Channel 4 to take on The X Factor with new music competition Songland

New show gives songwriters - not singers - the chance to crack the music biz

Songland logo

Channel 4 has reportedly ordered a UK version of new American music show Songland, which sees budding songwriters compete to have their tracks recorded by chart stars.

Thanks to The X Factor and The Voice, television has no shortage of wannabe singers hoping to become famous.

However, their latest rival talent contest instead focuses on the behind-the-scenes work that goes in to making a chart hit.

Songland - a format co-devised by Eurythmics member Dave Stewart - gives aspiring songwriters a chance to crack the music industry.

Each episode sees five writers perform their work to a panel of three top music producers and a big-name artist.

The artist chooses their favourite three to be paired with one of the producers, who will help them develop their songs.

Eventually, the artist decides the winning track, which they will then record and release as their next single.

The competition is open to all walks of life, no matter where hopefuls are from or what their occupations are.

NBC is already filming a US version of Songland, co-produced by Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder.

Although the show has yet to air Stateside, The Sun claims C4 is already working on bringing it to Britain. Auditions are due to begin as soon as next month.

“Industry insiders believe this is the best show since X Factor,” a source commented.

“There’s real raw talent involved and the opportunity to launch some amazing careers. The show will put them in front of people that they’d otherwise only dream of meeting.

“There will also be the added entertainment of watching the songwriters negotiate with artists who are putting their own stamp on the tune.

“It’s set to be a fascinating insight into what goes on behind the scenes of putting a single together.”

Songland would be C4’s first major attempt at taking on The X Factor, although it has experimented with music contests.

In 2014, the broadcaster launched The Singer Takes It All, which saw viewers vote live via a real-time mobile app to decide which singers won a cash prize.

The concept failed to set the ratings alight, with bosses canning it after one series.

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