By virtue of its function, ad jingles have the catchiest hooks in the music realm, despite their short duration. But what if these hummable tunes are freed of the compulsions of hard selling a product and extended into full-fledged songs? It is with this thought that Mikey McCleary took a bunch of his jingles and developed them into an album, titled TV Diner.
“A lot of people have asked me for full-length versions of my jingles thinking they are pre-existing songs by artistes. I thought it would be great fun to turn them into normal songs — pure music, without anything to have to do with brands,” says McCleary, who has worked on commercials for brands such as Vodafone, Titan and Lakme.
McCleary first attempted this format two years ago on a track called Start Young, where he developed an Audi Q3 jingle he composed and got crooner Nikhil D’souza to lend his voice. The response was encouraging enough to pave the way for the album that has renditions of his most popular jingles and features vocalists Anushka Manchanda, Shalmali Kholgade and Monica Dogra, among others.
The first song Chase Every Dream was released last week with a music video that sees McCleary and Manchanda jam on a terrace, with the Mumbai skyline forming the backdrop. The song is based on a three-year-old jingle that McCleary had composed for clothing label Levis.
Conceptualised and directed by McCleary, the video shows people from Mumbai — from film stars such as Ranveer Singh, Shraddha Kapoor and Kalki Koechlin to common people — mouthing the lines. The rest of the album will be released as music videos, one song a fortnight.
“Musically, it is uplifting and easy on the ears. The tunes are simple and melodic and I have used mostly acoustic sounds, with a mellow electronic feel to it,” says McCleary, who broke through the Indian music industry with his reinterpreted version of the old Hindi film song Khoya Khoya Chaand in the film Shaitan (2011). The Kiwi singer-songwriter turned composer with Nautanki Saala last year but has largely been known for his flair with producing exciting spin-offs of classic film songs.
TV Diner a novel concept. “The appeal lies in the familiarity of the tunes, yet there are new things happening to them. It is as if the music I had created several years ago has come alive all over again,” he says .
This story appeared in print with the headline Jingle all the way