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Podcast Review: Jhene Aiko’s “Sativa” on ‘Song Exploder’

This episode digs deep into the production behind Jhene Aiko’s “Sativa.”

Robyn McDonald



I chose the Song Exploder music podcast because it explains how beats are created for songs, as well as the artist’s arrival for creating the song. The first episode I listened to, was Jhene Aiko’s “Sativa” ft. Swae Lee. This was interesting because this is a very popular song and I loved just the vibe of the track.

I love Aiko and Lee as artists, so I knew this would be a great song with them collaborating together. I also like how the producer, Brian Warfield, explained how he created each sound for the track while making it. I was surprised when Jhene said she had the song for about a year before actually going at it head on with Lee. I learned that Lee came to the studio and rapped three whole versions of the song off the top of his head and it was interesting to learn that not all artists work in the same way.

I listened to it a couple times while walking and laying down relaxing after a hard day of work. I like it because I hear the artists’ approach to how they wanted the track to sound and their process of recording it.

It would have been nice to hear about all the other famous songs made by the artists.

The episode does take full advantage of audio possibilities because the producer explains how they make the beat, how they got the sounds, how they layered everything, and built it from scratch to a full song.

I wasn’t a fan of the show before, but listening to it and finding out how everything was created is really interesting. The host did a good job of giving a background of the artist and providing information on what we’d be listening to. However, they spoke too fast when giving the artist biographies, as well as the ads at the beginning of the podcast.

I don’t believe they are copying anyone else because it’s more of a straightforward explanation, rather than an interview asking questions back and forth. It was fun to hear how this song was created because it gave me new ideas to try to build instruments and set the tones for new tracks.

This was a great first listen to a podcast and the first one to which I have subscribed.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Robyn "RJ" McDonald is a musician from Paducah, KY, living in Nashville, TN. She began playing drums, keyboards/piano by the age of seven, and studied Videography/Journalism throughout, starting in middle school through high school, and going to SAE Institute of Technology for two Associate's degrees in Audio Engineering/Music Production and Music Business.

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