The Great Escape : 2019



Last week Native were out in force in Brighton at The Great Escape. The event is jam-packed full of incredible emerging and established talent, and is also a great place to catch up with industry friends.

Below are some thoughts on a few of our favourite performances from the day/night, but we’ve also included a link to listen to a Spotify playlist which includes all of the artists/bands on our ‘HAVE TO SEE’ list - but due to proximity/scheduling clashes and well, too much beer - we were unfortunately unable to make them all!


The first act we had the pleasure to watch at this year's TGE was Celeste, courtesy of our friends at Universal Records. There is a lot of talk about Celeste at the moment, and you could hear why. Her voice silenced a rowdy room of daytime drinking industry types, on a trip to Brighton to catch emerging artists and free sandwiches!

With just her voice and a pianist, Celeste held us in the palm of her hand, the quality of her vocal tone laid bare on songs like "Both Sides of the Moon". Sometimes you watch an artist and it is immediately obvious why there is a buzz about them, and Celeste is one of those. She didn't need to over elaborate to capture our attention, as her presence and quality spoke for itself.

The next day Celeste played a show for BBC Radio 1Xtra which was broadcast live. The BBC are supporting her early (also putting her on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury in June), and from what we heard that support is very well placed.

Celeste : Globe Showcase, The Great Escape 2019

Celeste : Globe Showcase, The Great Escape 2019


Following on from Celeste was Kawala. Also part of the Universal Showcase, the North London based usual 5 piece, was stripped back to 2 for an intimate and well rehearsed set. Described as 'The Simon & Garfunkel of the Urban Outfitters generation' (we can see why!), original members, Jim and Dan beautifully serenaded the audience with their sharp vocal melodies and striking harmonies. We loved their performance of 'Moonlight' and their tight, emotive, folky playing really set their music apart. 3 tracks left us wanting more - we can't wait to see what the future holds for these guys!

Kawala : Globe Showcase, The Great Escape 2019

Kawala : Globe Showcase, The Great Escape 2019


One of the acts we really wanted to catch this year was Pat Dam Smyth. Having scoured the Great Escape listings, we came across Smyth's life affirming "Where the Light Goes" released earlier this year.

Compared to Leonard Cohen and Pink Floyd amongst others, Smyth's songs about life in Northern Ireland, and after that touring around the world, conjure up bittersweet images - dark often being balanced by light.

The live show at the Queen's Hotel comprised of Smyth on vocals and guitar, accompanied by bass and drums, (and I think some backing track at points) - they achieved a surprisingly accomplished sound, with Smyth using a multitude of guitar effects to create the sonic palettes required on tracks like "Juliette".

In a full room, with an incredibly low ceiling, we were thoroughly captivated and look forward to whatever he releases next.

Pat Dam Smyth : The Great Escape 2019

Pat Dam Smyth : The Great Escape 2019


Later on in the evening we headed to The Mucky Duck to check out part of The Alternative Escape.

Hand In Hive, an independent label and management company, in association with TheMostRadicalist and CALM, hosted an event to showcase some of the up-and-coming talent on the HIH roster. The label, set up by members of Downtown and Universal Publishing, were back for their fourth year at TGE, and the reputation of their showcases did not disappoint.

The first performance was an acoustic set from singer-songwriter Sofia Wolfson. Originally from LA, Wolfson has been writing and performing since she was 13. Although she’s still young, her captivating performance commanded the attention of a rowdy Brighton pub. We’re loving her new EP which came out in March of this year, and we’re looking forward to what she has in store for the future!

Next up were London-based alt-rock group Heavy Heart. The band have recently returned after a short hiatus, having released a new song for every month in 2016. These guys combined shoegaze guitar tones with eerie, atmospheric vocals to create a massive, stadium-like sound. What more could you want in a small pub!

Sofia Wolfson : Hand In Hive Showcase, The Great Escape 2019

Sofia Wolfson : Hand In Hive Showcase, The Great Escape 2019


We finished our Great Escape experience with a biggie. Hertfordshire grown, Friendly Fires were the perfect finale to a full day of music, sunshine and catching up with friends/colleagues.

The indie rockers will soon be releasing their highly anticipated third studio album - it will be the band’s first full-length release since 2011! They headlined the Radio X Presents stage at this year’s festival, taking place at Brighton’s popular Beach Site. Performing in a packed tent, the new songs were mainly a sideshow though to what fans really wanted (the old stuff!), with tracks from the first album providing obvious highlights, particularly an exhilarating performance of ‘Paris’. Other memorable moments include their best known tunes; ‘Lovesick’ and ‘Jump in the Pool’.

Even if 80s dance grooves and soaring stadium-sized choruses aren't your thing - I dare you not to dance.

The Great Escape is a fantastic event all in, and we highly recommend getting down there next year if you haven’t been. So much fantastic music, in a great city. We’ll definitely be back.

Check out a playlist below of artists we saw and loved, and also those we unfortunately missed =>

The 2018 Wimbledon Championships Trailer

The 2018 Wimbledon Championships Trailer

The 2018 Wimbledon Championships Trailer

We were delighted to be invited to work on the new promo trail for Wimbledon 2018 by McCann Craft. Together with Smith & Foulkes (who we had recently worked with on the BBC Winter Olympics trail), they were taking on an incredibly ambitious animated trail that changed illustration style as we moved through the ages of tennis.

We were initially asked to look at existing tracks that could help push the modern feel of the trail, and not play to the stereotypes you might expect of Wimbledon - for example strawberries, Pimms and jazz or classical music.

There were some tracks that worked really well and were quite electronic and upbeat, but overall the agency and client decided that they still needed that element of class within the track, whilst still pushing the boundaries of expectations. So we started working on a composition brief with the agency, which we then worked on with our writing teams to try and bring the agency's vision to life.

Dave Connolly's "Take On History", as we have now called it, was a strong contender immediately. It hit alot of the key transitions, building all the time - to reach epic proportions about 3/4 of the way through. The hairs on our necks stood up, and we knew this was going to be a tough track for anyone to beat. Dave's use of electronic, orchestral and operatic elements combined to create the perfect sonic palette for the stunning visuals.

With animation you are often working to very rough wire frame, or animatic stage work - and so it can be hard to find the sync point that is scripted, or realise the potential that the images will fulfill. As the project developed, and our track with it - it was clear to everyone we had the winning combination on our hands.

The trail will be broadcast all over the world by Wimbledon's official broadcasting partners.

The agency and directors were a delight to work with, and we were very grateful to be given this opportunity.

You can watch the final trail here:

BBC Winter Olympics : 'The Fearless'

BBC WInter Olympics : 'The Fearless'

BBC WInter Olympics : 'The Fearless'

We were delighted to be invited to work with the BBC and Y&R London again for the BBC Winter Olympics 2018; the latest in a long line of outstanding Olympic trail and broadcast packages that the agency have produced for the BBC.

We were brought in at a very early stage, when the directors Smith & Foulkes at Nexus Studios were at the animatic stage. From the very beginning the concept was that the music should be built around authentic Korean drumming, and should be a composed piece so that it intertwined perfectly with the sound design. As well as the animatic we saw some concept art, that showed the intended look and feel, and we knew it was going to be visually stunning and abstract, and that the music needed to match the tone everyone was heading for. It was a tricky balance as everyone wanted it to feel edgy and dark, but not too scary. It had to follow the arc from abstract and unusual to heroic and epic, and there needed to be a strong theme to tie each trail, the titles and the broadcast package together.

We studied Korean drumming in depth and discovered two drums that we would use as the foundations for the track – the Buk and the Janggu. These are both relatively versatile instruments and can produce a variety of tones and sounds. From big, booming hits, to sharper ‘clack’ sounds made from hitting the rim of the drum, they provided the perfect palate to begin building the track.

Whilst the brief called for something modern and edgy, we still wanted it to feel recognisable as an Olympics promo so were wary of making it too electronic and abstract. With this in mind we used a lot of traditional, organic instruments and textures that you might expect to hear, such as strings and brass, but played them in an unconventional way. For instance two french horns playing a single sustained note, but with each player drifting slowly in and out of tune with the other created a familiar yet unusual and unsettling drone. Also a heavily effected organ playing the main theme, and reversed drum rhythms helped contribute to a sense of unease. We also spent a lot of time (and had a great deal of fun) creating twisted, synthesised sounds to layer in and help give the track a modern edge.

All of this, along with with the sound design and visuals, combined to create an almost dream-like portrayal of fear – an emotion many of the athletes must at some point have had to battle with in order to compete. You certainly wouldn’t catch us hurtling 80mph down an icy track, headfirst on a plastic tray.

The final part of the film is where everything comes together to create an epic finale, and is where the music needed to be at its most heroic. We let the orchestral elements take centre stage here, with french horns boldly playing the theme, and ostinato string lines bringing a sense of urgency and action, all still counterbalanced with distorted synth layers underneath to maintain the other-worldly tone.

We’re really pleased with how the spot has turned out, and are incredibly proud to be the soundtrack for what promises to be another fantastic games.

Check it out below...

Tesco : 'Merry Christmas Everyone'

Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Road Studios

The Tesco Christmas campaign was another fantastic project to work on with many facets and lots of involvement from the whole Native team.

BBH had the idea to pick one song that would work in multiple styles for the different scripts. After deciding on Shakin Stevens’ “Merry Christmas Everyone”, we worked closely with the agency to find the right genres for each script. There were 5 scripts in total, 1 x 60” and 4 x 30”

"Turkey Every Which Way” was the first advert to be released. The agency wanted this film to be about the people, the different families and their experiences of Christmas. They wanted the music to have depth and scale, with a build that carries you through the film. We eventually settled on a modern stripped back arrangement with guitar, piano and strings.

‘An Extended Family Christmas’, the second TV ad in the campaign, highlights the work done by Tesco’s charitable programmes to help provide food to those who need it over the festive period. The music brief for this film was one of the harder ones to crack. The original references were folk tracks, however it needed to evoke the right emotions and help with the community feel of the film. The final arrangement was a male and female vocal three part harmony, accompanied by guitar, piano, accordion and light percussion.

“Save Time with finest*" was the next film to go to air. When writing the script, the agency knew they wanted a classic big band swing track to help the narrative of the story. We worked with arrangers Jake Walker and Colin Skinner to create an authentic-sounding swing track. After creating the demo, we tweaked the score to finalise the timings and sync with the video edit. Once everything was signed off we took it to Abbey Road studios to record it with some amazing musicians, conducted by Jake himself.

“A 'Save The Day' Christmas” was the penultimate ad of the campaign. This time the Shakin Steven’s track was arranged in a sleepy, magical, late night crooner style. Working with arranger Nick Samuel we created a demo that was eventually recorded live, once again at Abbey Road Studios.

“An Unexpected Christmas” was the final chapter in this epic campaign. The script was all about highlighting the supermarket's selection of drinks, and it shows a group of friends bringing the party to their injured friend’s house. After trying out various genres against the script, we eventually settled on a laid-back soul style.

Thanks to BBH, all our amazing musicians, arrangers, vocalists and the wonderful team at Abbey Road Studios who made this all possible. 

That's Christmas for 2017, done.

Boots Christmas : #ShowThemYouKnowThem

Boots Christmas #ShowThemYouKnowThem

Boots Christmas #ShowThemYouKnowThem

We were delighted to be asked to work on Boots Christmas campaign this year; Ogilvy UK's first work for the brand.

The advert is part of Boots' #ShowThemYouKnowThem campaign and brings to life the unique connection between two real sisters, demonstrating how a single meaningful gift can show someone you truly know them. Throughout the film we witness two sisters connect, when a Christmas gift from one to the other taps into the special bond they share – developed through their life in moments both big and small, heartfelt and fun.

Native started working with the Boots team at Ogilvy very early on in the process, conducting a number of searches and helping the creative team explore many different lyrical and stylistic approaches. When the director Benito Montorio (Pulse Films), came on board - everybody realised that it was important for the track to conjure a nostalgic feel for the audience as well as reflect the complicated relationship between the sisters as they experience life and grow older. After auditioning hundreds of tracks, some of which came very close to being chosen, the agency, director and brand decided that the fantastic 1982 hit record 'Only You' by Yazoo (featuring Alison Moyet) nailed the brief.

Commenting on the process behind choosing this track, Dan Neale says:

"I have always loved "Only You" - it is a great song that has a lot of understated heart about it. That's one of the things that made it such a great fit for this film; the team were determined to have a soundtrack with warmth but that never got too slushy. Also because the Flying Pickets version was Christmas number one in 1983, it has a kind of festive connection that just felt right. The era of the track was key as well, because as soon as we saw the visuals it was obvious that you needed something truly of the sister's era to resonate with the authenticity of the visuals. Ogilvy and Benito went to incredible lengths on this shoot to work with actual sisters - and I think that comes across in the performances. We wanted the music to strengthen that."

We worked closely with Mute Records, Sony/ATV and Yazoo to not only clear the track, but gain access to the original master tapes so that Ogilvy could work with a music production company and create a new mix with additional strings to really help bring out the emotion of this wonderfully nostalgic film.

We're really proud to have placed this track on such a strong film, and loved working with everyone involved.

Check it out below:




Very Christmas : 'The List'


We were delighted to be asked to work on Very Christmas this year.

When we saw the early animatic it was obvious this was going to be a beautiful film with a really heartwarming story. Having previously worked with againstallodds and Passion Pictures on BBC Rio Olympics, we also knew that the visuals would eventually be stunning and magical. We worked with composer Guy Farley, one of the most talented and trusted composers we work with, to help bring the little girl’s (Anna) adventure to life. 

From the outset Guy had nailed the tone that the agency wanted to convey. His skill to re-intepret the melodic refrain in different ways throughout the film really helped the cohesion and flow of the score, whilst hitting the right tone for each moment. The 90 second edit has a lot of scenes that move quite quickly from one to the next, and they change in scale as the film progresses, and to make this feel seamless musically is no mean feat.

We worked closely with the agency creatives Marcus, Tom, Alan and Julian, and producer Chloe – to address any client comments and arrive at a score we are all incredibly proud of.

The session itself was a joy. To have the opportunity to work with the best players and best studios (we recorded in Studio 1 at Abbey Road) is what enabled us bring the high end finish to the production. Working with engineer Sam Okell, we crafted the score to sound like a modern mix, using a lot of close mics and as opposed to too classical which would use mainly the room mics.

The agency and client were also very involved on the recording day, as we tried slightly variations on percussive hits to sync with picture live with the players, and discussed how best to achieve the emotion in the final scene, covering off a few options. 

The composer, Guy Farley wrote a few words about his experience below:

'I knew this film was right for me the moment I saw the first animation and that there would be great opportunities to write a film-like score for it. I wrote the theme, Anna’s theme, at the piano, which allowed me to play to picture scoring all the drama using the theme in major and minor keys, intimate and big, keeping it as a thread through the story telling, binding the music together start to finish. There is a lot going on in the story so it was important for the music not only to enhance the drama and emotion but also to keep it easy and smooth to follow.

With a live orchestra and choir at Abbey Road we recorded the music for the final films with the client present and very much involved in the process. Collaborative work like this, where you work hand in hand with the creatives and the client from the start is so productive and important and the final result is very much the product of the team.

An absolute pleasure to work on and be a part of.'

Guy Farley Nov 2017

Congratulations to all involved on a wonderful film that we are extremely pleased to have been part of. You can view the final spot below:



As a first-timer, I didn’t quite know what to expect when asked to speak on a panel re: the UK Sync Market @ SXSW this year. 

After a brief visit to NYC, I arrived in Austin late Monday 13th (after casually sharing the very same flight as the legend that is Busta Rhymes! Hello). The following 5 days featured a hell of a lot of walking (my iPhone Health app tells me an average of 20,000 steps each day), copious amounts of Texan BBQ and breakfast burritos (why can’t these be a thing in London?), one fantastic UK Music Sync panel and the beginning of some really exciting business relationships and friendships (rights holders, managers, other music supes and artists). 

Austin is an incredible, buzzy city and I can honestly say I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. Other than the fact that it without doubt lives up to its famous strap line; ‘live music capital of the world’, it is also a city that is completely geared up to support the numerous conventions that are held there throughout the year (Black History Month, AnimeFest, MOTOGP Grand Prix, Austin Food + Wine Festival, Austin Fashion Week and ATX Television Festival to name just a few). With around $400 million injected into Austin economy and music venue revenues increase on average 45% over their next highest month as a result of SXSW - it’s clear to see the massive impact that the event has on this vibrant and diverse city.

p.s This year SXSW fell on the same dates as Spring Break (!!) AND St Patricks Day (apparently Texan’s take this very seriously) - you can only imagine the mayhem.


There was so much on music-wise which made it difficult to see everything I wanted to. But a handful of my personal highlights were:


UK Grime acts Frisco/Maximum absolutely smashed it (it was like an education as the DJ warmed up the crowd by talking the audience through the history of Grime, supported by killer tunes which helped shape the Grime landscape). 


I’ve been meaning to catch Agnes live on a number of occasions in the UK but have never been able to make it down. All good things come to those who wait they say, and I was lucky enough to enjoy a 45 min set in the most beautiful setting of St Davids Church in downtown Austin, performing tracks from her latest album, Citizen Of Glass. Lush.


Bad-ass Israeli electro-pop artist. Fav track: ‘Dance While You Shoot’


Does this even need an explanation? REGULATEEEE!!

Other acts I saw and loved were Jacob Banks, !!! Chk Chk Chk, Alex Lahey, Let’s Eat Grandma, Rag ’n’ Bone Man, Nick Hakim, Anna Meredith, JAIN, Survive, Boo Seeka and Palm.


My panel was on the Thurs @ 5pm and alongside me were Mark Allen (ThinkSync - Moderator), Duncan Smith (Sony Playstation) and Will Theakston (Warp Records). There was about 30-40 people in the audience and no-one walked out during the session, which I’ve been told is a good thing.

We covered everything from broadcaster blankets, to pitching tracks to supervisors and union/society issues - with a focus on advertising, games and film. The audience was mostly rights holders, composers and managers - so we geared our chat to those wanting to know more about how to increase their Sync opportunities. I love doing panels like this because it’s great to simply talk about what you do, rather than just doing what you do. Afterwards we met a load of really cool labels/publishers and artists and I’m already working with one of two of them on a project I’m on. Love when that happens.

All in all it was a fantastic week and I can’t wait to go back next year :)

Rachel Menzies // Music Supervisor


My three tips for any SXSW first-timer? 



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:

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



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 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!