Halsey, Willow Smith, Sparks, and more dissect their songs on ‘Song Exploder,’ hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway

Music February 10, 2022
Song Exploder
Listen to ‘Song Exploder’

Radiotopia’s “Song Exploder” just won an iHeartRadio Podcast Award in the Best Music Podcast category. In episodes, musicians dissect their songs and share how they were made, treating listeners to intricate details, lyrical anecdotes, backstories, and the songs’ creative evolutions. Creator, host, and producer Hrishikesh Hirway plays isolated tracks from recordings each episode, and the artists will share their process firsthand.

Stream “Song Exploder” standalone episodes in any order, with the average episode running under 30 minutes long. Since 2013, the podcast has released over 230 episodes and counting. There’s a Netflix show by the same name, following the podcast’s format. Previous artist appearances on the podcast have included Metallica, Billie Eilish, The Roots, HAIM, Iggy Pop, Phoebe Bridgers, girl in red, and Willow Smith – just to name a few. This series is perfect for music lovers wanting to hear more about how their favorite jams were written.

This February 2022, GRAMMY Award-winning singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile discussed her most recent album, In These Silent Days, and unpacked the song “You and Me On the Rock” (feat. Lucius). Brandi explains how the song was influenced by her home, her wife, and Joni Mitchell. Halsey joined “Song Exploder” to share “You Asked for This,” co-written with 8-time GRAMMY Award winner Greg Kurstin. She wrote this song while pregnant with her son and explained how this experience influenced the music and lyrics.

In November 2021, Hans Zimmer stopped by to discuss composing Dune’s film score. Dune director Denis Villeneuve previously worked with Hans on the film Blade Runner 2049. Hans shared the sketchbook he drew when drafting songs for the film to illustrate themes and motifs. In 2015, Thundercat broke down his song, “Them Changes,” co-produced by Flying Lotus and featuring Kamasi Washington on saxophone.

Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” was released in 1978, and the band’s guitarist, Rick Nielsen, chatted about writing the hit. It’s considered a ’70s anthem and has been featured in TV and films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Guardians of the Galaxy, New Girl, South Park, and Scrubs.

Tune into new episodes of “Song Exploder” wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

Listen to ‘Song Exploder’

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