A Chat with Music Supervisor David Hayman


| April 26, 2012

Music Supervisor David Hayman

Music Supervisor David Hayman

There is harmony in the collision of music and image. This is where you will find David Hayman, who has spent his entire life working with images and music for new and traditional forms of media. This harmonious union is his art. Since 2005 David led a strong team of music supers at Toronto’s Vapor Music but has now left to start up his own shop which will open it’s doors in April 2012. 

David has had great success working with some of the worlds most impressive brands, including Coca-Cola, Nike, Ford, Budweiser, Right To Play, P&G, and every mobile company to name a few…. David is also lead music supervisor on the new Ubi-Soft video game “Shaun White Skateboarding.” … David will be focusing his attention on music supervision services for exciting long-form projects, new media ventures and branded entertainment productions. Things are really cooking in Hayman’s sonic-kitchen. The future’s bright, gotta’ wear shades. (From David Hayman’s LinkedIn Biography)

David was cool enough to take some time and answer a few questions about music supervising and his some of the “method to his madness”… (or what he’s been working on as of late). Thanks David!


Thanks again David for chatting with us… So, how did you get into music supervising?

Unbeknownst to me I was totally influenced by music supervisors to get into the film business and only ended up music supervising myself, after understanding that my own passion for ‘filmmaking’ was kindled by the sparks of music in the films I loved and not a passion for the filmmaking process as a whole.  It took 4 years of film school, 4 burned credit cards with 2 short films on the festival grind to realize that my niche was music supervision not in film production itself. During and after film school I was hired on as a ‘producer’ on many projects.  My key role was always securing music rights through my friends and unique channels in the independent music scene that was really bubbling up to a boil by the time I started diving in to the scene.  I quickly gained a reputation for being the ‘producer’ that could bring authentic independent and popular music to small film productions.  Those producers and film-mentors went on to do bigger projects and always have continued to hire me as their music supervisor. I fell into music supervision for commercials and I’ve never looked back although I am still hard pressed to turn down a good short film or an interesting indie project.  My heart is still in the trenches with those producers. At SUPERSONIC, I definitely still carry a guerilla-artist sensibility and I am proud of it.


Do you have a method for selecting music for a specific project? Is your method different if the project is a film, a TV show, an ad or a game?

I truly have no method to my madness.  Every time I start a new job, or even scene, I will take a big deep breath and get ready to head down a road less traveled.  Every project is totally unique because every project has it’s own dynamic parameters, budgets and scope, of which the music for, can only be determined by understanding the soup creating from this mix.


What style of music would you say is the most used nowadays?

Hopeful Optimism… Even in the dourest of songs and always in the most uplifting ones.  I am finding a greater number of indie-nu-soul tracks being licensed since Dap Tone Records took over the world and I’m also happily licensing many pre-recording demos from singer-songwriters.  Songs that are so naked and raw that you can hear their hearts breaking for the first time.  I find that the bareness works well against picture and has made me look ‘genius’ on multiple occasions.  Although I know by saying this I’m inviting a pile of shit demos in my inbox but out of every 100 there is always a super gem.


What characteristics do you look for in library music?

I look for songs that are unique and that growl out at me like a tiger ripping apart my eardrums and either inspire me to dance, fuck or fight.   I also love when a song reaches into my head and rips my heart out.  There is nothing like a sad song especially about personal loss.  I am a sucker for a love song but that’s a slippery slope.  if it’s not smart, I’m not in.  I’m a huge lyric guy.


So… What are you working on right now?

I just officially opened the doors at Supersonic Creative + Consulting (http://bit.ly/Ho5RVd) so my scope has been varied and exciting to say the least.  My main shows are Rooke Blue (ABC/Global) and Saving Hope (NBC/CTV) but I am always busy with commercials and independent films.  I’m proud to have recently placed a one of my favorite Hollerado songs called ‘Julliette’ (http://bit.ly/Ho5euX) in a new Hershey’s commercial that drops on April 16th in Canada.  Supersonic is also pitching on some exciting national and international events that include new media components that will surely garner some great licenses and some first class entertainment to rock your ears and soul.


Awesome! What advice do you have for composers who are looking to place music on film, tv shows, etc.?

Keep your eyes on the road, your hand upon the wheel.

Thanks again to David Hayman for his words and thoughts on the music business. We’re looking forward to hearing his new projects and having our souls rocked out!