'Song Exploder': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about Netflix's music docuseries

'Song Exploder': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about Netflix's music docuseries
'Song Exploder' (Netflix)

The popular music podcast 'Song Exploder' is all set to be released on Netflix as a TV series. The Hrishikesh Hirway-created podcast, which originally started out on January 1, 2014, was picked up by streaming giant Netflix to turn into a docuseries. Hirway made the announcement in September on Twitter and wrote, "I still don’t fully believe it but Song Exploder, a podcast I started in my bedroom!, is going to be a Netflix series. Featuring Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, R.E.M., and Ty Dolla $ign."



The podcast has featured iconic and popular guests such as Metallica, Iggy Pop, Fleetwood Mac, St Vincent, Tame Impala, Björk, Solange, Lorde, The Killers, MGMT, Weezer, The Postal Service, Ghostface Killah, Wilco, Spoon and U2. It has also deconstructed the theme songs to the television programs 'Bob's Burgers', 'Stranger Things', 'House of Cards', 'Last Week Tonight', 'Downton Abbey', 'Game of Thrones' and 'Transparent'.


'Song Exploder' has received numerous accolades including Best of iTunes in 2015 and Best Music Podcast as voted by the Academy of Podcasters in 2016 and 2017. The podcast, which is still ongoing and has a total of 177 episodes to date, aired its last episode on September 23 with guest Selena Gomez deconstructing the song 'Lose You to Love Me'. The podcast is hosted by Hirway himself and by singer and songwriter Thao Nguyen. Now about to debut on Netflix, here's all you need to know about the upcoming music documentary series on Netflix.


Release date

The music documentary series will release worldwide on October 2, 2020.  


'Song Exploder' will stick to the popular premise of the podcast where musicians analyze and share the stories behind their songs. 'Song Exploder' will weave together in-depth interviews, archival footage and raw recordings as each artiste breaks down their song, layer by layer, sharing intimate insight into the personal inspiration behind the music and lyrics.



The series, just like the podcast, will feature numerous special guests with Hirway hosting each episode. The cast for the first episode, as revealed in the trailer, is as follows:

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys (Getty Images)


Alicia Keys needs no introduction. She has wowed music lovers with her critical and commercially successful singles like 'Fallin'', 'You Don't Know My Name', 'If I Ain't Got You', and 'Diary', among numerous others. Keys has received numerous accolades, including 15 Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 12 ASCAP Awards, and an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and National Music Publishers Association. She has sold over 40 million albums and 35 million singles worldwide and was named by Billboard the top R&B artiste of the 2000s decade.


Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda (Getty Images)

The American composer, lyricist, actor, singer, rapper, producer, and playwright has garnered acclaim for starring in the Broadway musicals 'In the Heights' and the hugely popular 'Hamilton'. His awards include a Pulitzer Prize, three Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and a Kennedy Center Honor in 2018.


Michael Stipe (R E M)

Michael Stipe (Getty Images)

To analyze the iconic track ‘Losing My Religion’, R E M’s Michael Stipe will feature on ‘Song Exploder’. Stipe, who was with R E M from the first to their last day as a band, will dissect the '90s staple hit and talk about how the track became a massive hit that defines R.E.M’s incredible popularity. The rock band formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and lead vocalist Stipe. The band's most commercially successful albums include 'Out of Time' (1991) and 'Automatic for the People' (1992). 'Out of Time' received seven nominations at the 34th Grammy Awards and its lead single 'Losing My Religion' was R E M's highest-charting and best-selling hit. The band broke up in 2011 with members turning to solo projects after having sold more than 90 million albums worldwide.


Ty Dolla $ign

Ty Dolla $ign (Getty Images)

The popular singer, songwriter and record producer first gained major recognition in 2010 for his guest feature on YG's 'Toot It and Boot It'. He is known for his songs 'Paranoid', 'Or Nah', and 'Blasé' as well his various features on singles such as 'Work from Home' by Fifth Harmony, 'Swalla' by Jason Derulo featuring Nicki Minaj, 'Hot Girl Summer' by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Nicki Minaj, and 'Psycho' by Post Malone, which was his first track as a lead artist or featured artiste to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100.


Each musician will break down a key track from their career, such as Keys' '3 Hour Drive' and Miranda’s 'Wait For It' from 'Hamilton'.


Each episode of 'Song Exploder' will be directed by a different director. The names revealed till now are of directors Nicola Marsh and Morgan Neville. It has been conceived by Hirway. 


Talking about the series, creator Hirway said, "As a teenager, I used to sit in my room and listen to music while poring over the lyrics and liner notes and artwork until I could almost feel myself living in the world of the artist. It was the most incredible feeling, and with 'Song Exploder', I wanted to take that feeling and go even further. It’s been so exciting to turn it into a television show, because it’s provided a chance to immerse yourself in the music, and the ideas behind the music, in a deeper way than I ever imagined."



The trailer of the show, featuring musicians from the first episode, as released by Netflix and can be watched below:



Where to watch

'Song Exploder' will be streaming on Netflix starting October 2, 2020.

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