The Jonas Brothers Are a Go for Aspiring Writer’s Song on ‘Songland’

The hottest musical trio around right now is obviously the Jonas Brothers. Nick, Kevin, and Joe have been making the rounds on a slew of TV shows promoting their number one album, Happiness Begins, Amazon Prime documentary Chasing Happiness, and upcoming concert tour. Last night they appeared on NBC’s new reality show Songland to pick a new tune to record.

Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas, and Joe Jonas | Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The premise

The show Songland showcases undiscovered songwriters who pitch their music to a panel of music producers and songwriters including Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean, and Shane McAnally. Following the format of other music reality shows such as The Voice and American Idol, Songland features mentors on the show to coach the contestants. The winner of last night’s episode would have their song recorded by the JoBros and released worldwide. The show just launched its first season this year, premiering on May 28.

The contenders

Last night, the Jonas Brothers listened to four aspiring songwriters perform their creations. “Lookin’ for a big ‘ol hit today,” Nick said on the show, according to Billboard. “I think the thing we’re looking for most is something that hits us right between the eyes. That we know we can take around the world and play for our fans everywhere we go.” 

The contestants were a Los Angeles artist known as Able Heart, who played his song “Greenlight;” Remmi (Rachel Smith), originally from Louisiana and now part of Nashville’s thriving electro-pop sector, performed her song “Flickering,” where after being advised by the panel changed the title to “Do You Think of Me” for the final round;  18-year-old Ori Dulitzki from New York sang “No Pressure;” and pop singer/songwriter Rynn (Kathryn Kempthorn), also from Los Angeles, sang her track “Crowded Spaces.”

The panelists then gave the hopeful contestants some direction on how to adapt their songs to have more of a Jonas sound for their final performance of the night. Dulitzki did not make the cut for the final round.

A ‘Greenlight’ for Heart

It was a go for Able Heart, writer and singer of “Greenlight.” Nick delivered the decision, saying, “We feel that the song we want to share with the world, as a statement from us… is ‘Greenlight.'” Nick, Kevin, and Joe were hooked by the song’s reworked funky R&B sound that Nick said would be an “instant, slam-dunk hit” if he had written it, according to Billboard.

Heart has his own backstory of having to overcome difficulty, where his dream of becoming an Olympic skateboarding came crashing down when he injured his back at 15, which caused him to fall into depression and addiction, as Billboard reported. “Since I was 15 I have struggled with drugs, addiction and depression, trying to escape the void I felt inside. In the beginning, everything seems so new and amazing. So I would glorify the lifestyle, and justify everything that came with it… In the end, I destroyed everything good I’ve ever had and hurt the people I loved most in this world,” he wrote on Instagram “The only thing that has ever seemed to help me express how I feel inside is through my music. The things I talk about in my music and show in my videos is my outlet.”

“A well-written song can save somebody’s life,” Heart said according to Billboard, saying songwriting was a huge part of his recovery.

Dean was the coach for Heart, who described him as “Eminem meets Travis Scott… it’s like a rap-rock song with an alternative twist.” Heart also produced and engineered the track. When Heart’s name was announced, Dean gave him a big congratulatory hug. He was overcome with emotion, saying through tears, “”it doesn’t seem real for one and for two it’s definitely been a crazy long road here.”

“Do You Think of Me?” by Remmi and “Crowded Places” by Rynn are now available on Spotify and iTunes. While Heart’s version of “Greenlight” isn’t available to stream or buy, his other music can be found on Spotify, according to International Business Times. The Jonas Brothers’ new single of “Greenlight is now on Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services.