AS EA GET’S READY TO DROP IT’S WORLD CUP 2006, MUSIC EXECUTIVE TALKS ABOUT THE CHALLENGES OF BUILDING IT’S SOUNDTRACK
Interview with Steve Schnur,
Worldwide Executive of Music at EA
What is special about the 2006 FIFA World Cup in-game soundtrack?
Every year, our FIFA soundtrack becomes one of our most anticipated challenges. How can we top previous editions’ music choices and still connect with the game’s international fans? For this new WC edition, we’ve spent nearly 12 months putting together an unprecedented collection of tracks from more than 20 countries around the world. It is truly a groundbreaking selection of energy-fueled songs that we think is the greatest international soundtrack ever.
How is the 2006 FIFA World Cup soundtrack different from other game soundtracks?
The soundtrack of every game – in essence, its audio personality – is as distinctive as the games themselves. As any player can tell you, the sounds of, for example, FIFA vs SSX vs Burnout are all different.
At EA, the music we choose must drive the game while enhancing the gaming experience. It’s that simple…and that strategic. All EA Game music is specifically designed to maximize the emotional lift needed to create even greater gameplay. The music we choose must have the ability to make you want to run faster, board better, charge the goal harder. This year, our FIFA WC soundtrack leans heavily towards uniquely up-tempo international pop. Our sole purpose is to have gamers discover their next favorite band through the experience of FIFA World Cup.
How do you pick the songs? Please describe the selection process.
When it comes to new music, our objective is to act locally but think globally. My staff and I all come from similar A&R and music marketing backgrounds. We all listen to a lot of music. We see a lot of bands. We track online communities and independent scenes all over the world. Most importantly, we seek input from EA’s global offices to ensure that their country’s most exciting new acts will be represented and will be appreciated by music fans in other nations. In other words, the music must ‘travel’. We then work with record labels, publishers and artists often more than a year in advance to ensure that the music in our games will always matter.
Who are the break-out artists in the soundtrack?
This year, we’re tremendously excited about Mattafix from the UK, Ivy Queen from Puerto Rico, Lady Sovereign from the UK, KES from Trinidad and especially a track by Brazil’s legendary Sergio Mendes featuring The Black Eyed Peas.
Who have been the big breakout artists on FIFA games in the past?
We’re enormously proud of the role FIFA has had in breaking many major artists around the world. Avril Lavigne was first introduced to European audiences via FIFA 2003. The Ceasars, Tribalistas, Wir Sind Heldend and Kasabian were first heard in FIFA 2004. Our 2005 soundtrack featured the earliest appearances of Franz Ferdinand, Marcelo D2 and Scissor Sisters. Last year, we introduced Bloc Party, Damian Marley and Nine Black Alps. And our hopes for big breakout artists from this year’s game are equally exciting.
How can we buy the soundtrack?
Our 2006 FIFA World Cup soundtrack exists not as an album to be sold, but as a fully interactive event for new artists to reach new audiences of music fans and gamers alike!