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It’s only a four-part series, but two of the episodes of Song Exploder will resonate with any New Yorker. Alica Keys and Lin-Manuel Miranda take us behind the scenes of how they construct their music.
The new Netflix series, hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway lets us see songs pulled together from different elements. For Alicia Keys track 3 Hour Drive, we get to sit in a small London studio with Sampha (a British artist) and Jimmy Napes her co-writer as they too and fro musically. Napes find chords, Sampha improvises with jazz piano and Keys adds her voice. It combines together to make an amazing and moving track contrasting Keys’ experiences as a mother and the death of Sampha’s mother.
The show is an extension of Hirway’s podcast, which has been running since January 2014.
The other three songs featured in the series are Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Wait For It from Broadway’s Hamilton; REM’s 1991 hit Losing My Religion, and Ty Dolla $ign’s LA.