You know those ever-so-slightly intruding adverts that interrupt your favourite Spotify playlist just before the best song? Well, hopefully the great time we had putting together three of those adverts as part of a campaign for Philips CitiScape headphones goes some way to making up for the interruption.
It’s always great to work on a project where music is at the forefront of the commercial and that could not have been more of the case than with this campaign. Arriving with nothing but three sets of lyrics, we were able to provide the full service to make this campaign happen.
There were three separate adverts and genres – heavy rock/metal, soulful R&B and southern hip-hop/trap – and the brief was to create authentic songs in these styles. We began the project by searching our library for the tracks that we would later edit and add vocals to. After the client selected the preferred track for each of the three adverts, we then had to source singers from our stable of session artists. We provided a broad range of vocalists for the client to choose from and ended up with three guys both ourselves and the client were really excited about working with. Prior to recording, we composed melodies to the instrumental tracks along with the vocalists and we were then ready to put our in-house studio and audio engineers into action.
Stepping up first was our rapper for the Southern hip-hop commercial. With the last rappers our engineer and producer working with being De La Soul and The Pharcyde, he had a hell of a billing to live up to and he didn’t disappoint. The R&B and metal vocal sessions followed soon after and with everything going smoothly, all that was left was for the final versions to be mixed & mastered and for the voice-over to be recorded.As with all projects of this nature, we also had to be flexible with edits to both the music and vocals and turn it around to incredibly tight timescales. Using the stem files for each song we were able to create made-to-measure tracks for the client, adding certain elements and removing others until the client was happy with the final outcome.
The adverts were showcasing the ‘ridiculous clarity and crystal clear sound of Philips CitiScape headphones’ by comparing two verses of the same song. In the metal track for example, you hear stereotypically angry lyrics full of male bravado when the first verse of the song is heard through any set of normal headphones. The voice-over then announces that you are hearing the second verse through Philips CitiScape headphones and suddenly because of the extra clarity the listener now has; the singer is revealing his insecurities and lack of confidence around women.
From recording, mixing and mastering the VO and singers to sourcing the music and vocalists whilst being open to numerous edits, we completed all this in-house and in around a week’s time. We were able to meet all the client’s needs in a job that put both our bespoke, production and library skills to the test.
Listen to the tracks below: