‘Songwriting Saves The World’ Podcast Uplifts Queer Artists In Its Third Season

Songwriting Saves The World podcast hosts Annick Blaize (L) and Sasha Bellentine (R)

Annick Blaize and Sasha Bellentine, the bubbly hosts of the Songwriting Saves The World podcast, return for a third season of their beyond charming, inclusivity focused podcast series. The first episode of Season 3 was released on September 17 with an exciting guest appearance from Finnish-American rising star Miki Ratsula.

Following season two with a focus on women behind the scenes in the music industry, season three narrows its focus to queer musicians. Having noticed a clear gap in the representation of women and queer people in the music industry, the two songwriters created Songwriting Saves The World as a means to contribute a platform dedicated to supporting the underrepresented backbone of the music business. This show has made it their mission to spotlight female and queer individuals working in a variety of aspects of the music industry. 

Since the first season, the hosts have featured powerhouse guests like Rozzi, Jenna Andrews (an incredible songwriter/producer who we have previously featured on GTHQ!), and Branda Ringo. The charismatic duo have developed their platform into a valuable – and entertaining – industry resource for female and queer musicians. 

Both Annick Sasha are songwriters themselves and use their own experience and curiosity as a jumping off point to discuss everything from co-writing and connections to song splits and royalties. Bringing on singers, songwriters, producers, composers, label executives, and more to discuss their journeys, Songwriting Saves the World is an uplifting and informative podcast with a focus on inclusivity and kindness within the musical community and beyond.

Check out our interview with the dynamic duo below where we turn the interview tables on Sasha and Annick to ask them more about their passion for songwriting, uplifting queer and marginalized voices, and why representation in the music industry is profoundly important today:

First off, we have to ask, how did the podcast idea first come about and what is the message behind it the title ‘Songwriting Saves The World’? 

Annick Blaize and Sasha Bellentine: The podcast started during quarantine when we could no longer do in person sessions or go to shows. We wanted to connect with our songwriting community and have chats about the issues that affect songwriters and women in music specifically. The show started as a place where we brought on our friends to share their writing stories and creative processes.

Really quickly it became a larger resource for musicians who want practical and light hearted insight into songwriting and business. The title came about because the world was really kinda struggling when we created the podcast and even though the show isn’t directly related to Covid, it was a way that we could put some positivity into our community.

Season 3 focuses on queer and female artists, the former who are still fairly underrepresented in the music industry as a whole. Why was it important to you both to highlight queer artists? 

SB: Well as a gay gal myself queer artists have always been the ones who I look up to and use as templates for confidence and learning about my own identity. Annick and I started the podcast knowing that we wanted to focus on showcasing underrepresented stories in music including women, queer people, and people of color. After spending two seasons heavily centered around women in music, a season about queer people felt like a natural and exciting next step.

You are both songwriters yourselves. Can you share a little about your own musical journeys? 

AB: I’m a folk pop/pop songwriter and I’m also an Artist. I’ve written for Rachel Bochner and for my own artist projects. Sasha and I met at a Songwriting workshop in 2019 and we’ve been collaborating ever since. I’m also currently attending LIMPI (Lillehammer Institute of Music Production and Industries). 

SB: I’m a pop songwriter and producer. I write for lovely indie artists like Rachel Bochner, Daisy K, etc and I write frequently for pitch. I’m also a student at Berklee College of Music!

The first episode of S3 features Finnish-American artist Miki Ratsula, who is said to be taking the LGBTQ+ music scene by storm at only 19 years old! What was it like to interview Miki?

AB & SB: Interviewing Miki was the best! They are so talented and insightful and we literally shed a tear at some of their stories. Miki’s musical journey is such an interesting and complex one and we loved getting to chat with them about it. Miki’s episode is out now and you can listen to all of the interesting and insightful things they had to say wherever you listen to podcasts.

Season 3 includes artists but also industry executives and producers. Can you tell us more about the people being featured? 

AB & SB: We have so many cool people on this season! From artists to songwriters to producers. Some of our favorite interviews from S3 include Chelcee Grimes (pop writer for Dua Lipa), Emily Burns (British pop star on the rise), and Jack Newsome (coolest artist, songwriter, and producer who’s written for Megan Trainor and Sean Kingston). 

Can you both name a song or a lyric that has had a profound impact on your own creative songwriting experience? 

AB: Okay this is such a difficult question to answer! I have to go with a Taylor Swift song. I’m really inspired by and in love with folklore as an album. My favorite song from the album is “Peace”. The lyric I’m choosing is “The devil’s in the details, but you got a friend in me. Would it be enough if I could never give you peace?”. It’s such a simple line but it carries so much weight and really shows her maturity and complexity as a writer.

The whole song talks about how she would do pretty much anything for her love but she could never really give him the simplicity of a normal life. I love her lyricism and I strive to be able to approach writing lyrics in the way that she does, and don’t even get me started on the melodies! She always uses such beautiful and creative metaphors and I love her so much as a songwriter, artist, and person. 

SB: Damn guys this is a really hard question! There are so many songs that inspire me but right now the first one that comes to mind is “She’s American” by The 1975. There’s one line where Matty Healy writes, “she calls on the phone like the old days expecting the world. Don’t fall in love with the moment and think you’re in love with the girl.” Those lyrics are so succinct and reflective even with very few actual words and they inspire me to write in a way that is direct while still viewing things through a fanciful lens.

What would you say is the larger impact of having more openly queer artists and music in mainstream charts and on big labels today? 

AB & SB: Queer people have always been a large presence in music so it makes sense to acknowledge that impact. Representation is really really important and it’s amazing to see more queer artists being themselves and getting celebrated for that! Music relies on stories and varying perspectives and we feel like the more people get to share their stories the more interesting, accepting, and awesome the music industry will be. 

If you were in a movie about the end of the world (think ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ meets ‘Y: The Last Man’), what song or artist would you choose as your soundtrack? 

AB: I don’t really watch too many shows like this because they freak me out but I did start ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ and it’s phenomenal. If I had to pick someone to write the soundtrack for a ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ x ‘Y: The Last Man’ combo I’d definitely go with Phoebe Bridgers. She really knows how to write a haunting lyric that’ll give you existential dread and take you into a different realm. 

SB: The scariest thing I watch is ‘Doctor Who’ so I might not be the best person to answer this question. But I would probably pick Remi Wolf. Her musical vibe is definitely more like a night out on the town than the end of the world but I feel like if the world is ending anyway you might as well listen to Remi! 

Be sure to subscribe to ‘Songwriting Saves The World’ on Spotify and listen to Season 3 now!

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