Alice Russell’s latest album To Dust is proving to be one of her most popular so far with both the record buying public and music supervisors. Abla El-Sharnouby from Five Missions More tells M how Alice Russell’s LP has yielded 15 music placements to date, including a lucrative sync in the trailer for Mad Men Season Seven…
How did the Mad Men sync happen?
We’ve worked with an agent in the US called David Steel, from a company called Steel Feet, for about 10 years. He handled all the licensing for Moby’s Play, which was a watershed momentfor sync. David has really strong relationships with US music supervisors including at [entertainment giant] AMC. An AMC supervisor was arranging music for the Mad Men trailer and he hooked it up.
Have other syncs come from that record?
That song has been placed in Magic Mike, the Black List, the Client List and the Inbetweeners. Mad Men is probably the most high-profile. Alice’s latest album To Dust is her most commercial to date and has done incredibly well sync-wise.
What was it about Breakdown that appealed to the Mad Men producers?
The song’s dramatic edge works well in this context. Alice’s music is rooted in fifties, sixties, seventies soul. While the album has a contemporary edge production-wise, the songs hark back to the era of the series. Aesthetically, it’s a great fit.
Were there any challenges you had to overcome?
In this case, there weren’t. But there can be many where US syncs are concerned. You can sometimes be looking for stems and trying to call producers at two in the morning so they can make changes. But not this time.
How does this sort of placement help an artist?
The US is a huge territory so artists can feel like a needle in a haystack and find it hard to get traction. The great thing about a high profile US TV show, particularly one as popular as Mad Men, is that there’s a lot of hype about the music.
The song lists are hosted and discussed online. People are genuinely interested in the music and tend to check these lists for inspiration to find new artists. For example, Breakdown was used in Black List, another successful US show, and there was a tangible spike in sales after that. Alice is very hard working, has been touring the US for years but once the light is shone on an artist this way, it can generate much more interest.
Why have the songs from Alice’s To Dust gained so many placements?
It’s a combination of all the pieces in the jigsaw coming together at the same time. The work her label Tru Thoughts does, our efforts as publishers, in addition to the hard work Alice and her producer Alex Cowan (TM Juke) put in, in the studio and on the road.
Her music is very heartfelt and honest. She has such an amazing voice – anyone who sees her live will know she has this goosebump effect and this album is her best work. It’s the hard work from all her camps plus a great LP that has facilitated the placements.