Behind the Song

This past year, Jonathan Mann ’04 announced the launch of his new podcast, As it Happens: Song a Day. Mann’s YouTube Channel, Song A Day Guy, publishes a new song every day that is written, performed and produced by Mann. After he published his 4,0000 song, he announced he would be augmenting the project with his podcast, As it Happens. The podcast takes listeners through the process of making the songs. In March, The New York Times included As It Happens on its list of “Podcasts Worth a Listen.” They wrote, “Every episode follows the creation of a song, boiled down to about 20 minutes. Listen as Mann comes up with an idea, writes lyrics, builds a track, chooses different instruments, sings, plays and puts it all together into an ultimately satisfying bop. Mann’s true mission is to share the parts that aren’t seen in a finished artistic product: the failure, the frustrations, the constant life interruptions.” This summer, Newsweek interviewed Mann about his Aerosmith parody, “Karen’s Got a Gun,” which mocks a now famous couple of attorneys who threatened peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters with guns in front of their mansion. Speaking with Newsweek, Mann said, “I looked at the pictures of them together and their big house, and I saw this anger. I felt like the looks on their faces were so telling… So I started to imagine what [Patricia McCloskey’s] life is actually life. It would’ve been really easy to just do something making fun of them for the way that they looked, but I didn’t want to take that approach,” Mann continued. “I tried to imagine what life choices one would have to make to be standing where they were with those guns.” Mann has used his Song A Day project as a platform to sing out on a litany of political and social issues. His song, “Fuck You, James Comey” was included in the two part Showtime miniseries, The Comedy Rule, that aired this month and recently reported on in Vanity Fair.