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If you’re anything like us, you’ve caught yourself humming “Look What You Made Me Do” or “Call Me Maybe” more often than you’d like to admit. What is it about these songs that makes them so catchy anyway? No, really: How is a hit song made? What magic sorcery makes something so damn good? How does it all work? Well, we’re all about to get a taste of the special sauce with the launch of…well, The Launch (Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CTV, starting January 10).

The Launch is something you definitely haven’t seen before: Yes, it’s a music-competition show, but this one delves deep into what it actually takes to produce a hit song, not just to sing it, and you’re along for the ride. Under the guidance of Scott Borchetta (the man responsible for finding Taylor Swift) and a team of world-renowned producers and songwriters (we’re talking Boy GeorgeRyan TedderShania Twain, FergieJennifer NettlesAlessia Cara and more), song and artist come together right before your eyes.

Here’s how it works: Each episode starts with five artists auditioning for a team of musical superstars. Two of those performers are then selected to move on and are paired up with notable musical mentors to produce a song. And these mentors aren’t just token guest stars, either; they’re a huge part of the process, from start to finish.

And a huge part of that special sauce. While production isn’t everything when it comes to crafting a bomb track, it is a big part of it. (Don’t believe us? Take a listen to this, then to this. They’re the same song. The difference, beyond the vocalist, is the production.) The Launch mentors will shape and develop each artist, helping them find their own sound and pushing them to reach the limits of what they’re capable of. They know what a hit song sounds like and they know what it takes to get an artist there.

You’ll see how decisions are made over the mixing board, how changing the key can change everything and just how wildly different the “same song” can sound in the hands of different artists and producers. The process isn’t always easy, so expect plenty of drama (and maybe a gently bruised ego or two), but a whole lot of inspired collaboration, too.

Once the artists are ready, they’ll each perform what has become their song in front of a live studio audience, and one will be chosen to launch not just a single, but a career. Immediately afterwards, the song that you’ve seen come together will be on the radio and available for download. Did we mention this all happens in one episode?

This is music in the making: a never-before-seen look behind the curtain at just how your favourite songs came to be. And the best part? You’ll love them all the more for it.

The Launch premieres Wednesday, January 10 at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.