As ‘Songland’ returns for season two, star Ryan Tedder says it’s “just stepped up on every level”

The second season of Songland, the NBC music competition show executive-produced by Adam Levine and starring OneRepublic‘s Ryan Tedder, premieres Monday night.  The show’s stated goal was to shine a spotlight on music’s unsung heroes: the people who actually write your favorite songs — and Ryan says he feels Songland has very much achieved that.

“This to me is the equivalent of 15 years or so ago, when, [because of] the Food Network…America and the world all of a sudden looked at chefs under a different light…as superheroes and rock stars,” Ryan tells ABC Audio.

“The mysterious, faceless person that’d been in the kitchen for so long, now has a face and a name. That’s what Songland is doing for songwriters. And I think it’s so important.”

According to Ryan, this new season — which also stars top R&B/pop songwriter/producer Ester Dean and hit country songwriter/producer Shane McAnally — is vastly superior to the first.

“It is musically better. In terms of entertainment, it’s better. The transformation moments are better — it just stepped up on every level,” Ryan gushes. “Artists that didn’t wanna mess with season one saw how well season one did and they all came in droves to do season two. We had more artists that wanted to do season two than we had episodes to fill!”

Among the artists participating this season: Boyz II Men, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha, Lady Antebellum, Usher and Luis Fonsi.  Ryan says that’s proof that the show’s a success: Even artists who write their own hits are willing to come on Songland and record a track by an unknown.

“These are all people that don’t need to be supportive of anything,” notes Ryan. “They chose to come and do Songland, and to me, that says everything in the world.”

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