‘Songland’ Episode 2 Recap: will.i.am Drops the Beat in His New Song!

Kyle Montplaisir
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After last week’s premiere episode, Songland is back with new songwriters and a brand new featured artist! This week, it’s will.i.am. He is on the show looking for the Black Eyed Peas’ next single.

Here are the songwriters and songs competing to make will.i.am’s next hit!


Josh Logan

Josh is a pop/country songwriter originally from New York. He is married and expecting another kid soon! His song “Boxes” has a message about not “fitting in boxes.” The song is super catchy and the mentors seem to like it too. But they work with each other to make the beat better. And already, it has made big improvements from the original! will.i.am keeps building on it, making a full-on backtrack. It seems like this could be the one, just by adjusting these things. This is an early favorite. Josh was paired with Shane McAnally.



Charisma is from India. She moved out to the US when she was 16 to pursue music. Her song was called “Invincible.” The chorus and melody are nice but the mentors aren’t sold. The production and lyrics definitely need some work. They say that the song has good bones, but updating those things could take it to the next level. Charisma was eventually matched up with Ryan Tedder.


Adam Friedman

Adam Friedman is from Phoenix, Arizona. He learned how to produce on an old-school tape recorder. His song is called “Be Nice,” and will.i.am even says that’s a catch phrase of the Black Eyed Peas! It has an interesting beat and Adam even does some rapping on it! Sounds right up the alley for the band or someone like LMFAO. Ryan Tedder is dancing along the whole time while Shane McAnally claps to the beat. will.i.am goes straight into freestyling on the track. And it sounds AMAZING! Ester Dean will have a blast working on this one, since she is paired with Adam.


Ray Goren

Ray is an 18-year-old from New York City. He’s been touring the country in his pick-up truck. Ray’s song is called “Oh Lord” and it focuses on the message that we’re all one and can get through these hard, divisive times. His song began with a rap and had very on-the-nose lyrics. Ray didn’t have the best voice to sell the song, but he did well with it. Ryan Tedder suggested changing around some of the melody but that’s about where the feedback ended. Not a good sign. And that was the end of his journey.


Charisma (with Ryan Tedder)

Ryan starts his session with Charisma saying that he’s keeping the chorus basically the same. But he’s making the version as a whole more like a Black Eyed Peas song. And Ryan actually encourages her to make the lyrics about her own story. will.i.am even writes a rap into it! When it comes time to perform, Ryan joins Charisma to rap the pre-chorus. I love it! He does a good job with it too. When Charisma comes it, you can start to see how the Black Eyed Peas would record it. Hands down, the best part was the beat.


Josh Logan (with Shane McAnally)

To start, Shane worked with Josh on his lyrics. He also moved around some of the notes to make the melody better. Then, Shane and Josh FaceTime will.i.am to talk about changes to the chorus. Josh performed the song for a second time on his daughter’s due date. He starts off the new version by rapping. The chorus is still the sweet spot here! It’s just so catchy. And the mentors praise his performance too.


Adam Friedman (with Ester Dean)

First, Ester Dean and Adam start their studio session by FaceTiming with will.i.am. They even play the beat for him! And he’s super involved in the whole process. The songwriters also work on putting some verses together for the rap. With a new beat and feel, Adam performed a second time. And this was even better than the first in my opinion! No wonder Ester has been on so many hits. I wish they would’ve kept the “be different, be nice” part in it but overall an improvement. will.i.am goes up on the stage to sing and rap his own verse. It sounds perfect.

The Winning Song

At the end of the episode, will.i.am had to make his choice. And honestly, there was no surprise here. He decided that the winner is…Adam Friedman! His song “Be Nice” was recorded by the Black Eyed Peas featuring Snoop Dogg. And it is a banger!

But there was also a twist! ALL THREE songs will be on the Black Eyed Peas’ new album. So everyone went home a winner!

If you want to stream or download “Be Nice,” it is available online. Tune in again next week when Songland finds another artist’s next big hit! Next up, it’s Kelsea Ballerini.

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