Songwriter Trysts is a relatively new podcast series in which guests discuss the machinations around their love of song writing. It launched in August 2020 and is now well over 60 episodes old and counting.
As with many new endeavours in the topsy-turvy world that was 2020, the idea was borne from necessity. Prior to the of advent COVID-19 in late March, podcast host Rae Leigh, a budding local singer songwriter, was set to step out and launch her own burgeoning music career. But when the pandemic hit she pivoted to the world of musical podcasts, giving birth to the ‘Songwriter Trysts’ concept.
The aim of the podcast is to shine a light on the songwriting process behind the music, creating a safe haven for practitioners to share their stories, insights and accumulated wisdom around the noble art of writing a song. In the words of Rae; “With lots of spare time and with no shows or festivals going on, I wanted to create a space for songwriters to connect and share openly in a safe and fun space online.
“This allows fans and other music industry professionals to get to know the artist, where they come from, what they are doing and why they are doing it. I insert teasers of their music into the conversation and love discussing the art and business of song writing in the hope of inspiring and encouraging others in this ancient and powerful art form.”
We recently chatted with Rae to find out more about the series, a few of her most memorable guests and where she wants to take Songwriter Trysts in 2021.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your musical/creative background prior to launching the ‘Songwriter Trysts’ podcast series?
I’m a young local mum and singer songwriter, building up the courage to finally share my story and music. In January 2020 the plan was to work hard to perform at every open mic, venue and festival that would have me, along with recording and releasing my first singles and EP. These plans were turned upside down by the pandemic, along with everyone else. I started some online festivals, sharing and connecting with people and I also participated in the Gold Coast Music business course and the Logan Music Boost course, which were beneficial in learning the business of music. I’ve always been told I was good at talking, sometimes as a joke, but the reality is I have always loved getting to know other people and having a good yarn.
Was it a challenging endeavour to get Songwriter Trysts off the ground, or did things fall into place relatively easily?
I believe Songwriter Trysts has a life of its own. My husband came up with the word ‘trysts’, an old English word describing an intimate private meeting between lovers. I loved the cheeky, fun and intimate association to it and felt it was an amazing fit for how I wanted the feeling of the podcast to evolve and unfold. Once we had the name ‘Songwriter Trysts’ we asked a few local artists and international superstars in the song writing community if they would consider being a part of it. To our surprise every single person responded with a yes – that was when we knew it was meant to be and we got to work.
Do you have any favourite guests or episodes that particularly spring to mind and what made them memorable?
Yes absolutely! Some of the best podcast interviews have succeeded purely on the wisdom of the people who have been writing songs for a very long time and have had lots of success in the music industry, such as Kevin Welch, Keppie Coutts, Jessica Lynn, Pat Pattison, Graham Ashton and Allan Caswell. Their willingness to be open, vulnerable and encouraging in their interviews was so energising. Jessica Lynn even brought me to tears when she opened up about her sad Christmas song she released in late 2020. I have had some of my most honest and rewarding conversations about life, humanity, emotions and song writing. I have enjoyed every guest and learnt something different from speaking with every single person.
If you could choose any songwriters in the world to appear on the show, who would they be?
I’d have to say John Mayer is high on the wish list as he has inspired me and many others in the craft of song writing. Dolly Parton would be like interviewing the queen of country and she has been such an inspiration to so many women especially, which is unfortunately still an issue, with the music industry being very male dominated. Then there’d be Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Bono and Bob Dylan… so many amazing people to choose from!
The Songwriter Trysts podcast series can be found on a range of sites and apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify Podcasting apps, Podchaser and IMDb.