- Friday, Jun. 7, 2019
When talks began in earnest, in 2012, about the possibility that the Association of Music Producers—AMP—could create, curate and host an awards program for music and sound, there were strong doubts expressed by very smart people. “Does the industry really need another awards show? Aren’t there too many as it is?”
But many of us believed—passionately—that not only did the creative and production industries collectively, but our music industry specifically deserved a public forum through which we could celebrate and honor the outstanding craft, artistry and importance of music and sound. With the best work judged and awarded by a community of our peers. Nothing like that existed in this country.
At the time, many hours were spent around the conference table at AICP (where AMP is in residence), thrashing out a mission statement and awards categories that would make the AMP Awards for Music and Sound a vital addition to the industry’s events calendar. Matt Miller, President and CEO of AICP, was a strong advocate of the AMP Awards from the beginning. So was Jeff Rosner, a past President of AMP and an irrepressible force in the association. As was Josh Rabinowitz, then EVP/Director of Music for Grey and the AMP Awards very first Honorary Chair. Giving deep support and input then were Jan Horowitz, Larry Pecorella, Jason Menkes, Marlene Bartos, and Liz Myers, all past AMP Presidents, and other Board members, including Al Risi (please shake me so the names come tumbling out of my skull!).
That first year was a loud, messy affair, but a smashing success, attended by over 300 industry professionals inside and outside of the music realm, as the stunning works in music and sound were celebrated by the creators and brands alike. Verdict? “This needs to be an annual event.”
In subsequent years the bar kept being raised as interest and excitement over the AMP Awards grew. Participation spiked, submissions increased, the CMOs from the brands showed up to express their gratitude and pride for being named to the AMP Hall Of Fame (Coke, McDonald’s, Chevy, Pepsi, Budweiser, Mars, VW…), a recognition of their consistent and brilliant use of music to tell their stories and connect with their consumers.
Which brings us to the 2019 AMP Awards (6th annual), held at Sony Hall in Midtown Manhattan on May 21st. Let me just editorialize for a moment (which I’d do anyway, so never mind): This was the most impressive Show since its inception, from the quality of the work to the sound in the room, the passion of the speakers to the overwhelming enthusiasm of the crowd.
The pride I felt as an audience member was an electric charge running through my body (and, yes, I did pay for that ticket).
Presided over by current AMP national board president Elad Marish of Swell Music + Sound and this year’s Awards Chair, Katy Hornaday, EVP/Executive Creative Director at Barkley, the evening was a resounding affirmation of AMP’s paradoxical declaration: It’s amazing what you can see with your ears.
And what we heard and saw this year, to name just a few of the winners, was the induction of Apple into the AMP Hall of Fame, for its ground-breaking use of music in virtually every product launch of the past 3 decades. Apple also won the category Best Original Song for “Share Your Gifts” (TBWA/Media Arts Lab)
Best Original Score winner was Hennessy V.S. for “Major” (Droga5 with Woodwork Music / Phillip Kay)
In the category Best Use of a Licensed Pre-existing Recording the judges were overwhelmingly enchanted by Google Pixel 3’s use of the song “Did You Know?” by Fred (Mr.) Rogers for the spot “Way To Wonder” (Droga5)
Antfood’s magical music and SFX track for the Mason “Influencers” film won for Most Innovative Process and Execution
And once again Droga5 took the big prize, Best In Show, for its New York Times film “Fearlessness” (Wave Studios), a complex and riveting use of voices, location sound and sound design to tell the nail-biting story of the risks journalism must take to uncover Truth.
With the screening of each spot, each film, it was unmistakably loud and clear that music and sound provide the life’s blood, the emotional core of every message. And that has been the message of the Association of Music Producers since Day One. (The complete list of winners of the 2019 AMP Awards can be found in this May 21 report in SHOOT--click here)
Editor’s note: Lyle Greenfield and Jeff Rosner were honored at Sony Hall on May 21st for their role in creating the AMP Awards for Music and Sound.