Randy Newman

Randy Newman has to be the most affable songwriter you’d ever meet. Hear him talk comedy, songwriting and Toy Story

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 11 Jun 2013
  • min read
Randy Newman has to be the most affable songwriter you’d ever meet. He’s cut his own path through a ruthless music industry for nearly 50 years, surviving on charm, wit – and his remarkable aptitude.

From his 1968 eponymous debut album to award-winning soundtracks for films including Toy Story and Monsters, Inc, Randy has been rewriting the American songbook and delighting audiences the world over since the very start of his career.

If his music was a TV show it would be The Simpsons, cleverly operating on two levels to satisfy punters of every age. Randy’s deceptively complex melodies masquerade as simple rhymes while innocuous lyrics reveal stinging satire to bring laughs a minute.

Every now and again the multi-award-winning writer courts controversy with songs such as Political Science, Short People and, most recently, I’m Dreaming. All show strokes of ironic genius but have been commandeered by either naysayers or right-wing political activists out to further their own aims. Amazingly, all have left him unscathed and unperturbed.

We caught up with the legendary songwriter after he received the PRS for Music Special International Award at The Ivors last month. Hear what he has to say on comedy writing and composing for Toy Story. Also glean his pearls of wisdom on successful songwriting…