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"When you’ve got as music-intensive show as this one is—there have been 15-20 cues in every episode—then you have to work smart to be able to license music to fit within your budget."

HARCOURT BECOMES
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An exclusive HITS dialogue with MTV Music Supervisor in Residence Nic Harcourt by Roy Trakin
Nic Harcourt joined MTV as an in-house music supervisor about a year ago after making his name as the PD during a successful decade-long stint at influential L.A. public radio station KCRW. He left the station to do a weekly show at upstart Cal State Northridge station KCSN last June, Connections with Nic Harcourt.  He is currently the music supervisor on two new scripted MTV series, I Just Want My Pants Back and The Inbetweeners. His only mistake was sharing his thoughts with HITS’ own Roy “Vaikin” Trakin.

How are you enjoying your stay at MTV?
It’s been interesting. I’ve been involved in two very different shows. We’re just sort of assessing my role moving forward. I’m also involved in Hype, the collaboration between MTV, Extreme and Sony/ATV to create a library of production music.

Do you miss KCRW?
Not at all… It was an awesome time. We created an international platform, and I’m really proud of it, but it was time to expand my horizons. But it all sort of ended in tears when I wanted to do this KCSN show [Saturdays from 3-6 pm.].  But I’m really happy there. I feel like I’m in the beginning of something really cool. KCRW didn’t want me to do the show. They gave me an ultimatum, and I don’t like ultimatums. That’s life. I wanted to work with [KCSN PD] Sky [Daniels] We all know how passionate he is about stuff.

I Just Want My Pants Back looks like Friends for Millenials, set in Brooklyn.
That’s an interesting description. It’s a much more edgy version of that, and there are only four friends rather than six, but I get what you’re saying.

The song selections seem to be in keeping with your aesthetic, concentrating on new bands like Wavves and Girls, among others.
Radio has become a backwater as far as breaking new artists is concerned, and it’s been that way for some time now. A lot of people would recognize that The O.C. was the defining moment for a shift away from radio to television for exposing new artists. When the opportunity to go to MTV came up, and we talked about what I could do, and the shows they were working on, it seemed to be an opportunity to expose artists and bands that wouldn’t ordinarily get heard. And that excited me, providing me with another venue to do what I love to do, which is evangelize the stuff that I dig. When you’ve got as music-intensive show as this one is—there have been 15-20 cues in every episode—then you have to work smart to be able to license music to fit within your budget. Independent and unsigned artists really give us that opportunity to fill the show with music. There’s a creative intent and an economic reality.

And that can result in exposing new artists on the channel that wouldn’t ordinarily get on, through giving away free MP3s online, for instance.
MTV has a program in place now, with featured artists and on-screen song IDs, we really have an opportunity, for the audience tuned into that program, through the free MP3s, to spotlight some of these bands. Six songs from every episode will be identified on-screen. It’s another venue to expose new music, and at the end of the day, that’s exciting to me.

Any picks to click in this first batch?
I’ve been supporting Saint Motel for several years, both on-air and otherwise. I think that track, “Puzzle Pieces,” has pretty prominent placement in the show. Wavves is at an interesting place. His music is certainly apropos for the show and the setting.

Is this music you assume the characters would be listening to in their world?
That’s the whole idea. It’s not all currents. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! is one of our featured artists. They’re probably the first significant band to break out of that Brooklyn scene, and they have a current album as well. Voxhaul Broadcast is another L.A. band I’ve been supporting. Falcon is another band from Brooklyn who we got turned onto from this guy in the demo we hired, who’s 22 and lives there, to assist as a coordinator. . We tried to find indie/demo-specific music, as well as bands from the area, like Snowmine.  These are bands that may or may not be heard outside of the show, but they fit the demo.

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Adele; Adele Adele?
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A... dele?
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Adele Adele; Adele.
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(Adele.)
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