Songland Premiere Spoilers: Songwriters Pen Tune for John Legend (Video Photos)

SONGLAND -- Episode X -- Pictured: (l-r) John Legend, Shane McAnally, Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Songland is coming to NBC on Tuesday May 28. Here is everything you need to know about the competition produced by The Voice’s Audrey Morrissey, Eurythmics co-founder and producer Dave Stewart, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder.

The series will provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity for talented up-and-coming songwriters to be exposed to and mentored by three music producers per episode who are responsible for today’s biggest hits. The show airs at 10 pm ET after America’s Got Talent.

We would not miss covering this brand new competition.

Here is how the show will work:

In each episode four or five songwriters will perform their original tracks in front of three top music producers and a major recording artist on an intimate soundstage. Each song’s lyrics, arrangements, beats, melody and story will be considered by the panel as producers engage in a lively discussion about ways to creatively adapt them to better fit the style and sensibility of the recording artist of the week.

After the performances, the mega-recording artist will choose three songwriters to move forward to the studio and pair them each with the producer best suited to perfect their song. In the studio, the songs will take shape in unexpected ways as the songwriter and producer duos work together to win over the recording artist. In the end, a winner will be chosen and their song will be recorded and released as the top artist’s next single.

The first episode features Billboard chart topper, songwriter and The Voice coach John Legend as the mega-recording artist along with a panel of producer-songwriters that includes Ryan Tedder (Leona Lewis “Bleeding Love,” Beyonce “Halo,” and his own hits with OneRepublic) singer and songwriter Ester Dean (Nicki Minaj “Super Bass,” Katy Perry “Firework,” Kelly Clarkson “Mr. Know it All”) and country singer-songwriter Shane McAnally (Kacey Musgraves “Merry Go Round,” The Band Perry “Better Dig Two,” Keith Urban “Female,”).

The 11-episode series will feature artists: Jonas Brothers, John Legend, Meghan Trainor, Charlie Puth, OneRepublic, Old Dominion,, Kelsea Ballerini, Leona Lewis, Aloe Blacc, and Macklemore.

According to the official photos, here are this week’s songwriters:

  • Max Embers – Born and raised in Germany, Max began studying classical piano at the age of six and wrote his first song at 13. He went on to study at Berklee College of Music. After graduating in 2016 he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a music career. Here’s his bio, website and music video for a song titled “Lyin'”.
  • Sam James – A Worcester, Mass. native, Sam was a contestant on The Voice season 3. He was a member of Team Adam (of course) and lost to Melanie Martinez in the Knockouts. “When you are on a television singing show you get lost in the shuffle most times,” he says of the experience. So he’s back for more! Heh. More from his bio and website. According to this piece in the Worcester Telegram, Sam co-wrote season season 14 finalist Spensha Baker’s “Old Soul.” He currently has a deal with BMG Chrysalis. 
  • Tebby Burrows – Raised in the Bahamas, she picked up a guitar at age 11 and began writing poetry. She currently lives in Miami and works as a Marketing consultant.  She released a single she wrote produced by  Cool & Dre called “Feel Alright.” The singer/songwriter names artists like Etta James, Tracy Chapman, Annie Lennox and Maroon 5 as her influences, Well. there you go! Check out her Facebook.
  • Ollie Gabrielle – He grew up in Southwest Louisiana, but his music career started in Germany. According to his bio, the artist’s “debut inspirational single…went to the Top 10 in several countries. Ollie has performed around the world, televised to millions and to concert audiences of 40k+ fans.” Also he claims to have had “over 500 sync placements in film and tv since 2009.”  His music has been featured in shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Ray Donovan, Shameless, and Deadliest Catch. Oh and as a songwriter and producer, he’s worked with Mel B., En Vogue, and this week’s mega-artist John Legend.  Check out his Facebook.

Watch previews of Ester and Ryan’s songwriter sessions:  WARNING: They give away two of the songwriters who made the cut. 

Ester Dean Session with Ollie Gabrielle

Ryan Tedder Session with Max Embers

Official Trailer



About mj santilli 34556 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!