Singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama joins Simon and Brian for the first fully remote episode of the show in which she describes the collaborative songwriting process behind her stunning debut album SAWAYAMA, how she was influenced by the pop of the early 2000s, and the intensely personal process of writing about family.
Rapper, poet, novelist and playwright Kate Tempest talks about her creative process across a range of projects, detailing her approach to lyrics, prose, melody, structure and narrative. The double Mercury Music Prize nominee also reflects on her time working with legendary producer Rick Rubin, and her deep relationship with the city of London.
On the fourth anniversary of his passing, we?ve dug into the Sodajerker vault to find an unreleased bonus episode from a couple of years ago in which we sat down for an hour to talk about one of our all-time favourite artists - Prince! We couldn?t resist bookending it with a Prince-inspired jam we found along with the recording. Enjoy!
The great Huey Lewis discusses the writing of his new album Weather, which was recorded prior to the singer losing his hearing to Ménière's disease in 2018. In addition to telling the stories behind hits like 'The Heart of Rock and Roll', 'Bad Is Bad', 'Hip To Be Square' and 'Small World', Huey also details his collaborations with mentors like Nick Lowe and Mutt Lange, and his work on the songs 'Power Of Love' and 'Back In Time' from the classic movie Back To The Future.
The wonderful KT Tunstall joins us at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire for a live conversation as part of the launch of the Songwriting Studies Research Network. During the chat, KT takes to the guitar and the piano to demonstrate her creative process on songs like 'Black Horse and the Cherry Tree', 'Suddenly I See' and recent work from albums like KIN and WAX. Note: KT was also the guest for episode 61 of this podcast.
Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey describes the creative process behind enduring songs like 'In The Name Of Love', 'Love On Your Side', 'If You Were Here' and 'Hold Me Now'. During the conversation, Tom also gives detailed insights into the songwriting behind his 2018 solo album Science Fiction, and explains why it's important to maintain the distinctive aspects of your sound.
Singer-songwriter Richard Marx talks about the writing of his new album Limitless and the creative process behind hits like 'Right Here Waiting' and 'Hazard'. During the conversation, Richard also reveals the musical bonds that connect his family and shares stories about his collaborations with artists like Keith Urban on 'Long Hot Summer' and the late, great Luther Vandross on the Grammy-winning 'Dance With My Father'.
Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and bassist Sam Dixon joins Simon and Brian at the legendary Rak Studios in London for a live conversation in front of an invited audience. During the episode, Sam discusses his work with artists like Adele, Sia, Christina Aguilera and Jack Savoretti and describes his strategies for bringing the best out of his collaborators. Special thanks to APRA AMCOS for inviting us.
ABC's Martin Fry describes the writing of his classic album The Lexicon Of Love including songs like 'The Look Of Love', 'Poison Arrow', 'Tears Are Not Enough' and 'All Of My Heart'. During the conversation, Martin also tells the story behind his beloved hit 'When Smokey Sings' and explains how he approached the daunting task of creating The Lexicon of Love II.
Acclaimed singer-songwriter and Monkee Michael Nesmith talks Sodajerker through the writing process behind songs like 'Papa Gene's Blues', 'Joanne', 'Different Drum', 'Rio' and 'Laugh Kills Lonesome'. In addition to discussing songs he wrote for The Monkees and his solo work, Nez reflects on his relationship with John Lennon, the importance of the arranger, and the influence of visual art on his writing.
In the final show of 2019, the singular Beck joins Simon and Brian in London to talk about his incredible new album Hyperspace. During the conversation, Beck describes his experiences collaborating with Pharrell, Greg Kurstin and Paul Epworth, the influence of his Grandfather, and what it was like to receive a Grammy from Prince.
Country superstar Keith Urban grabs a couple of his prized Fender guitars and talks Simon and Brian through the writing processes behind his many hit songs. During the conversation, Keith explains the importance of rhythm in his writing, collaborating with the likes of Julia Michaels and Richard Marx, and how he has been inspired creatively by his wife Nicole Kidman.
Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys of OMD sit down in London to discuss their career anthology box set Souvenir and the writing process behind their success. In explaining the chemistry of their creative partnership, Andy and Paul talk about writing sad songs with happy chords, striving to avoid lyrical cliches, and why they remain musical outsiders.
The excellent James Blunt joins Sodajerker in London to discuss his very personal new album Once Upon A Mind. During the conversation, James talks about collaborations with the likes of Linda Perry, Ryan Tedder and Ed Sheeran, shares the stories behind hits like 'You're Beautiful', and explains why it's always important to have a reason to write a song.
For this milestone 150th episode, legendary songwriter and producer Jeff Lynne (ELO, George Harrison, Traveling Wilburys, Tom Petty, The Beatles) sits down with Simon and Brian in London to discuss the writing of his new album From Out Of Nowhere. In his inimitable way, Jeff explains how he approaches chords, melody and lyrics to create the distinctive sounds we've loved across decades of classic albums.
Singer-songwriter Kim Richey joins the Sodajerker boys in Birmingham to chat about the writing of her most recent album, Edgeland. Kim also talks about how she takes inspiration from southern culture, connecting with former guests like Jason Isbell and Jamie Lawson, and the stories behind songs like 'Angels' Share', 'Leaving 49' and 'Chinese Boxes'.
Musical polymath Jacob Collier meets Simon and Brian in London halfway through the expansive four volume Djesse series to discuss his approach to songwriting and creativity. Jacob explains how he reconciles his vision for the project alongside the contributions of guests and how deadlines help to narrow down the infinite possibilities that musical ideas present to him.
Lightning Seeds frontman and celebrated songwriter Ian Broudie joins Sodajerker to mark the 25th anniversary of his classic album Jollification. In this in-depth conversation, Ian details his approach to songwriting and production, how Liverpool informs his musical creativity, and his experiences working with local acts like Echo and the Bunnymen, The Coral and The Zutons.
Simon and Brian visit singer-songwriter, pianist and broadcaster Jamie Cullum at home to discuss the writing of his dynamic new album Taller. Jamie reveals how focusing on lyrics first helped him to write more personal songs, why boredom can be the songwriter's most useful tool, and the challenges of remaining creative and confident in the modern world.
Louisa Roach of She Drew The Gun sits down with Simon and Brian at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool to discuss the writing of songs from her first two albums Memories of Another Future (2016) and Revolution of Mind (2018). Louisa talks about the importance of prose writing and spoken word in her work, her collaborative relationship with The Coral's James Skelly, and how the sci-fi genre has acted as an effective vehicle to mobilise her political views.
Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno joins Sodajerker in London to discuss the writing of his excellent debut solo album The SLP. In addition to talking about the creation of his new alter ego, and his work with the band, Serge explains how he captures ideas on the move, how he uses sounds to write in the studio, and why broken equipment works for him.
Mike 'McGear' McCartney sits down with Brian and Simon at his Heswall home to discuss songs from the recent reissue of his 1974 solo album McGear via Cherry Red Records. In this wide-ranging conversation, Mike also talks in depth about songs like 'Thank U Very Much' and 'Lily The Pink' with The Scaffold, 'Woman' from his 1972 solo debut, his work on McGough & McGear, The Beatles, and growing up in Liverpool.
Country noir superstar Gretchen Peters explains the process she embarks upon when creating the cinematic and socially conscious songs that have become her calling card. In our in-depth conversation, the Nashville stalwart describes the writing of recent albums like Blackbirds and Dancing With The Beast, her classic hits for the likes of Martina McBride, Bonnie Raitt and Trisha Yearwood, and her collaborative partnership with Bryan Adams.
In this mini bonus podcast episode, Simon and Brian chat about the experience of attending the 64th Ivor Novello Awards ceremony in London on 23rd May as guests of the Ivors Academy, the independent trade body for songwriters and composers in the UK. This year?s winners included The 1975, Wiley, Deep Purple, Natasha Khan, Jonny Greenwood, Mariah Carey, Richard Ashcroft, and former podcast guest Dido (who received the award for Outstanding Song Collection).
In this very special episode, the one and only Sting talks about approaching his classic hits from a fresh perspective on his new record, My Songs. With his guitar to hand, the singular artist sits down at home in London with Simon and Brian to reveal the creative processes behind one of pop's most extraordinary catalogues.
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens joins us to discuss her new record, There Is No Other, made in collaboration with Francesco Turrisi. During the course of this in-depth conversation, Rhiannon describes the spontaneous process fuelling their work together, the historical resonance attached to songs like 'Mama's Cryin' Long' and 'At The Purchaser's Option', and how telling these stories informs her mission as an artist.
Singer-songwriter Gaz Coombes discusses the writing of songs from his excellent solo albums, World's Strongest Man and Matador, as well as hits with his former band, Supergrass. During the conversation, Gaz explains how he develops ideas in the studio and how he has expanded his songwriting palette to include the art of 'soundwriting'.
Britt Daniel of Spoon sits down with Simon and Brian in Liverpool to talk about the writing of songs like 'I Turn My Camera On', 'The Underdog', 'The Ghost of You Lingers' and 'New York Kiss', as well as songs from the band's addictive recent offering, Hot Thoughts. During the chat, Britt plays us an early voice memo of 'Can I Sit Next To You' and explains how he develops his ideas from handheld recorder to the finished article.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash discusses the writing of her stunning record She Remembers Everything and songs from her catalogue including 'Seven Year Ache', 'Seventh Avenue' and 'When The Master Calls The Roll'. In this inspiring conversation, Rosanne describes her relationship to prose writing, her collaborations with her husband John Leventhal, and encouragement she received from her father, the late, great, Johnny Cash.
Prefab Sprout's Paddy McAloon joins Simon and Brian to talk about the writing process behind his orchestral masterpiece I Trawl The Megahertz. In this in-depth conversation, Paddy explains the unusual situation that led to the record, how he experimented with radio dialogue, voiceover narration, and his ancient Atari computer to create its fascinating soundscapes. This episode represents Sodajerker's first ever repeat guest, with Paddy having appeared originally on episode 53.
Singer-songwriter Jamie Lawson talks about his songwriting process and hits to date, including the affecting 'Wasn't Expecting That'. Jamie also describes his time in Nashville and collaborations with songwriters like Ed Sheeran, Kim Richey and Ron Sexsmith. His next record The Years In Between is available from March 29, 2019.
In this fun conversation, Dido discusses the writing of her new album Still On My Mind and explains how she approaches the production process. In addition to talking about collaborations with brother Rollo, Brian Eno, Jon Brion and Max Martin, Dido describes the creation of global hits like 'Thank You' and 'White Flag', and the turn of events that led to being sampled on Eminem's 'Stan'.
Hozier joins Simon and Brian for a chat about the writing of his new album Wasteland, Baby! In addition to discussing songs like 'Movement', 'Almost (Sweet Music)' and his work with the great Mavis Staples on 'Nina Cried Power', the Irish singer-songwriter also revisits the writing of songs from his first album, such as 'In A Week' and the colossal hit, 'Take Me To Church'.
Celebrated record producer and songwriter Trevor Horn discusses his new album Trevor Horn Reimagines The Eighties and his work with ABC, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Grace Jones, Malcolm McLaren, Yes and Buggles. Trevor reveals how he started out in cabaret, why recording studios are still important, and the writing processes behind seminal hits like 'Video Killed the Radio Star', 'Close (to the Edit)', 'Slave to the Rhythm' and 'Owner of a Lonely Heart'.
Simon and Brian speak with one-woman hit factory Diane Warren, whose career-making songs have produced timeless collaborations with the likes of Celine Dion, Aerosmith, Cher, LeAnn Rimes and Toni Braxton. In this episode, Diane talks about her work ethic, her approach to 'method songwriting', and writing her latest Oscar contender 'I'll Fight', as performed by Jennifer Hudson for the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary, RBG.
Mike Posner, the singer-songwriter, poet, rapper and record producer behind global successes like 'I Took A Pill In Ibiza' and 'Cooler Than Me', discusses the writing of his biggest hits as well as the creative process behind his moving new album A Real Good Kid. Mike also talks about his work on songs for the likes of Justin Bieber, Nick Jonas and Maroon 5.
Simon and Brian visit synth maestro Howard Jones to talk about the writing behind two of his seminal solo albums, Human's Lib and Dream Into Action, newly remastered and expanded by Cherry Red Records. In addition to songs like 'What Is Love?', 'New Song', 'Hide and Seek', 'Things Can Only Get Better' and 'Like To Get To Know You Well', Howard talks about his classic synth setup, performing at Live Aid, and his work on Transform, a new electronic album due this year.
The great Elvis Costello sits down with Simon and Brian in Liverpool for an in-depth conversation about the writing of his fantastic new album Look Now including modern classics like 'Under Lime', 'Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter' and 'Stripping Paper'. During the chat, Elvis also reflects on his collaborations with Carole King, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Allen Toussaint, and shares the stories behind songs like 'Oliver's Army', 'Shipbuilding', 'Everyday I Write The Book' and 'God Give Me Strength'.
Vocalist and songwriter Steve Perry joins Sodajerker in London to discuss the writing of his new album Traces as well as some of his classic hits with Journey like 'Open Arms' and 'Don't Stop Believin''. In this candid conversation, Steve talks openly about his complicated relationship with singing, the time he spent away from music, and the impetus that brought him back into the spotlight.
Legendary singer-songwriter David Crosby sits down with Simon and Brian in Manchester to discuss the writing of his stunning new album Here If You Listen as well as songs from his previous solo albums and the Crosby, Stills & Nash catalogue. In the conversation, Croz explains what he learned from songwriters like Joni Mitchell and how his collaborations with the Lighthouse and Sky Trails bands have led to one of the most productive periods of his extraordinary career.
With the release of the 'zeitgeist edition' of her hit album The Architect, Paloma Faith joins us to discuss songs like 'Loyal', 'Your Ex', 'Just Be', 'Crybaby', 'Kings and Queens' and past successes like 'Stone Cold Sober' and '30 Minute Love Affair'. Throughout the course of the conversation, Paloma reflects on the importance of collaboration, her passion for poems and lyrics, and the art of writing from experience.
Further to their interview with Chief Creative Advisor Nile Rodgers, Simon and Brian return to the legendary Abbey Road Studios to sit down with Mirek Stiles (Head of Audio Products) and Mark Robertson (Head of Brand & Marketing) for a chat about the past, present and future of the historic recording complex and the exciting innovations taking place there.
Simon and Brian fulfil another lifelong dream as they sit down with legendary songwriter, producer and guitarist Nile Rodgers at Abbey Road Studios. In this detailed conversation, Nile discusses songs from his new album It's About Time, breaks down his approach to the guitar, and reveals the DHM (deep hidden meaning) behind hits for Chic, Sister Sledge, Diana Ross and David Bowie.
In this bonus chat, Simon and Brian take a moment to reflect on the journey that led them to meeting with Paul McCartney, and the crazy week that preceded the experience.
In this special episode, legendary songwriter and Beatle Paul McCartney sits down with Simon and Brian at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to discuss songs from his new album Egypt Station. During the conversation, Paul describes the process of collaborating with Greg Kurstin and Ryan Tedder, how he develops and captures his ideas, his natural flair for melody, and his modular approach to putting different sections together.
Singer-songwriter Miles Kane joins Sodajerker to discuss songs from his new album Coup De Grace including 'Cry On My Guitar', 'Loaded' and 'Shavambacu'. In addition to recalling his early days with The Little Flames and The Rascals, Miles also talks about co-writing with Andy Partridge, Paul Weller, Jamie T, Lana Del Rey and Alex Turner, and discusses his work with the latter for The Last Shadow Puppets.
We sit down with James Skelly and Nick Power of The Coral at Liverpool's Parr Street Studios to discuss the writing of their new album Move Through The Dawn. In addition to reflecting on tuneful new offerings like 'She's A Runaway', 'Eyes Like Pearls' and 'Strangers In The Hollow', the pair remember their mentor Alan Wills and tell the stories behind hits like 'In The Morning', 'Pass It On' and 'Dreaming of You'.
Tom Ogden, Joe Donovan and Charlie Salt of Stockport's own Blossoms talk about the writing of their second album Cool Like You, including songs like 'I Can't Stand It', 'Unfaithful', 'There's A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)', 'How Long Will This Last' and 'Stranger Still'. The band reflect on the role of synthesisers on this record, how the group dynamic imbues the songs with specific qualities, and their relationship with producer and mentor James Skelly.