Antfood, Southern Comfort, Human Lead Inaugural AMP Awards Winners

The Association of Music Producers held the inaugural AMP Awards in New York on Wednesday night during Creative Week, honoring the best uses of music in advertising and branding. Eleven trophies were awarded in 10 different categories, plus two Hall of Fame Awards were presented to Coca-Cola and McDonald’s for their long history of incorporating memorable music in campaigns.

Tim Castelli, president of national sales, marketing and partnerships for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment (left) and Marlena Peleo-Lazar, global chief creative officer for McDonald's(Margarita Corporan)

Brooklyn-based audio studio Antfood took Best In Show honors for their work on “Metamorphosis,” a campaign for Good Books. Primal Scream won Best Original Song for “Trampoline,” a song written for Fruit of the Loom. Music branding agency Human won Best Original Score for Hennessy’s “Manny,” as well as Outstanding Adaptation for Google Fiber’s “Toy Car World.” Sound editing agency Blast was awarded Best Sound Design and Outstanding Mix for Sony Xperia Ion’s “One Block.”

Rick Baitz presents "Best Use of Music/Sound for Web or Interactive Branding" award to Antfood's Wilson Brown and Sean McGovern for their work on "Metamorphosis" for Good Books. Antfood shared this trophy (yes, it was a tie) with Yessian for their work on "Compilation" for Nick Cave's “Dream Bigger Dreams.” "Metamorphosis" also picked up the award for the AMP Awards for Best In Show."

Good Ear Music Supervision took home Best Use of Licensed Song for Southern Comfort’s “Whatever’s Comfortable,” featuring Odetta’s “Hit Or Miss.” Pirate was awarded Most Effective Use of Music in a Campaign for Red Stripe’s “Hooray Beer.” Copilot Strategic Music took home Best Use of Music for a Film or Game Promo for Dishonored/Bethesda Softworks’ “Drunken Whaler.”
AMP president Larry Pecorella organized and presided over the inaugural event, which was MC’d by Q104.3’s radio personality Jim Kerr. Clear Channel, BMI, Grey, Kyle Edit and Quiet Man were sponsors. Presenters included Josh Rabinowitz, senior VP, director of music for Grey Group; Billboard’s Andrew Hampp; and acclaimed BMI Music Publishing feature film composer Baitz.  (BMI was one of the event's major sponsors.) Lyle Greenfield, founder of Bang Music and AMP's first president, presented the Best In Show award to Antfood.

And because no music awards show would be complete without live music, the night featured five acts all booked by Comma’s Michael Paoletta. Pre-show and between-act dance tunes were DJ’d by New York indie-poppers French Horn Rebellion and Savoir Adore, each of whom have had previous success with licensing of their own music. French Horn Rebellion is in the midst of releasing a series of new singles featuring special guests like Jody Watley, Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem, Viceroy, JD Samson and later this summer Ghost Beach. Savoir Adore’s sophomore album, “In Our Nature,” is being re-released June 4 on Nettwerk Records.
Epic recording artist Paloma Faith was on hand at the last minute to perform two songs from her current album “Fall To Grace,” including single “Picking Up The Pieces,” telling the crowd she postponed her appearance at another showcase just to play the AMP Awards.

“I look forward to making a lot of money with all of you,” Faith told the standing-room crowd, which filled the warehouse space at 82 Mercer.

Epic labelmates Quadron headlined a post-show concert featuring selections from their major-label debut, “Avalanche,” due June 4 on Sylvia Rhone’s Vested In Culture imprint. Highlights included funky opener “LFT (Looking For Trouble),” Michael Jackson-inspired “Neverland,” a stripped-down take on 2009’s “Pressure” (“We’re about to take it to church,” lead singer Coco O. teased, before doing just that with a powerfully soulful vocal) and the rollicking lead single “Hey Love.” Rhone was in the crowd, dancing along with the room full of new fans. New York indie-rockers Caveman closed out the night with a set full of tracks from their self-titled sophomore set, released last month via Fat Possum.

The night concluded at Pianos on the Lower East Side, where alt-R&B act Autre Ne Veut played an emotive live set, followed by a DJ, vinyl-only set from Leo Burnett’s Gabe McDonough. Many attendees danced and drank well past the midnight hour, including Universal Music Publishing’s Jessica Shaw, Downtown Music Publishing’s Jedd Katrancha, French Horn Rebellion’s Robert Perlick-Molinari, Grey Advertising’s Zach Pollikoff, Sound Foundation’s Matthew Evertsen and Nylon Studios’ Christina Tortorelli, among others.

Many arrived from grabbing a late dinner after the awards, which offered limited (and very popular) hors d’oeuvres, and quickly sparked chatter that next year’s AMP Awards may have outgrown its first incarnation already. Perhaps a trip to a hotel ballroom is in order for 2014?