Sunday, April 26, 2009

Turn and walk away tonight

Songwriter update (because yes, I am a total songwriter nerd-in-training):

Jessie J (pictured), the British singer that Worrapolava has championed, was signed a few months ago. That's not news. What is news is that she's had Dr. Luke and Claude Kelly (working together, Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You," Britney's "Circus") writing for her.

Claude Kelly (in addition to the songs mentioned above, Leona Lewis's "Forgive Me," Lemar's "If She Knew," Linda Teodosiu's "Love Sux") has also been working with Jordin Sparks, who, in addition to working with Lucas Secon (the Pussycat Dolls' "Hush Hush," Sarah Connor's "Under My Skin," Martin's "Show The World") on that song I posted about earlier this year, has apparently gotten at least one song from Ryan Tedder (Leona Lewis's "Bleeding Love," Timbaland feat. OneRepublic's "Apologize") too: Popjustice revealed last week that the lead single for her second album is a Tedder-penned song called "Battlefied." Check out PJ's post for details.

Moving back to Claude Kelly for a moment, as I mentioned earlier, he's also done several songs with the Backstreet Boys recently. A video of him talking about them was posted, but it's since been set to private. In it, though, he mentions "Bye Bye Love" (an up-tempo club-friendly song which features the line "I think I want to stay single, so bye bye love," as revealed earlier), "Don't Try This At Home" (which they sang a cappella at a sound check; it's a "heartbreak record"), and "What I Know Now" (he calls it a "pop urban hybrid;" listen to a non-BSB featuring demo here). He's also working with Wynter Gordon and, somewhat surprisingly, American Idol's Jason Castro.

Ryan Laubscher, the main man behind Alex Roots, has clips of demos for several artists on his official site (click on "Music"). The most noteworthy ones in terms of artist names that I hadn't previously heard elsewhere are Amy Pearson's "Contagious," the title track from her second album (it's more upbeat and electro/dance than I was expecting); Tina Barrett's (formerly of S Club 7) "I'll Be Your Woman;" Alex Roots's "Prisoner" (which sounds like it could potentially be epic in its final form), and Christophe Willem's "Si je tombais" (there's a Pixie song, too, but the full version of that has been on his MySpace, and I think it might just be a demo available for purchase).

Fred Ball of Pleasure (see: his work with Bertine Zetlitz, his producer project Pleasure's "Out Of Love") has done "forthcoming" work with Sophie Ellis-Bextor (that he'd co-written a song with Ina Wroldsen, lately of work with the Saturdays, called "Synchronized" was already known, so this could be referring just to that or to more), Little Boots (not sure whether it's songs we've already heard or not), and Paloma Faith (whose name is popping up all over the place).

Speaking of Ina Wroldsen (as mentioned above, she was the glue that held the Saturdays together in terms of songwriting), I only just found out that she co-wrote the song Lucas Secon (who also co-wrote it) has had listed as Pixie Lott's second single for ages, before we even found out what the first single was, "Gravity." Her recent work also includes a song for Lindsay Lohan called "Stuck" (though given the limbo that project's in, I wouldn't hold your breath to hear it), songs for Leona Lewis called "Thank You Thank You" and "Your Heart," a song for Kat De Luna called "Break Me," and a song for Hayden Panettiere called "Top Up."

Xenomania (Girls Aloud) are keeping busy, with news coming out over the past month that they'll be working with Leona Lewis, and Shayne Ward, both of whom are British X Factor winners.

The most recent X Factor winner, Alexandra Burke (pictured), appears to be working with some big names for her debut album: RedOne (Darin's "Step Up," Lady GaGa's "Just Dance") Stargate (Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable," Rihanna's "Don't Stop The Music"), Brian Kennedy (Rihanna's "Disturbia," Chris Brown's "Forever") Timbaland (Nelly Furtado's "Maneater," Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack;" possibly just met, but maybe worked with), the Freemasons (remixes of Beyoncé songs, Kylie Minogue's "The One"), Claude Kelly, Savan Kotecha (Britney Spears's "If U Seek Amy," Shayne Ward's "No U Hang Up"), Soulshock & Karlin (Alesha Dixon's "Breath Slow"), and probably some people I've left out. In other words: big budget, brand name songwriters--taking Alexandra to major international success is obviously what her management is aiming for.

Do you remember the brilliant Dolly Rockers' song "How Did I End Up With You?" I posted a week ago? Popjustice wrote about it shortly after (and posted a clip of the studio version) and revealed (well, clued me in) that the songwriter behind it and the majority of the project is Ray Hedges.

On the subject of girl bands promoted on PopJustice, Girls Can't Catch's debut single "Keep Your Head Up" is written and produced by Chris Braide (the Saturdays' "Chasing Lights," D-Side's "Invisible"). The live version has shown the song so have a lot of potential, but the clips of the studio version we've heard so far are lacking punch; they sound like demos. Hopefully there's still time to improve the production on them.

I'm sure I forgot something I meant to mention, but that'll do for now.


Paul said...

that's a lot of information to digest in 60 seconds :) I am thrilled that Xenomania are working with Shayne and Leona. It irritates me somewhat that Alexandra gets hooked up with all those great writers and producers while Shayne sort of got the shaft, but despite my bitterness I shall still give the Alexandra album a fair whirl when it comes out because, well, Leona totally turned me around. I'd like to see a post on whose career you think would be saved by working with particular writers or producers :)

Poster Girl said...

Shayne got some theoretically good songwriters for his second album and getting a Max Martin song for it cannot have been cheap. Speaking in generalities, too, there's no reason you need to get the biggest American names to get good songs (see the Saturdays, for example, who did well by getting pretty well-known but not Timbaland level of fame writers). I guess where he got hurt money was the budget for promotion or any sort of sustained campaign seemed to be lacking, didn't it? Or maybe I've misremembered it all with the passing of time...could be that he didn't get the songwriters' best work, but even if that is the case, I very much doubt it was deliberate.

OK, so now that I've taken your comment and gone off on a bunch of tangents, to return back to what you said: that would be an interesting post! I'm not sure I'd even know where to begin...

Mel said...

Wow - Alexandra really is packing on the big names...her cover of "Hallelujah" didn't do too much for me but after seeing that list, there's gotta be at least one track that is crazyamazing, if not the whole record...

I wasn't too intrigued by the Dolly Rockers until you mentioned them, and they spark my attention much more than Girls Can't Catch (who right now kind of sound like a Saturdays wannabe least to me). I love how heavy their accents are -- it allows me to indulge in that other side of me that is clearly British, clearly electro, and clearly a popstar. Haha.

Any chance Xenomania will write on that Chery solo album? What are your thoughts on that?

raspberry29 said...

You forgot to mention Luigi Masi's song with Ina Wroldsen and Lucas Secon!

xolondon said...

Great post! You need a newspaper column now, seriously!

Aaron said...

Well, So much Information - I only skimmed name wise - Reading people i'm Interested in.

Well, I'm yet to be disappointed by Ryan Tedder yet - Hopefully that continues.

I want to hear Ina's songs - A lot. Mostly, I think I want the albums associated with those singers...:P

Holy Wow!!! - Alexandra Burke is aiming high! - What are we looking at - One hot dance/pop/r'n'b hybrid with like 100 top ten hits?!!!

Plus, I'm quite excited about the Dolly Rockers and Girls Can't Catch!

Damian said...

Glad about Alexandra, this girl is fantastic artist and can have big future.

Nikki said...

Whoa - that WAS a lot! hahah.

I never knew Amy Pearson had a second album, will do some digging later.

So maybe my fears for Alex won't happen. Judging by the producers she's working with, maybe Simon won't make her into another Leona which is good for her and us(do we really need another one?)

Oh, and wasn't there another Girls Can't Catch song written by Shaznay or one of the girls from All Saints? I'm so behind on all of this - curse getting the flu.

Poster Girl said...

Mel, let's hope there's something killer on there--I'm not too invested in Alexandra's career, but if she makes some amazing music, I'll be behind her for sure. Girls Can't Catch DO have some of that Saturdays-wannabe style to them and, if they don't brush up the production on their songs, they won't be able to surpass that, but if they make songs like "Keep Your Head Up" as good as they could be, the sound is one I love enough to keep listening to from whomever. Dolly Rockers are definitely a group you can't accuse of stealing anyone else's sound, though. That other side is amazing, of course. I do have something to say about Cheryl, but I think I'll go say that over at your blog...

Raspberry29, I didn't know he was doing one! I know the new single is by Lucas--is that the one you're talking about or is it another song? If it's the former, I'd have had to leave it out of this post. Any songwriter news is very welcome.

XO, don't I wish...but thank you!

Aaron, skimming is totally understandable--I tried to format it to make it easier for people to do that since I know not everyone cares about all these people. Ryan Tedder has left me unimpressed quite often, though I'm not 100% positive that's his fault: I think that, like some other big name songwriters, he's such a "name" at this point that people are willing to buy whatever song he's willing to sell them, even if it's of lower quality. A general "yes" for everything else you said.

Damian, the world can always use another great popstar.

Nikki, I didn't either! I saw it mentioned only in very few places. Not out yet, but apparently later, though who knows--it could all be very "speculative"; I'm not sure if somewhere is ready to release it. It does sound as if Alex is getting taken in a much more contemporary fun direction, which is probably for the best for both her sake (fewer comparisons to the previous X Factor winner) and my personal preferences. I believe you're right about Shaznay!

Nikki said...

I'd love to hear an all-uptempo album from Alex for quite a number of reasons. Mainly because I really don't want another whine-y, 'big'-voice wannabe like Leona and that would mean that Simon can actually produce an uptempo album without failing miserably. hmmm.

EQ said...

I've totally become a Dolly Rockers fan as of late. I thought I would hate them, but I surprisingly love them.