UPDATE: Now with music video.
The latest episode of the NBC talent show Songland on Monday night featured none other than Usher as the celebrity judge.
Producer hosts Ester Dean, Shane McAnally and Ryan Tedder were excited to welcome the legendary musician to the show as the winner would have the opportunity to work on a song with him. Ahead of the performances, Usher said that a show like Songland is important to show a different side to the music industry.
“This show is a necessity. People really don’t understand what we have to go through in creating a song. I love that it teaches people that there’s a process,” said the R&B star, adding, “What do I typically look for in a song? I think versatility makes a great song. I think you have to take people on a journey.”
There were 4 contestants on the show to begin with out of which 3 advanced to the next stage. Miranda was paired with Ryan Tedder, David was paired with Shane and Ryan was paired with Ester. All the songwriters made major changes to their original compositions with the help of their mentors and performed the final tracks for Usher. Finally after some tweaking with help from Ester, it was Ryan’s song ‘Staying Over’ which stood out for Usher. They reworked the track and retitled it ‘California’.
Usher then took the song to the studio and recorded it with Tyga on the guest verse. “This is what music-making is about and this is what creativity is about … so I get to pick one record, one song, to record. And the song that I’m going to pick is ‘California’,” said Usher. The end result can be streamed above — it’s a solid track for sure.
“If I had gone back and told myself three years ago when I had just started making music that Usher would be cutting my track right now, I have no idea what I would say. I’m incredibly honored. It’s a crazy accomplishment,” said Ryan.