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Music Is My Life
34 minutes | Jan 19, 2022
067: Arooj Aftab
Arooj Aftab began getting notice with a viral cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” more than 15 years ago, but with two Grammy nominations, she has finally arrived (and quit her day job at Genius.com). Her 2021 “Vulture Prince” album is a stunning work that frequently reaches transcendence. In this wide ranging interview, she discusses playing White Stripes covers, how she composed some of her most poignant music, and taking classes with Berklee Online.
27 minutes | Nov 1, 2021
066: Bruce Sudano
Bruce Sudano has written songs that have been sung by Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, and his late wife, Donna Summer. He discusses coming up in Brooklyn and being taken under the wing of Tommy James, and meeting Donna Summer, writing "Bad Girls" and appearing on the album cover as a police officer. He also plays a stripped down version of that song, and talks about how he has been able to pave a solo career for himself in recent years.
38 minutes | Oct 8, 2021
065: José González
José González discusses his life in music, beginning with his tenure as a bassist in a hardcore band, through his time with Junip, and up to his latest release, "Local Valley." He also shares his views on secular humanism and how he was able to be more productive with lyric writing.
53 minutes | Sep 13, 2021
064: Colin Blunstone of the Zombies
Colin Blunstone began his career in music as a teenager with the Zombies. After a run of successful singles in the 1960s the group broke up, but not before releasing their masterpiece, “Odessey and Oracle,” featuring the mega-hit “Time of the Season.” A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Colin and Rod Argent reformed the Zombies at the turn of the century and have been playing together for about four times as long as the band’s original run.
43 minutes | Jun 28, 2021
063: Don Letts
Don Letts provides an important lesson in the fact that even if you don’t play an instrument, you can still be a part of the music industry, and not just on the business side either. He got his start as a DJ, and is widely credited for introducing reggae into the burgeoning punk rock scene in London in the 1970s, but he doesn’t want all of that credit.
30 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
062: Butch Vig of Garbage
You know Butch Vig as the drummer and producer of Garbage, or you know him as the producer of genre-defining albums from Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, but there is more to him than that. He has been working with most of the people he makes music with for more than 30 years. The new Garbage album, No Gods No Masters, is out now.
49 minutes | May 31, 2021
061: Sly and Robbie—Sly Dunbar
If you’ve heard any reggae music in your entire life then you’ve heard Sly Dunbar’s drumming, or at the very least, his influence. As one half of Sly and Robbie, he says he’s probably played on a million songs. Sly and Robbie got their start as the rhythm section for Peter Tosh in 1976, and after touring with him for a number of years started Taxi, where they would produce other artists and/or act as their rhythm section. Collaborators included the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Black Uhuru, Madonna, Grace Jones, Sinead O’Connor, Serge Gainsbourg, No Doubt, Britney Spears, and probably a million more.
52 minutes | May 17, 2021
060: Anna Bulbrook
Anna Bulbrook began studying violin at 4. She quit at 21, but a gig with Kanye West changed that. She helped found the Airborne Toxic Event the next week.
48 minutes | May 2, 2021
059: Hailu Mergia
Hailu Mergia is a master accordionist and veteran bandleader, arranger, and keyboardist, originally from Ethiopia. He became famous in his homeland in the 1970s, playing with the Walias Band and the Dahlak Band. In the 1980s he defected to the US and did not play in public for decades. But all of that changed recently!
40 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
058: Margo Nahas and Jay Vigon
Margo Nahas and Jay Vigon are partners in life, love, and business, and have designed classic album covers by iconic acts like Prince, Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac, and Stevie Wonder.
51 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
057: Kamilah Marshall
Kamilah Marshall is a seasoned Broadway performer whose credits include Rent, Lion King, and Hairspray. From there, she toured with Bette Midler, Matthew Morrison from Glee, and is currently a backup singer for Taylor Swift.
60 minutes | Mar 22, 2021
056: Huey Lewis
Huey Lewis discusses his meteoric rise to fame in the 1980s, his struggles with Ménière’s disease, and everything in between (clothes shopping with Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, soccer with Ozzy, etc.) in this wide ranging interview.
47 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
055: Steven Wilson
Steven Wilson has been a part of more than a dozen musical projects and/or bands, most notably Porcupine Tree. After 10 studio albums, they broke up in 2009. Wilson released his sixth solo album, The Future Bites, earlier this year, and he still involves himself in collaborative endeavors, including a podcast called The Album Years, which he co-hosts with Tim Bowness, who was one of Wilson’s first formative musical collaborators, beginning in the 1980s with the band No Man.
51 minutes | Feb 22, 2021
054: Lady A
Lady A (the Seattle-based singer) discusses her life in music, and her ongoing legal battle with Lady A (the Nashville-based trio who formerly called themselves Lady Antebellum).
52 minutes | Dec 21, 2020
053: This is the Kit —Kate Stables
Kate Stables of This is the Kit discusses her new album, Off Off On, having fun with words, touring with the National, and turning her daughter on to Lizzo.
41 minutes | Dec 6, 2020
052: AJR—Jack and Ryan Metzger
AJR are three brothers—Adam, Jack, and Ryan Metzger—who began their music career on New York City streets, where they busked daily for hours at a time. The two brothers who take part in this interview—Ryan and Jack—say that years of trying to get people’s attention off the streets was formative to their work ethic and the constant need to one-up themselves in songwriting and their live show, including their upcoming virtual concert, dubbed One Spectacular Night.
39 minutes | Nov 23, 2020
051: Gavin Rossdale of Bush
Gavin Rossdale had tracked all of the songs on what would become Bush’s multiplatinum debut, but he was still painting dentist’s offices. In this wide-ranging interview, he talks sudden (and enduring) success, his favorite Gwen Stefani tunes, and more.
34 minutes | Nov 8, 2020
050: Lee "Scratch" Perry
Lee "Scratch" Perry on working with Bob Marley, inventing dub, and a lifetime of being "the Upsetter."
58 minutes | Oct 25, 2020
049: The Go! Team
Ian Parton and Ninja of the Go! Team talk about how to turn a solo kitchen recording project into an energetic live ensemble that stays together for nearly 20 years.
44 minutes | Oct 11, 2020
048: Joe Wong (The Trap Set)
Joe Wong talks to Pat Healy on hosting The Trap Set podcast, creating his solo debut, "Nite Creatures," and scoring for shows like Russian Doll and Master of None. Visit musicismylifepod.com and save $100 on a Berklee Online course.
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