Songland: Revitalizing Reality TV

The Lick

Songland is a reality TV show that originally aired on NBC in 2019. It is also available on HULU. The panel of judges consists of well established songwriters along with a famous guest singer who changes every week. The singer comes on the show to choose their next track from a selection of songs. They are written by hopeful writers that wish to make it big in the industry. There are 2 rounds of competition. In the first round, four writers present their songs to the panel of judges and the featured singer. The singer then chooses three writers to advance to the next round. This is where things get really good. The hopeful writers are paired with professional writers. They work together to morph the songs into one they hope that the singer will choose to record.

The Professionals

The professional writers that make up the cast of Songland are Shane McAnally, Ester Dean, and Ryan Tedder. These people are more than likely unknown names to the majority of the population, because, let’s be honest, no one really pays attention to who writes a song. Shane McAnally is a country song writer. He has written songs for Sam Hunt, Keith Urban, and Kenny Chesney to name a few. Ester Dean is often called “The Song Machine” by those in the music industry. She is the mastermind behind a multitude of songs and has written for Selena Gomez, Britney Spears, and Rhianna. You will soon notice Ryan Tedder always has a guitar in his hand, ready to write that next big hit. He was the lead singer for One Republic, so he knows the music industry inside and out. He is the genuis behind Beyonce’s “Halo.” Ryan has also written for such big names as Taylor Swift and Adele.

The Hook

Many of the current reality TV shows seem to be carbon copies of shows that have come before. This show is not, and provides an inside look at the song writing process. The contestants present their songs to the judges, and then they collaborate. They make changes to things like the lyrics and tempo immediately following the song pitch. It is insightful to see the professionals at work. After this they are paired up, professional with hopeful, to develop a finished product that is molded to the guest artist’s personality. Sometimes the finished song is completely unrecognizable from what was first presented. Other times they have added just a few minor tweaks to give it that certain je ne sais quoi. I truly enjoy being able to observe the process from beginning to end. The show always concludes with the guest star’s rendition of the chosen song.

I definitely recommend this show. If you’re a fan of music, this will allow you to experience it in a new way. It really gives you a new respect for the work that goes into a song. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Article Written by Trixie 770

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