Songland Recap: Jonas Brothers ‘Greenlight’ a Hit From Rising Songwriter

We LOVE the song they chose!

Written by Tammy Ragusa
Songland Recap: Jonas Brothers ‘Greenlight’ a Hit From Rising Songwriter
SONGLAND -- "Jonas Brothers" Episode 103 -- Pictured: Jonas Brothers -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

It didn’t take long for the professional songwriters of NBC’s Songland to find their groove when it came to advising the four contestants who appear weekly on the new hit reality show. However, the celebrities who appear with the hopes of landing their next recording are often blown away by the process as well as the aspiring songwriters.

This week, the Jonas Brothers were on the set to have their minds blown while pros Ester Dean, Shane McAnally and Ryan Tedder lead the march to their new single.

First up was Able Heart from Los Angeles with his original song, “Greenlight.” Able Heart is a ghost songwriter, producer, and engineer, and what made this even more special is that singing the song on the show was his first time to perform. Ever. In front of anyone anywhere.

And he nailed it. “It’s like a rock rap song with an alternative twist,” Ester said. She also told him not to “ghost” anything anymore saying that he didn’t need to let someone else take the credit for his work. The Jonas Brothers were into it as well, especially Joe who said that, lyrically, the song made sense for them.

Next was Remmi from Pollock, Louisiana. Her song, “Flickering,” was personal for her as it was inspired by someone she used to love. While Ryan zeroed in on one specific line of the tune—“I don’t want to be alone tonight—Kevin embraced the feeling. “It has that anthem vibe,” he said.

The youngest writer of the evening was 18-year-old Obi from New York. His original tune, “No Pressure,” was cool and confident and Nick handed him a mighty compliment. “This, at times, reminded me of Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen,” he said, “and I think there’s something to lean into there.”

The final young writer of the night was a former student of Nashville’s Belmont University. Rynn moved to Los Angeles, though, to be more present in the pop music scene. With “Crowded Places,” she had everyone vining. “I love this hook,” Shane told her. “It gave me an image and made me miss somebody.” Ryan added, “You can almost picture the music video.”

With all four burgeoning songwriters finished, Ester, Ryan, Shane, and the Jonas Brothers took some time to deliberate and narrow the line-up down to just three remaining writers. When they returned, Remmi, Able Heart, and Rynn were the writers chosen to continue.

Remmi worked with Ryan who was still obsessed with one line. “‘I don’t want to be alone tonight’ – that’s what set me up for the whole song,” he said. “I don’t even know if I would touch the track.” What they did touch, though was the song’s title, changing it from “Flickering” to “Do You Think of Me.”

An enthusiastic Able Heart worked with an equally energized Ester who worked a bit of magic to transform “Greenlight” into a group song instead of a solo artist. But there was another thing that Ester wanted to readdress with her protegé. “When you said you ghost wrote, that broke my heart,” she told the young artist. “You gotta know where you belong because you are incredible.”

The final pairing, Rynn and Shane, worked to make “Crowded Places” more clear lyrically, but also to make it more relatable to the Jonas Brothers as global artists. “To me, you want to tie some of the lyrics to their lives,” Shane told Rynn. Although Rynn was quiet, she was happy with the changes, commencing Shane for maintaining the heart and meaning of the song, but deepening the lyrics.

After their one-on-one sessions, the emerging writers were called back to perform the revised versions of their original songs.

The rewrite of Rynn’s “Crowded Places” got her a nod of approval from the Jonas Brothers. “When we think about the kind of songs we want to sing for the rest of our lives and career, we think about things that resonate,” Nick told her. “This sounds like one of those songs.”

A more confident Able came next with his “Greenlight” rewrite. “I love these changes, I love the falsetto,” Shane exclaimed. “Now it has a form that sounds like these guys.” Nick Jonas agreed, calling it a hit.

In addition to the title, Remmi’s “Do You Think of Me” had considerable changes, but the revised version earned high praise from Kevin Jonas. “From an emotional standpoint, it connects lyrically,” he said. “It’s powerful.”

Although the brothers were only selecting one song to record immediately, they praised all three writers and said they were looking forward to tapping into all three of them in the future. However, it was Able Heart’s “Greenlight” that took the night’s competition.

As with all of the songs selected in the course of the season, the artist’s recordings are available immediately after the show.

Next week, Meghan Trainor will visit Songland to pick her next record.