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World Music Day: an occasion to be celebrated

Jun 21, 2019
By: Grant Reed, Founder

For many, today – June 21st – is the Summer Solstice, or perhaps just another Friday. But for me, and all the staff at PHMG, today is a very important date in the calendar: World Music Day.


Established more than 30 years ago, it’s an occasion designed to recognise the real inclusivity of music-making. Across the globe, people will come together to enjoy free concerts, events and the simple joy of playing as a collective. And as the founder of the world’s leading audio branding agency, I wholeheartedly believe that this is something to be celebrated. Beyond the product we craft, PHMG is a company built on not just my passion for music, but the musical heritage of the cities we call home. From Oasis to Kanye West… Muddy Waters to The Stone Roses, Manchester and Chicago have given rise to some of the world’s most renowned artists, who continue to inspire us every day.

Which takes me onto my greatest musical moment. June 4th, 1976 – The Sex Pistols appear at The Lesser Free Trade Hall. Among the audience of just 40, were Howard Devoto, Pete Shelley, Peter Hook, Tony Wilson and Steven Patrick Morrissey – all of whom were inspired by what they saw on stage. Without this performance, there would have been no Buzzcocks, Joy Division, New Order or Morrisey – and without these bands to spark the creative fires, perhaps no Nirvana, Radiohead or Arctic Monkeys. This one performance led to some of the most remarkable, treasured music of the last 40 years, and at PHMG, we’re lucky to share in one small part of this. Every year, our UK team gathers at the hotel that now stands in the Lesser Free Trade Hall, our staff sharing the stage the Sex Pistols once graced – which is a huge honour and privilege.

I’m proud to say that PHMG creates exclusive music that captures the real heart and soul of our clients – and this is all thanks to the exceptional talent in our Music & Voice department. With their remarkable credits in musical academia, composition, performance, engineering and even a Grammy-award win, there’s no group better qualified to give their expert opinions on the tracks, moments, artists and experiences that led to their own careers in music.

Dane Liska - Head of Music & Voice (Canada)

"I’ve had the pleasure to work with some amazing producers and engineers over the years, but the biggest inspiration to me is without a doubt the Toronto producer known as Boi1da – renowned for his work with Drake. The second he entered the studio, you could tell there was a different feel in the room – and knowing any one of his unknown pieces of work could easily be the next Kanye West, Travis Scott, Post Malone or Drake smash single was an incredible thing to hear. He’s a producer who allows for only what matters – the music – leaving any other nonsense at the studio door."
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Alice Salmon - A&R Manager

"My choice cut for World Music Day would be Do The Astral Plane by Flying Lotus, which I heard for the first time at the Royal Northern College of Music, just after moving to Manchester. Having grown up loving rock and indie and then UKG and hip hop, it was a revelation to hear music such as this – and it symbolises my full-tilt immersion into not only electronic music, but the iconic Manchester club scene. It’s a melting pot of disco strings, pre-Disclosure barbershop samples, demonic cackles and fat distorted basslines, all over a neck-tugging beat — and still raises a wry smile when I listen today. I know I’ll never forget where I was when I first heard it."

Bobby Turner - Senior In-House Composer

"My biggest musical influence is legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans, who I discovered in my late university years and captivated me. What always amazes me is his ability to take such complex ideas and present them in a gracious and elegantly simple way. Every single note he plays – and even the ones he doesn’t – has reason and meaning, an ideology that reaches far beyond the realms of the piano. It motivated me to develop a deeper understanding of music, knowing that this led to real musical freedom.”
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Charlie Wilkins - Brand SoundTM Manager

"One of the most iconic scenes in cinema – Luke Skywalker standing on a rock looking out at the binary sunset. The accompanying score, by composer John Williams, has since transcended the film and become amongst the most well-known pieces of movie music. It emulates the styles of both classical composers such as Bartok and Stravinsky, and the fathers of film music Eric Wolfgang Korngold and Max Steiner. The solo French horn personifies Luke alone in the world, before building into sweeping full orchestra as he looks to the horizon and dreams of a better life. This is film scoring at its best – showing the audience what they can’t see on screen and injecting a new layer of emotion to the actors’ performances. As a film composer myself, there’s no greater inspiration."
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Rebecca High - Head of Music & Voice (California)

"When you’re growing up your first taste of music is brought on by what your parents listen to. My Mom got me Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on CD and I was in love. From there, I discovered Danny Elfman thanks to the Big Fish soundtrack, which ultimately led me to realize what I wanted to do for a living. Being where I am now, I realize how much music has been a part of my life. Although people tend to laugh off how much of an influence The Dixie Chicks had over me, I think it goes to show how important it is to have women in music. Imagine – me, five years old, seeing three strong women playing instruments and wanting to do what they were doing. I wanted to be the woman playing fiddle.”
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Steve Wilk - Head of Music & Voice (Australia)

“Many have asked me if there was a particular song, artist, or genre of music that pulled me towards being a musician. Time and again one artist always pops into mind. Prince. I learned to groove as a drummer listening and playing ‘Peach.’ I learned to tell a story with imagery listening to ‘Little Red Corvette.’ I learned to write lyrics and melodies that push the norm with ‘Darling Nikki’ – which also earned me a trip to the principal’s office for bringing risqué music to class. So today, on World Music Day, I will be listening to Prince. And I encourage you all to find your favourite music, artist, genre, whatever it may be, turn it up to 11, and sing, dance, and enjoy music.”

Today, on World Music Day, we celebrate these artists, tracks and moments – as well as all the others that live on through history. We celebrate PHMG’s talented musicians, and the inspiring Brand-Sound-Tracks™ they create every day. And most of all, we celebrate music’s unerring power to bring people together across the globe.