The latest updates from Sodajerker.

10 songwriting tips for ICMP

ICMP feature

We were recently asked by ICMP, the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London, for our top songwriting tips gleaned from the now 100+ conversations we’ve had on the Sodajerker podcast with world-leading songwriters. We’re nothing if not obliging, so we rustled up a few thoughts in response to their questions.

You can read the results here.

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Our first podcast with a live audience

Brian, Sam, Simon

In March 2018 we did our first ever podcast recording in front of a live audience. It went really well and we were delighted by the whole experience.

The event was a success for two reasons: firstly, we were working with a wonderful organisation, APRA AMCOS, which is an Australian royalty collection society for songwriters and composers. They have over 95,000 members and do great work on their behalf. Their London office is based at the famous RAK Studios, and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to record there with a special guest.

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Riffs on The Beatles

Sodajerker with Dave Kane

To celebrate the recent second issue of the popular music journal Riffs, which Simon guest edited, Simon and Brian sat down with researcher Dave Kane for a chat about The Beatles. You can listen here:

Two recent mentions in The Guardian

Guardian Guide

Catching up on some kind mentions in the press this week, we thought we’d post these two recent shout-outs in The Guardian.

The first of these appeared in October 2017 and was written by esteemed music journalist David Hepworth, who selected us as part of ‘the week’s best radio’.

The second appeared in November’s Guardian Guide, recommending the Sodajerker podcast as one of the ’10 best things to do this week’.

Thanks to them for taking notice of our homespun show and for including it alongside coverage of BBC Radio programmes, and some of our favourite artists.

Sodajerker On Reaching 100 Episodes

Brian and Simon of Sodajerker

In late July of 2011, during a break from demoing a new song, Simon and I sat in our little loft studio in the Liverpool suburbs and tentatively discussed the possibility of doing a podcast. A songwriting podcast, to be precise. Our motivation was thus: we’d been plugging away, writing songs under the Sodajerker sobriquet for a while and, to put it bluntly, were looking for ways to attract some attention to ourselves and the music we were making. Podcasting was becoming increasingly popular medium, so we figured that this could be one small way to put ourselves on the map.

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2017: A Prince Odyssey

Purple balloons at the memorial fence at Paisley Park

For Christmas 1989, when I was 10 and a half, I got my first Sony Walkman (still one of the best presents I’ve ever received) and a cassette to play on it – Prince’s soundtrack for Tim Burton’s Batman movie, released earlier that year, with which I was obsessed at the time. It was the first album I ever owned, and the only one for a while, so I would play it on a near-constant loop until the tempos slowed and vocals deepened as the Walkman’s batteries ran out of juice. Admittedly, this listening frenzy was as much to do with my childhood Batman obsession as the soundtrack, but now I realise my future musical tastes were being subtly shaped too.

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Al Jarreau (1940-2017)

Our shared love of Al Jarreau goes back almost two decades. We were introduced to his music via the track ‘Roof Garden’ while studying at the Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts in late 1997 and were immediately drawn to his remarkable, elastic voice and the sheer joie de vivre it exuded (not to mention the quite irresistible funkiness of the song in question).

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Feature in NewStatesman


We are very happy to have contributed some thoughts on podcasting to this NewStatesman article.

The piece, which includes some kind words about us from Caroline Crampton, looks at how podcasts are reinventing music journalism by examining two of the most popular music shows, Sodajerker On Songwriting and Song Exploder.

Hope you’ll check it out!

Sodajerker on BBC Music

BBC Music promo

Following the broadcast of our BBC World Service documentary The Secrets of Songwriting (available now on BBC iPlayer), BBC Music showcased us on their homepage. Thanks guys!

You can see BBC Music promo while its live, and listen to The Secrets of Songwriting online. The programme is also available as a podcast via the World Service on iTunes.

BBC News feature

Sodajerker on BBC News

Following the broadcast of our BBC World Service documentary The Secrets of Songwriting (available on BBC iPlayer for the next 30 days), BBC News have produced a feature recounting some of the stories told on the podcast.

In the article, Motown legend Lamont Dozier talks about writing ‘Stop! In the Name of Love’ with the Holland brothers, Allee Willis describes the writing of ‘Boogie Wonderland’ for Earth, Wind & Fire, and Kenny Loggins talks about penning the Doobie Brothers hit ‘What a Fool Believes’ with Michael McDonald.

You can read the article on the BBC website, and listen to The Secrets of Songwriting on BBC iPlayer.

Sodajerker to Present BBC Radio Special on Songwriting

Sodajerker at Parr Street Studios

Simon Barber and Brian O’Connor of the Liverpool-based songwriting team Sodajerker are set to present a new one-hour BBC World Service radio documentary called The Secrets of Songwriting.

The programme, which derives from the duo’s hugely popular podcast, Sodajerker On Songwriting, features some of the world’s most renowned songwriters talking about their working processes and sharing the stories behind their biggest hits.

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NME names Sodajerker one of 13 essential podcasts

Sodajerker in NME

We’re on a bit of a roll at the moment with prestigious publications and media outlets picking up on the Sodajerker podcast and including it in their lists of recommended shows. NME is the latest to show us some love, selecting Sodajerker On Songwriting as one of 13 essential podcasts alongside monster successes like Serial and This American Life.

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