Native present at the IPA TV Production Knowledge course

Native present for the IPA Course @ Framestore

Native present for the IPA Course @ Framestore

A few weeks ago we were asked if we'd be up for presenting a 1.5 hour session on music supervision and production to a bunch of IPA TV Production Knowledge students at Framestore. We were honoured to have been thought of and so last week that's what Dan, Fred and Rachel from Native did.

The IPA has run this TV Production course for over 30 years, during which time it has become recognised within the industry as a valuable and important part of a producer's training. The 13 week intensive course takes delegates through the entire TV Production process and covers everything from business affairs, casting, insurance, post production, animatics, procurement and music amongst many other subjects.

During our presentation, we discussed everything from the importance of music, a day in the life of a music supervisor, how to nail your brief plus considerations with scheduling and budget when it comes to sync, composition, re-records and other licensing options.

Thanks so much to the IPA and Fiona (RKCR/Y&R) for having us along.  We hope the students found our presentation informative and at some points entertaining :)

We can't wait to attend the graduation in a couple of months!

Native and The Premier League : Music Strategy

Late in 2016 Native were approached by RKCR/YR, Dixon Baxi, Robin Consulting and Design Studio to develop and inform the Premier League's global music strategy. It was a huge project but one we were keen to get stuck into!

Native's Managing Director, Dan Neale and Music Supervisor, Rachel Menzies discuss the project and how they got involved:

So how did it come about?
Dan: We were asked to get involved very early on in the process by RKCR/Y&R and Robin Consulting. It was the first time The Premier League had been without a corporate sponsor, and with a desire to assert themselves as a brand in their own right, they showed incredible foresight and awareness to consider the sound of their brand so early on.

Rachel: Yes, this is something that brands do sometimes years after having established and cemented their brand attributes. The Premier League, alongside their visual identity - created by The Design Studio, quite rightly wanted to establish what their audio identity would be.

Who were the key players?
Dan: We worked alongside Robin Consulting, RKCR/Y&R, The Design Studio, Dixon Baxi and with the internal Broadcast and Marketing teams.

How did you approach it?
Rachel: We consulted and worked closely with Premier League’s brand consultancy and all of the above mentioned agencies that look after different areas of the business, ranging from above the line communications/advertising, to online content and their international broadcast package.

We conducted an in-depth audit, initially carrying out a thorough search and then testing individual tracks and breaking down our findings into various musical attributes such as genre, instrumentation, rhythm, timbre etc. We then analysed this data, looking for patterns and trends to allow us to establish common attributes across the tracks which everybody felt best embodied the brand values.

We used a combination of music specialist expertise and data collection to further analyse our findings and then presented these to the team with a full audit report including suggestions for ways to move forward.

What is the sound of the Premier League?
Dan: Clearly it’s quite a task to coordinate all of the different areas and find a cohesive way forward, one that has the necessary flexibility for the range of applications, but also to establish a set of principles that can be used to check and test choices against.

The conclusion we came to was that the music used should: be unexpected in it’s sector, emphasise a sense of togetherness, and always have a human element to it. The stretch needed to cover everything from community films demonstrating how the Premier League invest in grass root schemes, to match day montages that embody the anticipation and excitement of the game. So the tracks used could range dynamically from stripped back more emotional tracks, to celebratory life affirming brass samples in a hip hop track – and we found examples for each to demonstrate how the audio principles might be represented.

Was there a noticeable impact resulting from the work that you did?
Rachel: Absolutely. What the Premier League needed was an expert music partner to help develop and implement their audio signature across all touchpoints and usage types. We saw the set of principles and strategy we had developed and tested work in a live situation when Dixon Baxi were developing the theme tune with their chosen music partner for the broadcast titles. By conducting focused audit sessions with their agency/marketing partners and internally, the principles we had established helped inform the feedback the client gave - and allowed them to develop their chosen track in the right direction.

Dan: We are currently working with the Premier League to develop and roll out the audio principles further.

What lies in the future for the Premier League, and their interaction with music?

Rachel: We have discussed a lot of exciting ideas and opportunities, and have advised the Premier League on what various syncs, partnerships or activations might involve with a view to developing this over time. 

Thomson Holidays 'Moments'

We were thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with our friends at RKCR/YR again on this fantastic Thomson Holiday spot; ‘Moments’. 

The film, directed by Scott Lyon (Outsider) shows a little girl, played by young actress Violet Hill, walking from the beach to the swimming pool with people ‘frozen’ around her. You see a child playfully splashing their dad with water, and a couple sharing a romantic lunch – just some of the special moments that can take place on a holiday. 

Nicola Wood, the Creative Director behind the advert, which was filmed at Aquila Rithymna Beach Resort, says the idea was born from her own fond memories of going on holiday when she was a child. 

“When we were thinking about moments that stay with you, we always went back to our childhood,” she says. “We were thinking about how we could heighten each moment to make it more impactful. If you could freeze one moment… then travel through it”.

Check out this behind-the-scenes video for more on the making of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8e3zSXDt80

We were brought onboard in the very early stages, and after a bit of back and forth with the brief, including a number of rounds of existing music searches/edits, it became clear that a scored composition was the way forward. We were tasked with pitching a few recommended composers to move forward with and after a round of demos, the agency had chosen their favourite.

Biggi Hilmars - Abbey Road Studios 2016

Biggi Hilmars - Abbey Road Studios 2016

Biggi Hilmars is a talented writer from Iceland, living and working between London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Reykjavi. He has developed a distinctive, haunting and provocative music style and Native have always been aware of his work through his UK Publisher, Imagem. 

Native worked closely with Biggi, Scott Lyon (Director) agency producers Celestine Hall / Lara Parker and creative team Nicola Wood and Andy Forrest, and after some work developing arrangements and dynamics, and with full client approval of the demo, it was time to head to Abbey Road to record it all for real with the Chamber Orchestra of London. 

It was a successful day and a fantastic project to be involved in. We’re really pleased with the end result.

"It was an absolute pleasure working with Native at Abbey Road Studios on the Thomson 'Discover your smile' ad campaign; a dream team”. - Biggi Hilmars

Check out the final film below:

M&S 'Christmas With Love'

Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Road Studios

Having worked with RKCR on the previous three M&S Xmas campaigns, we were very pleased to be asked again to supervise the 2016 spot. This year the film, directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables, The Danish Girl), took a more narrative based approach than M&S’s last festive offering, and so required an original score to help tell the story.

After receiving the first offline edit, we began discussions with Academy Award winning composer Rachel Portman, whose multiple credits include films such as Chocolat, Mona Lisa Smile and The Cider House Rules. Rachel is a fantastically talented, melodic writer who we knew would be the perfect person for the job, and the ideal candidate to provide the necessary warmth and emotion to what promised to be a very special film.

Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Road Studios

With Rachel on board, we worked closely with Tom, agency producer Danielle Sandler and creative team Alice Burton and Psembi Kinstan, from the initial brief through to the delivery of Rachel’s demo. It’s safe to say that she hit the nail on the head, and instantly captured the perfect combination of compassion and excitement to compliment the visuals.

Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Road Studios

After some work experimenting with arrangements and dynamics, and with full client approval of the demo, it was time to head to Abbey Road to record it all for real with the Chamber Orchestra of London. With five cues in total (the longest of which being six minutes) we had a fair deal to get through, but with Alastair King – one of the UK’s leading conductors for film score at the helm, and engineer Andrew Dudman working the buttons, the whole day went without a hitch. 

Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Road Studios

The six minute version was eventually released via Universal Records as a digital download, and reached the number one spot in the iTunes classical chart.

This was fantastic project to be involved in, and to work with so many brilliantly talented people was a real privilege. The final product is an unquestionably beautiful film, and one that we are very proud to have provided the music for.

Check out the final film below:

BBC Rio Olympic Campaign

BBC RIO OLYMPIC CAMPAIGN - 2016 

BBC RIO OLYMPIC CAMPAIGN - 2016 

Earlier in the year we began conversations with the BBC’s retained agency RKCR/Y&R about their forthcoming campaign for the BBC’s Rio Olympics coverage. Together we investigated musical styles, with and without lyrics, and what possible lyrical themes for the campaign could be.

Following much research, Native narrowed down a shortlist of artists that the agency thought were right for the project. One of the artists the agency loved was Jamie N Commons.

We were then tasked with reaching out to Jamie’s label. We auditioned a selection of his tracks and came to the conclusion that one of them stood out as being perfectly aligned with where the creative brief was heading. The track was called “Not Gonna Break Me”

At this stage we were still exploring options and talking to other labels and artists, but it was this track that eventually stood out from all others. It had the slow powerful brooding tempo and epic scale the trail required, while at the same time having a very apt lyrical theme about overcoming adversity.

The track had to be adapted to picture to create the right dynamic journey, and although Jamie did the majority of the structural changes and musical additions, we worked alongside him and did additional production for the opening layers and the orchestral arrangement to really give it the olympic scale that the team wanted. We also worked with Jamie’s excellent production team in LA who adapted the track for the titles… which will be revealed soon.

If that wasn’t epic enough, we helped Jamie create the wider broadcast package, with a number of alternative versions, stings and idents produced to be applied across the multitiude of BBC broadcast channels and online sites.

Jamie was fantastic to work with, and happy to try new ideas if we felt the picture needed more here, or less there. We are massively grateful to him for his flexibility during the whole process.

This has been a dream project, and made possible by clients with vision, an agency with huge creative drive, and an artist who allowed us unprecedented access to his excellent material. It was a gargantuan team effort, the results of which we think live up to the scale of the forthcoming event.

Bring on the Games!

Premier Inn : Wake Up Wonderful

We're extremely excited to announce our latest work for hotel brand Premier Inn. The advert, created by RKCR/Y&R and Directed by Simon Ratigan showcases a variety of morning settings, all shot within a 5-mile radius of Premier Inn locations and showcases new material from Katie Melua.

Native worked closely with the team at RKCR/Y&R to find the chosen track; 'Wonderful Life' (originally performed by British singer Black) covered by Katie Melua. Proceeds from the sale of the single will be donated to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital as well as The Children's Hospital which supports Sheffield Children's Hospital. The single will be available to download and stream from all major channels from Saturday 29th August 2015. To support the launch of the single a music video has also been filmed and will be launched on the same day.

The advert will air on ITV during the highly anticipated return of the X Factor and will run until 2016.

Native not only led the creative search and clearance of the re-record but were also heavily involved in the co-ordination and delivery of the single and supporting promotional music video.

The advert was also sound designed / edited and mixed from stems for broadcast by the excellent Chris Turner at Jungle - so the entire audio was handled in our building.

Check it out by clicking the link HERE.

 

Native Lounge Sessions go to Cannes!

This year's Cannes Lions sure was a busy one for the Native crew. We decided to take our increasingly popular, Lounge Sessions (usually hosted at Jungle Studios in London) to the beach. 

With live music during Happy Hour on Wed, Thurs and Fri and the co-sponsorship of the Hanging Gardens (free massages/oxygen and phone charging) with our friends at Jungle Studios - there was plenty to transport, build/dismantle and co-ordinate. 

It was a fantastic week with awesome music and lots of new friends made. For those who missed it, or even for those who were there but looking for an escape from the Post-Cannes Monday blues, here’s a little round-up of events.

Bondax are an electronic music duo who gained prominence primarily as a result of BBC Radio, initially through BBC Introducing before receiving BBC Radio 1 airtime from a range of DJs including Nick Grimshaw and Annie Mac. When we heard they could fit Cannes into their diary we knew they had to join us.

They kick-started the Native Lounge Sessions in Cannes on Wed 24th with a DJ set mixing funk, soul and house tracks - perfectly soundtracking a scorching summer’s day on the French Riviera. 

Within a few minutes of the beat dropping, creatives from around the world were up on their feet, unwilling to resist the temptation to move along - rosé in hand, toes in the sand.

Our thanks to Universal Publishing for helping to get the band involved.

Signed to Island Records, Kiko Bun is one of Britain’s most hotly tipped new reggae stars, and is based in Peckham, London. On Thurs 25th, fresh from supporting The Wailers on their UK tour, Kiko flew into Cannes to be part of the Native Lounge Sessions. With an effortless voice reminiscent of the reggae greats - Kiko offered up a set covering all of his new and most popular tracks. A definite highlight for us was Kiko’s performance of brand new single ‘Where I’m From’.

The brilliant single was released on June 15th (2015) and mixes Kiko’s deep love of Jamaican roots music with crisp young London bass culture and is an instantly memorable summer boom box anthem: 

Blink and you could’ve missed him though - as Kiko and co were only in Cannes for a couple of hours, flying back to the UK straight after the performance for a gig at Glastonbury. It’s a summer packed full of festival slots for Kiko with Lovebox, Secret Garden Party, Reading and many more on the schedule for this year. Definitely a new favourite of ours and one to watch.

Thanks to Island Records for arranging for Kiko to join us.

French alternative indie-electro-pop trio, We Were Evergreen were up next and raised the bar at the Native Lounge Sessions with the intricacies of their live instrument set up. Formed in 2008 in Paris by then-literature-students Michael Liot (vocals, strummed instruments) and Fabienne Débarre (vocals, keyboards, xylophone) and with the line up completed by William Serfass (vocals, percussions, bass, electric guitar), We Were Evergreen released two self-produced EPs (We Were Evergreen, Flings) in France before moving to London where they released a third EP, Leeway. Since then, they released their debut album ’Towards’  through Island Records and have toured with the likes of Metronomy, Goldfrapp, Slow Club, King Charles, Michael Kiwanuka and Villagers.

The crowd was enchanted by their gorgeous harmonies, that drifted on the sea air – soothing hangovers across the beach. Free albums went in the blink of an eye, and We Were Evergreen thoroughly charmed all around them.

Massive thanks to Imagem for their part in getting We Were Evergreen to Cannes.

We are well and truly knackered. Now, where’s my bed.

Native Lounge Sessions at LBB and Friends Beach

For those of you heading out to Cannes Lions in a couple of weeks make sure you join us for the Native Lounge Sessions at LBB and Friends Beach. We've got some incredible acts lined up, and music is on during happy hour - when drinks are free! RSVP to hello@nativemusicsoho.co.uk. You know you want to.

BBC Winter Olympics 'Nature' wins a BAFTA at #TVCrafts!

BBC Winter Olympics “Nature”, a project music supervised by Native has won this years’ ‘Titles in 2015’ award at the BAFTA #TVCraft ceremony. 

Native worked closely with the creative team at RKCR/Y&R overseeing the stunning original composition for the campaign. Berlin based composer Alexis Papadimitrou was enlisted to soundtrack the awesome live action meets animation visuals created by Tomek Baginski via Red Bee. 

Several versions of the track were created for the trail, online and title sequences – each were dynamically changed to suit their purpose with the titles having a new section related to, but different from, the trail composition.

The overall campaign saw humans battle the elements to overcome nature, intimidatingly voiced by Charles Dance, and prevail. It was an epic production for an epic idea, and now with a huge win at BAFTA.

Watch the nominations HERE.

Pets At Home : New Campaign

Last year we creatively re-interpreted and recorded a new version of the "You and Me Song" originally by the Wannadies. The campaign was for Pets At Home, and the advert was made up of crowd sourced footage from people's mobiles, cameras etc.

In 2015 a new batch of ads has been made and they are as charming as the originals.

We spent a long time searching for existing tracks on this project before realising that taking a song with the right sentiment, but not necessarily the right feel - and moulding it to fit the campaign was the best way forward.

We demo'd using sampled pianos and strings, but then recorded everything for real at Angel Studios in Islington. It was a great experience, and we're delighted to hear it on the airwaves again.

Congratulations to Krow for another heart warming campaign.

Click HERE to watch the first of the new adverts.

M&S Spring Is In The Air

M&S Fashion are back with another vibrant, energetic and amazingly shot advertising campaign.

We had the pleasure of working with them as music supervisors, and the track that we pitched and licensed is "Come Get It Bae" by Pharrell Williams.

We were brought in at a very early stage to talk about possible contenders for the project, and worked closely with the agency to test several tracks and find the right combination of swagger, sass and wit. "Come Get It Bae" has all of those elements in abundance, and we knew when we heard it, with this campaign in mind - that it was going to be hard to beat.

We worked with labels and publishers for months listening to existing and yet to be released tracks, but in the end and everybody agreed this Pharrell single was the right track to use.

The brand were looking for a follow up to the massive success of using "Sing" by Ed Sheeran in their Autumn campaign, and "Rather Be" in their Food commercials.

We think that the spot looks amazing, and can't wait to see the summer follow up which will also use the same track.

Congratulations to M&S and RKCR/Y&R on their latest breath of fresh air.

Click HERE to watch the advert.

Native Music win GOLD at the Creative Circle Awards!

We are extremely proud to announce that Native Music Supervision has won GOLD at the Creative Circle Awards for Best Use of Music alongside our good friends at RKCR/Y&R for the recent M&S Food ‘Adventures In Imagination’ campaign. 

There’s been so much hype surrounding this project since broadcast and we are thrilled to bits that industry bodies such as Creative Circle have recognised this project amongst so much other amazing work.

We became involved in the project at an early stage, when mood films were being made. The music had to have the space needed for the sound design to cut through, as the sound design / spot FX were pivotal in allowing the food textures to come to life. The track also had to lend a quality feel to the food visuals, yet at the same time be playful.

We tested literally hundreds of tracks for this project. Some made it more sensual, others were incredibly famous and brought their own presence to the campaign – but “Rather Be” had a combination of factors that made it unquestionably the right track for the job.

Amazingly the stats also back up the success of this campaign, with “Rather Be” being the number one most Shazamed TV ad in the UK on three separate occasions! 

The campaign has also contributed to the success of the track, and helped to make “Rather Be” the number one most Shazamed song overall in the UK last year (not just in TV ads). Music Week even acknowledged the Syncs effectiveness in elevating the track to higher levels of recognition.

It was a fantastic and celebratory evening all round, with our friends at Jungle Studios (Culum Simpson) winning the Best Sound Design award for their work on Peta 'Stop Wearing Angora' with DLKW Lowe. We can’t wait until next year!

M&S Dominate Shazam Chart

We were stunned and delighted to see that two tracks we placed in ads are currently the second and third most Shazamed tracks in the UK....

Campaign's Pick of the Week: M&S Food

We are proud to have been involved with this campaign, the PR it has generated has been off the hook.

The latest turn up for the books is Campaign have awarded it with their coveted "Pick of the Week".

"Infuriatingly Catchy".. Daily Mail

We saw a great article today in the Daily Mail about M&S Food, and how they achieved certain shots on the shoot. No post-production, all in-camera. They mentioned the music too, which was nice... see more here:

Sync of the Week : M&S Food

Over at Native HQ we were very pleased to get Adbreak Anthems / Record of the Day's 'Sync of the Week' for RKCR/Y&R's new M&S Food campaign, in which we placed / licensed "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit.

A great start to the week!


Native hit #94 in UK Chart

We've broken the top 100! Our first record on new label Rare Species is released to support the charity Support Adoption for Pets. We recorded this version of the "You and Me Song" for the Pets At Home campaign, and after thousands of requests the agency and brand decided to release it for charity. You can buy it on Itunes, Amazon or instore.

Native score new Land Rover films

We're really happy to have provided an original composition for a series of films for Land Rover. Created by The Outfit and directed by Southan Morris, the campaign, titled Can and Will, is a collection of stories from people that overcame the odds through pure defiance and determination.

Catch the first two films, featuring Richard E. Grant and Team GB Paralympics star Ellie Simmonds below.