Two-time Grammy winner H.E.R came to Songland looking for a song that is written from the heart and makes her feel something. She is the epitome of what the show is about because she is an amazing songwriter herself. Four incredible artists set out to impress H.E.R with their songs and they absolutely delivered. The producers agreed that this is the most difficult decision they’ve ever had to make.
Axel Mansoor Is Looking To Impress H.E.R. With His Sultry Song
Axel Mansoor has traveled all over the world and says that he just wants to feel accepted by other people. He puts all of that emotion into music and songwriting. The song he performs is called “Scary.” He wanted to write a song that would make his girlfriend feel sexy. He thinks it’s the perfect song to present to H.E.R because she is a “brave artist.” He writes songs because he got bullied a lot for being different and he wants to share that experience with other people to make the world a better place.
Axel’s song sounds exactly like something H.E.R would sing. It has a great groove. H.E.R. says it’s obvious that Axel has a passion for music. The producers agree that a change in the melody is necessary and they want the falsetto to come back around in the song. He will be moving on to work with producer Ester Dean.
Milly Has Some Amazing Lyrics To Share On ‘Songland’
Milly is a songwriter that is “super sensitive.” She started writing songs in church. Her song “Safe Place” is about giving up on love. She wrote it about an experience that she went through trying to tell someone she will put her pride aside to be their safe place. Milly thinks H.E.R. would love this song because she could really bring the story and emotion to life. She is solely a songwriter so this is her first time performing her own song. H.E.R. says the song gives her Aaliyah vibes and that it feels like a stream of consciousness. Ryan Tedder thinks there needs to be more lyrics and melodies added to the hook of the song. Unfortunately, she did not move on to work with a producer, but H.E.R. assured Milly that they would be working together in the future.
Raquel Castro Is A ‘Voice’ Alum Ready For Stardom On ‘Songland’
Raquel was on team Christina Aguilera on season one of The Voice in 2011. She made it all the way to the top 8. Raquel starred alongside Jennifer Lopez in the 2004 film Jersey Girl. After doing the movie she went through really bad depression but songwriting made her feel whole again. She also appeared in six episodes of the FOX drama Empire in 2015. Her song “Wrong Places” is a song she wrote when she was in this vulnerable state. Songland is finally going to give her the confidence she needs to make it to the next step in her career. Ryan felt like the only criticism is that there could be a chord substitution. He also thinks that perhaps the word “love” can be said fewer times in the song. She moves on to work with producer Ryan Tedder.
Jocelyn Alice Wows The Producers With Her Powerful Vocals
Jocelyn Alice is a Canadian singer/songwriter who was a runner-up on Canadian Popstars when she was 16. Her 2015 single “Jackpot” is certified platinum in Canada. She is signed to Disruptor Records and released an EP in 2018 called Little Devil. Jocelyn says that songwriting is the heart of everything she does. It is about unrequited love. The biggest thing that inspires her to love is heartache, grief and loss. She has “pitched a million songs to a million artists” and it has yet to lead her anywhere. She is singing “How Could You Not Know?” which is immediately a hit with the producers. H.E.R. said it’s very powerful. Ryan says they should simplify some of the lyrics and make them more clever. They want the intensity in the song to build up in the chorus. She moves on to work with producer Shane McAnally.
Axel Mansoor (With Ester Dean)
H.E.R. wants a little bit of a melody change in the hook of “Scary.” Ester wants to refine the melodies a bit. She loves the song and the sultry falsetto that the song originally had. They want the new song to show that women can be vulnerable in different ways even in times where they are trying to be sexy. For his second performance, he plays the guitar. H.E.R. called the performance “amazing.” This is exactly what makes Songland so exciting; when artists show excitement for the re-mastered songs.
Jocelyn Alice (With Shane McAnally)
Shane wants to make the lyrics less vague. H.E.R. agrees that the verses need to be more vulnerable. Jocelyn’s second performance is truly sensational as she is joined by two backup singers. H.E.R. says she loves the song so much. Shane is in love with the song and even says he “goes to bed singing it.” It seems like Jocelyn is a shoo-in for the win because the new lyrics really set her song apart from the rest. It’s edgy and fresh and something H.E.R. would definitely sing.
Raquel Castro (With Ryan Tedder)
Ryan wants to focus on getting the lyrics down. He also plays bass, guitar and drums on the new song. They worked on some doo-wop style harmonies in the second verse. For her second performance, there were more instruments and H.E.R. loves the new beat. It definitely makes the competition stiff because it is so catchy and has some incredible melodies.
And The Winning Song Is…
H.E.R. chooses “Wrong Places” by Raquel Castro! It was definitely a hard choice for H.E.R. to make. They made the song more flavorful and Ryan and Raquel nailed the production aspects of the song. This may have been a shock to some people since there was so much hype about Jocelyn’s amazing song before the show aired. But in the end, H.E.R. gave viewers a dazzling acoustic performance of “Wrong Places.”
We really have to commend all four artists for making this such a tough decision for the producers. All of their songs are incredible and deserve recognition.
Tune in to Songland next week to see four artists looking to impress country superstar Martina McBride.