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Benny Blanco, Steve Wariner and Tor Erik Hermansen Talk “Hit Songs” at Clive Davis Institute

October 16, 2013

One of them wrote the monster hits “Tik Tok,” “Moves Like Jagger,” and “Dynamite.” Another wrote and performed 10 chart topping country music hits, while also generating number one songs for Clint Black and Garth Brooks. And the third is part of the legendary Norwegian songwriting group Stargate that penned number one hits for Rihanna and Beyonce.

Apart from being among the most successful songwriters and producers of all time, these three artists – Benny Blanco, Steve Wariner and Tor Erik Hermansen – are the latest guest lecturers at a class entitled “Writing the Hit Song”, taught by Adjunct Professor Mike Errico and Instructor Amund Bjorklund at the NYU Tisch Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music.

“Writing the Hit Song” is part of the enhanced musicianship and performance curriculum at the Clive Davis Institute. The class will be offered to sophomores and juniors and students are split into several groups depending on genre and experience. Tor Erik Hermansen kicks off the series, attending class on Monday, October 21; Benny Blanco will join the class November 18; and Steve Wariner will attend December 2.

“Over the last 10 years at the Clive Davis Institute, we’ve built a rich community encompassing some of the most talented and successful people in the music industry, from both an artistic and a commercial standpoint,” said Jeffrey Rabhan, chair of the Clive Davis Institute. “Our goal is to ensure our students get regular and meaningful exposure to these talented minds and this year’s curriculum and speakers certainly delivers on that.”

Accomplished songwriters and performers in their own right, Errico and Bjorklund come to the Clive Davis institute with a wealth of experience and accolades under their belts. Errico was previously a lecturing professor at Yale University, and has released 7 full-length albums as an artist with producers including Arif Mardin and Ben Mink. He is owner and president of Tallboy 7, a production and scoring company whose TV composition credits include The Voice, Pop-Up Video (nominated for two 2012 Daytime Emmys), Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Last Call with Carson Daly, American Pickers, Teen Mom, and Dateline.

Bjorkland is an award winning songwriter and record producer of Norwegian/Icelandic background whose songs have sold in excess of 50 million singles and albums. He has written with or for artists such as Beyonce, Train, Bruno Mars, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Lionel Ritchie, Selena Gomez, Jonas Brothers and a number of American Idol winners. He co-wrote the BMI Song Of The Year in 2007, with "Irreplaceable" for Beyonce, occupying the Nr.1 spot on the Billboard Hot100 chart for 10 consecutive weeks. Bjorland also co-wrote the Grammy winning "Hey, Soul Sister" for Train. He is one half of the production team Espionage and works out of his studio in Manhattan.

"Guests give what no reading can. These are the people out in the field, living the life so many of these students aspire to, and in this setting, they can answer the real questions and give the right insight that can inspire this talented group,” said Errico. “One of the bonuses of being part of an organization like the Clive Davis Institute is that they value the forward-looking approach, and I'm excited to be able to contribute."

The Writing the Hit Song class is just one aspect of the enhanced Musicianship and Performance curriculum for 2013-14, which also features songwriting classes and master classes with hitmaker Desmond Child; Grammy Award winner Jesse Harris; Grammy and Latin Grammy winning producer, performer and songwriter, Andres Levin; and David Kahne, former President of A&R at both Columbia Records and Capital Records. For more information on the Musicianship and Performance curriculum, click here.

About the NYU Tisch Clive Davis Institute
The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music provides professional business and artistic training toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, providing professional training for students who aspire to succeed as creative entrepreneurs in the music industry. The program bears the name of its chief patron and advisor, Clive Davis. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @CliveDavisInst.



This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Tisch School of the Arts, NYUToday-feature

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Shonna Keogan | (212) 998-6796

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Benny Blanco, who penned monster hits Dynamite (Taio Cruz), Diamonds (Rihanna), and Work Hard Play Hard (Wiz Khalifa), is one of several celebrity songwriters coming to the Clive Davis Institute this fall.

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