This week's Rising Star is Sam Pake, head of production at BMG Production Music...
How did you get into music?
“I can’t remember exactly how the situation came about, but it all started with me taking organ lessons from age seven. Yep, organ. Foot pedals and everything. No regrets, though, the foot dexterity came in super-useful for my driving test! From there I discovered much cooler instruments such as the early 2000s Yamaha keyboards with pre-programmed samba beats and it all just snowballed from there really.”
What’s something no one knows about production music?
“This is a bit risky – but I’m going to say the fact that it can be so good! I think that library music and production music still has this stigma of being kitsch elevator music – and don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of that – but a lot of production music is of such a high quality these days that I believe it easily rivals commercial music. We work with such incredibly talented songwriters, producers, composers, orchestrators and musicians that naturally all the music they produce is absolute top tier. There’s no such thing as library music vs ‘proper’ music anymore!”
Library music still has this stigma of being kitsch elevator music
And the best bit about it?
“The variation and the challenges that this ‘never staying still’ element brings has to be the best part. I love that I can be hands-on and can work with very different music genres from one day to the next. For example, my week can jump from recording a 40-person orchestra playing cinematic or classical tracks, to working on very commercial, Top 40-style vocal pop where the detail is in the electronic production, through to recording a live jazz quartet complete with screaming sax solos and fedoras.”
If you could change one thing about the business what would it be??
“I would love to see more diversity in the music business as a whole; there is definitely more room in the industry for people from different backgrounds including more women and more minorities. Generally speaking, it does feel like awareness of this issue is becoming more widespread, and there is a more active push to welcome diversity – but I still think we’re at the beginning of this movement and there is still a long way to go. I’m excited to see what the industry will be like in five-10 years’ time.”
How do you keep sane in lockdown?
“Fresh air, 100%. I’m not really an exercise fan, but I’ve been really appreciating getting out once a day for a walk or a bike ride, especially if the sun is shining!”
SAM'S RECOMMENDED TRACK: