Puerto Rican singer-songwriter and actor Luis Fonsi (age 42) picked the song “Sway” by songwriter Pipobeats as his Songland Selection.
Fonsi, along with Songland producers and judges Ester Dean, Ryan Tedder and Shane McAnally were impressed by “Sway” the first time they heard it and were dancing to its beat as composer Pipobeats performed onstage.
Luis Fonsi said the song was like “musical caffeine”. Ryan Tedder said the chorus is a smash, but he thinks there are conflicting melodies in the pre-chorus, specifically because the guitar and the voice are following different lines. Fonsi agreed and said he loves the verse melody, so he presented a simpler way of guitar accompaniment.
Shane felt that too many things happen before the chorus. Ester commented, “But I feel like we speak English and we’re listening to it in an English ear, so I wouldn’t try to critique the Spanish part to know if it lays on the beat correctly, or not.”
Fonsi said it sometimes get clunky during the switching from English to Spanish, “so it needs a little bit of rearranging and polishing.” He thinks it’s got a great verse melody and a beautiful chorus, though.
Episode 2: April 20, 2020
Producer: Ryan Tedder
Previous Episode Winner: “Champagne Night” by Madeline Merlo – Lady Antebellum Songland Selection
Watch songwriter Pipobeats in his original rendition of “Sway” on Songland 2020.
Ryan Tedder produced the final version for Fonsi to judge. Eventually, Fonsi chose Pipobeats’ “Sway” as his Songland Selection. Here’s Pipobeats’ rendition as produced by Tedder.
Finally, here’s Luis Fonsi performing Pipobeats’ “Sway”.
Pipobeats (age 22), whose real name is Filippo Gabella, is an American pop singer-songwriter from California of Chilean descent. He launched his first debut EP We the Pipo in 2015, when he was just 16. He recently launched his first full album Singing Hills (2020), which will be followed by a music video of “Hate It”. He is currently working on his second English and Spanish EP.
Songland is a groundbreaking songwriting competition series that serves as a destination for music’s biggest stars to find their next hit. Undiscovered songwriters are put center stage as they pitch their original creations to top recording artists and chart-topping music producers in the hopes of creating the artists’ next big hits.
Songland premiered in May 2019 on NBC. On September 10, 2019, NBC renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on April 13, 2020.
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