I caught up with Matt Kaleda, the man responsible for the music behind the hotly anticipated ‘ The Grand Tour’. Talking to Matt about his work was particularly interesting seeing as alot of his work has been in the public eye, working on high profile projects.
Having had a credible career in supervision and sync, working for the BBC, Warner Music and now currently Head of Sync at Felt Music, Matt had some wise words to share about his his prolific career.
Having worked with big brands such as Nike and Nokia, it was interesting to hear the difference how this line of work differs from working on projects such as TV and Film.
‘When you work with ad agencies who in turn are employed by marketing departments of big brands there are an awful lot of people that decisions need to be run by before something’s agreed on’.
Matt highlighted the sometimes fickle nature of working with brands saying that you could spend weeks working on clearing a track only for it to be shot down at the last second.
‘With a lot of people to please, one decision maker might have an irrational dislike to the lead singer of a band, so that’s scuppered in a flash’
TV and Film is apparently a much simpler process than working with brands; less people to run decisions by and more of organic working relationship with specific individuals.
This got us talking about Grand Tour.
A high profile project with a lot of hype, but Matt still said he wasn’t tempted to go down the commercial route.
‘I try and be as maverick as possible, much to my detriment! It only takes one bold decision from a client, especially in advertising, to change the landscape for a period of time. An ad which has an unusual piece of music will be talked about’
Although the demographic still has to be catered for by all means, Matt insists he likes to throw a ‘ curveball or two’ at clients, even when working to a fairly precise brief.
With such a successful career, he was clearly the perfect man for the job when it came to working on such a big project but still, what a mammoth task it was for anyone of expertise to take on..
‘It has been unlike anything I’ve worked on before, I think it’s fairly unprecedented in terms of the amount of music used and the licensing involved, there were over 400 cues in series 1 and I did have a relatively small budget.’
With the production team being all ex- BBC and being used to blanket agreements, Matt had his work cut out trying to get through to them that the music they wanted to use just simply wasn’t possible with budget for GT. ‘ I wasn’t very popular, but thankfully on series 2, people have wised up and are more understanding!; the directors initially wanted to use tracks by Jimi Hendrix, Aphex Twin and Led Zeppelin, not realising the licensing costs.
Matt pulled through, finding tracks similar to the aforementioned that were much cheaper to license.
Having had a wealth of experience in the supervision game, speaking of what it takes to succeed, when things go awry Matt says it’s personal relationships you’ve forged over time that you to get the job done.
‘If the shit hits the fan, and you need something asap, it’s usually down to personal relationships to get things sorted, so having a great contact base is key’
That doesn’t go without have an extensive knowledge of the small print when it comes to clearing tracks..
‘You need to know your onions, with legal/copyright and the repertoire side – knowledge is power to coin a cliché, an intuitive ear is equally as important.’
We come to talking about the highlights of Matt’s career and it’s no surprise that the Luther theme tune cropped up. The iconic Massive Attack track was remixed by Matt in his pals south london bedroom set up..
‘We spent so much time going back and forth with the producer just on the way the track faded out.. it was painful. But whenever that tune comes on the radio it brings back very fond memories’
Adding that GT had the most global appeal and is by far his biggest project he’s worked on ‘ love it or loathe it’
We lastly spoke about any advice for those contacting supervisors with tracks..
‘Do your research, see what the supervisor is working on and what styles they are using on that project and send over relevant stuff, we are usually totally snowed under with music submissions, so if unsolicited emails are ignored it’s because we are all so busy not because we are rude…’
It was great to chat to Matt look out for more interviews with Supervisors in your next mailout.