VERSED: The ASCAP Podcast / Ep. 5 - Anaïs Mitchell

January 23, 2020

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VERSED is a bi-weekly podcast illuminating the heart and soul of music. Featuring in-depth interviews with songwriters and composers, plus tips and insights to help you navigate your music career. Brought to you by ASCAP, home of the world's greatest music creators.

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Anaïs Mitchell is a contemporary folk singer-songwriter with an overflowing font of projects. Her best-known triumph: Hadestown, a homespun "folk opera" that transformed into a Tony-winning Broadway musical. On January 24, two days before we find out if the Hadestown cast album will be crowned Best Musical Theater Album at the Grammys, Mitchell releases her debut with a very different project: Bonny Light Horseman, an indie-folk supergroup that reinterprets timeless traditional songs (and adds a few new ones to the canon). In this episode, VERSED correspondent Sarah Finegold speaks with Anaïs about living in the world of Hadestown, songwriting craft, tattoos and more. Erik and guest host Etan Rosenbloom also sound off on some of the stories we're following as we head into this year's jam-packed awards season. PLUS: Music Business Toolbox Founder (and music biz man about town) Bryan Calhoun offers some #SoundAdvice! 

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Anais Mitchell

EP. 5 FEATURED INTERVIEW: ANAÏS MITCHELL

Anaïs Mitchell is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and the Tony award-winning creator of the Broadway musical Hadestown. Dubbed by NPR as "one of the greatest songwriters of her generation," Mitchell comes from the world of narrative folksong, poetry and balladry. She recorded for Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe Records for several years before starting her own Wilderland label in 2012. Among her recorded works are six full-length albums, including the original 2010 studio album of Hadestown, a folk opera based on the Orpheus myth; 2012's Young Man in America, which was described by the UK's Independent as "an epic tale of American becoming;" 2013’s Child Ballads, a collaboration with Jefferson Hamer, which won a BBC Radio Two Folk Award, and the forthcoming Bonny Light Horseman (as part of the band Bonny Light Horseman). Mitchell has headlined shows worldwide as well as supporting tours for Bon Iver, Ani DiFranco, Patty Griffin, Josh Ritter and Punch Brothers. She was the winner of a Folk Alliance 2018 Spirit of Folk Award, and her music has featured in year-end best lists including NPR, Wall Street Journal, MOJO, Uncut, Guardian, Sunday Times and Observer.

Mitchell's stage show of Hadestown, which was over a decade in the making, was first produced off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop and in Canada at Edmonton's The Citadel, with record-breaking runs at both. In 2018 the show opened at London's prestigious National Theatre, before transferring to Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre in April 2019. The show went on to win eight Tony Awards, the highest of any show of the season, including Best Musical and Best Score for Mitchell. The New York Times called it “inventive, beguiling and spellbinding” while Vogue declared that “Hadestown will be your new theater obsession.” If there’s a common thread in Mitchell’s work – from her earliest acoustic records to the Hadestown show – it’s that she’s as interested in the world around her as the one inside her. She has a way of tackling big themes with the same emotional intimacy most artists use to describe their inner lives. That’s perhaps why The New York Times noted that her songs “address contemporary angst with uncanny vision…a formidable songwriting talent.” 

Visit Anaïs Mitchell, Hadestown and Bonny Light Horseman online // Follow Anaïs on TwitterInstagram & Facebook

+Read our interview with Anaïs and Josh Kaufman of Bonny Light Horseman

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Bryan Calhoun

EP. 5 #SOUNDADVICE GUEST: BRYAN CALHOUN, CREATOR OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS TOOLBOX

Bryan has over 25 years of experience at the nexus of technology, music and business. As a member of the Industry Relations team at music streaming giant Pandora Media, he helps artists, labels and managers maximize their opportunities on the platform. Always the artist advocate, he created the Music Business Toolbox, a book and set of tools, to empower musicians with actionable advice. He provides digital strategy to management powerhouse Maverick/Blueprint Group for their superstar clients Lil Wayne, G-Eazy, The Roots, Jill Scott and Lil Nas X. Past clients include Kanye West, T.I., Nicki Minaj, Drake and more. He’s worked with labels Relativity/Sony, RED and Warlock and ran industry relations for SoundExchange, which collects and distributes non-interactive streaming royalties to artists and labels. He is a frequent speaker at music industry conferences and a voting member of the Recording Academy.

Visit the Music Business Toolbox // Follow Bryan on Twitter & Instagram

 

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Etan Rosenbloom
EP. 5 GUEST HOST: ETAN ROSENBLOOM, ASCAP DIRECTOR & DEPUTY EDITOR, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Etan Rosenbloom joined ASCAP in 2006. His duties include writing and curating content for the ASCAP website, writing speeches and scripts for award shows, interviewing prominent members and working on ASCAP's corporate communications strategy. Before coming to ASCAP, Etan worked as the Director of Marketing at Cryptogramophone Records. He also spent many years as a freelance music journalist for publications including Decibel, MetalSucks, Billboard, Spin, Prefixmag and DailyOm. Etan currently lives in Los Angeles, where he spends most of his non-existing free time taking his three-year-old daughter on adventures, dreaming about craft beer and haunting all the used record stores within a 20-mile radius.

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Sarah Finegold

EP. 5 INTERVIEWER: SARAH FINEGOLD, ASCAP MARKETING COORDINATOR

Sarah Finegold, an original yinzer from Pittsburgh PA, is a writer and music fan working in the Marketing department at ASCAP. After graduating from Cornell University in 2015 with a BA in English and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies – with a minor in Film Studies just to shake things up – Sarah moved to New York City and shortly found her home at ASCAP. When she isn't indulging her love of travel and all things edible, she relishes going to the movies, Broadway musicals, making friends with strangers’ dogs on the street and being overly competitive while playing board games.

Mama, I'm going home.

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