Updated: Mar 16
By Greg Lozoff (Head of Music & Sync for Songistry Brands)
It was a February full of delicious references hitting my inbox. If you’re looking for a safe inspiration when writing music to meet the emerging tone, Pharrell is always a good artist to look to. Though frankly that statement applies year round.
Pharrell’s “Happy” easily ranks top 10 in my most referenced tracks historically, and while the Pharrell requests have definitely cooled over the past few years, it was nice to see “Come Get It Bae” come in as a reference this month. SPRING VIBES for days, perfection in tone for just about any commercial segment and something for everyone through the songs changes in tone as it goes through the typical Pharrell motions.
Trove Styrke’s “Say My Name” was the kind of reference that makes your face scrunch up in appreciation as the track starts to play in your head. It’s got everything clients are currently looking for. Bright, young, surprising, off-kilter yet so catchy it hurts. Equally at home in a tech commercial as it would be for a couture colab with a sneaker brand.
February was also a month chock full of amazing vintage classic references. Elvis’ “If I Can Dream” was a reference AGAIN this month. Coming out of the winter months and reinventing is a brand trend closely matched by the soul of the song. The recent focus on the track in the Elvis biographical movie also brought it to the front of musical minds, as a nostalgic punch to use instead of the more common Elvis classics.
Speaking of classics, Neil Diamond, Jimi Hendrix and ABBA turned up as repetitive benchmarks, but my favorite was probably Norma Tenega’s jangly summer jam “I Am The Sky”.
A few awesome 90s references too this past month. The Verve “Bittersweet Symphony”. Placebo “Every You and Every Me”. C&C Music Factory “Gonna Make You Sweat”. CDM Project “Get Ready For This”. The latter reminded me that it’s probably time to re-watch Space Jam (the original, sorry Lebron).
The nostalgic tone of these 90’s and backwards references is no surprise given the time of year.
Content professionals are people too. As the weather changes into warm feeling, fresh smelling and sepia tones washing over the weekends like a flashback from a Disney movie, these pro’s and the brands they represent begin to associate positive feeling with the music they grew up with or the music the adults in their lives exposed them to as a youngster. This absolutely colors creative visions and musical choices, often before the visuals are even considered.
Getting ahead of these trends is as important as understanding the correlation between a reference and the submissions with which you respond.
It might just change the way you create. Or the ‘when’ you create.
Click below to check out our full reference rundown playlist from the last month: