Stephen Witkin joined us again to talk about his career writing the book for various musicals, and shared three songs resulting from his writing.
We talked about:
- The difference between “On Broadway” and “Off Broadway”
- Prom Queens Unchained available from Samuel French
- different sub-genres in musicals
- the nature of collaboration between book writer, lyricist, and composer
- what’s an “I Want” song?
For this special episode, good friend of the show Blair Packham (frontman of The Jitters, co-creator of Song Studio), brought in two of his favourite songs and together we dove deep into each song. We talked about:
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Multi-platinum hit songwriter Shelly Peiken, has written songs for, and with, Ed Sheeran, Keith Urban, Celine Dion, Cher, Reba McEntire, Christina Aguilera, Meredith Brooks, Britney Spears, Natasha Bedingfield, NSYNC, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Idina Menzel and Demi Lovato. Shelly Peiken is also a successful author who has written a book detailing her experiences in songwriting – “Confessions of a Serial Songwriter”.…
Teenaged singer-songwriter Brighid Fry joins us to talk about her many collaborations and solo songwriting processes. Singer-songwriter Carmen Toth filled in for Neel – thanks Carmen! We talked about:
- the challenges of being a teenaged singer-songwriter
- collaborating in different bands
- songs written for placement in TV, movies, etc
- are perfect rhymes overrated?
Singer/songwriter Nolan Hubbard, originally from Gananoque, Ontario, brought us some summer sunlight through his stories and two of his catchy, tuneful songs – “Today” and “Sandbanks”. In this informative and entertaining program we talked about:
- Douglas Romanow producer
- Recording in Nashville
- Organizing your own cross-Canada tour (with your Dad)
- Metalworks recording studio and school – performance program
- Covers on YouTube
- “Today” – a call to action, no chorus, whistling, G to G Augmented, C to Cminor
- Finding a publicist – Hype Music, Toronto
- Collaborating vs.
The very talented singer-songwriter and improvisational artist Rachel Raditz brought one song to Song Talk Radio that she had written previously. The other she made up on the spot in the middle of the program. “Back in Hali” about a friendship that might be more set in Halifax had an unconventional structure and a melody that grabbed us by the ears.…
Jenny Perez is a classically trained pianist and vocalist. She’s recently begun her journey as a singer-songwriter, bringing her classic flavours to her modern songwriting. For this show, Jenny was accompanied by Sherry Jacoby on guitar and backup vocals.
We talked about:
- the difference between classical and modern pop singing
- the learning your technique debate: how much technique is too much?
Singer-songwriter Stacey Dowswell joined us to talk about her literature-inspired and poetic take on songwriting with two original songs, Ties that Bind and Wax Wings. We talked about:
- Poetic vs. more straight forward lyrics
- How to add complexity to a simple 1-4-5 chord progression
- How to incorporate a cliche
- Contrast and space
- Using dynamics in your performance
- The benefits of noodling around to start a song
Check out Stacey’s EP release show at The Painted Lady in Toronto on June 15, 2017!…
Popular guest co-host and guest on Song Talk Radio, Patrick Ballantyne dropped by the studio to share two of his well-crafted songs. “Where Things Used to Be” is great example of the skillful combination of melody, structure, and lyrics to evoke a strong feeling of longing in the listener.…
Young pop sensations the Command Sisters (Charlotte and Sarah) joined us to talk about writing as a sibling duo and working with producers. Patrick Ballantyne filled in for Bruce.
We also talked about:
- how to write a 2-chord song
- the musical Book of Mormon
- whether to repeat lyrics in each chorus
- the challenge of writing direct lyrics vs.
Unleashed Dreams brought their epic, new age, neo-classical music to Song Talk Radio. Lindsay Walker (lyricist/singer) and Sean Michael Paddison (composer, producer, and pianist) have a mission. They want to create and distribute music that empowers people to transform their lives and live their dreams.…
Braeden Mitchell returned to Song Talk Radio for his third visit and contributed to a very lively and informative discussion of songwriting and recording. He shared two songs with us, Glory Days and Everyday Girl, both from his upcoming EP release.…
Crazy talented Jeremy Voltz joined us with his Stevie Wonder inspired, but totally original songs, In the Clear and Wrong With Me.
We talked about:
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Download the lyrics
In the Clear
Wrong with Me
Watch the live performances
Connect with Jeremy
Toronto and Mississauga-based singer-songwriter Ashley Braga joined us for two live performances and insights into her unique approach to songwriting. While most songwriters turn largely inwards to write, Ashley provides a service writing songs for other people, based on their relationships and emotions.…
Singer/Songwriter Jordan Paul stopped by with a couple of brilliant songs. His sound has been described as “if Queen, Mimicking Birds, Radiohead, and Led Zeppelin all had a beautiful love-child.” A clever songwriter at only 24–his writing and musicality is well beyond his years and his voice is otherworldly.…
What can you say about the exceptionally talented poet, novelist, and prolific singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen.that hasn’t already been said? Well, the Song Talk Radio action team didn’t worry about that. Bruce, Neel, and Phil simply dove into their memories and had a close look at three of his many, many songs.…
Indie rock band Beige Shelter stopped by to talk about forming the band, producing their first album, and performed two songs. Our very own Neel Modi took the co-guest seat as producer, drummer, and co-writer. A good friend of Song Talk Radio, Patrick Ballantyne filled in for Neel’s host spot.…
The Song Talk Team had the distinct pleasure of spending an hour with the very talented and original singer/songwriter Dan Edmonds. His fresh takes on music and how it’s made were both illuminating and engaging. He played two of his intriguing recordings – “Love Can Be a Tunnel” and “To Be That Needle”.…
Okay, so we couldn’t get Bob to come to the studio for the show. Not surprising considering how the Nobel Prize people can’t find him either. On this show about Bob Dylan we discussed:
- The new film from Ron Howard – The Beatles, Eight Days a Week
- How the Beatles wrote songs
- Should the Nobel Prize for Literature have been given to Bob Dylan?
Pro songwriter Allister Bradley joined us for an hour to talk about two of his catchy, thoughtful songs and his process for getting them done. Stuff we talked out:
- Toronto’s Song Studio
- Making it in the music industry
- Writing with your secondary instrument
- Using session musicians
- Why you should whistle your melody
- Chord progression tip: make each chord in your progression a perfect fifth above the previous one
Download the lyrics for the songs.…
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.…
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.…
For this special theme show, each of the hosts presented a song with “unusual” or hard-to-decipher lyrics. We delved into a discussion around understanding the intentions behind and interpreting the songs. Download the lyrics here: Unusual Lyrics
- Neel’s selection: A Self Called Nowhere by They Might Be Giants
- Bruce’s selection: McArthur Park by Jimmy Webb (performed by Donna Summers)
- Janice’s selection: Paranoid Android by Radiohead
We talked about:
- The notion that once your song is released to the world, it’s no longer yours and open to multiple interpretations
- Check out www.songmeanings.com
Carmen Toth / Social Potion joined us for the second time to talk about a new song, and an older one, both of which are appearing on her upcoming album.
Stuff we talked about:
- writing lyrics first, songs first, or improvising on the fly during a jam/collaboration
- journalling / creating a “lyrics bank”
- starting a song from an emotion
- marketing to promote other artists
- memorable titles in the world of singles
- working with a producer to focus the song structure and strengthen commercial appeal
- writing universal, relatable lyrics
- using a bridge to bring a new perspective into the song
Download Carmen’s lyrics for the show.…