Podcast

Interviews with some of the world’s most successful songwriters.

Fraser T Smith Episode 118 – Fraser T Smith

In this episode, Simon and Brian visit the London studio of Grammy and Ivor Novello-winning songwriter and producer Fraser T Smith. Fraser talks about the writing of songs like ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ (Adele), ‘Break Your Heart’ (Taio Cruz) and ‘Broken Strings’ (James Morrison) and his collaborative partnerships with Stormzy, Craig David and Dave among others. Fraser also reflects on his approach to learning through studying online and how he strives to make meaningful work that will resonate over time.

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Fran Healy Episode 117 – Fran Healy

The delightful Fran Healy of Travis discusses the writing of classic songs like ‘Driftwood’, ‘Writing to Reach You’, ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me’, ‘Turn’, ‘Sing’, ‘Side’ and ‘Flowers in the Window’. In the course of the conversation, Fran reflects on the importance of never having a plan, how he make songs relatable, and his new film Almost Fashionable, a documentary about Travis.

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Stanley Clarke Episode 116 – Stanley Clarke

Bassist and composer Stanley Clarke sits down with Simon and Brian to chat about his work on solo and Return to Forever tracks like ‘Lopsy Lu’, ‘School Days’, ‘Hello Jeff’ and ‘The Magician’. Stanley describes his collaborations with the likes of Louis Johnson (‘We Supply’), George Duke (‘Let’s Get Started’) and Gregory Hines (‘Bassically Taps’) and details his approach to film scoring for movies like Passenger 57 and What’s Love Got To Do With It.

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Rupert Holmes Episode 115 – Rupert Holmes

Singer-songwriter, composer, arranger, playwright and author Rupert Holmes discusses songs from his lavish new box set Songs That Sound Like Movies: The Complete Epic Recordings from Cherry Red Records. The polymath and raconteur talks Simon and Brian through the writing of classic songs like ‘Widescreen’, ‘Him’, ‘Timothy’, ‘Brass Knuckles’, ‘Studio Musician’, ‘Terminal’, ‘Partners in Crime’, and of course ‘Escape (The Piña Colada Song)’. Rupert also describes writing for Barbra Streisand, collaborating with Marvin Hamlisch, and the secret of managing his many projects.

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Andrew W.K. Episode 114 – Andrew W.K.

Andrew W.K. sits down in London with Simon and Brian to talk about his new album You’re Not Alone. In this wide-ranging conversation, Andrew describes how his philosophy, his knowledge of music and his instrumental skills inform his approach to writing and recording songs like ‘Music Is Worth Living For’, ‘Party Mindset’ and ‘You’re Not Alone’. The Party God also describes the processes behind some classics from his back catalogue including ‘Party Hard’ and ‘Don’t Call Me Andy’.

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Nell Bryden Episode 113 – Nell Bryden

Singer-songwriter Nell Bryden describes the writing of her recent album Bloom including the songs ‘Thought I Was Meant For You’, ‘Barcelona’s Gone’ and ‘Dared the World and Won’. From the back catalogue, we also go in-depth on ‘Sirens’, ‘Buildings and Treetops’ and ‘Wayfarer’ while Nell reflects on confessional writing styles, using unfamiliar instruments, and the power of prose.

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Charlie Dore Episode 112 – Charlie Dore

The brilliant Charlie Dore sits down with Simon and Brian to talk about the writing of her most recent album, Dark Matter. Charlie also talks in detail about her classic hit ‘Pilot of the Airwaves’, working on TV’s Rainbow, co-writing songs like ‘Ain’t No Doubt’ (Jimmy Nail), ‘Rain, Tax (It’s Inevitable)’ (Céline Dion), and ‘Strut’ (Sheena Easton), and her time spent in the company of friends and colleagues like Eric Idle, George Harrison and Harry Nilsson.

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Rita Wilson Episode 111 – Rita Wilson

To kick off 2018, Simon and Brian sit down with actress and singer-songwriter Rita Wilson to talk about her journey into songwriting, her recent eponymous album, collaborations with a range of world-class writers both in LA and Nashville, and her live music series: Liner Notes: Songwriters, Stories and Music with Rita Wilson and Friends.

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Noel Gallagher Episode 110 – Noel Gallagher

This special episode features a sit down with legendary British songwriter Noel Gallagher who talks about his approach to writing the new High Flying Birds album Who Built The Moon? as well as classic Oasis songs like ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ and ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’. In describing his work, Noel likens the discipline of songwriting to fishing, and, in that way only he can, expresses his distaste for artists who rely on songwriting teams.

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Naughty Boy Episode 109 – Naughty Boy

In this episode, Simon and Brian visit the Ealing studios of celebrated UK producer and songwriter Naughty Boy (aka Shahid Khan) for a chat about the writing and production behind songs like ‘Diamond Rings’, ‘Clown’, ‘Wonder’, ‘La La La’ and ‘Runnin’ (Lose it All)’. Naughty Boy also talks about his long-standing writing partnership with Emeli Sandé, working with other luminaries like Beyoncé, and completing his next album.

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Emeli Sandé Episode 108 – Emeli Sandé

We sit down with Emeli Sandé in her London studio to talk about the excellent new EP Kingdom Coming and a host of classic songs from throughout her career, including ‘Clown’, ‘Heaven’, ‘Diamond Rings’, ‘Read All About It, Pt III’, ‘Hurts’ and the transcendent smash ‘Next To Me’. Emeli also talks about her songwriting collaborations with artists like Naughty Boy and Alicia Keys.

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Jake Bugg Episode 107 – Jake Bugg

Singer-songwriter Jake Bugg joins Simon and Brian in London to talk about the writing of his new record Hearts That Strain and songs from throughout his career to date, including: ‘How Soon The Dawn’, ‘Waiting’, ‘Southern Rain’, ‘The Man On Stage’, ‘Two Fingers’, ‘Slumville Sunrise’ and ‘Gimme The Love’. Jake also reflects on the co-writing process and his time working with people like Brendan Benson, Mike Crossey and Rick Rubin.

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