The Soundtrack of my Copy

I don't know about you, but music plays a large role in my creative process. Not so much in the concpeting stage, when my partner and I are batting around ideas. But when it comes down the the brass tacks of banging out some long copy or a couple dozen TV scripts or a few pages of headlines etc., for a meeting, I turn to my iTunes library and select the genre of zone I'd like to be in. And I've noticed, the music I select can have a profound effect on my productivity.

First off, I don't listen to music with lyrics or singing. Because the words I'm hearing tend to muddle with the words I'm thinking of in my head, and it becomes far to distracting. I'll suddenly realize I have been thinking of animals being let out of a zoo for the last 15 minutes and I haven't written a word. So that limits my copywriting listening to instrumental rock, hip-hop beats, classical, indie instrumentals, and some electronic stuff.

Secondly, the energy of the music I select is crucial to the quality and especially the quantity of work I can do. If it's late and I need to really kick it in gear I throw on some Ratatat or Hemsted, maybe The Go! Team. Something that gets the blood pumping. If I'm settling into a long session I usually turn to some beats like Yesterdays New Quintet, Madlib's "Beat Konduct in India," Bonobo, DJ Alibi, and instrumentals by the likes of MF Doom and Quasimoto. This stuff puts me into a loop-like copywriting trance. And then sometimes If I'm feeling distracted and unfocused I turn the lights down low and ease into some Tchaikovsky, or Papa M, or Rachel's or Calexico anything that sucks me into the computer screen.

And lastly, I've recently noticed that listening to music that sounds like the brand I'm working has a surprisingly significant positive impact on my writing. If music I'm spinning sounds like it could be the soundtrack to the TV spot I'm writing, the words just seem to flow faster and more fluid on the page. So if it's a young, hip brand I try to listen to something that feels youthful and energetic. If it's a mature brand I listen to something that has some weight and sophistication to it. Try it, you'll see what I mean.

But I'm curious. What do you guys listen to when you write, art direct or brand strategies? How does music play into your creative process. Because I could use some fresh tunes in the old copywriting repertoire.

32 comments:

gromain said...

ratatat is great indeed - i also love to listen to some "aluminium" or old "genesis" material :)

Sprezatura said...

Hi i dont know how i got here but its good i did, i listen to music with lyrics hours b4 i set out to write, this helps shapes my mind and then when im writing i listen to Yanni or something of west african origin, traditional west african music does it man.

Tom Tom said...

This is going to sound lame, but Enya is really awesome. It's words, but they're so strange you never really pick out what she says. Bjork too.

Dowel said...

Well, of course it depends :) If I'm pretty agitated because of a stressful client, I go on Jazz mood with Keiko Matsui, Jeff Kashiwa, Nina Simone, Milles Davis and so on ...
If I need to be energetic, than Rock Mood with Metallica, Whitin Temptation, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Toto, Dire Straits ... And last, for great focus any artist with a cello, but especially Yo Yo Ma.

Sylvio from Brazil said...

Im trying all that stuff you told us like Quasimoto and Yesterday´s New Quintet. I really appreciate that, I´ve listening them and the result is good.
I also wanna leave my recommendations: All kind of bossa and trip-hop music.

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