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Ten Synch Artists We Are Inspired By
October 30, 2020 — Music synching is a business that continues to grow as the media landscape endlessly changes. Artists’ music is used for ambiance and to deliver deeper emotion throughout advertisements, feature films, video games, and more all around the world. Independent artists might count themselves lucky to be featured in a popular YouTuber’s video, while others are used to having their music featured in major motion pictures.
Some artists even find themselves being go-to options for popular media — but who makes the cut, and what makes them unique? Here are a few artists who have found greater success through synching.
This South Korean boy band has taken the world by storm, with a huge audience of fans around the world who adore their K-POP style. Accordingly, BTS’ music is a must-have commodity, and now you can find them everywhere, from commercials for the Samsung Galaxy S20 to films like Itaewon Class. The group is no stranger to video games either – they recently released a music video for their song “Dynamite” through Fortnite, and they’re slated to be featured in Beat Saber soon as well.
2. Amy Stroup
You might not know her, but Amy Stroup is one of the world’s most synched artists. The Nashville-based musician has had her music featured in popular NBC TV shows (such her song with AG, “We’ll All Be Alright“, featured on Grey’s Anatomy), movie trailers, and internationally broadcast commercials for major brands like Amazon and Nike. Stroup is a sought-after collaborator for many artists, so we are likely to hear Stroup’s voice all over media for years to come.
3. Kali Uchis
Though she immigrated to the United States at an early age, Kali Uchis – real name Karly-Marina Loaiza – was born in Columbia, and this influence shows in her Bosa Nova-inspired sound. Being featured in two movies in 2020 alone (e.g. “Killer” in The Broken Hearts Gallery) is just the start for this up-and-coming artist. Another spot in a Volkswagen commercial and other plays in TV shows imply that Kali Uchis’ early success will expand to more licensing deals across the media landscape in the future.
4. Michael Kiwanuka
Kiwanuka is a British born singer-songwriter and another name you might not recognize, but whose voice you have likely heard. Kiwanuka’s voice can be heard on TV shows, with his song “Light” featuring in The Blacklist, and others in Grey’s Anatomy and Power, and these are just the tip of the Kiwanuka TV iceberg. He has also been featured in numerous commercials and films – but the use of his music in television alone makes him worthy of this list.
Sia seemed to burst onto the scene out of nowhere, and now the Australian-born artist is one of the most sought-after collaborators in the music industry. Her unmistakable sound has landed her tracks in every form of media imaginable, from a plethora of TV shows to blockbuster movies and multiple ad campaigns. Her newest retrowave hit with David Guetta, “Let’s Love,” is just begging to get major licensing deals, so it probably won’t be long until we hear it all over.
Elinor Olovosdotter is a Swedish artist who goes by the stage name ‘Elliphant’ and has a presence just as large as one. Her genre-bending music was featured in the smash hit Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse (“To The End,” specifically) and multiple other movies and TV shows — as well as a Sprint commercial a few years ago. She’s been laying low lately, but it wouldn’t be surprising to hear her music in a new project soon, given recent synching success.
7. Daft Punk
This French music duo may be well known for their outlandish disguises, but ultimately, it is their music that has made them one of the world’s most famous bands. You can hear Daft Punk in every form of media imaginable, including movies, video games, and commercials. They are likely the only artist on this list to have both one of their songs and a sample of it by another artist synched into media. Kanye West’s 2007 track “Stronger” sampled Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”, and both can be found in multiple TV shows and movies.
This Irish rock band is one of the most prominent music groups globally, so of course producers have clamored to get their music into media. Suitably, you will find that their music is often used in popular TV shows and summer blockbuster movies (such as “Pride (In the Name of Love)” in Moulin Rouge).
9. Tom Jones
This Welsh singer first gained massive popularity decades ago, but his crooning hits are as remarkable today as when he first sang them. Being so recognizable, they are of course go-to songs for media producers to make use of. One famous instance of Jones’ synch output is “It’s Not Unusual” featuring in the popular nineties American TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but there’s many more — with Jones’ music regularly featuring in movies and TV.
K’naan (full name Keinan Abdi Warsame) was born in Somalia but immigrated to Canada at thirteen; his multi-cultural background shows in his work and makes it an eclectic source for licensing. K’naan can be heard throughout TV, movies, and commercials worldwide, as well as video games — his track “ABC’s” (with Chubb Rock) featuring in Madden NFL 09.
A handful of massive and generation-spanning artists are not on this list because they transcend the idea of synch licensing. Of course, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis, etc. end up in all kinds of media every year, but they are so massively popular that it doesn’t seem fair to lump them in a list with everyone else. All of the mentioned hardworking artists here have earned their licensing deals, and some of them are just getting started.
They should all serve as an inspiration for up-and-coming artists looking to break out and make a name for themselves in the music industry. It is clear that synch licensing is a viable and potentially lucrative means for musicians to make money — so, the possibilities it could bring should be fully considered by artists big and small.
Be sure to read up on PAXINOMA’s advice concerning hiring a middle man to help out with synch deals.