Music On TV: What Works Now

How To Get Music Supervisors To Listen To Your Tunes: Top Supes Share What Works

To All the Boys Courtesy Photo

The top synch experts behind shows like Insecure, 'PEN15' and 'The Last Dance' explain how they find material and how to pitch them successfully. Hint: Do your research

Music supervisor, Listen Listen
As a 14-year-old, Tiffany Anders saved up her babysitting money to buy her first guitar; at 16, she helped her mother, independent filmmaker Allison Anders, figure out the musical direction of her first film, 1992’s Gas Food Lodging. After initially wanting to play music, Anders soon found her passion for soundtracking TV projects such as You’re the Worst, Everything Sucks! and most recently PEN15, the Hulu middle school comedy from star/creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle. Now in its second season, PEN15 is set in the year 2000 and features a slew of Y2K tunes from the Spice Girls, Lit and Mandy Moore, among others.

How collaborative is the music selection process with Erskine and Konkle for PEN15?
This is probably one of the most collaborative projects I’ve been on. The middle school dance [in the first-season finale] was a collaboration in all regards, because we discussed what was going to be the song that they do their makeup dance to, and they landed on Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be.” For some of the other stuff, I would send them a batch of songs that I thought worked, and they would go through and choose things.
What’s the best way to pitch you?
Research what I’m working on at the time, which you can do by looking at IMDb. I just did a show for Netflix called Firefly Lane, which spans three decades, from the ’70s to the ’80s to the early 2000s. In the case of something like PEN15, when someone says, “I’ve got this new song!” it’s like, “Well, I’m not even listening to new songs!”
Has there been a synch you’ve been involved with that has played a crucial role for an artist?
You’re the Worst on FX used a lot of new artists, and a few have since become big deals. We used one of Doja Cat’s songs in the first season, and I still can’t believe how big she has become. And the indie band Big Thief, they were nominated for a Grammy. I can’t say that anybody got huge off of it, but they did become bigger artists. — Jason Lipshutz


Music creative and production, original film, Netflix
Rudy Chung — formerly a music supervisor at Hit the Ground Running, currently at Netflix — worked his way from procedurals like Cold Case and CSI: Miami to the quirky HBO comedies Silicon Valley and Barry before landing a dream assignment for any music supervisor: Securing classic ’80s and ’90s classics from Eric B & Rakim, Prince, Pearl Jam, the Beastie Boys and others to lay underneath clips of Michael Jordan torturing NBA opponents, as part of ESPN’s 10-part docuseries The Last Dance that aired in the spring.

Did the music in The Last Dance proceed from your own background and expertise? Or did you consult with labels and publishers?
That was a sweet spot for both myself and director Jason [Hehir], both of us having grown up in the ’80s and ’90s, both of us having been watching those teams. Our biggest problem wasn’t creative, it was clearance. A lot of the songs we wanted to use, we just couldn’t get the rights to due to samples, or [the cost was too great].
Is there a breaking-point amount when it comes to cost where you have to say, “No matter how much I want this song, it’s just not going to happen”?
We do have to have those conversations with the producers, studios and networks involved. That’s a big part of the job — balancing those different interests and voices making sure everyone is happy. A lot of shows that use a lot of music are similar: There’s a fixed budget, and in order to make it work, you have to offer everyone the same amount so that no one feels that they’re being underpaid. It’s called a favored-nation deal. And we definitely had to implement that strategy on The Last Dance.
What’s the best way to pitch you?
Be informed. Don’t do email blasts to hundreds of people. These days you can figure out what music supervisors are into, based on their projects and social media. So I appreciate when someone takes the time to individualize their pitch: “Hey, here are two or three songs from this artist I think you would like based on your work.” Those get listened to. The cold submissions — which is 99% of all pitches — that’s a little bit more challenging. — Andrew Unterberger

Ciara Elwis
Music supervisor, Air-Edel
Since rising from receptionist to music supervisor at London-based Air-Edel, 27-year-old Ciara Elwis has placed up-and-comers, current hitmakers and icons (including David Bowie for the Ricky Gervais series After Life) on some of TV’s buzziest shows, including the Netflix original Sex Education and BBC One/HBO’s I May Destroy You.
Describe the general process for the shows you work on — do you work from scripts, rough cuts, direction from the showrunner?
This varies from project to project. I love to be involved as early as possible — ideally the script stage — as it means I have more time to get a feel for the show and collate lots of ideas before starting to send specific options. It helps avoid the dreaded “temp love,” where a song we wouldn’t have ever had a chance of clearing is put into a production, but by the time the supervisor finds out about it everyone has already fallen in love with it, and then it becomes a total nightmare to replace.
What song have you always wanted but been unable to get?
I work with Matt Biffa on Sex Education, and we’ve tried to clear Donna Summer for that a few times with no success. We do get quite a lot of denials on that show — though that is perhaps understandable given some of the scene descriptions we send out.
What’s the best way for an act to pitch you?
Usually I’d be sent their music through their label, publisher, manager or synch agent, but I am sometimes sent tracks directly from artists through our website. I like it when people include a couple of notes about the style of music in the email, as I do search [my] inbox for keywords when working on projects — so even if I didn’t get round to listening to something at the time, it might come in handy at a later date.
Why do you think the music supervisor field is dominated by women?
I’m not sure “dominated” is the right word. There is perhaps better representation in synch than other parts of the industry, so maybe we are conspicuous by our presence because of that. — Lyndsey Havens

Owner, Monster Sector
After working for years with Alexandra Patsavas’ influential Chop Shop Music Supervision, first as an intern, Kamps took over the music for Netflix’s Lucifer as of its second season, placing songs like Anderson Rocio’s “Paradise” in the spirit of what he calls “lots of swaggery rock and these big, apocalyptic, dark, emotional songs at the end and big, electronic club things.” Kamps, who also worked on How To Get Away With Murder, gets musical prompts from early scripts: “It can be something as simple [as] one sentence that will turn into a whole lot of work where we’re pitching ideas.”
How do you find songs?
I’m on Spotify all day. I’m following blogs on Twitter and seeing what new music they’re posting about. Recommendations from friends. We work with a lot of third-party pitching companies and labels and publishing, and everyone’s constantly sending music. It’s not usually a situation where I’m going to pitch all my favorite bands and hope it all works out. Usually that’s not what they’re looking for.
How often do you get requests for songs you truly hate?
It happens. But if that’s what they want, that’s what I’m going to help them get.
How much is too much to spend on a synch?
If you’re trying to clear The Beatles, that question is going to be, “How much do you want to spend?” It ultimately depends on the budget. Sometimes a fee of $50,000 might be way too much, and other times it might be, “That’s a huge song from John Lennon, of course it’s going to be expensive.” Big songs from The Rolling Stones or U2 — those obviously demand a bigger fee, and it depends on what territories or media you’re clearing for. — Steve Knopper

Music supervisor, Yay Team Productions
While most dance music geeks have to do their digging for forgotten gems from overlooked ’80s Chicago house labels in their spare time, for Amanda Krieg Thomas it’s part of her job researching potential synchs for FX’s ballroom culture drama, Pose. It’s just one of several period dramas Thomas has worked on, including other Ryan Murphy-created shows such as Feud: Bette and Joan and the first two seasons of American Crime Story.

What is your process for finding songs?
Truly, on Pose, I have to give credit to one of our executive producers, Alexis Martin Woodall, as well as the creators, Steven Canals and Janet Mock and Our Lady J, who are the core creative team on the show. They really lived this world and this life, and a lot of the big song choices are driven by them. They — and, of course, Ryan Murphy — have a really clear vision for the big featured moments. But a lot of times, it’s like, “OK, we have this amazing big moment, but what else is playing in the background in the ball? Or in the background of the restaurant?” So we end up doing a lot of research, a lot of digging, reaching out to our partners at labels and publishers and pitching companies to send the tracks that we may not know about — and the viewer certainly won’t know about — to fill out that vision.
Is there one song that you really wanted for a scene, but either because of cost or because of those complications you mention, that you weren’t able to clear for Pose in time?
The biggest challenges have fortunately ended in victory most of the time — even in the 11th hour. I like to pride myself on untangling very difficult scenarios — you know, we tracked Grace Jones’ modeling agent on a plane and sent him promo shots from Pose season one to get her involved. We’re usually pretty creative in solving issues. But there have been times where — due to deals done in the ’80s, where someone only has a certain percentage — songs are unlicensable. We ran into one where the writers of the song were so difficult that prior to even us wanting to use it, the label basically refused to license it, because the writers burned a bridge early on many years ago. It was not even a big song, but you run into these things where you track down the right people, and they tell you, “No, unfortunately, these writers have been excommunicated. We refuse to license it!” But that has been rare, fortunately. — A.U.

Owner, Bad Sneakers
HBO’s Insecure employs dozens of songs by new and established artists, from City Girls to popcaan, and not just in the background but as part of the storyline — SZA placed “Quicksand” at a key point in the second season, then had a role on the show in the fourth. As music supervisor, Lehman works closely with actress-creator Issa Rae on song selection. “We had to figure out how to make that work with our budget,” says Lehman, whose background with a record-collector father helps him work on song-heavy shows like Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q and Netflix’s Grand Army. “We leaned on a lot of independent artists, out of necessity as well as creative plan.”

Describe the process for the shows you work on — do you work from scripts, rough cuts, direction from showrunners?
It’s different per project, but I’ll usually meet with the producers, get a script at the beginning, maybe before they’re shooting, and start talking to them about what their goals are for the show and if they have a style, a genre or a type of artist in mind. Sometimes there might be music written into the script already and we’ll work on clearing it. But oftentimes, we get into postproduction, the editors are starting to put the scenes together, and I’m sending options for scenes — playlists for the director and producer to pull from and start going back-and-forth.
How much is too much to spend for synch?
The way I look at it is, what value are you getting out of it? You could spend $1 million and that could feel cheap. A song that is in a movie and the trailer and goes on the radio and becomes part of culture and a hit on its own — you spend $1 million on that for a movie that costs $100 million to make, let alone what you’re spending on marketing, that’s a deal. If you’re talking about a TV show and you just want a song that plays in a scene or a montage, $100,000 is way too expensive. I don’t know that any shows pay that much. — S.K.

Founder/owner, Sweater Weather Music
Through his Los Angeles-based music supervision firm, Lowry says he has worked on an “insane and not mentally sustainable” total of 21 film and TV projects over the past 12 months. That has meant tracking down Berlin-based record label Habibi Funk for numerous synchs on Hulu series Ramy, Ramy Youssef’s dramedy about growing up as part of the Muslim community in America; curating a female pop artist-centric soundtrack including Selena Gomez and BENEE for Freeform drama The Bold Type, which follows three women working at a fictionalized Cosmopolitan magazine; and recently, dreaming up the sound for HBO’s Gossip Girl reboot, which begins shooting in October — a full-circle moment for Lowry, who credits the original as one of his inspirations for becoming a music supervisor.

What is the process for the shows you work on?
Most projects will start at the script stage: Is there anything written into the script that we have to clear for preproduction? Is there a dance or someone singing to something? Then we’re getting ideas of tone, especially if it’s a new show that we’re hopping onto. That has been a big thing with Gossip Girl. Based on the pilot script, we put together eight different playlists of 100 songs for each character. Ramy and Bold Type have a pretty specific sound. In between seasons, we can be putting folders together of ideas because we know what world the music’s going to live in.
What’s the best way for an artist to pitch you?
If an artist is going to reach out as an independent, the only thing I can say is to make it personal. For The Bold Type, we only use women vocalists and it’s all pop music. But the amount of emails I get that are like, “This would be great for The Bold Type” — and it’s, like, a male country singer. Tunefind posts the soundtrack for every episode of television, with links and information. Research what shows are using your type of music and make targeted, specific pitches: “I watched so-and-so episode, and I have this song, and it’s in that world.”
How much is too much to spend for a synch?
Stuff isn’t one size fits all. I’ll be meeting on a project and they’ll be like, “How much does a Nirvana song cost?” It’s a tough question, because there are so many variables that go into a clearance that will change the fees. Is it a background vocal or a visual vocal? Is someone singing it onscreen? For a modern pop song on TV, you’re probably looking at mid-five figures [total, including recording and publishing rights]. But it really does range. I’ve spent a couple thousand dollars on a song, and I’ve spent a couple hundred thousand dollars on a song. It’s ultimately about how you’re prioritizing the budget — and budgets range a lot, too. —Tatiana Cirisano

Founder/owner, Black & White
A former publicist for acts like Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, Malone is now a two-time Emmy Award-nominated music supervisor with her own firm, Black & White. Her credits include HBO’s Euphoria, the soundtrack for which earned her a Guild of Music Supervisors award in February; FX’s Atlanta, for which she cleared two Stevie Wonder songs for 2018’s lauded, gruesome “Teddy Perkins” episode; and Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, which has helped indie artists like Daniela Andrade and Big Thief find new fans. Next, she’s focusing on a flurry of upcoming series including Apple’s Mr. Corman starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Amazon’s adult animated series Fairfax and Tony Ayres’ Netflix series Clickbait.

What are your music sources?
A lot of social media: Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Dubsmash. My network of managers and agents and booking. When I’m out shopping I’ll hear a song and I’ll just Shazam it. So it’s literally everywhere. Every song I hear, I think, “What show or what type of theme would this song work for?” It’s automatic. When I’m driving, something will come up on Spotify or SiriusXM satellite radio, and I have to take a screenshot. My phone is just filled with screenshots of music and songs. And of course, also the labels and publishers and licensing companies — the people that I work with on a regular basis.
Is there a synch you’ve been involved with that played a crucial role for the artist?
Tunefind publishes their trending music, and [in August], nine out of the [top] 10 songs were from Umbrella Academy. We used The Interrupters’ cover of Billie Eilish’s “bad guy,” and the song has been streamed about a million times across all platforms since the season aired. We used a Swedish cover of [Adele’s] “Hello” by My Kullsvik, an artist who lives in the middle of nowhere in Sweden; now that song has over 1.4 million listens on Spotify. We had the same response with Euphoria. A synch can really, really impact an artist’s career, and it’s the best part of my job.
Why do you think the music supervisor field is dominated by women right now?
Because women get the job done. — T.C.

Founder, Silverstream Music

Founder, Deep Cut
Juliet Martin and Maggie Phillips have never met face-to-face, but earlier this year, the music supervisors teamed up — over many transatlantic phone calls — to soundtrack the bestselling novel-turned-Hulu hit Normal People. Stateside, Phillips got into music supervision “by accident” when she started helping out college friends Mark and Jay Duplass on their early films. Her list of credits has grown to include buzzy shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Fargo, as well as the Academy Award-winning Moonlight. Across the Atlantic, Martin was working at record labels and in indie publishing when she first realized “there really were no music supervisors” in Ireland. She has drawn on homegrown talent for projects like the 2016 film A Date for Mad Mary and Normal People.

Is there a synch you’ve been involved with that played a crucial role for a performer?
Martin On Normal People, Irish singer-songwriter Anna Mieke’s “Warped Window” finished out episode one. Her streaming went insane after it aired. She got looped into a couple of big Spotify playlists and got around 6 million streams. So many Irish acts noticed the lift from Normal People. There were some known acts — like Tebi Rex, Alex Gough, Jealous of the Birds, The Lock In and Uly — that got a huge international stage. The show was probably one of the bigger TV series that we’ve made, so it was one of the first chances they had to get recognized outside of Ireland.
Phillips I put a song called “Bashi Mwana” in Fargo season two that was written a while ago by Musi-O-Tunya — a band from Zambia in East Africa. [Vocalist-songwriter Rikki Ililonga] was able to buy a plot of land and expand his farm with the money earned from licensing. It was a big deal for the family. I licensed the track from my friend at Now-Again Records. They have a lot of soul, jazz and world music. He tells me stories about the artists and their families, and it made my year when I heard about having that impact after that placement in Fargo.
What are your music sources? How often do pitched songs end up in shows, and how does that work?
Phillips If you’re a young indie artist without a label or publishing rep, then I think getting with a boutique licensing firm is a good idea. The firms pitch directly to music supervisors. But except for smaller, background spots, pitched music doesn’t show up very much for me. Most of the time, I just listen — I’m on Spotify all the time. Their algorithm is pretty darn good. It’s creepy, but it works. I also go on Reddit threads. It’s basically music nerds and they talk about music in such a detailed way that you don’t see in reviews or anywhere else.
Martin I look at festival lineups. Projects in Ireland tend to be more low-budget, so I look at more emerging acts. I look out for smaller-stage local festivals. Those sorts of things. Pitched music is usually for smaller budgets or for background music. There were quite a few of those on Normal People when we went to the publisher and said, “OK, we want this track and we know we can’t afford it. Do you have something like that?”
Why do you think the music supervisor field is dominated by women right now?
Martin Because the role is newer. It’s not as established, and because of that, there’s less of a barrier and more of an opportunity for women to get into the field.
Phillips That makes sense. It’s a role that emerged in the last 20 years, so it seems more attainable compared to the boys club of editors, directors and other departments. All the department heads are dudes, for the most part. I will say that this field is dominated by a lot of white people. I keep talking about how we can make it more diverse. Film and TV in general are dominated by a lot of white dudes. It’s changing slowly. I’m seeing more female showrunners, directors and editors. I think it’s starting to shift and people are beginning to pay attention to representation behind the scenes. — Mia Nazareno

Music supervisor, Mad Doll Music
A former DJ on KCRW Los Angeles who would spin songs alongside excerpts from plays and poetry readings, Liza Richardson has been a successful music supervisor for two decades — and is putting a bow on arguably her biggest 12-month period to date, thanks to her work on hits like Watchmen (which earned her an Emmy nod), The Morning Show, Lovecraft Country and Outer Banks. “Every kid watches that show — it’s so great!” she says of Outer Banks, a Netflix teen drama recently renewed for a second season.

What are your music sources?
I pay attention to my friends and fellow DJs — a lot of record collectors — and I use Pitchfork, Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes and Shazam. My No. 1 source is stuff that’s pitched to me in my emails. It comes from labels, publishers, managers, artists. I also listen to a lot of radio stations. That has been one of the beautiful things about [this year] — I’ve gotten back to my roots of listening, where it’s less about business and more about enjoyment and going down different rabbit holes.”
What’s the best way for an act’s representation to pitch you?
Send me a short and sweet email with their priorities, like, “Here’s 10 songs about something.” Whatever’s newsworthy — if they acquired a new reggae catalog, I want to hear about it. Also, I like to get things that are mastered and released. I don’t really like demos.
How much is too much to spend for a synch?
It depends. If it’s a Led Zeppelin song and they’re asking for $250,000, it’s worth it! I have showrunners question me about why something is so expensive, and I have to explain: I’m always looking for what’s fair. But I do think prices have gone up lately — now $50,000 is the new $40,000.—J.L.

Creative and synch licensing supervisor, ASAP Music Clearances
Because the CBS reality hit Love Island — broadcast five nights a week for six weeks — uses an unusually high 10 to 30 tracks per episode, often on short notice, the show hired a clearinghouse rather than a more traditional music supervisor. (Unlike most supervision firms, ASAP charges a flat rate of $1,500 to $2,200 per song, for both the master recording and publishing, rather than negotiating tracks individually.) The assignment fell to Torres, a Twin Cities transplant who got her first break through a Los Angeles craft-fair soap salesman with a connection to company president Meryl Ginsberg. In addition to hits by Katy Perry, Niall Horan and others, Torres landed four songs by indie-rockers Friends at the Falls. “I’m used to sending out a lot of requests but not in terms of no turnaround time,” she says. “That took a lot of back-and-forth between myself and the producers.”

Did the earlier success of
Love Island in the United Kingdom help clear synchs for the U.S. version?
Just because those songs were used in the U.K. doesn’t mean they’ll get cleared in the U.S. Overseas, they have a whole different process. That was a little bit harder, especially for the first [U.S.] season [in 2019] — a lot of the producers were from the U.K. and they were used to this process where you can use the songs and get permission. Here you have to go ahead of time and get approval.”
How do you and the producers choose the songs?
They came to us with a very large list that was already 800 songs. I would go to lunch with our label contacts. They have their general email blasts they send out with new music, but I would also give suggestions of themes. To help myself stay organized, I broke the show down to “songs for breakups,” “songs for partying,” “songs for do what you want” and “falling in love.” Then I gave those categories to our label contacts. Every couple of weeks or so, they’d be sending me new music.
How do you find songs?I stream a lot [and try] to become friends with songwriters and have them suggest songs. The band Friends at the Falls sent me five songs, so I sent them out to the producers and I explained, “These guys are really hungry for synch placement, and their sound will work perfectly for the show.” They ended up placing four out of the five songs, which means they can possibly not have to take extra shifts at the restaurant [they work at] and can use this money to go record more music — which is what it’s all about. —S.K.

Founder/music supervisor, Firestarter Music
Don’t bother pitching Andrea von Foerster the latest pop or R&B hit. As music supervisor for top-rated Paramount western Yellowstone, she is only interested in mining the vast Americana and country repertoire. For an act like Whiskey Myers, which has had nine placements across three seasons, the result has been impressive. Following a July 2018 episode, during which the band played two songs, every album in the group’s catalog went top 10 on iTunes’ Country chart, according to the band’s manager.

How do you find songs? How often do songs you’re pitched end up in shows, and how does that work?
I get emails pitching music from just about everywhere at this point: labels, publishers, synch agents, managers, publicists, artists, artists’ moms. Going to foreign music conferences has been a fantastic way to get to know indie artists that I wouldn’t have heard about otherwise. A lot of the music I find is from constantly scouring the internet. I go down YouTube and Twitter wormholes for days on end, which is how I happened upon the amazing artist Zach Bryan.
Describe the process for Yellowstone.
On Yellowstone, I read all the scripts before we shoot. I’ll pitch and/or clear whatever the scripts call for. Generally ideas volley between Yellowstone writer/director/showrunner Taylor Sheridan, the editors and myself before there are rough cuts. Knowing that Taylor often writes music into the scripts, I feed him music for most of the year. We introduce each other to new music every season.
What song have you always wanted but been unable to get?
I’ve been able to get most of the songs I wanted over the years. In the cases where something was denied, the situation caused me to dig deeper and the outcome was often even better for the scene. In the Netflix show Daybreak, I wanted this amazing Japanese cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” but was denied. I ended up commissioning a Japanese cover of Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” by Osamu Okubo, and it ruled!
Why do you think the music supervisor field is dominated by women?
For as long as I’ve been in music supervision, the field has been dominated by women. But the job is suited to certain personality types more than a particular gender. You have to be passionate, creative, have a wide knowledge of genres/subgenres/sub-subgenres within and outside of your own musical taste, be detail-oriented, multitasking, responsible, patient, able to negotiate fees, deal with the politics of a project and able to stay on budget. There’s quite a bit of psychology involved in getting into the mind and taste of your director and/or producers for a project. And a sense of humor, preferably a dark one, is mandatory to work anywhere in entertainment. — Melinda Newman

CEO, Webb Worldwide Music

Owner, Lone Wolf Music Supervision
Working together on 2018’s Netflix teen rom-com To All the Boys, Webb and Wolfington boosted the career of Anna Lotterud (aka Anna of the North) when they placed the Norwegian singer’s “Lovers” in a blue-tinted hot-tub scene and saw it blow up. “The label was telling us they were away at a retreat and all of a sudden, ‘Why is Anna’s song suddenly exploding on Spotify?’” says Webb, who has also worked on Teen Wolf.  A synch on this year’s Boys sequel, P.S. I Still Love You, had the same effect on Ashe’s “Moral of the Story,” which rose to No. 24 on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 chart and No. 71 on the Hot 100. “You always hope a placement will help an artist’s career,” says Wolfington, whose credits include One Tree Hill and Netflix’s Warrior Nun. “But that is such a huge example.”

How do you find your music?
Wolfington I see emails come in — we get blasted with music all day long. If I know Virgin River loves [singer-songwriter] SYML or an emotional singer-songwriter, I’m keeping my eye out for that when an email comes through. When I worked on Shadow Hunters, they were more ethereal and dark and electronic, so those were keywords I would use. I know artists don’t like to be compared to other artists but it’s actually really helpful sometimes. We get so many things that we need help weeding through it.
Describe the process for the shows you work on — do you work from scripts, rough cuts, direction from the showrunner?
Webb All of that. Typically, you are brought in beforehand, reading the scripts. You need to be part of preproduction. [If] the character has an original song that’s for the main title, we need people who will write for that. We’re trying to become a detective of what the showrunners, directors, producers think and also what’s driven by what the characters are doing. And sometimes you’re looking at the cuts and if they put in U2 or The Rolling Stones, you’re like, “Aaaaah!” Our new challenge is, “How do you get things that sound like Lizzo?” Because Lizzo has gotten expensive! And it’s like, “No one sounds like Lizzo!”
Why do you think the music supervision field is dominated by women?
Wolfington One stereotype is that as they’re raised, girls are allowed to be in touch more with their emotions — and the job is matching emotions, music to picture. I also think we generally have less ego, and being a music supervisor is about serving someone else’s vision, not ours. — S.K.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.