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Tag: ester dean

‘Songland’ Judge Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic Switches Roles for Season Finale

On this week’s episode of Songland, OneRepublic visit in hopes of scoring their next hit. They meet four undiscovered songwriters: JT Roach, Madi, Tyler James Bellinger, and Brigetta.

First, JT Roach pitches his song, “Somebody To Love.” OneRepublic and producers, Ester Dean, Shane McAnally, and Jason Evigan (who’s filling in for Ryan Tedder since he’s part of OneRepublic) say that the song is powerful. Ryan also says he feels like he can sing it back after one listen. Their only feedback is to take out some of the more repetitive lyrics.

Second is Madi with her song, “Darkest Days.” OneRepublic and the producers love the melody. However, they feel that the song should sound sadder and needs to be more elevated.

Next, Tyler James Bellinger shares his song, “Giving You Up.” OneRepublic and the producers praise his performance. They like the song but suggest lowering the range to make it resonate better.

Finally, Brigetta closes out the first round with her song, “Be Somebody.” OneRepublic and the producers say that the shape of the song is there, but it needs some lyrical changes.

Having heard all four songs, the group must decide who will advance to the studio round. They select JT, Brigetta, and Madi.

During the studio round, Brigetta teams up with Jason, Madi teams up with Ester, and JT teams up with Shane to refine their songs.

Madi kicks off the performance round with “Darkest Days.” OneRepublic and the producers say that she did a great job with her changes. Ryan also says he feels like he could’ve written the chorus, which makes the song attractive to him.

Next, JT performs “Somebody To Love.” OneRepublic and the producers feel that the song is relatable. Ryan also notes that the song’s melody will work perfectly for his vocal range.

Last, Brigetta shares her new version of “Be Somebody.” OneRepublic and the producers praise the song’s lyric changes.

With the performance round over, the group now has to decide which song they will cut. They pick JT’s “Somebody to Love.” The song is available now and OneRepublic has also performed it live!

OneRepublic’s episode helped conclude season one of Songland. After the episode aired, news broke that the show has been renewed for season two.

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Charlie Puth Becomes First Artist on Songland to Highlight a Songwriter

On this week’s episode of Songland, Charlie Puth searches for his next big hit. He meets four undiscovered songwriters: Sam DeRosa, Zach Sorgen, Paris Williams, and Joel Adams.

First up is Sam DeRosa with her song, “Pill For This.” Charlie and producers, Shane McAnally, Ester Dean, and Ryan Tedder are blown away by Sam’s performance. Their only real suggestion is to give the song a more intimate feel and strip it back a little. Ester also says she’d love to hear this song as a duet.

Next, Zach Sorgen shares his song, “Habit.” Charlie and the producers love it and call the song ear candy. In terms of feedback, they advise Zach to add a drum beat to give the song more swag. Shane mentions playing with a few of the lyrics as well.

Third, Paris Williams performs her song, “Pity Party.” Charlie and the producers say that the melody is a ten. The only thing left to do is customize the song for Charlie and tailor it so that it feels authentic coming from his point of view.

Last up is Joel Adams with his song, “Hate Love.” Charlie and the producers say that the song is fantastic. They suggest some lyric changes and giving the song more duality.

Having heard all four songs, Charlie now has to decide who will advance to the studio round. He selects Zach Sorgen, Joel Adams, and Sam DeRosa.

During the studio round, Joel pairs up with Ester; Zach pairs up with Ryan; and Sam pairs up with Shane to refine their songs in preparation for the performance round.

When the performance round arrives, Sam kicks things off with “Pill For This.” Charlie and the producers like how the production complements the lyrics and gives the song an angsty feel. Charlie also says that Sam is a very strong singer.

Next, Zach Sorgen performs “Bad Habit.” Charlie and the producers say that the song is“fun and universal. Even better, Charlie says he can picture himself singing it.

Finally, Joel Adams pitches his new version of “Hate Love.” Charlie and the producers find the way Joel and Ester have flipped the concept of hate love to be very clever.

With each of the songs having been refined, Charlie must choose the one he’ll record. He picks Zach’s song, “Bad Habit.”

Following Charlie’s episode of Songland airing, he revealed on Twitter that he chose not to record his own version of the song and let Zach have the honor instead. Charlie sparked controversy over his decision since he performed the song live but did not end up releasing it, which actually hurts the songwriter instead, since a big name isn’t attached to it. Fans who went to search for Puth’s version of the song were left empty handed. The song is also not doing as well on the charts as another song featured on the show “Pill For This” which is also sung by the songwriter.

Next week, OneRepublic visit Songland.

Leona Lewis Scores New Collaboration on Songland

Leona Lewis stopped by Songland this week in search of her next hit.

Leona says she’s a fan of highly emotive songs so she’s looking for something she can connect with lyrically. She meets four undiscovered songwriters: Olivia Lane, Rozee, Rafferty, and Annabel Lee.

First up is Olivia Lane with “Perfect Skin,” a song she wrote after taking a confidence hit. Leona and producers, Shane McAnally; Ryan Tedder; and Ester Dean agree that the song is both important and empowering and has a knockout chorus. However, Leona is concerned with how she will tailor the song to be more applicable to her as an artist.

Next, Rozee shares her song, “Fighting For Us.” Leona and the producers like the chord progression and feel that the song would make an insane collaboration. At the same time, they suggest playing with the song’s rhyme scheme, so as to surprise the ear more.

Third, Rafferty pitches his song, “A Heart Full of Love.” Leona and the producers praise Rafferty for being vulnerable but encourage him to keep his song personal rather than switch between personal and grandiose.

Finally, Annabel Lee performs “Ugliest Love.” Leona and the producers dig the song’s title and concept but feel that the picture the song paints is vague.

Having heard all four songs, Leona has to choose who will advance to the studio round. She selects Olivia, Rozee, and Rafferty.

During the studio round, Olivia teams up with Ester to create a powerhouse vocal for Leona to soar on, Rafferty and Shane play with lyrics, and Ryan and Rozee turn her song into a collaboration with Spanish and rap influences.

After working with the producers, it’s time for Olivia, Rozee, and Rafferty to share how they’ve tweaked their songs and perform for Leona.

Olivia leads the pack with a more up-tempo EDM version of “Perfect Skin.” At the conclusion of the performance, Leona says that she loves the message of the lyrics and would pair the song with a campaign aimed at young girls.

Next, Rozee sings the new version of her song, which has been renamed to “Solo Quiero (Somebody To Love).” Leona thinks Rozee has really freshened up the song with her changes and has made it fun and unexpected.

Finally, Rafferty performs his song, which is now called “When You Fall In Love.” Leona likes the melody changes and says that Rafferty is a superstar.

With each of the songs having been refined, Leona now has to decide which one she’ll record. She chooses Rozee’s song, “Solo Quiero.”

Watch Leona sing “Solo Quiero” with Cali Y El Dandee and Juan Magán on YouTube.

Next week, Charlie Puth visits Songland.

Old Dominion Teams Up with Jeep to Find their Next Hit

On this week’s episode of Songland, country group Old Dominion sought their next hit, which is to be featured in a Jeep commercial.

They meet four undiscovered songwriters: Katelyn Tarver, Jacobi.E, Maci, and Jake Scott.

First up is Katelyn Tarver with “Young.” Old Dominion and producers, Ester Dean, Shane McAnally, and Ryan Tedder love the simple, beautiful statement of the lyrics, “I just wanna be young forever with you.” In terms of feedback, the guys of Old Dominion want to play with the verses so they’ll feel less feminine and more applicable to them and to the Jeep commercial.

Next, Jacobi.E pitches his song, “Westside.” Old Dominion and the producers praise the cool melody nuggets within the song, but feel the production needs to be stripped a little.

Third is Maci with “Take A Ride.” Old Dominion and the producers feel that the song showcases a strong sense of adventure, which would make it perfect for Jeep. They also discuss a few minor word changes to strengthen the lyrics.

Finally, Jake Scott shares his song, “Is This Love.” Old Dominion and the producers like the rhyme scheme in the song, but feel the sentiment is “too bright” and needs to be a bit darker in order to work for the group.

Having heard all four songs, Old Dominion must choose which songwriters will advance to the studio round. They select Jacobi.E, Jake Scott, and Katelyn Tarver.

During the studio round, Jacobi.E teams up with Ryan, Katelyn teams up with Shane, and Jake teams up with Ester to refine each of their songs in preparation for the performance round.

When the performance round arrives, Katelyn is first with “Young.” She has brought in a male singer to give Old Dominion a better sense of what the song will sound like coming from their perspective. Olivier Francois, a representative from Jeep, is also present. At the conclusion of the performance, Olivier says that the song really captures what it is to be young at heart. The guys of Old Dominion and the producers agree that the song is special.

Next, Jacobi.E performs his song, whose title has been changed to “Where The Road Ends.” Old Dominion and the producers can hear the song being played on the Jeep commercial and the radio. Olivier from Jeep praises the song’s imagery and says it’s a hit.

Finally, Jake Scott shares his song, which has been re-named “Journey.” Old Dominion and the producers feel that it’s a completely different song and praise many of the lyrical changes Jake has made. Olivier from Jeep says the song isn’t a song at all, but rather pure poetry.

Having heard the new versions of each of the songs, Old Dominion and Olivier from Jeep must decide which will work best for the commercial. After a brief deliberation, they choose Katelyn’s song, “Young.”

On next week’s episode of Songland, Leona Lewis appears as the artist on deck.

Macklemore Brings IRO, Songwriter of his New Song “Shadow,” on Stage at Lollapalooza in Sao Paulo

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.