Life In ‘Songland’: The Reality Behind NBC’s New Reality Show

“My parents have no idea what I do,” says Shane McAnally, calling from the airport in Los Angeles as he shuffles between his many duties: as a Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and now co-host of NBC’s Songland, a new musical competition show from the producers of The Voice that judges songs, not those who sing them. McAnally’s mom and dad aren’t alone in being a bit confused. The job of a songwriter is likely one of the most important and the least understood in the entire craft of music – and, these days, one of the most proportionately underpaid. All that said, probably not an immediate homerun for compelling TV.

But that’s exactly why McAnally, who has written with the likes of Kacey Musgraves and Sam Hunt, signed on to Songland four years ago, without seeing much more than a preliminary concept. Though he’s based in Nashville, a town that recognizes the songwriter more than perhaps anywhere on earth, McAnally still was mystified by how low on the totem pole of appreciation they actually are. And in today’s climate, where songwriters are now positioned as anonymous faces in the fight for fair compensation against some of the world’s most powerful media corporations – Spotify, Google and Amazon, to name a few – McAnally thought that could simply no longer stand.

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Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?! – Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic

In Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?!, we quiz a grizzled artist on their own career to see how much they can remember – and find out if the booze, loud music and/or tour sweeties has knocked the knowledge out of them. This week: OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, who’s also the purveyor of top-drawer pop tunes for the likes of Beyoncé, Adele, Taylor Swift, and the Jonas Brothers.

1: What did Paul McCartney want the original lyric in ‘Fuh You’ to be?

“(Laughs) So he originally sang ‘I just want to for you’ and I said: ‘Man, to my American brain, it sounds like you’re saying I just want to fuck you – I don’t think you can say that’. He was like (He does a pitch-perfect Macca imitation): ‘But what if it’s true?’ So then he started singing ‘I just want to shag you’, and I was like that doesn’t work either!  We had a back and forth debate and settled on ‘Fuh’. I’m pretty sure that’s how the conversation went.”

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Ryan talks about copyright cases, why OneRepublic will never be A-listers and his new TV show with Simon Fuller

Ryan Tedder has written some of pop’s biggest hits, including Beyonce’s Halo, Ed Sheeran’s Happier and, for his own band OneRepublic, Counting Stars.

But he says pop is in danger of being stifled by the rise in copyright cases.

“It’s a conversation in every writing session,” he tells the BBC.

“The odds of getting sued in this day and age are so high, we’re going to get to a point where nobody can write anything – because everything will be derivative of something else.

“It’s just ludicrous.”

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Ryan Tedder on the return of OneRepublic

It’s been over 12 years since slow-burning bop “Apologize” dropped on the charts and we were introduced to Colorado-hailed pop-rockers OneRepublic. And the obsession has held steady, as fast-forward and the band are still pumping out impossibly catchy feel-good ear worms (you will have pressed play on “Good Life”, “Secrets” and “Counting Stars”), with collaborations over time with the likes of Timbaland, Peter Gabriel and Santigold to name a few.

And now, after a two-year hiatus, the band are back in a big way, dropping their new single, soaring head-bopper “Rescue Me,” accompanied by a cinematic music video. In the visuals a young boy flees from a group of bullies and is taken over by the compulsion to dance, with every move beating his assailants back. At one point the boy even uses his new dance-fuelled super powers to accidentally blow over a neighbours fence, revealing none other than OneRepublic playing at your local friendly BBQ.

We chatted to frontman, three-time Grammy winner and all-round multitasker Ryan Tedder about the return of OneRepublic…

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