jitters. He is now an acclaimed solo artist and musician. Blair released two strongly-reviewed solo albums before shifting his focus to composing music for TV and films, teaching songwriting at the post-secondary level and in numerous special event workshops, and co-hosting a long-running major market weekly radio show about music (“In the Studio” on the BellMedia talk radio network).…
This week SongTalk welcomed FEATURETTE to our studio.
The Toronto-based duo FEATURETTE, formed by singer Lexie Jay and drummer, Jon Fedorsen, makes emotionally-charged, heavy-hitting electro-pop music that has been met with international critical acclaim.
After receiving their first full recording grant from FACTOR Canada, the duo released their debut LP CRAVE in October, 2016.…
This week SongTalk welcomes… Christmas into our studio.
For our Xmas Eve show, we all brought in our favourite Christmas songs and had a good chat about what makes them so great. Featuring some classics and some new songs that you may not have heard before.…
Juno-award winning recording artist Steve Strongman joined us to talk about his take on the blues. Steve is a multiple Maple Blues Award winner, 2019 International Blues Challenge Best Guitarist (solo/duo). He’s opened for BB King, Buddy Guy, Joe Cocker, Johnny Winter, and toured all over the world.…
Beige Shelter is an ambitious and eclectic five piece band from Toronto that brings fire, passion and a political conscience to their music. Through electrifying live performances, the band showcases both original songs and interesting twists on cover songs. Beige Shelter is currently working on their 2nd EP release.…
For this host’s show, Michael, Neel and Phil brought in a song each and discussed how we wrote and some cool approaches in the songs. AND, Vanessa was in the house!!! What a fun episode!
Listen to the Episode
What we talked about
- The 2nd Annual Holiday Gift Guide
- Blog post: Creating Lyric Sheets that Don’t Suck
- Neel’s process behind writing “The Wicked Queen”
- Suggestions for Song prompts
- Listener input requested: What do you think about the Taxi and SongTradr placement services
- Song hooks: How do you make sure your song has ’em
- Different approaches to choruses
- The Wicked Queen lyrics
- Pull Me Away From You Lyrics – Noise
- Not Edwin lyrics
- Writing Better Lyrics – Pat Pattison book on Amazon
- 101 Songwriting Wrongs & How To Right Them: How To Craft Songs That Sell on Amazon
- Cubase Elements – Phil’s DAW of choice (tho he uses the Pro level)
- Cakewalk by Bandlab – Neel’s DAW of choice
This week, SongTalk welcomed jazz pianist and teacher Steve Koven. Steve is a composer, performer, producer and educator. He has one of the longest standing trios in Canada, performing, touring and recording together for over 26 year. Aside from performing and recording with his trio – Steve Koven Trio – Steve also has other recording projects such as the Koven Collective and Koven & Law as well as Lazersuzan
We talked with Steve about:
- his process for writing
- how he communicates his song ideas to his bands
- the touring opportunities available through consulates and embassies
- where he finds inspiration for his music
- what improvising can bring to songwriting
This week, professional singer/songwriter, voice actor & co-founder of Silverthorn Studios recording, Taylor Abrahamse joined us in the studio at SongTalk World Headquarters. Taylor was a Top 40 finalist on Canadian Idol, has performed on stages across Ontario, has also written & produced musicals, and music for animated series and viral internet music through Corus, DHX & Super Planet Dolan.…
This week SongTalk welcomed our pal Matthew Reid to our studio to talk about movie soundtracks.
We chose our favourites and talked about why they made the cut and what were the runners up.
We talked about:
- what are the criteria of soundtracks – are they a collection of songs from other sources, are they custom music made specifically for the film project or is there a grey area in between?