Hamish Macdonald.jpg




2018 Jury Member +

Global Executive Producer at Nylon Studios, Sydney + New York



Hamish’s international experience spans both short and long format content and with more than 17 years’ experience in advertising, production and post-production, he has notched up an enviable amount of expertise in managing and developing post & production companies throughout Australia, London and Asia.

Can you tell us a bit about how your career started and when your musical journey began?
My love of music and sound came from being a commercials producer. One whom was totally in awe of the way the composers interpreted and wrote to my directors’ briefs. Not only taking their references and mine and bringing them to life, but also melding them to the pictures and the storyline, to take the whole production to the next level. These moments really taught me the value of audio in the arena of storytelling and the power it had in engrossing the audience into living the story our clients, and we, are there to tell.

How do you help agencies and brands think about what music is right for them?  Clients and agencies put a lot of time and money into creating, researching and developing their brands, so early on in the briefing process we work quite collaboratively with them to take on as much of the learnings and challenges that each particular project faces. Music and sound are powerful communicators, and while not easy for most people to articulate or brief in music, it’s our job from the early stages to understand emotionally and tonally what is required. We always approach each project as the audio partners to ensure the perfect communication is created for the brand.

What has been your favourite project that you’ve worked on recently?
Am proud to say that there’s been a hellova lot of great work opportunities coming to us from our clients, and our team consistently rise to the challenge. It’s hard to surpass “Resistance Radio,” 5 hours of radio we produced for Amazon’s The Man in High Castle. Three Emmy nominations were a welcomed acknowledgement to over a month of casting, incredible sound design and direction, whilst working with the uber talented Campfire guys, Danger Mouse and Amazon. BUT, I would have to say, the original song written for NY Lotto ‘Have fun for life’, is such a beautiful and emotive piece, that just gels perfectly with the visual story. Also, the fact that we were contacted by a Grandmother asking for the sheet music for her 5 year old granddaughter to learn on piano put it over the top for me!

Has there been a most challenging one?

Well, all projects come with their challenges - some creative, some scheduling, some the characters involved and even timezone challenges, but that’s the fun of it really. With our studios in Sydney, Melbourne and New York we can cover any timezone challenges by being able to seamlessly work around the clock between the studios. This also give us access to the best musical talent for any project, and in turn helps us cover any creative and production schedule challenges the client may have, like a 36-hour turnaround and straight into the Super Bowl. The most challenging projects can also be the most enjoyable.

Have you noticed any shift in trends in terms of what type of music is being sought?
There are always new trends in music. Music is like fashion and has seasons and fads in production techniques and vocal styles. In recent years, we have seen trend towards singer-songwriter indie style productions, cinematic style scoring and throw back styles of the 70s. Each year there tends to be strong references that filter through from pop culture films or commercial music that resonates with creatives and brands. From these we then interpret tonality and develop something unique for each client.

How do you think a competition like The Music+Sound Awards impacts the industry?
For all of us working so specifically in this area it’s so incredibly important. In nearly all other competitions in our industry, music composition, sound design and music licensing are recognised by only a few awards at best, which are more a generalisation of the breadth of specialist disciplines required to work in the field that we do. So thank you for recognising the importance of our niche, we look forward to continually being a part of the Music+Sound Awards….and collecting many accolades!

Find out more about Hamish and Nylon Studios at www.nylonstudios.com