Host, Stevie Manns, NYC-based singer-songwriter, goes behind the scenes with some of the best up and coming artists from New York City and beyond for an exclusive behind the scenes look at a song and everything that goes into it. From songwriting to production and then we hear the song in full. Think SongExploder meets Tiny Desk Concert!
"Making Queer Pop Music" ft. Aaron Is Your Friend
Today, as we continue to celebrate Pride month my guest is Aaron Is Your Friend. Aaron is Your Friend is the project of LA-based singer, songwriter and producer Aaron Lindenberg. Aaron and I met on the New York scene a couple of years ago at a Sofar Sounds show and I really enjoyed his music and his energy so I wanted to introduce him to you on the show and we take a listen to his song "Self".
Aaron and I get deep in this episode, we talk about music releases, queer culture, gender norms and presentation as artists and we also take a listen to his song “self”. This was an interesting one for me as Aaron flipped some of my questions back to me, so it felt a lot less like an interview and more like a conversation between two friends who happen to be artists as well.
Inspired by electronic pop, R&B and dance music, Aaron makes soulful, polished pop songs about heartbreak, self love and new love. He released his debut album "Break My Own Heart" in 2020, which processes heartbreak through glittery house anthems and textured R&B, while his most recent EP, "Emotional" exorcised the demons of 2020 over warm hip-hop grooves. He is currently working on a string of larger-than-life pop singles about boys.
You can follow him @aaronisyourfriend and on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4cS7mclXPZPmQlqy0qZZtz
At the start of this episode you will hear a clip from "Tameless", a track co-written & co-produced by April Rose Gabrielli & KULICK for an incredible new documentary "Not The Science Type".
The film will make its debut during the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2021. The film follows four inspiring female Scientists who are changing the world through their ground breaking work in a field dominated by men.
Listen to the full song here: https://open.spotify.com/album/7Dgamxo316EH1FQs2AhMct
"From Broadway to Songwriting" ft. J.Breckenridge
Josh Breckenridge, is perhaps better known for his Broadway accolades, most recently starring in Come From Away. During the Broadway closure as a result of the pandemic J. wasted no time in writing and producing his debut album "Monotony" with producer James Frazee (Patti Smith, Sharan Van Etten, Loudon Wainright III, Bacon Brothers) As J. Breckenridge, the new musical artist with a pop-soul vibe, he has just released his fourth single, “Not Forgiving You” a deceptively lighthearted modern pop song but the number is really a way to deal with a past abusive relationship (please note the sensitive nature of the topic discussed and please take care of yourself)
J. joins me on the show to talk about his single, Pride month, the new movement of openly gay male pop artists and how he is feeling about returning to Broadway in September as theaters re-open.
Josh mentions http://act-sf.org to buy tickets for the streaming of his performance in A.C.T.'s theatre production of Armistead Maupin's "Tales of The City".
At the start of this episode you will hear a clip of a brand new track called "My Oh My" from North Carolina based Americana artist, Kevin Daniel. "My Oh My" is the second release off of Kevin Daniel's forthcoming album, 'Been Here Before'. The song was co-written with Ashlee Joy, formerly of Charlotte, NC-based band Matrimony and features Ashlee on vocals.
Head to Spotify to listen to Kevin Daniel: https://open.spotify.com/artist/40L96DDQs0Ve93aHHX9zsQ
"Redefining Expectations as a Queer, Afro-Latina Vocalist" ft. Sharisse Fransisco
Continuing our artist profiles for #Pride, today's guest is Sharisse Fransisco. She is a Queer, Afro-Latina singer-songwriter and Vocalist, she performs as herself but also as the lead vocalist for the all-female punk soul band Top Queens. She deeply believes in the importance of intentionality in the messages we share with the world as artists; utilizing music and art for catharsis, to invoke emotions, but also to share our authentic truths, connect, and inspire unity and change. Sharisse is also a Mindfulness and Mental Health Advocate.
Sharisse tells me about her latest release “I am” and how she wrote it as a mantra to herself and others and we also talk about the expectations people have of her as a vocalist as a black woman.
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"Being A Social Justice Songwriter" ft. Crys Matthews
Have you ever wondered how to write social justice songs? How to get over your discomfort? In this episode, I am discussing social justice songwriting with my guest, D.C. based social justice songwriter Crys Matthews.
Already hailed as “the next Woody Guthrie,” Crys Matthews is among the brightest stars of the new generation of social justice music-makers. She is made for these times and, with the release of her new, hope-fueled, love-filled social justice album Changemakers, Matthews hopes to take her place alongside some of her heroes in the world of social-justice music.
Crys tells us about her philosophy in life of “sing don’t shout” as a way of changing hearts and minds and having difficult conversations.
Crys's album Changemakers is out on Spotify now and you can follow her @crysmatthews
At the start of the episode you will hear a clip from singer-songwriter, Kaylyn Marie. Have you ever had a moment where someone described you positively to another and you thought, "Wow. Is that really how they see me?" because you'd never describe yourself with that much enthusiasm, admiration, grace, or love? Her third and last “Forget Me Not” single titled, “Finally”, embodies the first moment you catch a glimpse — and if you're lucky, begin the habit — of seeing yourself as kindly as those who love you and believe in you.
"How to Boost Your Social Media Presence" ft. Gabe Ekemezie
Have you ever thought about whether you're "doing it right" with social medial? Or why is social media SO important for musicians and anyone with a brand, which social media platform is right for you; and how can you optimize your social media and build a following?
My guest Gabe Ekemezie and I discuss all of those things and aim to help you tighten up your social media strategy. Gabe is the founder of Unplugged Kingdom LLC, specializing in online business strategy and social media marketing techniques to help brands unlock their highest potential while making a positive impact on the world. Currently, he works at a digital transformation agency, where he empowers companies and brands to optimize their revenue and maximize their exposure in the marketplace.
At the beginning of the episode you will hear a clip from singer-songwriter Elizabeth Wyld. Her new album "Quiet Year" is out now everywhere and this song Hudson is from her debut album. You can follow her on Spotify or on social media @Elizabethwyldmusic
"Creating Iconic Images" ft. Music Photographer Shervin Lainez
Shervin made his name as a portrait music photographer on the New York music scene over the last decade and has become one of the most sought after photographers in the industry. Having started with no formal photography training, he worked his way up the ladder and has since photographed musicians like Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Wilco, Regina Spector, Ingrid Michaelson, Fleet Foxes, Walk the moon, Sara Bareilles and many more...
I caught up with him to find out how he went from no photography background to taking iconic images for some of the most exciting new artists across the world. We also talk about what aspiring artists should consider when creating their brand and images.
If you want to join our Facebook group, you can find out who the next guest will be and post a question that I might just ask during the show. Search "This Next Song's About - Inner Circle" on Facebook and join our community of artists and songwriters.
My new favorite songwriter’s podcast
Absolutely love these episodes! From the stories behind the songs, to the business behind the music, and the lives behind the magic - super insightful with a rather pleasing host voice (which I very much appreciate as an avid podcast listener)
Podcast is great.
Excellent interviews and awesome songwriters. Love the format. The music is great.
Loving this podcast!
I couldn't help but listen to a few episodes all in one day. Love how candid these are; artists sharing the reality, and stories behind being an artist, and revealing things about themselves and their work that other artists can relate to. Keep these comin'!