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How Music Shapes The Television Experience: Syncs from Insecure, Shameless, & More

How Music Shapes The Television Experience: Syncs from Insecure, Shameless, & More

For the past few months, staying at home has become the new norm and with that, television has become one of our main sources of entertainment. With so many options available, how do we decide what to watch next? Music can often help drive the story in film and television. Our sync team’s recommended television shows, featuring music distributed by The Orchard, does just that. 

Insecure (HBO)

1. “Feelin It” by Blimes and Gab (B.A.G. Enterprises, Inc.)

2. “Something Bout The Rain” by Pip Millett (Plus Fours Music Limited)

In 2016, HBO premiered the hit television series Insecure, created by and starring Issa Rae. Insecure is the story of the Black woman experience from the perspective of Issa and Molly, who have been best friends with each other since their college days at Stanford. Both in their late 20s, they navigate career and relationship experiences while living in Los Angeles, California. While audiences fell in love with the personal and relatable character plot lines of the show, Insecure also hooked fans with their amazing soundtrack (The Spotify Insecure playlist has well over 130k monthly listeners). The show has introduced thousands of viewers to songs and artists they might not have heard otherwise — making sync placements on the show its own valuable form of artist reach and discovery. Music supervisor Kier Lehman said, “Issa deserves a ton of the credit for creating a platform for all of these artists to have a place to expose their music, but also putting all of this music in the context of this show and the setting — the location helps to give a deeper connection for the fans.”

On speaking about their song “Feelin It” being featured in season 4 of Insecure, our very own Blimes and Gab said “Issa Rae is a legend. You can’t get on any social media or anything without hearing about the show and its impact and everything. To just be a part of the culture and a show like that is definitely a dope experience and hella humbling.”

Shameless (Showtime)

1. “Muito Calor” by Ozuna, Anitta (Aura Music)

Shameless tells the story of the dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher, a single, working-class father with six children. His children learn to take care of themselves as Frank spends his days drunk or in search of misadventures. The eldest sibling, Fiona, keeps the home afloat and the kids have found ways to grow up in spite of him. They may not be like any family you know, but they make no apologies for being exactly who they are. 

Shameless knows how to pull on the heartstrings while making you laugh at familial absurdity. When the show first aired on Showtime, music director Ann Kline said they often used indie music as a form of expressing what the characters, mainly the Gallagher kids, would listen to on their own. “Initially we were thinking, this is what these kids would listen to — none of them are really mainstream, they all have their own style. It’s almost like the music’s in their heads or it’s the music of their neighborhood.” In licensing many of the featured songs, Kline said “We definitely go out to independent companies almost exclusively. It’s rare that we use any stuff from a major label.” 

The Bold Type (Freeform)

1. “Door” by Caroline Polachek (Caroline Polachek LLC)

2. “Cinderelly” by Tommy Genesis (Downtown Records)

3. “Look At Me Now” by Caroline Polachek (Caroline Polachek LLC)

The Bold Type centers on three millennial women – Jane Sloan, Kat Edison, and Sutton Brady – who work at a global women’s magazine in New York City. The three best friends work for Scarlet, which is spearheaded by its editor-in-chief, Jacqueline Carlyle. The young women navigate their lives in the big city, including their career trajectories, finding their identities, and managing friendships and romantic relationships. 

With the Freeform drama-comedy centered on young women navigating adulthood and the workspace, the music supervision of the show acts to further amplify the show’s themes on feminism. Music supervisor Rob Lowry said “ We only use artists on #TheBoldType that identify as a woman or non-binary (there are very few exceptions). Yes, this is purposeful. I had to fight for this creative decision. It is important.” 

 Dave (FX)

1. “Moshpit” by Baby Keem (Baby Keem LLC)

2. “Not My Bro” by Baby Keem (Baby Keem LLC)

3. “STATS” by Baby Keem (Baby Keem LLC)

Created by and starring real life rapper and comedian Lil Dicky, new FX series Dave stars and portrays a fictionalized version of Dave Burd (aka Lil Dicky) himself. Dave is a man in his late twenties who is convinced that he’s destined to be a great rapper, perhaps one of the best of all time. Dave must convince his closest friends of his talents, because with their help he might actually convince the world. 

As the show is about a rising rapper, there are many cameos from big time artists including Young Thug, Gunna, Trippie Redd, Marshmello, and Justin Bieber to name only a few. Season 1 of Dave first premiered in March 2020, but with only 10 episodes released hip-hop artist Baby Keem has already seen three sync placements in the series. 

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