Fascinating folks of note, from writers and musicians/artists to business and tech leaders, are interviewed by well-known LA radio DJ Nic Harcourt about the songs, bands, and concerts that have influenced their lives from childhood to now. What are the tracks they return to over and over, and what new artists have they embraced in recent years? Would they be the person they are today without this music? With the Sound of Success, Harcourt turns his legendarily expansive knowledge of music to host revealing and relatable interviews about the artists and sounds that have meant the most to a wide range of people.
Singer Songwriter David Gray talks about his breakthrough album 'White Ladder' and it's success as he takes the album on the road for a 20th anniversary tour, and shares the music that influenced and inspires him.
When David Gray released his 'White Ladder' album in 2000, he had nothing to lose. After three critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful albums, he found himself adrift, without a record label and an unsure future. Freed of the "write a hit" shackles, he enlisted the help of a couple of trusted friends and essentially recorded 'White Ladder' at home in his bedroom. The rest is history, the album including hits like "Babylon", "This Year's Love", "Please Forgive Me" and "Sail Away" was a massive success around the globe and bought him the freedom to be true to himself as an artist and having a career on his own terms. On this episode David talks about that album and the (pandemic delayed) 20th Anniversary tour as well as the music that has influenced and inspired him. With nods to early loves The Boomtown Rats, Madness, The Smiths and Prefab Sprout, the Sinatra/Jobim song "Corcovado", and recent discoveries from Khruangbin and Molly Herron & Science Ficta. Listen in as David gives us a deep insight into his career and the music that makes him happy.
Journalist, Television anchor and producer Soledad O'Brien discusses the damage that has been wrought on local news, her podcast on finance, and her love of Anita Baker, Luther Vandross and shh.. Duran Duran.
From her early days in radio and local television to high profile anchor gigs at NBC and CNN, and more recently hosting and producing her own syndicated weekly talk show 'Matter of Fact' Soledad O'Brien has covered live breaking news, Presidential elections and Hurricanes. She has also produced and hosted documentaries on the experiences of Black and Latino families in America, and co-hosts a podcast 'Everyday Wealth' covering personal finance. Her musical tastes range from Soft Cell and New Edition to Anita Baker, Patty Larkin and Tracy Chapman. Soledad also remembers singing Whitney Houston songs into her teenage hairbrush and shares guilty pleasures Duran Duran and Taylor Swift, the latter artist also being someone she finds "so thoughtful and intelligent", a sentiment I fully agree with!
Ben Harper, Multi instrumentalist, singer songwriter and producer talks about growing up around musicians at his grandparents Folk Music Center in Claremont, California, his love of skateboarding and the "best part of the gig", collaborations.
With his mix of guitar, slide guitar playing, vocals and musical styles, Ben Harper's career has taken him around the world. From full band rock records and searing shows to intimate solo albums and performances, he's a busy guy. Ben is also in high demand for his production skills, helming projects for many greats, including Mavis Staples, The Blind Boys Of Alabama and Charlie Musslewhite. Nic caught up with Ben in Paris where he is currently based, as he prepared for the release of a new instrumental album 'Winter Is For Lovers' and a series of European concerts and festivals. His first album? Jimi Hendrix' - "Smash Hits", his first concert? Allen Ginsburg! Oh, and he takes a skateboard with him, wherever he goes.
Actress and activist Rosanna Arquette shares the music of her life, and talks about the importance of young people registering to vote in a post Roe v Wade America.
Rosanna Arquette has a pretty impressive list of credits, moving seamlessly from movies like 'Desperately Seeking Susan', 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Crash' to Television shows like 'What About Brian', 'The L Word' and 'Ray Donovan'. Rosanna has also been a constant advocate for causes she believes in, and in this episode shares her response to the US Supreme Court striking down Roe v Wade. She also shares memories of her parents taking her to Greenwich Village Coffee shops as a toddler, and her love for the music of The Jackson Five, James Brown, Laura Nyro, Odetta, Brian Wilson, Peter Gabriel, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Laura Marling and Faye Webster.
On this 'Minisode' of The Sound Of Success Fred Armisen answers Nic's "21 Questions" about life and music, including his earliest musical memory, Sammy Davis Jnr's "Candyman", childhood piano lessons and his respect for the career of Mike Myers.
This weeks podcast is a Minisode; occasional interviews and conversations that don’t quite fit our format but that we think you might enjoy. This episode features a Proust like questionnaire about music and life with 21 questions for actor, comedian, writer, producer and musician Fred Armisen. Fred has carved out an extensive career in the worlds of television film and music, he spent eleven years a writer and cast member on Saturday night live, has appeared as a guest star on pretty much every cool tv show of the last 20 years and co created and co stars in the ifc shows 'Portlandia' and 'Documentary Now', and for HBO, the Spanish language series 'Los Espookys'. Fred is also the official drummer and band leader for 'Late Night with Seth Myers' and if you haven’t seen his Netflix special 'Stand Up For Drummers', please do yourself a favor and put it on your watch list.
Bret McKenzie talks about his solo album "Songs Without Jokes", his musical contributions to 'The Simpsons' Quillougby/Morrissey episode, discovering the music of John Prine, and his love of Kiwi bands, Supergroove and The Phoenix Foundation.
Brett McKenzie is best known as one half of the music and comedy duo 'Flight of the Conchords' and along with his partner in crime Jemaine Clement created the BBC radio series and HBO television series of the same name.On the solo tip Brett has worked extensively as a songwriter in film and television, most notably on the last two Muppets movies, (he won an academy award for best original song for “Man Or Muppet” for the 2011 "The Muppets' movie). He has also written songs for the Simpsons, played a couple of elves in "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" trilogies and as he joins us on the 'Sound Of Success" he's readying his debut solo album "Songs Without Jokes”.
There is no better interviewer than Nic Harcourt!
I love the show. Fascinating guests and great questions from Nic Harcourt, who I’ve loved listening to for years. It’s wonderful hearing how music helps define such a wide array of people.