Thu, 19 Nov 2015 18:16:47 GMT
MassiveMusic’s New York office is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and is throwing a party in the legendary Mercury Lounge in NYC to mark the occasion.
It’s been a landmark year for the global music agency, which also celebrated 15 years of business this summer, and ahead of the party, Keith Haluska, MD of MassiveMusic NY, reflects on the company’s first ten years in North America.
Having been working at a music house in New York for eight years, Keith met Hans (Brouwer, Founder of MassiveMusic) while working on some productions with MassiveMusic Amsterdam. “He made me realise that the company I was working for could never be as creative or nimble as MassiveMusic, so I proposed to him the opening of a New York office,” explains Keith, “At that time, MassiveMusic had the business model for the future. Hans had to think about it for a little while, but we eventually launched in 2005. I don’t think a ‘foreign’ music company opening in the US – New York especially – had ever been tried, I truly believe we broke new ground. The rest, as they say, is history.”
The doors to MassiveMusic New York opened in 2005, where Keith was joined by Kerry Smith, a composer from Keith’s previous company, and Emily Martin, who helped to set up the office. “Kerry has since moved to Oregon as a freelance composer,” says Keith, “while Emily no longer works at Massive - but is now my wife!”
Having been with the office since day one, Keith has overseen the growth of MassiveMusic New York: “There’s a couple of big moments that really stand out in our development. The first, meeting a freelance composer named Elijah B Torn back in 2007. He was a freelancer when we met, but we soon employed him full time and he’s now our Creative Director. The second, getting Scott Cymbala to come and partner with us in LA. That has really expanded our talent pool.”
The advertising industry is ever-evolving and Keith has seen first-hand how traditional models are becoming increasingly archaic. “Since our inception, the things that’ve changed on my side of the business are probably the same changes experienced all across the post-production world, and they’re probably very similar to changes in the agency world,” he believes. “Looking at the size of the beasts who are now at the top of the food chain – Apple, ExxonMobil, Samsung – I guess being the client over the past decade has been fantastic!
Over the years, the office has worked on a number of high-profile projects – most notably working in collaboration with MassiveMusic’s LA office on the US relaunch of FIAT – and developed important creative partnerships.
Something Keith is particularly proud of is MassiveMusic’s relationship with the production and creative department at Fitzgerald & Co. / ATL. “We’ve worked together with Noel Cottrell and his teams since he took over the shop, and we’ve done some really nice, emotional work for Coca-Cola,” he says. “We also worked with them on a long-form film for Bulwark, an industrial clothing manufacturer, which was brilliant. It enabled us to compose music that you just can’t do on a day-to-day basis - you don’t have time for pieces to develop over seven minutes!”
The company has gone from strength to strength over the last ten years, and with MassiveMusic now firmly established in both the US and globally, what better way to celebrate a decade in North America than by throwing an awesome party? In true MassiveMusic style, the company is taking New York’s Mercury Lounge on November 19th for a night of drinks, music and DJs (with beautiful hair).
“There’s not so much of a theme for the event, more of a look and feel,” says Keith, “As a native New Yorker, I wanted a party that felt like the New York music scene that I had growing up; handmade stickers and t-shirts, bands that made flyers by hand and stapled them to walls of CBGB’s (the birthplace of NYC’s rock, folk and punk music) – a scene made up of people who loved making music, who had no aspirations of be signed or placed in commercials because that stuff just didn’t happen back then!