Matt Kaleda — Creative Director, Altitude Music

Matt talks to TheNextGag about how powerful music can be in advertising, why he likes working under pressure and why he believes Florence & The Machine was the wrong choice for Glastonbury 2015.

Matt Kaleda is the Creative Director of Altitude Music, a full-service music + sound agency for content and advertising, in the UK.

As the former creative director of the Ninja Tune music label, he possesses more than 15 years of experience in sync, music supervision and publishing, that got him to score projects for iconic brands such as Nike, Toyota and Nokia.

THENEXTGAG: WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST IN YOUR JOB ?

MATT KALEDA: I feel very lucky to be earning a living doing what I do, it’s a dream job for me really. Music is one of the few things I’m passionate about so it feels more like a well paid hobby than a job. I love the interaction between creative people, the composers, the producers, the directors, the artists. Im a frustrated artist at heart I suppose, so it makes me feel less of a failure working together with super creative, talented people. I love having input on something that could end up making a emotional impression on someone. I’m also a fan of being put under pressure, when someone is really stuck with music on their production and they need someone to sort things out for them asap, that’s where I flourish, I go in like the Winston Wolfe character in Pulp Fiction and get things sorted !

TNG: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SONG OF THE SUMMER ?

MK: I’m really liking that EVERYTHING EVERYTHING track — ‘Regret‘, thats a contender. And personally for me, although its totally morose and slightly depressing and not summery at all ! I love the latest SUFJAN STEVENS album, notably the track ‘Fourth of July‘ (Summery after all). I’ve got the NOSAJ THING album Fated on repeat, and NILS FRAHM is a firm favourite. But I’m not answering the question am I ? I’ll go with Regret — EVERYTHING EVERYTHING as my song of the summer so far.

TNG: WHO WOULD YOU HAVE PICKED TO REPLACE THE FOO FIGHTERS AS HEADLINERS AT GLASTONBURY ?

MK: Not FLORENCE. And while I’m here, I think KANYE was a mistake headlining, don’t get me wrong I’m not a total hater, part of me liked the performance, but it wasn’t right for a Saturday night headline spot, it just wasn’t entertaining enough for the masses. I thought the CHEMICAL BROTHERS performance was pretty good but then I’m an ageing raver so I would.
They should’ve persuaded FLEETWOOD MAC to do it, or perhaps NEW ORDER seeing as they have a new album coming. OASIS ? They would divide opinion. Thinking about it, I’d love to see them reform to headline Glastonbury.

TNG: WHICH ONE OF YOUR PROJECTS ARE YOU THE MOST PROUD OF ?

MK: There’s been a fair few I’m proud of, but I think Series 1 and 2 of the TV series LUTHER have been my favourite jobs so far, especially finding and remixing the theme tune (Paradise Circus by MASSIVE ATTACK)
I have something extraordinarily exciting in the pipeline that will pip that to the post though, fingers crossed we get it !

TNG: MUSIC-WISE, IS THERE A BRAND CAMPAIGN THAT YOU REALLY LIKED IN THE RECENT MONTHS ?

MK: I”m waiting for a brave client to do something out of the ordinary, then everyone will basically copy that for a few years until another maverick comes along… I cant really think of anything that has stood out for me recently to be honest, other than a Dior perfume ad that used Whole Lotta Love by LED ZEPPELIN, and it only stood out for me because I wondered just how much Dior had paid for it !!
Actually, and I’m really opening myself up for ridicule here, but I’ve been finding myself subconsciously humming/singing the song ‘Its Alright’ by EAST 17 a lot recently ! And that’s purely because of the THREE mobile phone advert. There’s a good example of how powerful music in advertising can be, right there.
On a different tip, (slightly more highbrow) I love the score to the Channel 4 drama — HUMANS, by a chap called CRISTOBAL TAPIA DE VEER. Thats class.

TNG: ARE THERE ANY DIFFERENCES WHEN WORKING ON ADVERTISING PROJECTS THAN WHEN WORKING FOR BROADCAST ?

MK: Absolutely, there are many hurdles when working on music within advertising, you can spend weeks waiting for numerous people to agree on music choices within an ad agency before you even present to a client, then the client can easily just knock the idea back immediately. So many people making decisions on something that’s very subjective.
Within broadcasting there are fewer decision makers, usually just a producer/director and an exec or two.. the whole process is a lot simpler.

TNG: DO YOU HAVE A SECRET TRICK TO SELL A TRACK TO A CLIENT ?

MK: If I did I’d be a rich man.

Matt Kaleda

Altitude Music

Creative Director

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