This Next Song‘s About - A Songwriter‘s Podcast

This Next Song’s About is a podcast for songwriters featuring artist profiles and how to’s from expert guests where we dig deep into the creative process and the music industry. If you’re an artist looking for writing tips, encountering writers block or imposters syndrome, or perhaps looking to grow your fanbase, this is the podcast for you. Let Stevie Manns be your host and guide on your artist journey as we meet some incredible guests and prepare to be inspired! Think SongExploder meets Tiny Desk Concert. Subscribe and follow for free on Apple podcasts and Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Are you a songwriter?

If you are a creator, a musician, a songwriter, you may struggle with the creative process from time to time! 

If you need some inspiration, creative tips or perhaps even a little support to know that you're not alone, this is the podcast for you!

Join Stevie on this journey and meet some experts, some artists and hear some unique stories and career paths that will no doubt speak to you as you move through your own artists journey.

Subscribe and follow now!


6 days ago

Season 3 is back in February 2nd 2022 with a brand new array of expert guests to help you as a songwriter develop and hone your craft as an artist.   Host, NYC based musician and songwriter Stevie Manns asks the hard questions about being an artist to help you along your artist's journey, level-up your skills to better connect and resonate with fans from the music that you record to the way you present yourself both on and off stage. Become a patron of This Next Song's About before February 15th to enter a giveaway to receive a Shure MV7 microphone and a 6 month songwriting masterclass from award-winning D.C. based musician Eli Lev. Go to

Wednesday Dec 08, 2021

Have you been thinking about starting a Patreon but aren't sure how to go about it? Scared no one will sign up? In this episode we revisit a conversation with independent artist Rebecca Loebe who was so successful at launching, Patreon even wrote an article about her after she raised funds for her album. Rebecca Loebe is an independent singer-songwriter who you may remember from the Voice in 2011. Since then she has opened for Shawn Colvin, the Civil Wars, Gregory Alan Isakov, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Ellis Paul amongst others. Her single, Growing Up was featured in Rolling Stone magazine listed as the Top 10 Best Country and Americana Songs of the Week. As well as being a talented musician, she has also become quite an expert at owning her own distribution and runs a successful Patreon page - and Patreon even featured Rebecca on their blog after her successful album promotion. I also mention a couple of Shure mics you can check out during the Holiday sales -  Shure MV7 podcast and vocal mic Shure SM58 - most durable stage & recording mic ever created!   As promised, here are the links and references discussed in today's episode: Patreon's article on Rebecca:  Patreon's article on Nataly Dawn:  Amanda Palmer "The Art of Asking" TED talk:  Simon Sinek "Start With Why" TED talk:  Rebecca's Patreon:  We'd love to hear any feedback about this miniseries or any suggestions you have for episodes! Email us: 

Wednesday Nov 24, 2021

As the new season of the podcast is being prepped and recorded, here's a little bonus from the archives - recorded in 2019 with Gretchen Peters.    To view the photo I mention in the episode - you can check it out on instagram @iamsteviemanns.   I also mention a couple of Shure mics you can check out during the Holiday sales -  Shure MV7 podcast and vocal mic Shure SM58 - most durable stage & recording mic ever created!   Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame member, Gretchen Peters talks to Stevie ahead of her New York show at Rockwood Music Hall Dec 8th and we dig into the origins of one of her songs, "The Boy From Rye" and how it's the heart of her latest album, Dancing With The Beast.   For two decades, Gretchen Peters has been one of Nashville's most beloved and respected artists. "If Peters never delivers another tune as achingly beautiful as 'On A Bus To St. Cloud,'" People Magazine wrote, "she has already earned herself a spot among country's upper echelon of contemporary composers.” Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in October 2014 by singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell, who called her "both a songwriter and a poet (who) sings as beautifully as she writes,” and said her song “The Matador”, "moved me so greatly, I cried from the soles of my feet”, Peters has accumulated accolades as a songwriter for artists as diverse as Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, The Neville Brothers, Patty Loveless, George Strait, Bryan Adams and Faith Hill.   Her 2015 album, ‘Blackbirds’, debuted at #1 on the UK Country chart and in the top 40 UK pop chart, and was awarded International Album of the Year and Song of the Year. In 2015, The Telegraph named her one of the greatest 60 female singer-songwriters of all time. Her latest album, Dancing With The Beast, was released on May 18, 2018.  

Wednesday Jun 23, 2021

Today, as we continue to celebrate Pride month my guest is Aaron Is Your Friend. Aaron is Your Friend is the project of LA-based singer, songwriter and producer Aaron Lindenberg. Aaron and I met on the New York scene a couple of years ago at a Sofar Sounds show and I really enjoyed his music and his energy so I wanted to introduce him to you on the show and we take a listen to his song "Self". Aaron and I get deep in this episode, we talk about music releases, queer culture, gender norms and presentation as artists and we also take a listen to his song “self”. This was an interesting one for me as Aaron flipped some of my questions back to me, so it felt a lot less like an interview and more like a conversation between two friends who happen to be artists as well. Inspired by electronic pop, R&B and dance music, Aaron makes soulful, polished pop songs about heartbreak, self love and new love. He released his debut album "Break My Own Heart" in 2020, which processes heartbreak through glittery house anthems and textured R&B, while his most recent EP, "Emotional" exorcised the demons of 2020 over warm hip-hop grooves. He is currently working on a string of larger-than-life pop singles about boys. You can follow him @aaronisyourfriend and on Spotify here:   At the start of this episode you will hear a clip from "Tameless", a track co-written & co-produced by April Rose Gabrielli & KULICK for an incredible new documentary "Not The Science Type".The film will make its debut during the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2021. The film follows four inspiring female Scientists who are changing the world through their ground breaking work in a field dominated by men. Listen to the full song here:

Wednesday Jun 16, 2021

Josh Breckenridge, is perhaps better known for his Broadway accolades, most recently starring in Come From Away. During the Broadway closure as a result of the pandemic J. wasted no time in writing and producing his debut album "Monotony" with producer James Frazee (Patti Smith, Sharan Van Etten, Loudon Wainright III, Bacon Brothers) As J. Breckenridge, the new musical artist with a pop-soul vibe, he has just released his fourth single, “Not Forgiving You”  a deceptively lighthearted modern pop song but the number is really a way to deal with a past abusive relationship (please note the sensitive nature of the topic discussed and please take care of yourself) J. joins me on the show to talk about his single, Pride month, the new movement of openly gay male pop artists and how he is feeling about returning to Broadway in September as theaters re-open. Josh mentions  to buy tickets for the streaming of his performance in A.C.T.'s theatre production of Armistead Maupin's "Tales of The City". At the start of this episode you will hear a clip of a brand new track called "My Oh My" from North Carolina based Americana artist, Kevin Daniel. "My Oh My" is the second release off of Kevin Daniel's forthcoming album, 'Been Here Before'. The song was co-written with Ashlee Joy, formerly of Charlotte, NC-based band Matrimony and features Ashlee on vocals. Head to Spotify to listen to Kevin Daniel: 

Wednesday Jun 09, 2021

Continuing our artist profiles for #Pride, today's guest is Sharisse Fransisco. She is a Queer, Afro-Latina  singer-songwriter and Vocalist, she performs as herself but also as the lead vocalist for the all-female punk soul band Top Queens. She deeply believes in the importance of intentionality in the messages we share with the world as artists; utilizing music and art for catharsis, to invoke emotions, but also to share our authentic truths, connect, and inspire unity and change. Sharisse is also a Mindfulness and Mental Health Advocate.  Sharisse tells me about her latest release “I am” and how she wrote it as a mantra to herself and others and we also talk about the expectations people have of her as a vocalist as a black woman. @iamsharissefransisco If you liked today's episode follow us and leave a comment or a review!

Wednesday Jun 02, 2021

Have you ever wondered how to write social justice songs? How to get over your discomfort? In this episode, I am discussing social justice songwriting with my guest, D.C. based social justice songwriter Crys Matthews. Already hailed as “the next Woody Guthrie,” Crys Matthews is among the brightest stars of the new generation of social justice music-makers. She is made for these times and, with the release of her new, hope-fueled, love-filled social justice album Changemakers, Matthews hopes to take her place alongside some of her heroes in the world of social-justice music. Crys tells us about her philosophy in life of “sing don’t shout” as a way of changing hearts and minds and having difficult conversations. Crys's album Changemakers is out on Spotify now and you can follow her @crysmatthews At the start of the episode you will hear a clip from singer-songwriter, Kaylyn Marie. Have you ever had a moment where someone described you positively to another and you thought, "Wow. Is that really how they see me?" because you'd never describe yourself with that much enthusiasm, admiration, grace, or love? Her third and last “Forget Me Not” single titled, “Finally”, embodies the first moment you catch a glimpse — and if you're lucky, begin the habit — of seeing yourself as kindly as those who love you and believe in you. @kaylynmariemusic

Wednesday May 26, 2021

Have you ever thought about whether you're "doing it right" with social medial? Or why is social media SO important for musicians and anyone with a brand, which social media platform is right for you; and how can you optimize your social media and build a following? My guest Gabe Ekemezie and I discuss all of those things and aim to help you tighten up your social media strategy. Gabe is the founder of Unplugged Kingdom LLC, specializing in online business strategy and social media marketing techniques to help brands unlock their highest potential while making a positive impact on the world. Currently, he works at a digital transformation agency, where he empowers companies and brands to optimize their revenue and maximize their exposure in the marketplace.  Instagram/TikTok: @its_gabe3 At the beginning of the episode you will hear a clip from singer-songwriter Elizabeth Wyld. Her new album "Quiet Year" is out now everywhere and this song Hudson is from her debut album. You can follow her on Spotify or on social media @Elizabethwyldmusic

Wednesday May 12, 2021

Shervin made his name as a portrait music photographer on the New York music scene over the last decade and has become one of the most sought after photographers in the industry. Having started with no formal photography training, he worked his way up the ladder and has since photographed musicians like Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Wilco, Regina Spector, Ingrid Michaelson, Fleet Foxes, Walk the moon, Sara Bareilles and many more... I caught up with him to find out how he went from no photography background to taking iconic images for some of the most exciting new artists across the world. We also talk about what aspiring artists should consider when creating their brand and images. If you want to join our Facebook group, you can find out who the next guest will be and post a question that I might just ask during the show. Search "This Next Song's About - Inner Circle" on Facebook and join our community of artists and songwriters. 

Wednesday May 05, 2021

In today’s episode I am chatting with songwriter and mindfulness coach, Lisa McEwen. Lisa is originally from Canada and made her way down to Nashville and  had success signing with BMG as a staff writer, penning songs for major labels and artists and is now setting out to help other artists achieve their goals as a coach and consultant. In this episode we chat about Self-doubt, determination, pivoting and how to focus on who we are as artists and individuals to achieve our goals and find success. If you're a songwriter out there who sometimes struggles with self-belief and wonders whether pursuing music is the right thing, this episode is for you! We cover self-doubt, rejection, determination, mindfulness, resilience and how to focus on what makes you unique! More details on Lisa here:  Please rate and leave us a review if you enjoyed today's episode!

Wednesday Apr 21, 2021

Today's episode is a special "Producer's Perspective" episode, part of our new format to help you develop as an artist. I take a look inside the mind of a studio producer to help you get an idea of what you should expect when you’re heading in to record, whether you consider yourself a seasoned pro, or a newcomer, I promise this is one you'll want to listen to. Today’s guest is singer, songwriter and record producer, Katie Buchanan. Katie studied music at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. She works across all pop genres: from singer/songwriter to electronic inflected bops. But ultimately, she focuses on the artist and the songs. She has produced hundreds of tracks and garnered millions of plays, but cares most about creating an open, collaborative, and comfortable studio environment. Katie has come up with her top 5 tips for artists to consider before heading into the studio. Now, this doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie in the studio, or someone who’s been recording music for a while, this is a great episode and I hope it gets you thinking about your next project in a different way… Tops Tips discussed in the episode include... Producer vs Engineer Roles and Responsibilities Budget talk Royalties Finding the right Producer - FOR YOU You can find Katie at or on instagram @katie_buchanan. Her new song West (played at the beginning of the episode) is available now.

Wednesday Apr 07, 2021

Around the DMV, Jarreau (juh-ROW) Williams is known as the "man with the golden pipes.” The Alexandria, VA native and 8x Wammie nominated and 3x Wammie winner  is a consummate showman and charismatic front-man. Jarreau’s professional credits include backing 4-time Grammy Award winner Michael Buble, praise and worship with President Barack Obama and the First Family, as well as performing the National Anthem for thousands in DC’s most prominent professional sports arenas.  I chatted with Jarreau about his new single "Shoulda Known Better" and the process for re-writing the song for a more dancy remix, we have a good giggle about some of his clever lyrics and he also talks to me about his advocacy for mental health within the Black community.  You can find Jarreau.... Spotify: Instagram: @iamjarreauwilliams

Wednesday Mar 17, 2021

In this episode, I chat with Kaylyn Marie, one of my best friends and one of the best musicians I've ever seen. Kaylyn is a singer-songwriter-guitarist, bandleader, and actress with over 16 years of performing experience from national TV to local venues. Her solo work has been described as “Soulful Americana” echoing writing and vocal traits of Sara Bareilles and Laura Marling.  She is releasing music from her sophomore EP “Forget Me Not” from January to June 2021. She has won a Kennedy Center Award of Excellence in the Arts, was a finalist on American Idol, starred in a leading role in a new musical titled “Music City” from the producers of Hadestown & Dear Evan Hansen, she has completed multiple artist residencies in New York City (Rockwood, Joe’s Pub, Pete’s Candy store) recorded 3 records, carried a lead role on a Lifetime TV film, and performing as a Protest singer in Steven Spielberg’s “The Post”. But for all of her accomplishments and achievements she is one of my best friends, as a result of this podcast actually, we first met in podcast number 4 if you care to dig through the archives. She is one of the most lovely people I’ve ever met and she has such a unique ability to connect with people both as a human and as a performer.  This episode was recorded as a live podcast on March 3rd to celebrate the launch of the new season of the show and I recommend you listen to this episode and then go and check out the video for what I hope will be an immersive experience for her new single “At Work” here:  If however you prefer to watch this whole interview as a video, you can do so now, head over to the Facebook page here: Most of the pods are not live, but the unedited videos are shared exclusively to the Facebook group here:  You can follow Kaylyn here: @kaylynmariemusic on instagram and on Spotify here: 

Wednesday Mar 10, 2021

In this episode Stevie sits down with artist Esabalu (Es-a-BA-lu) to take a visual look at her video Wildfire. You should check out the video for Wildfire here and come back to listen to the episode:  You can also watch the full unedited interview in our Facebook group here:   We also talk about her journey to finding her new moniker as EsaBalu, embracing her Kenyan roots and taking time as a musician to process the events of the Black Lives Matter movement through storytelling and songwriting with her single “Say Their Names”.  Esabalu is an LA based artist with Kenyan roots bringing her listeners an earthy and grounded vocal that bellows from the center of the earth. Her debut single, "Wildfire”, out now, is an exciting journey to the past about forgetting your cares and diving head first into steamy summer love. As a graduate of Berklee College of Music, Esabalu found herself working on the production and engineering side of the business right out of school but found her way back to stages throughout New York (Saturday Night Live w/ Kacey Musgraves, Jimmy Fallon w/ Bastille and Wallows, and Seth Meyers) and now the West coast! Esabalu's audio engineering background has really come in handy during quarantine, with one of her latest at home projects landing her a placement in the two most recent national @ultabeauty ads, airing now. Vocal arrangement, original composition, and background vocalist are only a few of the things that define this powerhouse vocalist. Insta: Spotify: 

Wednesday Mar 03, 2021

For the first episode of a brand new season of TNSA, Stevie kicks it all off with inimitable rockabilly musician, Kyle Lacy. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia but now an NYC transplant, Kyle's unmistakable sound and energy will have you chair-dancing at the very least! Kyle notes his influences from the 50s and 60s sounds of blues, soul and rock from Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin to the swing of Brian Setzer. Kyle tours tirelessly and his band deliver the kind of Rock'n'Roll excitement that the music world has mourned for decades. “The Road To Tomorrow” is his first Full-Length Album and is out now on Dala Records.  Stevie and Kyle discuss everything from how he produced his album to have an authentic live sound with Billy Aukstik (Sharon Jones, Mark Ronson, Charles Bradley), how he writes with a band and sometimes on the spot in the studio, to the positive outlook he has taken on the pandemic and what he's learned from it as an artist.  Kyle's Spotify playlist mentioned in the episode is here: And you can join the TNSA Inner Circle Facebook groups for early-access un-edited interviews, exclusive offers, and the chance to hear new music and connect with other artists here: 

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