82 episodes

Every week, we sit down with an acclaimed and venerable songwriter to intimately discuss what happens behind closed doors in the music industry. There are millions of singers, thousands of artists, and only 40 top songs per genre at a time... this podcast is about the people who make them. Produced by Joe London & Ross Golan in association with Big Deal Music & Mega House Music. And The Writer Is... ™

And The Writer Is...with Ross Golan Big Deal Music // Mega House Music

    • Music Interviews

Every week, we sit down with an acclaimed and venerable songwriter to intimately discuss what happens behind closed doors in the music industry. There are millions of singers, thousands of artists, and only 40 top songs per genre at a time... this podcast is about the people who make them. Produced by Joe London & Ross Golan in association with Big Deal Music & Mega House Music. And The Writer Is... ™

    In Loving Memory: Allee Willis

    In Loving Memory: Allee Willis

    We were all devastated by the loss of the great Allee Willis last December. Needless to say, she was truly one of a kind. Revisit our episode with her and join us in remembering and celebrating Allee's life and work.


    Our guest is a one-woman creative musical think-tank, a multi-disciplinary artist and visionary thinker whose range of imagination and productivity knows no bounds. This GRAMMY, Emmy and Tony award-winning and nominated songwriter’s hits include the seemingly ubiquitous "September" and "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind & Fire, “I'll Be There for You” (the Friends theme song), as well as the co-authored Oprah Winfrey-produced Tony and GRAMMY-winning musical, The Color Purple. She has written for artists across many genres, including Cher, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, Bonnie Raitt, Tina Turner, Boy George, Patti LaBelle, Justin Timberlake and more. She is an advocate for songwriter’s rights being credited as the first pop artist to address Congress on artist rights in cyberspace. Our guest most recently completed writing, recording, producing, directing and animating “The D,” a song for her hometown of Detroit. She has also started performing a series of sold-out one-woman shows, combining her songs with her comedy, art, videos and technology. We are honored to introduce this 2018 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, And The Writer is… Allee Willis! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Ep. 77: Nile Rodgers with Guest Host Hannah Karp

    Ep. 77: Nile Rodgers with Guest Host Hannah Karp

    This week we’ve partnered with the Songwriters Hall of Fame to bring you the final episode of Season 5, which features our special guest host, Hannah Karp, editorial director of Billboard. Among music legends, this guest is truly exceptional. He amplifies his legacy as a multiple GRAMMY-winning composer, producer, arranger, and guitarist by constantly traversing new musical terrain and successfully expanding the boundaries of popular music. As the co-founder of CHIC and the newly elected Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he pioneered a musical language that generated chart-topping hits like “Le Freak,” (the biggest selling single in the history of Atlantic Records) and sparked the advent of hip-hop with “Good Times”. This writer transcends all styles of music across every generation with a body of work that’s garnered him inductions into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (2017) and the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2016). With the late Bernard Edwards, he was responsible for writing and producing the songs for their band CHIC, including the hits "Dance, Dance, Dance,” "Everybody Dance,” "I Want Your Love," and "Good Times.” The team also wrote and produced hits for other artists such as Norma Jean Wright, Sister Sledge, Sheila and B. Devotion, Johnny Mathis, Debbie Harry and Fonzi Thornton, with major hits including “He’s The Greatest Dancer” and “We Are Family” (both for Sister Sledge) and “I’m Coming Out” (Diana Ross). His work in the CHIC Organization and his productions for artists like David Bowie, Diana Ross, and Madonna have sold over 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide while his innovative, trendsetting collaborations with Daft Punk, Avicii, Sigala, Disclosure, and Sam Smith reflect the vanguard of contemporary music. And most recently, he was appointed as the first-ever Chief Creative Advisor for the legendary Abbey Road. He & CHIC recently released their first new studio album, “It’s About Time” in over 26 years to critical acclaim and a Top 10 position in the UK album charts. And The Writer is… Nile Rodgers!


    This episode is presented in partnership with the Songwriters Hall of Fame and features special guest host, Hannah Karp, editorial director of Billboard. Prior to joining Billboard as news director in 2017, Hannah worked as a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal, where she covered the music business as well as other industries including sports, travel and consumer products, and regional economics. A native of Berkeley, Calif., she holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Duke University and a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Ep. 76: Paul Anka

    Ep. 76: Paul Anka

    This legendary guest is an acclaimed songwriter, entertainer, and actor. Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, the enormous success of his first number one hit, “Diana” made him a star at the age of 15. Soon after he found himself traveling by bus with the ‘Cavalcade of Stars’ which featured the top names of the day. He honed his craft surrounded by the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Frankie Lymon, and Chuck Berry. And he is the youngest entertainer to ever perform at the Copacabana in New York, as well as the Sahara and Sands Hotels in Las Vegas. The best-known titles of his early career included hits like “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” “You Are My Destiny," "Lonely Boy," and "Puppy Love," (which also was recorded by Donny Osmond). By age 18, he had five Top 5 hits to his credit. After a few hit songs, he gained confidence in his talent as a writer and wisely knew that being a songwriter meant the power was in the pen. As a result, he went on to write for Connie Francis, Leslie Gore, and Buddy Holly (including the last song Holly ever recorded, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”). Other hit songs include the Academy Award-nominated theme for the 1962 film in which he starred, ‘The Longest Day.’ And he notably penned the longest-running theme in television history for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (“Johnny’s Theme”). In the early ’60s, he became a junior associate of Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Even with the British invasion, he still had chart records. He moved to Italy and outsold the Italians, selling an astonishing 4 million records there. In the late ’60s, he wrote “My Way” for Frank Sinatra and by the ’70s, he had another string of hits like “(You’re) Having My Baby”, “Don’t Like To Sleep Alone”, and “Times Of Your Life” which confirmed his status as an icon of popular music. Additionally, he’s written with Michael Jackson (“This Is It” and “Love Never Felt So Good”) and Drake (“Don’t Matter To Me”). He’s been named the 21st most successful artist in Billboard’s history, putting him alongside music greats Elvis Presley and the Beatles. And he is the only artist in history to have a song in the Billboard Top 100 over 7 consecutive decades. And The Writer Is…Paul Anka!


    This episode is sponsored by BMI and ABKCO. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Ep. 75: Jason Robert Brown

    Ep. 75: Jason Robert Brown

    He is a composer, lyricist, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, director, and performer – who has been hailed as “one of Broadway’s smartest and most sophisticated songwriters since Stephen Sondheim” (Philadelphia Inquirer). Best known for his dazzling scores to several of the most renowned musicals of his generation, including the generation-defining ‘The Last Five Years,’ his debut song cycle ‘Songs for a New World,’ and the seminal ‘Parade,’ for which he won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Score, he also received two Tony Awards for his score for ‘The Bridges of Madison County,’ a musical adapted with Marsha Norman from the bestselling novel. A film version of his epochal Off-Broadway musical ‘The Last Five Years’ was released in 2015, starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan and directed by Richard LaGravenese. His musical ‘13,’ written with Robert Horn and Dan Elish, is now in production with Netflix to be adapted for the small screen. For the past four years, he has been the artist-in-residence at New York’s SubCulture, where he offers a sold-out concert every month with stars of Broadway and the music world. He is the winner of the 2018 Louis Auchincloss Prize, the 2002 Kleban Award for Outstanding Lyrics and the 1996 Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Foundation Award for Musical Theatre. The New York Times refers to him as “a leading member of a new generation of composers who embody high hopes for the American musical.” And his songs, including the cabaret standard “Stars and the Moon,” have been performed and recorded by Ariana Grande, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Billy Porter, Betty Buckley, Renée Fleming, Jon Hendricks, and many others. And The Writer Is…Jason Robert Brown!


    This episode is sponsored by ABKCO. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Ep. 74: Julian Bunetta

    Ep. 74: Julian Bunetta

    Our guest this week is an Ivor Award-winning songwriter, producer, and musician, who has collaborated with a wide range of artists including One Direction, Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris, Chris Brown, Jason Derulo, Fifth Harmony, Maroon 5, Big & Rich, Leona Lewis, and Little Big Town. He co-wrote and co-produced a majority of One Direction’s last three albums including the hit singles, “Drag Me Down,” "Best Song Ever" and "Story of My Life.” With Thomas Rhett he has co-written and co-produced numerous songs including his No. 1 singles “Craving You (feat. Maren Morris),” from the Grammy-nominated album ‘Life Changes’ and “Look What God Gave Her,” from the CMA Album of the Year nominated album ‘Center Point Road,’ (which he also co-produced). Additionally, he co-wrote and produced Niall Horan’s recent single “Nice To Meet Ya,” the No. 1 Top 40 single “Slow Hands,” as well as “On The Loose” & “Finally Free,” Rudimental’s Ivor Award-winning, multi-platinum single “These Days (feat. Jess Glynne, Macklemore & Dan Caplen),” Harry Styles’ “Two Ghosts,” Amber Mark’s “Put U On (feat DRAM),” Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’ “Don’t You Forget About Me,” and many more. And The Writer Is…Julian Bunetta!


    This episode is sponsored by BMI, ABKCO, and NSAI. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Bonus Episode: Who Are The Picassos of Pop? (with Switched On Pop's Charlie Harding)

    Bonus Episode: Who Are The Picassos of Pop? (with Switched On Pop's Charlie Harding)

    Last month Ross got back together with Charlie at Vox's Switched on Pop; this time to discuss everything from classic songwriting techniques, the happy accidents behind pop songs, and good listener habits. Dive into the conversation with this special BONUS episode, and boy does it have it all! Many thanks to our friends at Switched on Pop for always being down to nerd out with us. Enjoy! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 44 min

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