Interview: Jordan Caygill | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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When people talk about musicians being successful they automatically think of top ten hits and sell-out concerts. However, the music industry is vast and success can come in many forms as the recent achievements of Jordan Caygill, a film trailer composer from Bishop Auckland, demonstrates. Having been accepted on Los Angeles music label, Position Music, in 2019 Jordan has gone to provide the score on trailers for Terminator Dark Fate, Stephen King’s The Outsider and America’s Got Talent. We contacted Jordan to find out more about his journey and what it’s like to have work featured on promotional content for internationally recognised productions.

Who were your musical influences growing up?
The first album I ever purchased was Number Of The Beast by Iron Maiden. Maiden was the reason I started playing the guitar at the age of 14 and why I wanted to play in a rock band. My Other influences growing up included Metallica, Trivium, Faithless and classical composers such as Chopin, Schubert & Beethoven. 

How did you get into composing film trailers?
My decision to become a Film Trailer Composer all stemmed from the many failed successes of previous bands I had joined, played alongside and travelled with. I had a big vision for my future, I knew I had to take an independent route, become entirely self-reliable and responsible for my success or failure. My introduction to trailer music came from a gentleman I reached out to on Youtube called Alex Moukala. Alex had recently gained success as trailer composer and started making videos about landing his first placement, in the trailer for Ben Hur released in ( 2016 ) Talking to Alex was very inspiring, he had only been producing music with no prior musical background for only 3 years. I soon after purchased an online course from a company called Evenant, a provider in digital courses designed to teach you everything about trailer music, and how to break into the industry as a beginner. I studied the course and applied all the knowledge I learned to my productions, resulting in my achievements.

Who is your favourite soundtrack composer and why?
Hans Zimmer! I first remember watching the film Inception and being blown away by the emotions & power generated in his work. The Soundtrack (Time) featured in the movie is still one of my favourite movie scores I have ever heard. Why is Hans, my favourite soundtrack composer? Given his extensive career scoring movies for Hollywood and helping other upcoming composers such as Harry Gregson Williams gain massive success, it was very apparent, Hans is a giant in the movie world! I became so inspired and wanted my career to follow the same path. Although this seemed impossible to achieve, I did not doubt that one day, I would have my name recognised and affiliated with, the names and titles of big Hollywood productions.

Can you tell us more about your recent successes with getting accepted by label, Position music and getting music featured on Terminator Dark Fate, The Outsider and Americas got talent. How did it all come about and how did you feel about it?
I first started emailing my music to big labels back in mid-2018, I gained no traction or interest for quite some time until December later that year when I emailed a label based in Los Angeles called Position Music. They seemed like a diverse label, in terms of trailer music they signed so without hesitation, I sent 3 of my latest tracks to them before going away on a trip to York City. Before returning home a few nights later I was eating in a restaurant called ‘Bills’. I had just finished my meal and decided to check my emails. Due to not receiving replies from labels for so long, I didn’t have my hopes up on receiving good news, if any at all. This was the moment when everything changed for me. One of the Creative Directors in Trailer Music at Position Music sent me an email saying that they wanted to give me a chance at writing for them! I could not believe what I was reading! From this point, I was sent my first brief for a new series of trailer albums they planned on producing over the year and began getting my music published! Throughout 2019, I featured on a total of nine albums released with them and even travelled to Los Angeles to meet the team. The team was very welcoming and all of them so very professional. They had a strong infrastructure and are very reputable within the state of California. I knew I was in the right place at the right time with the right people that shared the same passion as I did.

Landing my first placement was a euphoric moment. I received an email from Position Music on January 3rd 2020, notifying me that my track Down From The Sky had been used in the promotional campaign for Terminator Dark Fate. At this moment, I realised all my dedication and patience had paid off! Before landing this placement, I had been gaining interest and correspondence from HBO about my track, Skyfall, being potentially licensed in a new series called The New Pope. The placement never landed however shortly after in February 2020, HBO placed my track Skyfall in the premiere of Stephen Kings, The Outsider. My world had been completely changed, seeing and hearing my music on the big screens that once was a dream, was now my reality. In March 2020 I was notified that my track, Starscream, was placed in Season 14 of America’s Got Talent. 

The placements started rolling in and I felt so grateful for all these amazing things which started happening to me. I felt no different, it just made me more determined to carry on being successful to in the hope one day, help inspire other new producers and composers that anything is possible when you dedicate yourself to your dreams. 

What advice would you give someone trying to break into your industry?
Be patient, be dedicated and work hard. It is that simple! Networking with like-minded people is a great way to be inspired and to learn. I would say that if you want to break into this industry, you have to have high levels of self-discipline, be sufficient with your time and invest money in the correct tools to get the job done! Most of all I would say do not EVER give up on your dreams! If you want something so bad you will do anything to make it happen, I am living proof of that.

What does the future have in store for you? Can you tell us about any future projects coming up?
I have recently finished my first full solo, trailer music album with position music which is due for release very soon. More details will follow shortly but for now it’s a secret! Myself and Position Music also have something really big up our sleeve that we have also been working on. This is probably the biggest project I have done to date, but I am sorry to say I cannot release this BIG news just yet! Aside from this, I am currently scoring a scene from HBO’s Westworld – Season 3 as part of a composer competition, hosted by music sampling company Spitfire Audio. The competition is worldwide and the winner receives £20,000 worth of Spitfire Audio products! Other new projects include my collaboration with another local composer Caroline J Gleave. We have launched our new duo act specialising in trailer music titled, Second State to which we are self-publishing, all our music and premiering our work on our Youtube channels. Myself and Caroline also contributed to a collaboration trailer album last year between ourselves and a label based in the UK called Muchas Music. This was all happening around the time I began affiliated with Position Music and our album was released titled, GIGANTOMACHY (released 15th September 2019).

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