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News |  02 Oct 2017 13:07 |  By RnMTeam

Grammy winning producer wants US radio stations to embrace international artistes

MUMBAI: Grammy Award winning producer John Shanks, who has worked with popular artistes like Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Bon Jovi and Santana, says he would like American radio stations to play tracks by international artistes as it would be refreshing.

Earlier this year, the Los Angeles based music producer, also a songwriter and musician, judged an indie music contest called LA Calling, which was coined by Artist Aloud in association with

Going by the name of the contest, is Los Angeles or America in general the best place to be in to make good music?

"I think one of the things that came out of this contest was that music can come from anywhere and I would really love that in the future American radios start embracing international artistes," Shanks, who has been a part of The X Factor show and has worked with former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, told IANS in an exclusive interview by email.

"That would be really refreshing because, at times, I'm sure you could go to any country and they would say 'Oh, this feels repetitive'... I think music comes from the soul and it's a universal language; so the more we share that dialogue the better we become as humans," he added.

Shanks  has worked with diverse rock, pop and blues acts like Alanis Morrisette, Backstreet Boys, The Corrs and Bonnie Raitt. "Yes, a lot of great music has come from America like jazz, blues and rock 'n' roll, and certainly a great amount of pop artistes has come out of the state," he said.

"But you can look at history and see what happened with The Beatles or the Rolling Stones where American blues music made its way to England and people were buying records in the early 1960s and 1950s and rediscovering how different Johnny Hooker or blues artistes are and then out of that came bands like Cream.

"So, it was reinventing our culture in a different way. So the more that dialogue can happen, whether it's melody or guitar or just sound that can inspire, I think it's a great thing about music and it's very healing," he added.

What about collaborating with Indian artistes?

"Well, I would love to score and would love to do that aspect of what I do, either doing music for an Indian film and as a musician, as a guitar player, I can learn. I think A.R.'s (A.R. Rahman's) music is beautiful and he is bringing his culture into a wider audience," he said.

Pop stars like Michelle Branch and Nelly Furtado have also taken the indie route. Does it give more creative freedom to artistes to go indie?

"That depends. There are certain artistes who start with the indie route and they get signed with the majors. You know they are trying to build a profile online, and that's one way to get a lot of views and hits on your website and whatever outlet you are using to get your music across.

"Then there are certain artistes that have been on major record labels. Then they are a little older and they are finding different avenues and want to find aspects of who they are. Sometimes that doesn't necessarily mean putting out a different kind of pop music.

"Sometimes that's more indie, more acoustic, more organic and they are doing music for themselves and, like Michelle, she and I wrote a song together on a record. It was a record she wanted to make so she got a deal with a different label  a smaller label, so she could have her artistic expression and be who she wants to be, because at a certain age. She is in a different place in her life," he added.

But that, he says, “Doesn't mean her music isn't interesting or not viable. So just because something isn't commercial doesn't mean that it's not good".