After a brief hiatus, NBC’s Songland returned with a new episode featuring rapper Macklemore as the artist on deck.
Macklemore says that a good song connects with its audience and is open to recording whatever song inspires [him] creatively. He meets four undiscovered songwriters: IRO, Pop Culture, Chris Jobe, and Casey Cook.
First up is IRO with his song, “Shadow.” Macklemore and producers, Ester Dean, Ryan Tedder, and Shane McAnally compliment IRO’s songwriting, particularly on the pre-chorus. They also play around with the song’s melody because it’s so unique and has great potential.
Next is Matt and Callan, the DJ duo behind Pop Culture. They share their song, “City Kids,” which they’ve written with the intent of having a rapper or singer finish it out. Macklemore and the producers feel that the track is triumphant and has swag, but doesn’t want the lyrics they add to be too on the nose or corny.
Third up is Chris Jobe with his song, “It Could’ve Been You,” which he says is a commentary on gun violence but is not polarizing. Macklemore and the producers feel that there are strong parts in the song but remind Chris to be careful in terms of presentation since gun violence is a sensitive topic.
Finally, Casey Cook pitches her song, “Judgments.” Macklemore and the producers like the hometown reference in the lyrics but want the storytelling to remain intimate. They also feel that Casey should go for a less is more vibe on the production.
Having heard all four songs, Macklemore now has to decide who will advance to the studio round. He selects Pop Culture, Casey Cook, and IRO.
During the studio round, Pop Culture works with Ryan to fine tune the arrangement of “City Kids.” Having made significant progress on the track, Ryan, Matt and Callan just have to tackle the lyrics. Ryan says he may even sing a verse during the performance round.
Casey and Ester talk with Macklemore on FaceTime and work to improve the lyrics on “Judgments.”
IRO and Shane tweak the tempo and lyrics on “Shadow.”
First up during the performance round is Pop Culture, whose song title has changed to “Unforgettable.” Ryan helps them out by singing the verses. Macklemore and the producers think the song is fire and love the melody.
Next up is Casey with “Judgments.” Macklemore and the producers say that the song has completely flipped and likes the addition of the choir.
Last, IRO presents his new version of “Shadow.” Macklemore says he has a vision for the song and wants to perform it. The producers also compliment the song and say it’s amazing.
The time has come for Macklemore to choose which song he wants to record. He selects IRO’s “Shadow” and also asks him to feature on the song.
After Macklemore selects “Shadow” as the song he wants to cut, he brings IRO on stage at Lollapalooza in Sao Paulo to help him perform it.
A brand new of episode of Songland will air again next week at its new night and time: Wednesday at 9pm.