30 Seconds with Composer Graham Barton

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Aside from being a creative music hub for all licensing endeavors, Marmoset sees through original music for a ton of projects. So much so, that we have our own dedicated Original Music team (aka creative geniuses) onsite to help other creatives breathe musical life into their projects.

Old Spice Marmoset Original Music

Pictured above, sipping from a charming rattlesnake mug, is Graham Barton — Marmoset's Composer + Sound Designer. If you ever stop by Marmoset's headquarters, you can catch Graham writing music to picture on the daily. Maybe he looks slightly familiar? You're not imagining it. You may have caught Graham on our 2018 Reel, where we spotlighted some of the cool projects our team's scored to — like the attention-grabbing Old Spice commercial (complete with an octopus defying the odds by steering a speedboat). 

We caught Graham in between projects to ask him more about the recent Old Spice project and some fun Q's:


Marmoset: What was your favorite part of the process for this Old Spice’s “Beach Budz” spot? 

Graham: I loved bringing Senior Catalog Curation Manager, Steve Schroeder in the studio to go 110% hype man on this project. When writing music to picture, vocals and lyrics typically need to be very clear, focused, and calculated in order to hit a brand's brief. But for "Beach Budz," we had the chance to let loose in the moment and cut a few different lines to really play up the ridiculousness of the entire scene. If rowdy is what you need — call Steve.

How do you even begin brainstorming ideas for these kind of fun projects?

In terms of music writing, I'm able to lean on the producers for input and creative direction. Projects like these can be a very fun opportunity to throw all sorts of paint on the canvas, but can also require a fast turnaround. So trying my best to encapsulate the client's vision and elevate their work is my main priority. The music in this project needed to be hype AF, but couldn't be too trendy as the spot itself is super self-aware. Finding this balance came from playing with tones and working with producer, Katy Davidson. We found certain musical passages would make for the right kind of mood to hit that uncertain, teenage identity the commercial is poking fun at.

What kind of inspiration did you have for this piece? 

A lot of the inspiration came from trying to embody the feeling of what an adult might play at a high school dance, thinking it was hip but actually turns out to be a dated trainwreck. That and a trusty air horn sample is usually enough to drive parents up a wall. Hot tip: air horn.

What's your favorite Old Spice scent? 

Old Spice Classic aftershave scent is hands down the GOAT, but I have to give a shoutout to my boi Wolfthorn.

Who’s your favorite K Pop artist or anime character?

Right now my favorite anime character is Mikasa from "Attack on Titan," but my ALL TIME favorite is the Professor from Nichijou. Absolutely can't get enough of Red Velvet, Loona, and EXID.


Thanks Graham. And until next time... stay fresh!

Posted on March 13, 2018 and filed under Marmoset, Spotlight: Marmoset.