Posts tagged ‘Songwriter’

March 16, 2020

Weird Al Yankovic


Weird Al Yankovic (b.1959) is an American musical comedian whose humorous songs make light of popular culture and often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts; original songs that are style pastiches of the work of other acts; and polka medleys of several popular songs, featuring his favored instrument, the accordion.

Since his first-aired comedy song in 1976, he has sold more than 12 million albums (as of 2007), recorded more than 150 parody and original songs, and performed more than 1,000 live shows. His works have earned him five Grammy Awards and a further eleven nominations, four gold records, and six platinum records in the United States. Yankovic’s first top ten Billboard album (‘Straight Outta Lynwood’) and single (‘White & Nerdy’) were both released in 2006, nearly three decades into his career.

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April 8, 2014

Max Richter


Max Richter [rik-ter] (b. 1966) is a British composer. He studied composition and piano at the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Academy of Music, and with Italian composer Luciano Berio in Florence. After finishing his studies, Richter co-founded the contemporary classical ensemble Piano Circus. He stayed with the group for ten years, commissioning and performing works by Arvo Pärt, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe, and Steve Reich. The ensemble was signed to Decca/Argo, producing five albums.

In 1996, Richter collaborated with Future Sound of London on their album ‘Dead Cities,’ beginning as a pianist, but ultimately working on several tracks, as well as co-writing one track (titled ‘Max’). He subsequently worked with the band over a period of two years, also contributing to the albums ‘The Isness’ and ‘The Peppermint Tree and Seeds of Superconsciousness.’ In 2000, he worked with Mercury Prize winner Roni Size on the Reprazent album ‘In the Møde.’ Richter produced English singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan’s 2005 album ‘Lookaftering’ and Sneaker Pimps lead singer Kelli Ali’s 2008 album ‘Rocking Horse.’

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October 29, 2013


Patrice Wilson is a Nigerian singer and songwriter who goes by the stage names Pato and Fat Usher. He got his start in music as a backup singer with Malian-Slovak pop star Ibrahim Maiga (and learned to speak fluent Slovak while touring Eastern Europe). 

Wilson moved to the US in 2001, where he took his flavor of Nigerian music, along with eastern Europe pop, and combined it with hip-hop. In 2010 he co-founded ARK Music Factory in partnership with Clarence Jey, an Australian record producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist musician. Jey left the following year, with Wilson remaining the CEO of the company. He co-authored and co-produced alongside Jey the song ‘Friday’ sung by Rebecca Black.

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June 21, 2012

Sébastien Tellier

look by sebastien tellier

Sébastien Tellier (b. 1974) is a French singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is currently signed to Record Makers, a French independent record label. He sings in English, French, and Italian. Tellier’s first album, ‘L’incroyable Vérité’ (‘The Incredible Truth’), was released in 2001.

Tellier’s sophomore album ‘Politics’ was released in 2005. A particularly popular song from Politics was ‘La Ritournelle,’ a string-led tune, which featured Nigerian drummer, Tony Allen of Fela Kuti fame. ‘La Ritournelle’ was remixed by various artists, notably in Britain by Metronomy. Tellier has also recorded an acoustic album of his more popular songs, ‘Sessions’ in 2006. His third studio album ‘Sexuality’ was produced by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk.

May 16, 2012

Martin Sharp

Ultramarine Boofhead by martin sharp

Martin Sharp (b. 1942) is an Australian artist, underground cartoonist, songwriter and film-maker. His famous psychedelic posters of Bob Dylan, Donovan, and others, rank as classics of the genre, alongside the work of Rick Griffin, Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, and Milton Glaser.

His covers, cartoons and illustrations were a central feature of ‘Oz’ magazine, both in Australia and in London. Martin co-wrote one of Cream’s most famous songs, ‘Tales of Brave Ulysses,’ created the cover art for Cream’s ‘Disraeli Gears’ and ‘Wheels of Fire’ albums, and in the 1970s, he became a champion of singer Tiny Tim, and of Sydney’s embattled Luna Park.

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May 11, 2012

Childish Gambino

childish gambino

Donald Glover (b. 1983) is an American actor, writer, comedian, and musician. Glover first came to attention for his work in the sketch group Derrick Comedy. He is best known for being a writer for ’30 Rock,’ and for his role the NBC comedy series ‘Community.’ In 2011, Glover signed to Glassnote Records under the stage name Childish Gambino; his first studio album, ‘Camp,’ was released in 2011. Glover DJs and produces his own music under the moniker ‘mcDJ.’

His music is of the electronic/remix variety and is often made available for free download via his official site. Glover raps as Childish Gambino, a name he found from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator. His work touches on family issues, schoolyard bullying, troubled romantic relationships, suicidal thoughts, and alcoholism. He has disowned his 2005 album, ‘The Younger I Get,’ as the too-raw ramblings of what he calls a ‘decrepit Drake.’

April 26, 2012

Ken Nordine


Ken Nordine (b. 1920) is an American voiceover and recording artist best known for his series of ‘Word Jazz’ albums. His deep, resonant voice has also been featured in many commercial advertisements and movie trailers. One critic wrote that ‘you may not know Ken Nordine by name or face, but you’ll almost certainly recognize his voice.’ During the 1940s, he was heard on ‘The World’s Great Novels’ and other radio programs broadcast from Chicago. He attracted wider attention when he recorded the aural vignettes on ‘Word Jazz’ (1957), which features Nordine’s narration over cool jazz by the Chico Hamilton jazz group, recording under the alias of Fred Katz, who was then the cellist with Hamilton’s quintet.

Nordine began performing and recording such albums at the peak of the beat era and was associated with the poetry-and-jazz movement. However, some of Nordine’s ‘writings are more akin to Franz Kafka or Edgar Allan Poe’ than to the beats. Many of his word jazz tracks feature critiques of societal norms. Some are lightweight and humorous, while others reveal dark, paranoid undercurrents and bizarre, dream-like scenarios. Nordine was Linda Blair’s vocal coach for her role in ‘The Exorcist.’

March 20, 2012

Phil Spector

back to mono

Phil Spector (b. 1939) is an American musician (piano, guitar), songwriter and record producer. He was co-owner of Philles Records (with then-business partner Lester Sill), and later owner of Phil Spector Records. In 2009 he was found guilty of second degree murder. Spector’s signature style was called the Wall of Sound. He used large amounts of echo, doubling and multiplying of musical instruments and the parts to be played, and overdubbing of recorded parts. The built-up effect gave his records an operatic, theatrical quality. The music sounded ‘bigger than life.’

The effect carried over especially well on AM radio, which was how most music was broadcast in the 1950s and 1960s. Spector said the Wall of Sound made ‘…little symphonies for kids…’ The recording artists who worked with Spector over the years included The Crystals (‘Then He Kissed Me’), The Ronettes (‘Be My Baby’), The Righteous Brothers (‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,’ Gene Pitney (‘Every Breath I Take’), Darlene Love (‘(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry’), and Tina Turner (‘River Deep, Mountain High’). Sonny Bono and Cher were among his backup singers. He married Veronica (Ronnie) Bennett of the Ronettes, who took the name Ronnie Spector.

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February 16, 2012

Emil Schult

computer world

Emil Schult (b. 1946) is a German painter, poet and musician. He is most famous for his collaborations with the electronic music band Kraftwerk. He has created most of their sleeve designs since 1973. He also co-wrote the lyrics of some famous Kraftwerk songs.

For a short while around 1973, Schult also played guitar in the group; this was to be short-lived, since Schult by his own admission is not quite good enough to be a professional musician, and since the group had started to develop its synth-based sound it no longer had any use for a guitarist.

December 30, 2011

Ivan Neville


Ivan Neville (b. 1959) is a multi-instrumentalist musician, singer, and songwriter. He is the son of Aaron Neville and nephew to members of The Neville Brothers. While it was never a huge charting song, Neville’s ‘Why Cant I Fall In Love’ become a sleeper fan-favorite, gaining fame from the 1990 Soundtrack to the Christian Slater film, ‘Pump Up the Volume.’ Neville has played with and appeared on several Neville Brother records, as well as his father’s solo records.

He performed in Bonnie Raitt’s band from 1985 to 1987. He also contributed keyboards to two Rolling Stones albums, 1986’s ‘Dirty Work’ and 1994’s ‘Voodoo Lounge’ as well as being a member of Keith Richards’ solo band the X-Pensive Winos. In 1988, he toured with Richards. In 2003, he formed his own band Dumpstaphunk. When the levees failed in New Orleans in 2005, Neville joined The New Orleans Social Club and recorded the benefit album ‘Sing Me Back Home’ with producers Leo Sacks and Ray Bardani at Wire Studios in Austin, Texas.

June 7, 2011



Santi White (b. 1976), better known by her stage name Santigold, is an American songwriter, producer, and singer. Her debut album Santogold was released in 2008. The artist got her pseudonym in the 1990s from a friend’s nickname for her. Santigold was the singer of the Philadelphia-based punk rock band Stiffed, whose 2003 album, ‘Sex Sells,’ and 2005 album, ‘Burned Again,’ were produced by Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jenifer. In February 2009, Santogold changed her stage name to Santigold, as a result of infomercial jeweller Santo Gold threatening legal action.

White’s style has been compared often to that of M.I.A. White said of the M.I.A. comparison that they are both ‘women who have similar influences and have worked with some of the same people,’ but that her music is different, adding ‘I can’t think of anybody who would be a better fit of somebody who I’m like… I think what’s accurate about that comparison is that she’s an artist who has loads of different influences… and is putting things together in a way that’s unexpected and genreless.’ Santigold and her friend Amanda Blank have been described as being part of ‘a new crop of young, multicultural, female acts in the wake of M.I.A.’ White also stated her liking for New Wave, stating that ‘My Superman’ is an interpolation of a Siouxsie and the Banshees’ song, ‘Red Light.’

June 6, 2011

Dr. Dre

the chronic

Andre Romelle Young (b. 1965), primarily known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is an American record producer, rapper, and record executive. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and a former co-owner and artist of Death Row Records, also having produced albums for and overseeing the careers of many rappers signed to those record labels, such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent. As a producer he is credited as a key figure in the popularization of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats.

Dr. Dre began his career in music as a member of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru and he later found fame with the influential gangsta rap group N.W.A with Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Mc Ren, and DJ Yella which popularized the use of explicit lyrics in rap to detail the violence of street life. His 1992 solo debut, ‘The Chronic,’ released under Death Row Records, led him to become one of the best-selling American performing artists of 1993. In 1996, he left Death Row to establish his own label, Aftermath Entertainment. Under that label he produced and released a solo album titled ‘2001’ in 1999.

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