It’s a simple idea, really. Writing funny songs about sports. Current Toronto resident Kathy Anderson does exactly that on SongsAboutSports.com. Let me be the first to tell you that she’s got a knack for it. Although she grew up watching hockey, Kathy is no stranger to basketball or the pain of Chris Bosh’s departure. Or the fact that he looks like Raptor. Or the fact that Andrea Bargnani can’t rebound. Or that Nate Robinson tweets way too much. In fact, she’s written songs about all of these things. In a recent interview, I caught up with Kathy to discuss Songs About Sports, her hoops career and why the Raptors need to have an all-European team.
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Dime: How did Songs About Sports get started?
Kathy Anderson: I went to school for acting, so I was kind of on the creative side. I didn’t really get into it after I graduated cause I was too busy watching sports. (laughs) And then I just decided to do the first song, about the Blue Jays. My boyfriend was just like, ‘Make a rap about them!’ And it sounded like a dare, so I was like, ‘Yeah, okay.’ And then people thought it was funny. That was a couple years ago, And I’ve done a few other ones since.
Dime: You did a song on Nate Robinson’s tweets. Does he clog your Twitter feed like he does mine?
KA: Oh he so does! I almost want to unfollow him. But I can’t, he follows me. It does clog your feed, but if you investigate further, there are little gems. Like the other day, maybe a couple weeks ago, he posted a video of his kids jumping on a trampoline doing flips. But it’s him in the background being like, ‘You gotta land it, you gotta land it!’ So those hidden gems are good, but apart from that he gets all up in your feed.
Dime: Who else helps you run the website and produce the songs?
KA: My boyfriend is the video editor, so that really helps. And he helps me with the ideas, too – he’s pretty creative. Apart from that, I do it all kinda by myself. You kinda have to have a team to make it more a business, you know? My next plan is to kind of sketch variety-esque thing, just to do a sport, but kind of have a few more guys that I know from school that know about sports. Kind of make it like an SNL thing but have it come out every couple of weeks. If you don’t release something weekly, or bi-weekly, people kind of forget. I’m still learning about the business side of things, but the next step is to get regular content out. And to pimp out my site.
Dime: Walk me through the process of writing and producing a song.
KA: The biggest problem I have is not coming up with the initial idea, but the hook. You know, what’s funny about it. I could write a song in 10 minutes, but it’s not gonna be funny and entertaining and worth people’s time. If I find that hook, something that’s so funny that I make myself laugh, then everything just basically writes itself. I did one about having sex with Vijay Singh after the Tiger Woods scandal, I think one of my friends came up with it. I remember laughing for a half hour. That’s how you know something will work. So I record the song and then if I have any ideas for the video, I’ll make my boyfriend do them. Some videos I completely take over and direct them and all he does is shoot them because I can’t shoot myself. But most of the time he’ll do the editing and we work together – which is nightmare, because we we’re not very good at working together (laughs).
Dime: Do you plan on expanding by bringing in more people?
KA: I think you need to have more people in order to produce content. Like obviously the more brains the better when coming up with ideas and stuff. But I want to be the head. With what I plan to do in the next few months hopefully, I’m gonna try to recruit the guys I went to comedy school with. After university, I went to a comedy school – Second City. They have it Chicago as well. I went to the northern version up in Toronto. They’re really funny guys and they know sports so hopefully we’ll be able to whip some stuff up. I don’t want it to be 100% me, because that gets boring fast. You really need to see another face. I think that’s why Norm MacDonald’s show got cancelled. He’s hilarious, but it was just him.