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VERSED: The ASCAP Podcast
65 minutes | 15 days ago
Episode 18 - Herb Alpert
One of the most accomplished artists in the music industry, Herb Alpert has sold over 72 million records and co-founded A&M Records, one of the most successful independent music labels in history and home to such artists as The Carpenters, Quincy Jones, Cat Stevens and Peter Frampton. A brand new documentary, Herb Alpert Is…, directed by John Scheinfeld, provides a passionate and inspiring look at the life and work of Alpert and the incredible impact he’s had on American culture. Trumpet in hand, Herb Alpert first rose to fame in the 1960s with his Latin-flavored group the Tijuana Brass Band and has gone on to earn 15 gold and 14 platinum records. He has won nine Grammys and received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama in 2012. Less known is his striking work as an abstract painter and sculptor. And he was just named “Philanthropist of the Year” by the Los Angeles Business Journal for his significant support of educational programs in the arts nationwide, from the Harlem School of the Arts and UCLA to the annual ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. Alpert talks to us about his decades-long career, the documentary and what lessons he’s learned - and still learning - on his incredible, artistic journey. Also, award-winning jazz composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Camille Thurman co-hosts and shares some valuable tips on staying inspired, creative and focused on your craft during the pandemic. Then music biz vet Benjamin Groff explains how to find and develop your identity as an artist. If you want to check out the fantastic new film, Herb Alpert Is… ASCAP and the ASCAP Foundation are thrilled to bring you an exciting opportunity to support the Foundation and entertain yourself in the process. Just use our special link to rent and stream the film PLUS watch some exclusive bonus material. 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the ASCAP Foundation to help nurture the music talent of tomorrow. Are you a jazz composer under the age of 30? Submit a new, original work for The ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards, an honor granted annually to encourage talented jazz composers during the earliest stages of their careers. Winning composers will receive a monetary prize. The deadline is December 15, 2020. Check out Benjamin Groff’s first book, How Do I Get A Record Deal? Sign Yourself! - it’s currently available for free. He also has some terrific Teachable courses on songwriting and marketing, which you can find on his website too - he’s offering VERSED listeners 20% off, using code BENJAMIN20. Listen, Watch & Subscribe Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts
70 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 17 - Benjamin Lerner
Songwriter, pianist and rapper Benjamin Lerner is the great grandson of Irving Berlin - the songwriter of “God Bless America” and “White Christmas.” Lerner has continued his family’s musical legacy, first as an award-winning classical pianist, then as a promising rapper who collaborated with Raekwon and Mac Miller. But his hip-hop career was halted when Lerner started using hard drugs, eventually becoming a full-blown heroin addict. Now four years sober, Lerner devotes much of his time to helping others through the recovery process. He talks to VERSED about his new album Clean, a fearless narration of his journey from piano prodigy to IV drug addict to recovery advocate - all set to a unique combination of solo piano and rapped vocals. PLUS: We talk to Mollie Farrell from HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy. At the end of the episode, we’re joined by Loras Schissel of the Library of Congress, who explains why it’s never too early to create an archive of your life as a music creator. +ASCAP has partnered with HeadCount to make sure your vote, and your voice, are heard. Join the ASCAP Citizen campaign - make sure you're registered to vote today! +Visit the ASCAP Legacy page to find out how your music can benefit your successors, long after you wrote it. +Read more about the Irving Berlin collection at the Library of Congress.
59 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 16 - Scarypoolparty
In 2019, the blazingly talented Alejandro Aranda (aka Scarypoolparty) made the finale of American Idol, and made history by performing more original songs than any previous contestant. It was an amazing achievement for a singer-songwriter-musician who was busking the streets of LA just a year before. Aranda followed it up with a daring debut album, Exit Form, which captured the many facets of his uncompromising muse. The same week he releases the fearlessly creative new EP Doom Hologram, Aranda explains to VERSED what it's like to go your own way after gaining so much public attention. PLUS: we check in with American Idol's music supervisor Robin Kaye, and hear an excerpt from our recent ASCAP Experience session with hit songwriters Dan Wilson and Brandy Clark, doing a deep dive into the art of - what else - songwriting. The ASCAP Experience: Home Edition, our summer series of virtual programming designed to inspire, educate and connect music creators at all stages of their careers, is available on-demand now. Listen, Watch & Subscribe Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts
48 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 15 - Rep. Adam Schiff and Paul Williams
ASCAP President Paul Williams talks to the honorable Congressman Adam Schiff of California, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a great champion of music creator rights, about what Congress is doing to include music professionals in coronavirus relief efforts, the need for federal guidelines on restarting live performances at venues, what’s at stake in the US Department of Justice’s upcoming review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees, and how you can join ASCAP in creating positive change for the American music community. This conversation, which took place in July, was part of the ASCAP Experience: Home Edition, our summer series of virtual programming designed to inspire, educate and connect music creators at all stages of their careers. If you missed any of this great series, you can watch all of the programming on-demand now. Listen, Watch & Subscribe Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts
67 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 14 - Du Yun
This past February, Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun premiered her new opera Sweet Land, an ambitious site-specific work that reflects on the way cultures swallow up, resist and intertwine with one other. Two weeks into Sweet Land's initial run, the coronavirus epidemic shut down the production - but not before it was captured on video. Listen to Du Yun talk about this fearlessly creative work, how her Chinese upbringing has impacted her career, and the unexpected gifts of the pandemic. PLUS: ASCAP's Luis Castro tells us about the big news coming out of the ASCAP Latin world this week. Sweet Land is now available for on-demand streaming. Proceeds will help support the cast and crew. Watch past programming and register for free to participate in the ASCAP Experience: Home Edition Listen, Watch & Subscribe Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts
61 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 13 - Honey Davenport
In celebration of both Black Music Month and Pride Month, we called up the eternally fabulous Honey Davenport - a drag superstar, singer-songwriter and activist who has left an indelible mark on New York’s nightlife and beyond. In their decade-plus entertainment career, they’ve earned 18 pageant crowns, starred in off-Broadway musicals and earned a worldwide audience on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11. As a black, non-binary performer, Davenport has also been faced with discrimination throughout their career, both within and outside of the drag community. We spoke to Davenport about the role of music in drag culture, their activism in support of the Black and queer communities, and what’s they're doing to stay creative and liberated during quarantine. PLUS: rapper and songwriter Gizzle tells us how she's reacting personally and professionally to the protests and the pandemic.
76 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 12 - Sundance Songwriters
Just a few short months ago, ASCAP presented its 22nd Annual Sundance ASCAP Music Café at the heart of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The Café featured eight days of performances from visionary recording artists and songwriters from across the musical spectrum. At the time, we spoke with all of our performers in the green room about their craft, career, inspirations and more. We thought we’d share just a few of these conversations as a reminder that creativity was in full force before the coronavirus pandemic began, that it continues to flourish, and as has always been the case in tough times, music is the thing that will help us all get through this together. You'll hear from Cyn, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Matt Berninger of The National, Rain Phoenix, the Ruen Brothers, Ron Artis II, Barry Zito and ZZ Ward. Also, Erik Philbrook talks to ASCAP EVP of Membership John Titta about ASCAP's support for songwriters, composers and music publishers.
35 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 11 - Techy Fatule
Singer-songwriter, artist and actress Techy Fatule has lived almost her whole life in the entertainment industry. The daughter of Dominican showman Carlos Alfredo Fatule and writer and motivational speaker Tania Baez, Techy grew up in Santo Domingo in a home filled with music and love for the arts. She studied piano, guitar and honed her skills as a vocalist with the best teachers in the Dominican Republic. She started her career as a child-star in the famous Latin American TV show Don Francisco and graduated from the prestigious Berklee School of Music. Her roles in music theatre include "Belle" in Beauty and The Beast; "Deena Jones" in Dreamgirls and "Maureen Johnson" in Rent to name a few. In addition, she has been cast as the leading actress in three movies. A creative force to be reckoned with, Techy’s debut album A Su Tiempo positioned her as the next up and coming Latin American star. After releasing her second album Capitulo 1 she is getting ready to release Capitulo 2 in October of this year. A dynamic presence on the stage, she has performed and opened concerts for such artists as Juan Luis Guerra, Juanes, Ednita Nazario, Kany Garcia to name just a few. She recently sat down to talk with ASCAP’s Sarah Finegold about the evolution of women in music, balancing being a musician with being a mom, her songwriting approach, her new music and what it means to be Dominican. Also, ASCAP’s Jason Reddick talks about how the music community in Atlanta is faring during the pandemic and the ASCAP Urban team’s new #ASCAPRealSounds Instagram Live series. And from the archives, Latin Grammy-winning producer Linda Briceño talks about the value of working with collaborators who can educate you while you create.
49 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 10 - Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Three
Jaren Johnston is a Grammy-nominated country songwriter with hit songs for Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and more. He’s also the leader of The Cadillac Three, a great American rock band from Nashville with a new album called Country Fuzz full of kick-ass songs that celebrate southern living. ASCAP’s very own Evyn Mustoe (who knows Jaren better than most – she’s married to the guy) sat down with him a few weeks back to discuss his dual career. Since their interview, Nashville was hit hard by a tornado and the world was hit hard by the coronavirus. We followed up with Jaren to find out how he, his fellow songwriters and Music City are holding up under the circumstances. Erik Philbrook and Etan Rosenbloom also discuss ASCAP’s new website, ascap.com/musicunitesus, a COVID-19 resource center to help music creators through this difficult time. We’ve assembled info on how to preserve your royalty streams and protect your health and well-being, plus resources for financial assistance. We’ll keep updating it over the coming weeks, so check back often. Listen + Subscribe
51 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 9 - Cassadee Pope
Grammy-nominated, Platinum-certified singer-songwriter Cassadee Pope first gained acclaim as lead singer for the pop-punk group Hey Monday, then rose to fame as the winner of Season 3 of The Voice, before transforming into a #1-selling country artist. Throughout her long and winding career, Pope has never stopped pushing herself creatively. For this special International Women's Day episode of VERSED, ASCAP’s Beth Brinker sat down with Pope in Nashville to talk about a whole range of things: from punk to country music, what she does to stay focused and balanced with her busy career and (what else?) the art, craft and joy of songwriting. PLUS: from the ASCAP archives, hit songwriter Priscilla Renea explains why staying true to your authentic creative self can be great for your career.
58 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 8 - Dom Flemons
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dom Flemons, formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, is also a historian with a passion for the history of black musicians in America. His acclaimed album, Black Cowboys, pays tribute to the music, culture and complex history of the golden era of the Wild West. It received a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Folk Album,” and just last year Flemons won an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for the liner notes he wrote. The recording is now part of the African American Legacy Recordings series, co-produced with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Flemons was in New York City recently where he sat down with ASCAP’s Erik Philbrook and talked about his own musical journey and the experiences of the black music creators who helped pioneer the American west both physically and musically. He also performed a few songs from his acclaimed album. Also, from the ASCAP Archives, we have a clip from our 2018 ASCAP EXPO panel called “The Paths of Rhythm: From Producer to Composer.” The panel featured producer-composers Adrian Younge, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad - an original member of A Tribe Called Quest. The two of them collaborated on the music for the Netflix series Luke Cage. They also have a group called The Midnight Hour, who wrote the bumpin’ theme music for this very podcast! Joining them on the panel was Morgan Rhodes, a music supervisor who’s worked on projects like Selma, Queen Sugar and Dear White People.
39 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 7 (Bonus) - Sundance Film Composers Pt. 2
At the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, ASCAP members' music amplified the impact of dozens of official festival selections. In this bonus episode of VERSED, we talk to another talented group of this year’s Sundance composers: Anne Nikitin (Lost Girls, directed by Academy Award nominee Liz Garbus), Dan Romer (Wendy, directed by Benh Zeitlin), Amanda Jones (Baldwin Beauty, directed by Thembi Banks), Alex Weston (Wander Darkly, directed by Tara Miele) as well as Ryan Miller of Guster who has scored several Sundance favorite films over the years (Safety Not Guaranteed, The Fundamentals of Caring). They share their experiences working with directors on their films and how Sundance has benefited their careers.
46 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 6 - Sundance Film Composers Pt. 1
A great film is a feast for the eyes and the ears. At this year's Sundance Film Festival, ASCAP members' music amplified the impact of dozens of official festival selections. In this special episode of VERSED (Part 1 of 2), we talk to Nainita Desai, Bear McCreary, Alex Somers and Jay Wadley - four ASCAP film composers whose music graced some of the winning films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. PLUS: our very own Amanda Shoffner, ASCAP Director of Film & TV/Visual Media Membership, schools us with some #SoundAdvice about cue sheets - what they are, how to use them, and why they can be a composer's best friend.
74 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 5 - Anaïs Mitchell
Anaïs Mitchell is a contemporary folk singer-songwriter with an ever-growing font of solo and collaborative projects. Her best-known triumph: Hadestown, an avant-garde "folk opera" that underwent a 12-year transformation into a Tony-winning, widely acclaimed Broadway musical. On January 24, just days before Mitchell finds out if she can add a Grammy to her mantle, Mitchell releases her first album with Bonny Light Horseman - a group of indie-folk heroes reinterpreting timeless traditional songs. ASCAP’s Sarah Finegold spoke with Anaïs at ASCAP HQ about living in the world of Hadestown, songwriting craft, tattoos and more. Then Bryan Calhoun, author of Music Business Toolbox, shares some valuable advice for music creators for 2020.
50 minutes | a year ago
Episode 4 - Carly Pearce
Born and bred in Kentucky, Carly Pearce was destined for a life in Country music. After her debut single “Every Little Thing” reached #1 and put her in the rare company of only three women in the last decade to have accomplished that feat, Pearce is now in the vanguard of top women in country music. We spoke with her on the eve of the 2019 ASCAP Country Awards in Nashville, where she celebrated the success of her single "Hide the Wine" onstage, alongside collaborators Ashley Gorley and Hillary Lindsey. Pearce talked to ASCAP’s Beth Brinker about her long journey to “overnight” singer-songwriter success, her career challenges and triumphs, how she stays mentally and physically fit and her highly anticipated new album coming out this Valentine's Day. Beth also offers “Sound Advice” on how and why you should join ASCAP as both a writer and a publisher.
47 minutes | a year ago
Episode 3 - Nicholas Britell
Nicholas Britell is the Academy Award-nominated composer whose music has graced such films as If Beale Street Could Talk and Best Picture Oscar winners Moonlight and 12 Years a Slave as well as Vice, The Big Short and others. He just won an Emmy for his theme to HBO’s critically-acclaimed series Succession and his music can be heard in the new Netflix film The King. He opens up about his educational and professional development, working with some of today’s most provocative film directors such as Barry Jenkins, Adam McKay and Steve McQueen, and what success means - and sounds like - to him. Also, ASCAP SVP of Membership Nicole George-Middleton discusses ASCAP’s support for women in music and offers “Sound Advice” on the importance of working out songwriting splits early in the creative process with your co-writers.
8 minutes | a year ago
Episode 2 - (Bonus Episode) Paul Williams on Recovery and Wellness
In addition to being a legendary songwriter, Paul Williams is uniquely qualified to speak about how essential health and wellness is to one’s music career. Sober for nearly 30 years, Paul is passionate about recovery and works tirelessly to destigmatize alcoholism and addiction. His work in recovery was chronicled in the acclaimed documentary, Paul Williams Still Alive. He is a certified Drug Rehabilitation Counselor. And he co-wrote a best-selling book with Tracey Jackson called Gratitude and Trust: Six Affirmations That Will Change Your Life. As ASCAP launches a new member wellness program, ASCAP TuneUp, designed to help nurture the mind, body and spirit of today’s music creator, Paul shares how recovery and attention to wellness has helped him thrive, and how others can find a healthy balance in their own lives.
44 minutes | a year ago
Episode 1 - Paul Williams
In our debut episode we talk with Paul Williams, the Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe-winning, Hall of Fame songwriter and President of ASCAP. Paul talks about unexpected opportunities and shares the inspiring story of Phantom of the Paradise, a commercial film flop that evolved into one of the most influential works of his career, and amazingly netted him an Album of the Year Grammy with Daft Punk 40 years later. PLUS: From the ASCAP archives, Captain Marvel and Fortnite composer Pinar Toprak talks!
1 minutes | a year ago
VERSED: The ASCAP Podcast - COMING SOON
VERSED: THE ASCAP PODCAST illuminates the heart, soul and power of music with the songwriters and composers whose work makes us feel, sing, dance and want to change the world. Regularly featuring the greatest music creators from a diversity of genres who share the unvarnished truth about their creative life – the struggles, hard work, breakthroughs and paths to success – as well as the wisdom they've earned along the way - VERSED offers insight into the hearts and minds of music professionals like never before. Industry execs also discuss the important issues that affect the livelihoods of all music creators. If music is your life, and you want a creator-centric viewpoint that only ASCAP can offer, then VERSED is required - yet fascinating - listening.
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