Redefining Sound: Our Journey Composing Emmy-Worthy Themes for Television

This post is by Logan Baker from No Film School

Written by Adam Malka, Co-Founder and Executive Music Producer, Signature Tracks

As the Co-Founder and Executive Producer at Signature Tracks, I have navigated the fascinating challenge of redefining the musical identities for two significant television series: America’s Got Talent (AGT) and 90 Day Fiance: Last Resort. This endeavor not only stretched our creative capacities but also deepened our commitment to creating immersive auditory experiences that resonate on a global scale.

A Creative Odyssey Begins

The journey commenced with a transformative Zoom call from the AGT producer. In collaboration with Fremantle’s team, we leveraged our diverse and talented roster, including Harold Brown, a five-time Grammy winner, to embark on a reimagining of AGT’s theme song for its 18th season. This was no small task. It was an exhilarating challenge that allowed us full creative liberty—a rare and precious opportunity in music production.

Our approach was dual-pronged: to pay homage to the show’s storied legacy while infusing it with contemporary vitality. We drew inspiration from The Killers’ memorable synth melodies and the epic orchestration typical of recent Mission Impossible films, creating two unique soundtracks.

The first was a modern reinterpretation of the classic theme, and the second—a deep, cinematic experience—highlighted the breadth of our team’s talent, including the notable contributions of Isai Moran, who writes about AGT “I remember watching the show as a kid and always feeling a great sense of anticipation and excitement for what I was about to watch. When given the chance to write the AGT theme song, I knew it had to carry the same thrill that I had always experienced. The classic synths pay homage to classic competition themes of the past, while the live band placed the viewer directly in the front-row seat of the live show. This track was a great collaboration with amazing composers and producers that added their unique sound to create this eclectic theme.”

Innovative Production Techniques

The production phase was a collaborative feast. Harold Brown’s live percussion recordings brought an elevated dimension to the tracks, enhancing their authenticity and richness. This commitment to high-quality, live session recordings not only demonstrated our dedication to excellence but also ensured the client was intimately involved in the creative process. The approval of our first option by Simon Cowell was a profound affirmation of our vision and expertise.

Scoring the Emotional Landscape of 90 Day Fiance: Last Resort

Simultaneously, we crafted the score for 90 Day Fiance: Last Resort, set against the idyllic yet emotionally charged backdrop of the Florida Keys. The series provided a unique canvas to portray the emotional rollercoaster faced by its iconic couples.

We opted for an unconventional array of sounds, including vocal chops, to add layers of tension and unpredictability, perfectly mirroring the tumultuous experiences of the couples. Our scoring strategy was carefully designed to complement the dialogue and enhance the narrative, weaving sparse percussion and melodies of hope throughout the score.

The Impact of Our Work

The work on AGT and 90 Day Fiance: Last Resort was more than just composing music; it was about enriching the narrative and enhancing viewer engagement. Each theme was meticulously crafted to reflect the essence of its respective show—AGT’s vibrant showcase of diverse talents and 90 Day Fiance’s intimate exploration of complex relationships.

Reflecting on these projects, I am reminded of the journey Signature Tracks has taken—through the highs and lows of the music industry, always striving to exceed expectations and deliver under pressure. From late-night calls for urgent compositions to experiencing the live finales where our music underscored key moments, our passion for music and storytelling continues to drive our work.

This endeavor is not just about accolades; it’s about how we, as creators, can contribute to the evolution of television, making a significant impact on the industry and audiences alike. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved and excited about the future contributions Signature Tracks will make to the television landscape.