Behind the keys of top-ranked South African music Composer and Supervisor, Adam Howard

Howard Audio’s very own Adam Howard has been named South Africa’s top music Composer and Supervisor by the Loeries. We caught up with the man of the hour to congratulate him not only on a career milestone, but a dream come true. He also shares some lekker behind the scenes moments from recent projects close to his heart.

*Hooollllld on. At the time of this interview, the Creative Circle ‘Ad of the Year’ results had not yet been announced, but we HAD TO add this: Adam was awarded a first for Chicken Licken EasyBucks ‘Everybody’s Talking About It’ in the Integrated category and a second in the Digital Category. Congratulations Adam! Sneak over here to see the work and winners

Q: What does it feel like being ranked as South Africa’s number one Composer and Music Supervisor?

Adam: You know, since I first set off in the industry it has been a dream of mine to be on those ranking lists. To top two of them is just incredible for me. Of course, I know awards aren’t everything, but it actually does make me very proud. Especially if I think of where I came from and my journey to now. It feels surreal.
I remember way back in 2005, I arrived on the ad scene as a 29-year-old composer. I vividly remember Paul Warner phoning me up and saying ‘Dude you just won a silver Loerie mate! A silver Loerie bru!’ I thought wow, if I can do it, it can’t be that hard to win a Loerie! Well, it took me about another 7 years to win my next craft certificate… 😳😩

Q: What did it take to get to number one?

Adam: The people I work with. When I look back, I remember how I used to dream of working alongside all the people I currently do. If I look at who I’ve collaborated with recently I can’t believe how lucky I am. 
I got to work with director Karien Cherry from Giant Films on two projects in the last year and she is ranked the number one film director.
Then there’s the legend, director Ian Gabriel, also from Giant, a company that is ranked 2nd place in the Production Company category and home to Cindy Gabriel and Emma Lundy, who ranked 2nd and 3rd in the Producer category.
I collaborated with the man himself, Greg Gray from Romance Films not too long ago. Romance is ranked the number one production company.
Then there’s the phenomenal Alan Irvin, who ranked fourth in the director category. Alan is from They Films and the company ranked 6th.
I have also been so fortunate to continuously work with Joe Public, ranked the number one agency of the year.
And the brands are just as important. I got to work on Chicken Licken last year and they were awarded Brand of the Year.

I honestly have to pinch myself, how lucky am I?!

Q: Working with all these top people, would you say they have anything in common?

Adam: I would say from my own experience it’s the way they all value collaboration. They are all open to hearing ideas because they feed off others’ creativity. That’s the common thread between all these top directors, producers, creatives and even brands, they love collaborating and trying new things. They’re all from the same tree. It’s beautiful.

Memorable moments from Adam’s recent collabs

We’d usually end the story around here, but while we were catching up with Adam, he also shared so many touching behind-the-scenes moments from his most recent projects that we couldn’t not include them.

Behind-the-scenes on Chicken Licken – Directed with Karien Cherry from Giant Films

Chicken Licken Easy Bucks ‘Everyone is talking about it’

With Chicken Licken, Karien and I had planned for days on how we could successfully thread the music, changing the music in each scene to the matching key as we moved from one scene to the next. It was really complex but was such a collaborative process. Karien is so confident as a director and very trusting in the process, she’s wonderful to collaborate with.

Behind-the-scenes on Cell C – Directed with Karien Cherry from Giant Films

Cell C ‘Change Your World’

Karien and I also just completed the spot for Cell C which I’m very proud of. The brief was to compose a piece of music that didn’t feel ‘too scored’ to picture. I still remember I watched the ad a few times, a beautiful piece of storytelling and I just suddenly felt that I knew exactly what would work and I started playing live to the picture and got it in the first take. What a feeling!

Behind-the-scenes on Soul Sisters – Directed by Greg Gray from Romance Films

Chicken Licken ‘Soul Sisters; Father and Son’

I was responsible for both the original music and the final mix, but myself, Greg Gray and the choreographer collaborated very closely on this piece. An absolute joy to work on. It was a highlight for me to be on set with Greg. It was very important for him that I be there to ensure that the music will work with the performance. He was right, it was important, because the music was imperative to this piece. Greg understands the importance of music, he is so good at what he does because he loves storytelling and the craft.

Behind-the-scenes on GLO – Directed by Ian Gabriel from Giant Films

Glo Christmas

We could try and type out what Adam told us about how he got all those tap sounds to sync so beautifully and sound so authentic, but watching it for yourself is a lot more fun. This is why you should always record your Zoom calls people!

Adam added about Ian: I can see why Ian Gabriel is at the top of his game, such a seasoned filmmaker and meticulous craftsman. He brings such a theatricality to the work and will not settle for anything less than excellence, which is probably why when I close my eyes at night I can still hear that tapping.

Behind-the-scenes on Momentum – Directed by Alan Irvin from They Films

Momentum 2020 Reset

This was the first piece of music that I wrote when I got back to studio after our initial hard lockdown and it was really emotional for me. We were suddenly in this new world and I was writing this emotional music to this incredible piece of storytelling by Alan. It was really meaningful to me and I will never forget that. It also reminded me of the impact our work can have on people, no matter how small. And that’s a really nice thought to have.

Adam Howard is proof that dreams really do come true, even after you think you’ve already made it. So proud of you Adam, congratulations and let’s keep this energy for 2021. Why not (s)stalk some more? Howard Audio on IDIDTHAT and Company Website.

Contact Howard Audio

Belinda Howard (Head of Production):
Adam Howard (Owner, Composer):
083 643 7142

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Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

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