Tap into music - and get the inspiration flowing

Music is an important ingredient in any creative team's output, but what songs are the most inspirational?

Someone probably quite impressive once said that “music is the food of love”. Well, The Drum is not too sure about all that, but what we are sure about is that whenever our reporters visit creative departments music almost always fills the studio atmosphere.

It goes without saying that music inspires and pushes people to believe that they can achieve absolutely anything. Just ask any man (of a certain age) if he truly believed that he could become boxing’s heavyweight world champion after hearing the Rocky 3 theme tune Eye of The Tiger by Survivor and the answer will always be a resounding “YES”.

Oline music website Spotify has given us all access to the widest catalogue of freely available music ever, ranging from Golden Oldies to the very latest chart releases. If you are not a paying Spotify subscriber then in exchange for access to the extensive music library you have to listen to a commercial or two every four songs or so, which is not such a bad deal.

The Drum’s office has been filled with the sounds of Spotify for some time, so we got to thinking that it might be quite interesting to find out what music is inspiring the creatives that we know and love across the UK by inviting agencies to submit their Spotify play lists.

(In all honesty, it wasn’t actually The Drum’s idea, but Phillip Lockwood Holmes of Whitespace suggested it, and we pounced on the idea).

So, who is listening to what? That was the question we asked. And also asked those that submitted their playlists to write a sentence or two as to why or how it suits the mood in the office...


Numiko started in 2000 as a bunch of six graduates – each with Jedi like digital talent and a desire to show the world supreme multi-media yummyness – fuelled by strong coffee and electronic beats. As the Naughties come to a close six has tripled to 18 and our average age has increased by the decade that has passed. With a scattering of our favourite tracks from the beautiful Fabric CDs which have arrived in the post each month as the years have passed – our playlist still represents our “hands in the air, office balcony raving” youthful creative roots. But… older, wiser and in a fuller office of true and wonderful variety our playlist reflects the eclectic tastes, viewpoints and creative talent which each member of staff brings to the table.

SPOTIFY LINK: http://bit.ly/8H7NUv


When Jon and Ben first started Cahoona in late 2008, Spotify had just come out and it proved to be a massive help in soundtracking the office. Based in Manchester, the team identify with their heritage through artists like Mr Scruff, but that doesn’t mean the office sounds like a warehouse rave in 1989. With both the creative and technical teams working together, the policy is to keep music upbeat and fresh, to help drive the ethic of being innovative, modern and original. Our playlist is a combination of all our favourite office tracks, starting with ‘Blinded by the Light’ by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, which is the track which inspired the team’s “revved up” attitude and working approach.

SPOTIFY LINK: http://bit.ly/5MQI9R


It’s here - NOW that’s what I call Dinosaur’s Spotify Playlist 2009! With an INCREDIBLE 15 hits that got NOWHERE NEAR the top 40, let alone number 1! There’s NOT a single massive hit from the likes of Cascada, Shabba Ranks or The Fast Food Rockers! Not EVEN DJ Alligator! Not the original BUT still our best, it’s NOW that’s what I call Dinosaur’s Spotify Playlist 2009!

SPOTIFY LINK: http://bit.ly/8bO7me

Ewan Leckie

Ecliptic, unusual, smooth and rare is the best way so sum up my listing habits. Kicking off with some tuneful retro from The Kinks and Glen Campbell to celebrate the cups of tea and bacon rolls that start the day. Then it’s head down time and pick some smooth tunes to get you through the till lunch time. Back from lunch popped in to Borders, looked up a few cool sites on the interweb and your heads full of good ideas. So some Euro House to tap your feet to and the amazing English folktronica musician James Yuill. The last hour is always happy hour round here and seeing its Movember here are two artists with great moustache’s – Peter Sarstedt and Giorgio Moroder. Keeping with the 80s electro vibe a bit of Jan Hammer to cheese up the day.

SPOTIFY LINK: http://bit.ly/6ft4Sa


With a team of 37 and growing, we Whitespacers come in all flavours – or in some cases flavas. Everyone chucked tracks into this playlist and it ranges from pure fantastic POP to Vaughn Williams and everything in between – we love our serious music as much as our tacky tunes. We’ve had a few company playlists over the last few months including the perfect #fridaymix and the frightening #halloween, but this one was the hardest to compile. Read the song titles and see if you can make any sense of our selection?

SPOTIFY LINK: http://bit.ly/ML8Ry


True: this is the sound of our studio. Like us, it’s an extraordinarily eclectic mix. One that spans the years to reveal a shared love of life, love, fun, sunshine, adventure, money and a thumping base line. Not to mention our unshakeable belief that something good is going to happen. Today. Take your seaside arms and dance along.

SPOTIFY LINK: http://bit.ly/7X1lpu


Sunshine Day is the perfect soundtrack for a sunny Monday morning. She Blinded Me With Science is a common lament in our department as we work on a lot of pharma accounts. The core sample of Frontier Psychiatrist is “that boy needs therapy” and there are a few in here that could use some. One of our digital lads Mikey, has a chronic aversion to anything Tamla Motown so the Contours track is especially for him. This is a transient business so it’s always good to remember Absent Friends. The Temper Trap tune has been the most popular over the last couple of months. Now and again, we like to get naked, form a circle, hold hands and sway to Good Morning Starshine. Juxtapozed with U is a bit of an office anthem if only for the line “you’ve got to tolerate all those people that you hate”.

SPOTIFY LINK: http://bit.ly/5rdTNz


Diversity, experimentalism, quality, variety, urgency...that’s 5! This playlist sums up the team at Fudge, everyone’s different and those differences are allowed to flourish to ensure a rich and wide source of inspiration for everything that Fudge produces.

SPOTIFY LINK: http://open.spotify.com/user/13twelve/playlist/6vjTGTCvzyV1pgfbfVf8gM


Our playlist title pokes a little fun at our relentless pursuit of publicity this year! Not taking ourselves too seriously but we’ve had a tremendous year for business wins, awards and recognition. The resultant attention is actually part of what’s necessary in developing Cuckoo Design and trying to articulate what being ‘Cuckoo’ means to us. Our playlist is a reflection of what we’re about. It’s an eclectic mix as much as we are. There are oldies, newbies, some absolute classics, some real ‘cheese’ and examples of questionable taste. To paraphrase my hero, Paul Weller, ‘It’s like a musical Kama Sutra’ and I think maybe that’s true for our industry. There are many ways of doing it and very few of them are actually wrong. But I just wanted to state our position.

SPOTIFY LINK: http://bit.ly/5tXhHh

The Drum

Not sure that it is inspirational (Ed) but we polled the office and selected 15 track to join the list too... We apologise (in particular our Wham fan!).


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