Celebrating the best in TV and film, the Golden Globes presented the FX comedy series Atlanta with not one but two awards this year. The show won for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy” and “Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.” It was also renewed for a second season, set to premiere in 2017. Donald Glover (writer, actor, producer and musician for the show) plays Earnest, a couch surfing, aspiring manager trying to get his cousin Alfred ‘Paper Boi’ Miles’ rap career poppin’ in the streets of Atlanta.
So what is the music design of an award-winning TV series centered around the music industry of Atlanta? Donald Glover has stated that he wanted everything about the show to be creative, from the script to the soundtrack. He even brought in artists such as Lloyd and Migos make cameos in several episodes. The intention was to shy away from banality and anything that felt excessively mainstream. Glover, along with music consultant, Fam Uderji, Hiro, music supervisor Jen Malone, and the editing staff, picked the song choices. The true essence of Atlanta was the mood they were striving for while putting together the soundtrack. In an interview with Fast Company, Glover stated,
“We wanted to make a punk show, that was the thing we really wanted. So, in order to do punk, it just needed to feel like it shouldn’t be on television. And we just knew that music wasn’t going to be on television, that people aren’t playing 21 Savage or Kodak Black on television yet because there’s no place for that.”
This season featured a multifaceted assortment of music genres throughout. Musical elements included saxophone jazz, British soul, classic funk, as well as hardcore rap. Here’s a playlist of songs selected from each of the ten episodes of the award-winning comedy series.
E1 “The Big Bang”
E2 “Streets on Lock”
E3 “Go for Broke”
E4 “The Streisand Effect”
E5 “Nobody Beats the Biebs”
E8 “The Club”
E10 “The Jacket”
– Submitted by Civonne Ray, Music Design