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A Song in the Key for Life

A Song in the Key for Life

Sulaiman Beg

Sulaiman Beg

April 24, 2018

Havas London empowers the ocean to clean itself

"His use of the cello echoes the energy and power of the ocean."

You won’t catch Universal Music Group’s latest signing, Keynvor, playing at a local venue or sharing tour pics on Instagram.

That’s because Keynvor, which takes its name from the Cornish word for “ocean,” is actually the Atlantic Ocean.

Created by Havas London in collaboration with Universal Music Group for Cornwall-based brewery Sharp’s, Keynvor’s first single “Preservation” uses the sounds of wave with percussive, rhythmic beats created by Argentinian musician Sebastian Plano.

The project’s goal is to raise money to fight against plastic pollution, and 100 percent of the profit goes to Surfers Against Sewage, a charity which aims to tackle plastic pollution and other issues around the UK coastline.

Havas London Managing Partner Eleni Sarla shares how the agency turned the ocean into an artist and how the campaign empowers the ocean to clean itself.

 

This project is a great example of the power of collaboration. Tell us a little about how this project came to be.

When our creative team [Matt Swinburne, Owen Hunter Jenkins, and Brodie King] came up with an idea for Sharp’s Brewery, their first contact point wasn’t strategy or account management. It wasn’t even a producer. It was Universal Music Group. They needed to know how they could go about signing the Atlantic Ocean to a record label and getting a track published on streaming sites.

How did UMG and Sebastian Plano get involved?

UMG jumped at the chance to collaborate with Havas London to get this unique idea off the ground. Through their Decca Records label, they sourced a number of artists who already worked within the ambient music genre and approached them with the concept of collaborating with the Atlantic Ocean.

Sebastian Plano loved the idea. Musically he was perfect for the project. His use of the cello echoes the energy and power of the ocean. As an artist and person, he also embodies the same spirit as our client Sharp’s Brewery and our campaign: passion about the environment and the need to be connected to it.

"It was only natural that the Atlantic Ocean would be the star of this recording."

With so many moving parts and stakeholders, did you hit any hurdles, and how did you overcome them?

A project of this nature always hits a few hurdles. We truly relied on the spirit of the Vivendi collaboration to pull us through. We are at the infancy of this unique partnership, and so, at times, our most senior leadership will help to provide solutions that make ideas like signing the Atlantic Ocean as a recording artist a reality.

Every stream of Keynvor pays royalties to the Cornwall-based charity Surfers Against Sewage. Is this the first time that the ocean is essentially funding its own protection?

We believe it is! Keynvor is the Atlantic Ocean, and Keynvor is the artist that is streaming its music. There is nothing between this artist and the royalties it receives. And with UMG and Sebastian Plano donating their share of royalties to the Atlantic Ocean, this initiative could go a long way towards the ocean taking its conservation into its own hands.

The track begins with lapping waves crashing against the shore and builds to a sustained rhythmic pulse. How much, or what parts, of the recorded sounds were used in the final track?

In Sebastian’s own words “I took the sounds of the waves hitting the rocks to create the beat.  All the rhythmic parts of the piece are all sounds of the sea.” This includes water dripping in a cave and lapping in a bay, water in rock pools, the tide pulling out along the sand, and even the explosion of water through a blowhole.

Was there a specific mood you were hoping to capture? What makes the ocean a good sonic pairing when creating a song?

The Sharp’s brand is trying to encourage people to disconnect from their hectic lives by reconnecting with the elements. For this reason, we wanted to create an uplifting and atmospheric track that harnesses the power of the Cornish coastline. The intention was for the track to feel inspiring, to capture the sense of escapism from the modern world that standing next to the ocean can provide. The intention was to create a track that would be picked up and streamed on ambient playlists, the most popular genre on Spotify. There are obviously lots of people using music to disconnect from the pressures of life.

Where were the ocean sounds recorded and was there a specific reason for choosing that location?

All the sounds were recorded along the coast of Cornwall—30 locations in total.

The Sharp’s Brewery was founded and is still located in Rock, Cornwall. This business and the lives of the people working there are influenced by the sea. They surf most mornings before work. They are passionate about their local environment and have committed to protecting their coastline for years.

It was only natural that the Atlantic Ocean would be the star of this recording.

What’s next for the project? A music video? A full album? A tour?

The great news is that other artists are already asking to collaborate with the ocean. We’ll see Keynvor move into other genres such as indie electronic, folk, and even hip-hop. These collaborations will be a mix of English and global artists.

This is the first track from the forthcoming, self-titled EP. There will be two more tracks on air at the beginning of June that will star the ocean even more.

We are in talks with Sebastian to do a live gig with (at) the ocean in the summer. We will mic the ocean up and bring the sounds to a large stage while Sebastian plays against a Cornish coastal backdrop.

"His use of the cello echoes the energy and power of the ocean."

You won’t catch Universal Music Group’s latest signing, Keynvor, playing at a local venue or sharing tour pics on Instagram.

That’s because Keynvor, which takes its name from the Cornish word for “ocean,” is actually the Atlantic Ocean.

Created by Havas London in collaboration with Universal Music Group for Cornwall-based brewery Sharp’s, Keynvor’s first single “Preservation” uses the sounds of wave with percussive, rhythmic beats created by Argentinian musician Sebastian Plano.

The project’s goal is to raise money to fight against plastic pollution, and 100 percent of the profit goes to Surfers Against Sewage, a charity which aims to tackle plastic pollution and other issues around the UK coastline.

Havas London Managing Partner Eleni Sarla shares how the agency turned the ocean into an artist and how the campaign empowers the ocean to clean itself.

 

This project is a great example of the power of collaboration. Tell us a little about how this project came to be.

When our creative team [Matt Swinburne, Owen Hunter Jenkins, and Brodie King] came up with an idea for Sharp’s Brewery, their first contact point wasn’t strategy or account management. It wasn’t even a producer. It was Universal Music Group. They needed to know how they could go about signing the Atlantic Ocean to a record label and getting a track published on streaming sites.

How did UMG and Sebastian Plano get involved?

UMG jumped at the chance to collaborate with Havas London to get this unique idea off the ground. Through their Decca Records label, they sourced a number of artists who already worked within the ambient music genre and approached them with the concept of collaborating with the Atlantic Ocean.

Sebastian Plano loved the idea. Musically he was perfect for the project. His use of the cello echoes the energy and power of the ocean. As an artist and person, he also embodies the same spirit as our client Sharp’s Brewery and our campaign: passion about the environment and the need to be connected to it.

"It was only natural that the Atlantic Ocean would be the star of this recording."

With so many moving parts and stakeholders, did you hit any hurdles, and how did you overcome them?

A project of this nature always hits a few hurdles. We truly relied on the spirit of the Vivendi collaboration to pull us through. We are at the infancy of this unique partnership, and so, at times, our most senior leadership will help to provide solutions that make ideas like signing the Atlantic Ocean as a recording artist a reality.

Every stream of Keynvor pays royalties to the Cornwall-based charity Surfers Against Sewage. Is this the first time that the ocean is essentially funding its own protection?

We believe it is! Keynvor is the Atlantic Ocean, and Keynvor is the artist that is streaming its music. There is nothing between this artist and the royalties it receives. And with UMG and Sebastian Plano donating their share of royalties to the Atlantic Ocean, this initiative could go a long way towards the ocean taking its conservation into its own hands.

The track begins with lapping waves crashing against the shore and builds to a sustained rhythmic pulse. How much, or what parts, of the recorded sounds were used in the final track?

In Sebastian’s own words “I took the sounds of the waves hitting the rocks to create the beat.  All the rhythmic parts of the piece are all sounds of the sea.” This includes water dripping in a cave and lapping in a bay, water in rock pools, the tide pulling out along the sand, and even the explosion of water through a blowhole.

Was there a specific mood you were hoping to capture? What makes the ocean a good sonic pairing when creating a song?

The Sharp’s brand is trying to encourage people to disconnect from their hectic lives by reconnecting with the elements. For this reason, we wanted to create an uplifting and atmospheric track that harnesses the power of the Cornish coastline. The intention was for the track to feel inspiring, to capture the sense of escapism from the modern world that standing next to the ocean can provide. The intention was to create a track that would be picked up and streamed on ambient playlists, the most popular genre on Spotify. There are obviously lots of people using music to disconnect from the pressures of life.

Where were the ocean sounds recorded and was there a specific reason for choosing that location?

All the sounds were recorded along the coast of Cornwall—30 locations in total.

The Sharp’s Brewery was founded and is still located in Rock, Cornwall. This business and the lives of the people working there are influenced by the sea. They surf most mornings before work. They are passionate about their local environment and have committed to protecting their coastline for years.

It was only natural that the Atlantic Ocean would be the star of this recording.

What’s next for the project? A music video? A full album? A tour?

The great news is that other artists are already asking to collaborate with the ocean. We’ll see Keynvor move into other genres such as indie electronic, folk, and even hip-hop. These collaborations will be a mix of English and global artists.

This is the first track from the forthcoming, self-titled EP. There will be two more tracks on air at the beginning of June that will star the ocean even more.

We are in talks with Sebastian to do a live gig with (at) the ocean in the summer. We will mic the ocean up and bring the sounds to a large stage while Sebastian plays against a Cornish coastal backdrop.

Sulaiman Beg is Havas' Director of Global Internal Communications. He has never eaten canned tuna fish.

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