Name: Duncan Smith
Job title: Music Supervisor
Location: London Studio
How and when did you join the company?
I joined in November '07. I was previously at a music PR company and was approached by a friend at SCEE when they were looking to expand the music licensing team.
What does your role involve?
I work on the A&R and acquisition of music for all titles developed by SCEE, such as the Motorstorm series, Heavy Rain, Little Big Planet, WipEout, Gran Turismo and SingStar / SingStore. This involves licensing existing music, getting exclusive new tracks / remixes made for a game, and working with composers on bespoke soundtracks. I also license music for the advertisements that run alongside these games.
What skills did you need to get started in this industry?
The most important thing is to have a passion for, and extensive knowledge of, music. Across all genres. Although it's great to synch a song you love it's also important to develop the ability to look at a track objectively when deciding whether it works for a specific brief. Also invaluable are the contacts & relationships that I've built up with labels, artists, managers, publishers etc during my years working in the music industry. Oh, and good diplomacy / negotiating skills when trying to keep both the artist (& their team) happy, whilst delivering the game producer what they want!
What tips do you have for anyone wanting to enter your area of the business?
Have an insatiable appetite for checking new music (good or bad you need to know what's happening!). Go to as many gigs and do as much networking as you can - you never know when your contacts could come in useful. A working knowledge of video games is also useful, but more important is your music (& music industry) knowledge.
Describe your gaming prowess in three words
Average at best!
What would be your 'desert island' game?
"Little Big Planet" - for the endless possibilities.
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