We recently spoke to the delightful Andrea Madden, music supervisor of the Bafta award-winning TV show Made in Chelsea.
The show is renowned for its music (The Guardian once claimed it has “the best soundtrack on TV”), and Andrea and her team recently picked up the Most Shazammed TV Show Award and an Individual Sync track placement Award at Music Week’s Sync Awards 2014.
Check out the highlights of our interview below:
On how she got into music supervision:
I guess my route into the job wasn’t something that you commonly associate with music supervision. I’ve worked in edits for about 15 years now putting TV shows together including spin offs of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Big Brother, as well as big shiny floor and entertainment shows.
When you’re working in editing you’re placing music onto TV, it’s a big part of what you’re doing. So at the time I didn’t see myself as doing the job of a music supervisor because I was an edit producer, but I guess for a long time it’s been a big part of what I’ve done. When I started on Made in Chelsea, the sound of the show was really up my street as I’m a massive fan of alternative indie and electronic music, so becoming the music supervisor felt like a natural progression.
On her musical discovery process:
I’m a music fan so I find it anywhere and everywhere. I obviously won’t divulge all my sources but I look on a lot of worldwide music radio playlists as a great way to find new acts that are breaking in other parts of the world. I also get a lot of stuff sent to me from record labels, which is a great way to find music that isn’t out yet.
So it’s a massive culmination of a lot of late nights looking at blogs, radio station playlists, magazines, and so on – it’s a harvesting that I do! I’ve also turned into a Shazammer as well, and I’ve got the longest Spotify playlist known to mankind!
On the power of Shazam and breaking new artists:
For me first and foremost I need to use music that works on the show. I love to use new, fresh music, but to be honest when people talk about championing bands it’s as much for us as and for me as it is for them. We’re not here to break bands – we’re not a radio station, but if it happens as a by-product then that’s amazing.
Shazam is such an exiciting thing I think. We’ve got great examples of bands who have entered the Shazam charts as a result of being on the show such as Tenterhook and his track “London Heart”. It’s great that as well as engaging with the show, people are also engaging with and liking the soundtrack.
On choosing the right track for a scene:
There are tracks that I’ve loved for a year and a half but it’s just never been the right time to use them, it wouldn’t do them justice. Wrong music placements can kill a scene and kill a track. If things jar it’s because it’s a wrong placement, so you have to be careful.
On advice for people getting in touch:
I think a lot of music supervisors before have said the exact same thing but do your homework before you contact people! It’s dead easy to know what kind of music we use on Made in Chelsea because all the music from the series is on the E4 website.
Don’t be shy about getting in touch. I love it when a band contacts me, especially via Twitter which I think most people know that they can find me on. If someone sends me a link I will check it out and try to respond.
On some of her favourite Made in Chelsea music moments:
There’s so many! But I guess there’s a couple that really spring to mind, for example when we first used a track by Ásgeir (“Was There Nothing?”) which is just a beautiful song that encompassed exactly what was going on in the scene (when Louise and Andy broke up). It was one of those spine tingeling tracks and it ended up being the most Shazammed track of that series.
Thanks to Andrea for taking the time to speak to us!
Tweet Andrea: @missyamkm