What is Sizzer and what does the company do?
We help tell compelling stories with music. Music is a powerful tool to make stories more engaging, emotional, surprising – to make you feel something.
What makes it all stick is our international network of artists – the best of the best creators globally – who create something that fits those stories perfectly. And doing it all in a crazy short amount of time!
Why? What makes that interesting?
I come from a super artistic, weird background as a musician, but then I fell in love with this whole business in the ‘90s. And I still have as much passion for it today. It’s such a dynamic business, there’s amazing work out there, and what I really like is to work together with other creative people – directors, creators – to tell the story together. That never bored me!
At the end of the day you get to deliver a newborn baby into the world – in this case a piece of music, a new film. There’s nothing more beautiful than that! When it really stands out, I’m jumping up and down in the studio!
For me, I’m especially interested in music that’s really really well done but for a huge audience. That’s what we do at Sizzer: the music needs to work for a massive target group, but it also needs to be as real and authentic as possible.
The ultimate goal is that our music adds something to culture as well. That it’s not just underlining something, not just serving a simple purpose – it has to be more than that.
What makes Sizzer stand out? What’s different about your team and what you do?
Our independence. We’re not just chasing the bottom line, we really want to make our work the best possible. Our whole team lives for that hype. We’re truly different people, but the moment we start talking about the quality of a piece of work, then we’re all on the same page. We’re united by this passion for craft.
Exactly, that’s the soul of this company. We really like good music! We also believe in making mistakes, in taking the wrong turn. Ideally, it has to surprise – the musicians, us, and the client too! Our artists are so gifted that if you put them in an unusual environment, they can still come up with something astounding.
Exactly, and now people seek us out when they need something different. But equally when they can’t take huge risks. If you work on a global, international, super-creative campaign, you can’t afford the risks of just going straight to one composer.
So we combine our independent mentality with also providing more of an insurance policy: we work with ten or twelve teams globally at the same time, all producing tracks. So there’s always a backup plan. That combination is pretty unique.
Working with SIZZER means more than your team just picking a good song – how do you explain the difficulty of your work?
We have a huge roster of freelance composers: artists who also work in different disciplines, like film. So say an agency brings us a brief, and they’d like demos by next week. We make sure we find the right artists, across perhaps 5 or 6 different teams. They each come back to us with different options, and then we work with those until they’re good enough to send.
Can you give some examples of your best work?
Diesel’s ‘Francesca’ is our most-awarded campaign and a great example of our work. It combines the first three of our four ‘pillars’ of expertise: search, bespoke, licensing, vault. And it’s a project that has a lot of cultural relevance. It makes a difference beyond itself. That can be the power of good advertising, which is still exciting to me.
Then there’s also Mercedes, ‘We Follow the Wind’. Their sustainability story was going from a fight against the wind to a collaboration with it. So we had to find a track that fitted that conceptually or lyrically, which was exactly our kind of creative challenge. With their budget, they could afford ‘Come Together’, allowing us to create a totally new interpretation of that song. The result became a true flagship for them and put plenty of wind in our sails too.
You’re refocusing your company right now – can you explain why? And what is the change?
We see a lot of music companies getting into data, but instead, we’re really going back to basics: putting craft and experience at the forefront.
I believe in composition above all. Data can be helpful, but if you want to create truly great work, it’s all about taking risks. If you only lean on digital tools and testing, you might come closer to perfection, but that’s the most boring thing in life! It’s all about imperfection. Not trying to control everything. You can spend all the money in the world, but really exciting stuff happens as a result of individual creativity – the spark that comes in the moment.
It’s going back to our roots. We don’t believe in companies that try to do anything and everything, especially companies of our size. Because that way you can never be the best. We want to be the best of the best. And we want people to know it!
Why is it important that Sizzer remains independent?
I never did it for the money. It has always been about making amazing stuff, and then the money will follow. So staying indie will always take priority. Plus, we’d get bored if we had to do everything for a certain brand, top-down. We’re only interested if the client wants something really special.
Exactly. Picture it: you’re a creative agency, and you value decisions made on the basis of creativity. Obviously then you’re going to prefer to go somewhere with other independent creative minds – not just somewhere focused only on money and efficiency.
Our clients don’t settle for mediocrity, so why should we?