A podcast by Berklee Online, featuring interviews with musicians and music professionals from all corners of the industry.


Music is My Life: Episode 070

Bruce Hornsby on New Album and Having the Most Diverse Array of Collaborators Ever

Bruce Hornsby discusses his humble start in a Grateful Dead cover band, his mega breakthrough with “The Way It Is,” and his recent indie rock resurgence via his collaborations with members of Bon Iver. And yes, he also discusses how surreal it was to play 100+ shows with the real Grateful Dead!

Cindy Blackman Santana photographed by Jimmy Bruch
Music is My Life: Episode 069

Drummer Cindy Blackman Santana on Carlos, Lenny, and Visitations from Jazz Greats

Cindy Blackman became Lenny Kravitz’s drummer after a lifetime of jazz drumming. In this wide-ranging interview she discusses being visited by the spirits of the jazz greats she befriended during her time in New York City, and how she and husband Carlos Santana stay in harmony, onstage and off.

Kira Roessler of Black Flag by Jack Grisham
Music is My Life: Episode 068

Black Flag Bassist Kira Roessler on Being in a Band with Rollins and Ginn, and Her Solo Debut, at 60!

Kira Roessler played bass in Black Flag for two years, during which time the legendary hardcore band put out seven records. Now, at the age of 60, she’s an Emmy- and Oscar-winning dialogue editor and promoting her solo debut.

Arooj Aftab Music Is My Life interview
Music is My Life: Episode 067

Arooj Aftab on ‘Vulture Prince,’ Grammy Noms, Genius.com, and Berklee

Arooj Aftab began getting notice with a viral cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” more than 15 years ago, but with two Grammy nominations, she has finally arrived. Her “Vulture Prince” album is a stunning work that frequently reaches transcendence.

Songwriter Bruce Sudano as photographed in 2021 by Amy Waters.
Music is My Life: Episode 066

Bruce Sudano on Turning Brooklyn Dreams into Reality with Donna Summer

Bruce Sudano has written songs that have been sung by Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, and his late wife, Donna Summer, including the disco hit “Bad Girls.”

José González
Music is My Life: Episode 065

José González on Secular Humanism, ‘Local Valley,’ and Lyrical Inspiration

​​José González used to have difficulty writing lyrics, but with his new studio album, “Local Valley,” he has tapped into new sources of inspiration.

Music is My Life: Episode 064

Zombies Singer Colin Blunstone on His Career ‘Odessey’ and the ‘Time of the Season’ for Playing Live Again

Colin Blunstone started singing with the Zombies at the age of 16. They broke up shortly after releasing their 1968 masterpiece, “Odessey and Oracle,” but reformed in 2000, and have been going strong ever since.

Don Letts
Music is My Life: Episode 063

Don Letts on the Culture Clash of Punk and Reggae and ‘There and Black Again’

Don Letts introduced punks in the 1970s UK scene to reggae, kind of. He was a good friend of Bob Marley, sort of. He is the embodiment of punk’s ethos of empowerment, freedom, and individuality, totally!

Music is My Life: Episode 062

Butch Vig on Recording Drums, New Garbage Album, and Producing Nirvana

You know Butch Vig as the drummer and producer of Garbage, or the producer of mammoth 1990s recordings from Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins. But there is a lot more to him than that. For one, he has been playing with most of the people he makes music with for nearly 40 years.

Music is My Life: Episode 061

Sly and Robbie Drummer Sly Dunbar on Revolutionizing Reggae Drums

If you’ve heard any reggae music in your entire life then you’ve heard Sly Dunbar’s drumming, or at the very least, his influence. As one half of Sly and Robbie, Sly says he’s probably played on a million songs.

Anna Bulbrook discusses her life in music in this podcast.
Music is My Life: Episode 060

Anna Bulbrook on Toxic Violin, Kanye West Epiphanies, and Girlschool

Anna Bulbrook began studying violin at four. She quit at the age of 21, but then changed the terms of the relationship after a gig with Kanye West, and went on to become a founding member of the Airborne Toxic Event.

Ethiopian musician Hailu Mergia
Music is My Life: Episode 059

Hailu Mergia on Walias Band, Dahlak Band, and Fleeing Ethiopia

Hailu Mergia is an accordionist, keyboardist, and bandleader from Ethiopia, where he played with Walias Band and Dahlak Band before defecting to the US.

Music is My Life: Episode 058

Margo Nahas and Jay Vigon on Making Album Covers for Prince, Van Halen, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac

Margo Nahas and Jay Vigon are partners in life, love, and business, and have designed classic album covers by iconic acts like Fleetwood Mac and Prince. The pair discuss what it was like to work with these artists as well as how they met, why they moved from LA to Iowa, and the secret to a long-lasting partnership.

Music is My Life: Episode 057

Kamilah Marshall on Broadway Credits and Starting Berklee Online with BFFs

Kamilah Marshall discusses Broadway roles, touring with Bette Midler, Matthew Morrison from Glee, and going back to school.

Huey Lewis is pictured on the cover of his 2020 album, "Weather."
Music is My Life: Episode 056

Huey Lewis and the News on His Hearing, the Power of Love, and More

Huey Lewis: Some of his lies are true, including the ones about stowing away on a plane to Europe, playing soccer with Black Sabbath and Ozzy, and being dressed by Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy. He also touches upon his meteoric rise to fame in the 1980s and his struggles with Ménière’s disease.

Steven Wilson is pictured in this shot by Lasse Hoile
Music is My Life: Episode 055

Steven Wilson on ‘The Future Bites,’ Porcupine Tree, and ‘Album Years’ Podcast

Steven Wilson may be best known for his solo work and the progressive rock he made with Porcupine Tree, but he’s been a key part of over a dozen projects.

Seattle-based singer Lady A
Music is My Life: Episode 054

Lady A on Musical Life and Legal Battle with Band Formerly Known as Lady Antebellum

Lady A (the Seattle-based singer) discusses her ongoing dispute with Lady A (the Nashville-based trio), as well as her long career in music and how her life experiences brought her to this moment.

Music is My Life: Episode 053

This is the Kit: Kate Stables on ‘Off Off On,’ Wordplay, and Lizzo

This is the Kit began as an open-mic act in the early 2000s. Kate Stables reveals how she turned it into a sturdy full-band project over the past 15 years.

AJR members Ryan, Jack, and Adam Metzger
Music is My Life: Episode 052

AJR Brothers Jack and Ryan on ‘Bang,’ Concert Livestream, and Tour Tips

AJR is comprised of three brothers—Adam, Jack, and Ryan Metzger. Their first initials are where the name comes from. Their music career began on the streets of New York City, where they would busk together for hours at a time for years. The two brothers who take part in this interview—Ryan and Jack—say that years of trying to get people’s attention off the streets was formative to their work ethic and the constant need to one-up themselves with their live show.

Gavin Rossdale is pictured with other members of the band Bush.
Music is My Life: Episode 051

Gavin Rossdale on 25 Years of Bush, Jamming with His Children, and More

Gavin Rossdale had tracked all of the songs on what would become Bush’s multiplatinum debut, but he was still painting dentist’s offices. In this wide-ranging interview, he talks sudden (and enduring) success, his favorite Gwen Stefani tunes, and more.

Lee "Scratch" Perry is shown performing in 2016.
Music is My Life: Episode 050

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry on Bob Marley, Dub, Reggae, and Production

Lee “Scratch” Perry passed away on August 29th, 2021. We were fortunate enough to interview the Upsetter in 2020, for the 50th episode of the Music is My Life podcast. What follows is a very surreal interview about his life, dub, reggae, and revolution.

The Go! Team are pictured, sitting in a circle on a basketball court.
Music is My Life: Episode 049

The Go! Team on Longevity, ‘Cookie Scene,’ and More

Go! Team founders Ian Parton and Ninja discuss how they turned a solo kitchen recording project into a sustainable live collective.

Joe Wong has recently released his solo debut, "Nite Creatures."
Music is My Life: Episode 048

Joe Wong on ‘The Trap Set,’ Scoring for Netflix, and Solo Debut

Joe Wong has been in and out of indie bands since the late 1990s, starting a touring life at the age of 17. He has played drums for the likes of Marnie Stearn, Parts and Labor, and Mary Timony. At the age of 40, it seems like he has finally arrived, with a solo debut and scoring gigs for popular Netflix shows.

Music is My Life: Episode 047

Molly Tuttle on Weaving Her Bluegrass and Punk Rock Music Backgrounds

Molly Tuttle’s “… but i’d rather be with you” is a collection of seemingly disparate cover songs—running the gamut from Rancid to the Grateful Dead—that got the singer through tough times in her life. She recorded it as a coronavirus lockdown project to get others through similar tough times.

Music is My Life: Episode 046

Speedy Ortiz Leader Sadie Dupuis on SAD13, ‘Haunted Painting,’ Lizzo, and More

Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz, on the eve of releasing Haunted Painting, her second album under the SAD13 moniker, discusses her life in music, words, and math. Math? Yes, math!

Music is My Life: Episode 045

Martha Reeves on Dancing in the Street, the Vandellas, and the Motown Sound

Summer’s here and the time is right for this interview with Martha Reeves, reflecting on the timeless appeal of “Dancing in the Street,” how the social movements of the 1960s compare to the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as her storied career with Motown.

Music is My Life: Episode 044

Janet Billig Rich on Management (Nirvana, Hole) and Music Supervision (‘Rock of Ages,’ ‘Moulin Rouge’), and More

Janet Billig Rich discusses her long career in the music business, which started in merch sales, grew to an internship at Caroline (where she signed Hole), led to a career in management (where she managed acts like Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr.) and now has settled into music supervision.

Vanessa Carlton's latest album is "Love Is an Art."
Music is My Life: Episode 043

Vanessa Carlton on Pandemics, Psychedelics, and Stevie Nicks

Vanessa Carlton engages in a candid discussion about the seedy underbelly of the music industry, why followups to “A Thousand Miles” were more successful than some of the men on her team wanted her to believe, and why “Love Is An Art” marks a new beginning for her.

Music is My Life: Episode 042

Jungle Giants’ Sam Hales on Vibing with Bandmates

Sam Hales of Jungle Giants on taking the reins of his band, working two jobs to make an EP, and learning to trust your instinct.

Music is My Life: PODCAST EPISODE 041

Eddy Grant on ‘Electric Avenue,’ Heart Problems, and Lost Luggage

Eddy Grant began his career in the 1960s with the Equals, and 20 years later he made some of the biggest hits of his life, like “Electric Avenue” and “I Don’t Wanna Dance,” by fusing rock, reggae, and elements of electronic music. He continues to pioneer new sounds like soca and ringbang.

Music is My Life: PODCAST EPISODE 040

Lisa Loeb on the Ability to ‘Stay’ Working in an Ever-Changing Music Industry

Lisa Loeb discusses three decades in the music business, and how she was able to turn her initial success into a dozen different endeavors.

Music is My Life: PODCAST EPISODE 039

M. Ward on ‘Migration Stories,’ She & Him, and Songwriting

Matt Ward shares how a Beatles songbook and a closeted $25 guitar helped define his path as a musician, a journey which has led to create the poignant new M. Ward album, ‘Migration Stories.’

Music is My Life: Episode 038

Black Belt Eagle Scout on How being a Booker Prepared Her for Saddle Creek

Katherine Paul (AKA Black Belt Eagle Scout) discusses growing up on the Swinomish Indian Reservation in Washington state, and the changes that happened after she discovered Madonna, emo music, and how to put on a great show.

Music is My Life: Episode 037

Ron Pope Talks ‘A Drop in the Ocean,’ ‘One Grain of Sand,’ and Massive Streaming Numbers

Ron Pope discusses his new album, as well as his smash, “A Drop in the Ocean,” and a whole lot more.

Music is My Life: Episode 036

Spider Stacy on the Pogues, Lost Bayou Ramblers, and ‘A Fairytale of New York’

Spider Stacy met Shane MacGowan at a Ramones gig in England when they were both teens. Shortly after, they formed the Pogues, which meant Spider had to learn to play the tin whistle pretty quickly.

Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack.
Music is My Life: Episode 035

Andy Stack Talks Wye Oak, Joyero, Everclear Covers, and More

You may know Andy Stack as one half of the duo Wye Oak, along with Jenn Wasner. But he’s also one whole of Joyero, whose debut came out on Merge in 2019. He talks about his solo project and the future for Wye Oak.

Music is My Life: Episode 034

Soul Rebels on New Orleans, Collaborations, and Challenging What it Means to be a Brass Band

Lumar LeBlanc, Julian Gosin, and Marcus Hubbard, three generations of the New Orleans band Soul Rebels discuss hometown sounds, what it’s like to keep a band together for 30 years, and backing up the likes of Katy Perry, Nas, and Metallica.

Music is My Life: Episode 033

Ritzy Bryan of Joy Formidable Talks Music Business, Relationships, and Finding Her Sound

Ritzy Bryan of the Joy Formidable discusses why her Welsh heritage is so important to her music, how her time on Atlantic Records helped inform her understanding of the music business, and how her guitar acrobatics hurt her Fender as well as the forehead of Joy Formidable bassist Rhydian Dafydd. 

Music is My Life: Episode 032

Jon Kull on Orchestrating Some of Hollywood’s Biggest Blockbuster Movies

You know who Jon Kull is, even if you don’t know that you know who he is. You’ve heard his orchestrations in films like all of the “Hunger Games” movies, “King Kong,” “Avatar,” “Black Panther,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” and so many more.

Music is My Life: Episode 031

Songwriter Bonnie Hayes on Sexism, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Bonnie Hayes talks songwriting for Bonnie Raitt (and winning a Grammy for it), touring with Bob Seger, playing keys for Billy Idol, and being blown away by the Sex Pistols in 1978, and how all of that led to her coming to teach at Berklee College of Music and Berklee Online.

Music is My Life: Episode 030

Chip Taylor on ‘Wild Thing,’ Hendrix, and ‘Angel of the Morning’

Chip Taylor wrote “Wild Thing.” He really doesn’t need to write any more songs. But that doesn’t mean he’s showing any signs of stopping. He’s got a new album out, and is eager to discuss everything leading up to this moment on this edition of the Music Is My Life podcast.

Music is My Life: Episode 029

Evan Dando (Lemonheads) on Songwriting, Guitars, and Mrs. Robinson

Evan Dando has been releasing music for more than 30 years, reaching a commercial high point in the early and mid 90s with the Lemonheads albums “It’s a Shame about Ray” and “Come on Feel the Lemonheads.”

Music is My Life: Episode 028

Red Sox and Patriots DJ TJ Connelly on Playing Music for the Masses

TJ Connelly is the DJ for the 2018 World Series Champs, the Boston Red Sox, the 2019 Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots, and more recently the Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics. He got his start as a DJ at a comedy club!

Music is My Life: Episode 027

Tony Trischka on Banjo, Pete Seeger, Steve Martin, and Springsteen

Tony Trischka’s list of collaborators includes Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Earl Scruggs, and Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, so it’s no surprise that he has been called “perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world.” 

Music is My Life: Episode 026

Darlene Love Talks Holidays, Phil Spector, and ‘20 Feet from Stardom’

Whether you know Darlene Love from her smash hit, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on the Phil Spector holiday album, or from her profile in the film, “20 Feet From Stardom,” this Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is a force to be reckoned with. She just turned 80, and she can still bring it, onstage! This 2018 interview with her is one for the ages.

Music is My Life: Episode 025

Tanya Donelly on Belly, Breeders, and Throwing Muses

Tanya Donelly discusses her life in music, including her beginnings with Throwing Muses and the Breeders, and her major breakthrough with Belly, a band she’s currently enjoying a reunion with.

Music is My Life: Episode 024

Ben Vaughn Talks Television Scoring, Production, and Songwriting

Ben Vaughn is best known for his work on That 70s Show, but he also has extensive experience in production and songwriting.

Music is My Life: Episode 023

Andrew Joslyn Talks Violin, Orchestration, Macklemore, Money, and More

After a violin-heavy childhood, Andrew Joslyn ditched classical music and began scoring massive hits for Kesha, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and more.

Music is My Life: Episode 022

Taj Mahal on Working with Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, the Rolling Stones, and More

Taj Mahal has spent his 50-year career bending genres to his own signature style. His work includes moving explorations in jazz, funk, reggae, country, rock ‘n’ roll, and more.

Music is My Life: Episode 021

Marlon Williams on Finding American Country Music in New Zealand

In the US, you probably know Marlon Williams for his contribution to the “Wild Wild Country” soundtrack. But in New Zealand, you know him for his consistent output of great music since his teen years.

Music is My Life: Episode 020

Gary Lucas on Playing with Captain Beefheart and Jeff Buckley

Gary Lucas is best known for playing with Captain Beefheart in the 1980s, and Jeff Buckley in the 1990s. But that’s only a fraction of his accomplishments.

Musician and producer (and Berklee Online student) Trevor Horn is pictured, smiling, while relaxing in a chair.
Music is My Life: Episode 019

Trevor Horn on Music Production, Buggles, Yes, and Bass Lessons

Trevor Horn is not only a co-writer of “Video Killed the Radio Star” and a producer of mega-hits for Yes, John Legend, ABC, and more. He’s also a Berklee Online student!

Music is My Life: Episode 018

Dean Ween (Mickey Melchiondo) on the Guitarists That Shaped Him

If the name Michael Melchiondo does not ring a bell, it’s because he is known professionally by his stage name of Dean Ween. Click to check out what Deaner was talking about. (That’s a Ween reference!)

Music is My Life: Episode 017

The War on Drugs Drummer Charlie Hall on Facilitating Adam Granduciel’s Vision

The War on Drugs drummer Charlie Hall discusses his musical upbringing, Grammy competition, and the importance of a grade school teacher on his development.

Music is My Life: Episode 016

DJ Mike Henderson (ENDO) on Learning to DJ with Traktor

Mike Henderson (also known as ENDO) is a DJ who has pioneered harmonic mixing, developed DJ-friendly apps, worked in tour management for other DJs, and developed Berklee Online’s first DJ course.

Music is My Life: Episode 015

Stephen Davis on Writing about Zeppelin, Stevie Nicks, and More

Stephen Davis has written nearly 20 books about music, including the Led Zeppelin book, “Hammer of the Gods” and the brand new “Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks.”

Music is My Life: Episode 014

Jen Cloher on Songwriting and Playing Music with Partner Courtney Barnett

Jen Cloher has been releasing music to critical acclaim in Australia for more than a decade, but is only now receiving the international attention she deserves.

Music is My Life: Episode 013

Boston Red Sox Organist Josh Kantor on Playing Fenway Park

Josh Kantor has been playing the organ at Fenway Park since 2003, and he hasn’t missed a single home game since.

Music is My Life: Episode 012

Cindy Wilson of the B-52’s Talks Solo Debut, ‘Rock Lobster,’ and More

After 40 years in the music business, as one of the leaders of the B-52’s, Cindy Wilson is finally releasing her solo debut! “Change,” on the Kill Rock Stars label marks a drastic, er, um, change.

Music is My Life: Episode 011

Lisa Roth on Rockabye Baby Series and Growing up with Van Halen’s David Lee Roth

Lisa Roth’s first job at a record label was as a nutritionist! She eventually invented a wildly successful series of musical releases that would make baby showers a lot more fun.

Music is My Life: Episode 010

Music Therapist Suzanne Hanser on Music for Wellness

Dr. Suzanne Hanser discusses her illustrious career in music therapy, and how her profession brought her back to Boston to teach at Berklee College of Music.

Music is My Life: Episode 009

Sam Amidon on Reimagining Folk Music with ‘The Following Mountain’

Music is Sam Amidon’s life. He’s been playing professionally since he was a little kid. We have proof! And that proof is adorable.

Music is My Life: Episode 008

Will Dailey on Crowdfunding and Getting Music Placed on TV

Will Dailey has sold his car for rock ‘n’ roll! In this edition of Music Is My Life, he talks about his current crowdfunding campaign.

Music is My Life: Episode 007

Leo Flynn on Vitamin String Quartet and Rockabye Baby

Leo Flynn is the brand manager for the Vitamin String Quartet, the group best known for recreating classical-style versions of popular songs.

Music is My Life: Episode 006

Divinity Roxx on Playing Bass with Beyoncé and Victor Wooten

2022 has been a banner year for Divinity Roxx. In the spring she graduated from Berklee Online, and in November she was nominated for a Grammy! Help celebrate her success by listening to this “Music is My Life” interview from our archives.

Music is My Life: Episode 005

Gary Burton on Retirement, Stan Getz, Chick Corea, and the Animosity of Miles Davis

Jazz legend Gary Burton discusses his life in music, just as he is about to walk away from it. His farewell tour—featuring Makoto Ozone—begins in March.

Music is My Life: Episode 004

Nathan East on Playing Bass with Absolutely Everyone

If you haven’t heard the name Nathan East before, you’ve heard his bass. He’s played on upwards of 10,000 songs by the likes of Beyoncé, MJ, Lionel, Clapton, Phil Collins, and thousands more!

Berklee Online course author Prince Charles Alexander is shown presiding over the mixing desk.
Music is My Life: Episode 003b

Prince Charles Alexander on Transitioning to Bad Boy Records

In PT II of this podcast, Prince Charles Alexander shares how he walked away from fame (but not fortune) and how his path eventually led to Diddy, and engineering iconic albums.

Music is My Life: Episode 003a

Prince Charles Alexander on Bringing the Funk

Berklee Online professor Prince Charles Alexander shares how he came to fame that he walked away from and how Nile Rodgers and Diddy helped him reinvent himself.

Sarah Neufeld with her violin.
Music is My Life: Episode 002

Sarah Neufeld on Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre, and Collaborating with Husband Colin Stetson

Sarah Neufeld began playing violin at the age of three, and considers herself “half-classically trained.”

Music is My Life: Episode 001

Glenn Kotche Talks Wilco, Solo Projects, and Soundtrack Work

Music is Glenn Kotche’s life. From the age of three through his study of classical percussion in college to playing with Wilco, music has always been a part of this drummer’s narrative. Hear his story.