“Originally, EA Sports FIFA soundtracks reflected world culture…. Today, the EA Sports FIFA soundtracks have become culture” – EA’s President of Music, Stefan Schnur
Whether it’s the games’ impeccable graphics or simply the ability to play against your mates, every FIFA fan has at least one specific thing they love about the game. Edition after edition, EA sports put out the perfect gaming experience, making it one of the most anticipated game releases of the year.
One thing many people also love about the game is the music. The FIFA soundtrack is a vital part of the game as it adds to the excitement of the overall gaming experience. A few songs have become purely known as “that song from FIFA”. The process of choosing the music, however, is not a simple task. Getting your music added to the FIFA Soundtrack is even harder. Every year the music team at the EA Sports trawl through numerous songs and artists to find the perfect tracks that embody the “FIFA-style”.
“Being ahead of the curve is the ultimate challenge and reward of curating FIFA (and the soundtrack), yet it takes an insane amount of hard work and gut instinct to get there,” says EA Sports Senior Music Supervisor Cybele Pettus. In an interview with the Dream Team Magazine, Pettus outlined the lengthy timeline it takes to put the whole thing together, saying the process starts more than a year before the game hits the shelves.
The music team at EA sports act as A&R scouts and on-trend music connoisseurs that work alongside international labels, publishers, artist managers, and artists to find the right mix of songs. Each member of the team has extensive experience in music marketing and/or A&R, but they all have different music tastes, genre instincts and international contacts – this ensures the FIFA soundtrack is as inclusive and diverse as it can be. Music is selected from a wide collection of artists, from well-known chart toppers to relatively underground music, then these songs are gathered into a list.
There isn’t a particular genre of music, however, EA Sports definitely believe there are certain songs that have a “FIFA sound”. Most songs on the FIFA playlist sound unique, on-trend and are “globally rhythmic “. Each song in the soundtrack celebrates a certain culture however, over the years the playlist itself has established an identifiable brand for itself.
Que Calor, by the Jamaican electronic dance music trio, Major Lazer, is the lead song on this track. This song also features reggaeton artist J Balvin and El Alfa. Although these are some of the biggest artists in the industry right now, the current FIFA 20 soundtrack features music by “unknown” artists from across the globe.
There is also another, equally as a great playlist, to accompany the brand-new Volta Football mode. A handful of the songs included in FIFA Street-style Volta mode are:
“There are an enormous number of artists and bands – both completely unknown and established stars – that want to be part of FIFA because a) they recognise the soundtrack’s global impact and b) they’re huge fans of the game. to be included in the next FIFA Soundtrack” says Cybele. EA Sports pride themselves on introducing “unknown” artists and giving new musicians a platform. Thousands of songs each year are sent in for FIFA soundtrack consideration so a lot of competition exists – but landing yourself a spot on the soundtrack isn’t impossible.
The growth of online streaming services and a greater choice of downloading platforms available also makes being included in the FIFA soundtrack highly sought-after.
The simplest way to go about getting your music in the FIFA 21 Soundtrack is to submit it to EA. Before going down this route, ensure the music you send is of a high quality and has a “FIFA feel”. Listen to some previous FIFA music and see if your tracks seem to fit in with this “FIFA feel”.
Like everything else in the realm of FIFA, EA tries to create unpredictable excitement within its soundtrack. Your music should also do that! Although most of the songs in the FIFA Soundtrack don’t actually mention football, it should have a message that is relevant to the FIFA franchise, i.e. perseverance, triumph or teamwork. For more information on how to submit your music to EA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Networking is a critical aspect of getting your song placed on the FIFA 21 soundtrack. If you know someone who works in the sports gaming industry or who has helped pitch music to EA Sports in the past, why not reach out to them? Getting to know other people in the music industry is also beneficial if you are looking to collaborate with someone on your song or tracks. Partnering with an artist from a different country or different genre will give your track an added international feel.
As mentioned earlier in this blog, music managers at EA work with a variety of music labels, publishers, and managers. Landing yourself a manager or agent will help in the pitching process, especially if they are well connected.
Don’t be afraid to take risks and develop a new sound that you believe brings to life the spirit of FIFA. EA value artists who present songs to them that are unique. “In fact, I’ve had artists and industry partners pitch their music to me, isolating one song in particular and saying, ‘this sounds like a FIFA song.’ To me, that’s that highest compliment we can get.” Says Cybele of EA sports.
If you’re not represented by an artist manager and don’t feel comfortable to do it yourself (or simply don’t have the time to) a sync agent could be the answer. Music Gateway offers a couple of different ways that you can get your music featured in games just like FIFA! You can upload your tracks to our sync portal for ongoing representation for any sync opportunities. Once you’ve uploaded your tracks to the sync portal, you can pretty much sit back and relax. Or, more realistically, spend more time on what you do best – making music!
If you’re more hands-on however, we also offer you the opportunity to specifically submit your tracks to sync opportunities. Simply create an account with us and you’ll get regular opportunities sent straight to your inbox!
Being a part of the FIFA franchise is both an honour and a privilege. Having your song included in a FIFA soundtrack can really propel your career. However it is also a massive achievement – especially for artists who have the lead song. For aspiring artists, the opportunity to be featured on a game that is played by millions every year is immense. Therefore the songs you present to EA must be just as immense!
However, it’s not all about submitting your best tracks or the track you think carry a “FIFA” vibe. Like the game itself, the FIFA franchise and accompanying soundtrack are about collaboration with an international appeal. Collaborating with other artists and networking with key industry players will help when approaching EA.
Struggling to come up with the perfect song to submit to EA? There are hundreds of songs from FIFA Playlists to draw inspiration from. You should remember that you don’t need to have a specific ‘sound’ to make it onto the FIFA 2021 Soundtrack. Many songs included in the playlist were not even written for FIFA. However, EA liked them so much they decided to include them!
Oh, and by the way, despite the global pandemic and the cancellation of many seasons, FIFA 21 (and its soundtrack) is still set to hit the shelves this September!
Want to know how to get your tracks in more than just FIFA? Our sync team is here to help! Submit your music for sync opportunities with us in a way that suits you. Or, learn more about sync and how to improve your chances with our new 1-2-1 sync consultations! You can also use the Music Gateway platform to find people to collaborate with in our global music industry marketplace.
All you have to do to get started is simply sign up for a free account. You have 14 days to try everything out, no strings attached! What are you waiting for?