collaboration

Writing to perfection with Jules

Talented teen singer-songwriter Jules joined us again, after her first appearance over a year ago. In the midst of writing songs for her sophomore release, Jules talked with the Song Talk Radio Action Team about:

  • FACTOR grants for Canadians, and why you should hire a grant writer
  • Unsigned Only Songwriting Competition
  • writing from a title
  • writing lyrics that are open to interpretation
  • working on a lyric until it’s perfect
  • collaborations
  • what a band brings to the songwriting process
  • how teens are feeling about issues and putting them into songs

Listen to the whole show:

Watch the live performances:

Bruce, Patrick, Phil, and Neel

“A song is good if you like it,” says Patrick Ballantyne

Bruce, Neel and Phil were all happy to have Patrick Ballantyne back in the Song Talk Radio studio for the third time. He always brings great songs (listen to “Make Believe” and “Sky” for proof) and lots of experience to share about the songwriting process for our listeners. When writing a song, he starts with the music – almost always on the guitar. For contrast, he has started writing on the piano where he has less competency and is forced to “keep it simple.” After writing solo for many years, he recently joined a group of collaborators and enjoyed the process.

Listen to the whole show:

See the live performance:

Jeff Greenway finds his own way

Jeff Greenway returned to the Song Talk Radio studio to share his thoughts on song writing. His approach to writing is through a feeling, not a theory. This was amply demonstrated in the two songs he shared with us. The first, Cavalry, evoked the sadness and confusion you feel when a relationship just isn’t working any more. No one is coming to save the day and there’s nowhere to hide. The second tune, I Need describes the two opposing sides of possible reconciliation. Notice the lyric shift from “don’t come home” to “please come home”. We discussed:

  • collaboration
  • home recording with a good microphone and Logic
  • modulation
  • background vocals
  • the use of silence in a song
  • chord substitution
  • teaching music to children

Listen to the entire show here:

 

Collaboration do’s and don’ts with Janice Ho

The ever lovely and talented (and what a voice!) Janice Ho, Song Talk Radio’s very own tweeting songbird, talked about two early collaborations she worked on and what to look out for when collaborating. Download the lyrics for the show.

We talked about:

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Blair Packham packs emotional power

From the moment Blair Packham started to speak, we knew we were in for some great lessons from a master songwriter and experienced teacher. If You Were Mine featured a great bridge and instrumental break. In Her Dreams started out as a story of a woman in a call centre and moved to a daughter caring for an ailing mother. In our wide-ranging conversation we also touched on the following:

  • who are you writing for?
  • does the song connect emotionally with the listener?
  • collaboration is good
  • ask for feedback and use it
  • write from your creativity
  • the new singer-songwriter accent (Shawn Mendes song Stitches for example)
  • song-writing workshops (songstudio.ca)

Listen to the full episode

New standards by Steven Taetz

Multi-talented singer songwriter Steven Taetz turned the Song Talk studio into a smoky nightclub with his perfect renditions of his own songs. Waiting for Wishes (co-written with Emma-Lee) had so many “hooks” we lost count (listen for pre-chorus one and two, and the first chorus!). Lately (co-written with Gavin Bradley) had us enraptured as Steven delivered the plaintive lyrics of a man who fears his lover may have strayed. Listen to the awesome bridge!

Listen to the entire show here!

Exploring the blues with Son Roberts

Maple Blues Award Best New Artist nominee and harmonica player, Son Roberts stopped by the Song Talk Radio studios with guitarist John Crosbie and had a fun and wide ranging conversation about writing blues influenced tunes.

Here’s what we talked about:

 

Audio Insurgency means cool collaborators

Toronto based duo Audio Insurgency dropped by the Song Talk Radio studio to share two very cool tunes. One was in a demo form, the other an instrumental track with the vocals still to be added in. Audio Insurgency has been making music for the past 2 years in genres ranging from EDM to orchestral. Their aim is to entertain and inspire. To make people feel feelings. To make them feel alive and energized, sad and in need of a warm cup of tea, and everything in between. Audio Insurgency has recently written the soundtrack for two short films and is working on an EP to be released in summer 2016.

How to write songs for other artists with Braeden Mitchell

The always brilliant Braeden Mitchell returns to Song Talk Radio to talk about co-writing, writing songs for other artists and getting back into the songwriting groove after taking a bit of a break.

Some stuff we talked about:

  • How to write songs for other artists
  • SAC Songwriters Challenge
  • Keeping a list of song titles
  • place the strongest words or keywords on strongest beats (so in 4/4, beats 2 & 4)
  • Madhatters Pub
  • Braeden’s first appearance on Song Talk Radio

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Neel Modi and Sonja Seiler show us creative collaboration and more

Neel Modi is a multi-talented songwriter, drummer and keyboardist with an eclectic collection of recordings from the quirky to the imaginative. On this show, he presented “Depend on Me” – based on a challenge to write a song about a car accident from the brake pad’s point of view – it’s a “brake-up” song ;-), and “Nature’s Lullaby”, a collaboration with singer/songwriter Sonja Seiler, a touching poetic take on the interconnection between all things in the natural world. The third song was “I Never Write Her a Song”, a catchy response to a request from Neel’s spouse. She loves it!

Topics of discussion ranged from anthropomorphism to collaboration and descants,to the power of modulation to lift a song to a whole new level of energy.

We also talked about: