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The Client Said No: How DaHouse Audio Makes Melodies Out of Disappointment

Trends and Insight 335 Add to collection

Company founders Lucas Mayer and Cassiano Derenji F. de Mello on how a moment of inspiration revolutionised their business

The Client Said No: How DaHouse Audio Makes Melodies Out of Disappointment

“It was New Year’s Eve 2018”, recalls Lucas Mayer. One gets the sense that a lot of the DaHouse Audio founder’s best stories start off this way. On this occasion, however, he’s charting the rise of The Client Said No, a unique in-house band that has quietly revolutionised the way the Brazilian music and sound company operates.

“I remember that party well”, adds Cassiano Derenji F. de Mello. “It was Lucas’ girlfriend who suggested the band’s name, which is made up of producers we work with, started playing the songs that the client rejected. Everyone loved it! And then things kind of built up from there.”

The Client Said No has swiftly become a band in its own right, boasting almost six thousand monthly listens on Spotify. That didn’t happen overnight, however. The group’s rise was charted partly in the extremely watchable documentary series [De]Tour, which followed the band on its first European tour, culminating in an appearance at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. While stopping over, DaHouse Audio found time to pick up a Titanium Lion for their work with The Uncensored Playlist. In the same year, The Client Said No also released their first album, the unassumingly titled ‘2019 Denied Songs’.

Above: The Client Said No embarked on a European tour in 2019, and the adventure was recorded in the brilliantly produced [De]Tour documentary on YouTube. In this first episode, the band starts its journey with a trip to Milan, Italy.

Taking confidence from a hectic 2019, the stage was set for the band to go from strength to strength in 2020. The world, of course, had other plans.

“It’s frustrating, because I had this sense this was going to be a huge year for the band”, notes Lucas. “And the problem we have now is that nobody really knows how long it’s going to be before the world is truly opened up again”.

One thing that the downtime has offered, however, is an opportunity to take stock. For Lucas and Cassiano, the chance to reflect on how their business had changed has led to some innovative ideas for the future.

“Something that is quite strange”, explains Cassiano, “is that we now sometimes find ourselves thinking ‘man, I hope the client rejects this song’ when we’re pitching, because I want The Client Said No to play it!”

“And of course,” adds Lucas, “these songs take on a life of their own. They become art, maybe. And then, sometimes, they get noticed by totally different clients, and that helps build our relationship with them in ways I never would have thought of. I think our recent work with Puma is a perfect example of that”. 

At around the start of the year, the sportswear giant Puma had an elaborate and ambitious campaign mapped out for the Latin American market. The wildly famous Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine was signed up to front a bombastic campaign, one which saw the streets of a city come alive with people and dance. A few months into 2020, the creatives behind the campaign decided, perhaps understandably, that it wasn’t quite hitting the right tone for a region grappling with the disastrous impact of Covid-19. Much to the disappointment of all involved, the campaign was shelved.

Happily, however, the story doesn’t end there. Having previously commissioned work from The Client Said No, the creatives at Puma’s in-house agency had a brainwave when listening to Ordinary Brown Eyes, the latest song to be added to the band’s growing repertoire. 

“It’s kind of crazy how well the song fits the ad”, recalls Lucas. “It has this kind of pensive feel, and the lyrics align perfectly with Bruna Marquezine’s eyes. We spoke with the guys from Estud.io,  Puma’s agency, and they kind of worked out this way of using the same footage, and having Bruna looking back and reflecting on how freeing it felt at the time to film this. Like looking back at a lost era, and hoping to get back there soon”.

Above: Brazilian star Bruna Marquezine looks back at pre-lockdown life in an emotive ad for the sportswear giant Puma. The spot is soundtracked by The Client Said No’s ‘Ordinary Brown Eyes’.

For Brazilians cooped up in various forms of lockdown, the ad hits like an emotional sledgehammer. Perhaps no-one more so than Bruna Marquezine herself, who is close to tears by the time the spot ends. 

The spot also highlights a recurring theme across DaHouse Audio’s work - the art of never giving up on creativity. Whether it be their own music that’s been turned down by a client, or a campaign that’s been put on ice, the studio finds enjoyment in breathing new life into an idea. 

For an industry, and a planet, which is undoubtedly about to go through a period of considerable change, it’s a theme which provides a hopeful vision for the future. Good ideas can always find their time. And if they happen to be communicated through great music, all the better.


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DaHouse Audio, Mon, 13 Jul 2020 15:24:17 GMT