For most musicians, getting featured in an ad can be a nice way to reach a bigger audience while making a bit of money along the way. But when your track is the foundation of an Apple ad, that can often mean becoming an overnight phenomenon.
Canadian singer Feist’s “1234” famously blew up thanks to a 2007 iPod Nano ad, with a 2008 spot for the same product launching the band Chairlift from obscurity to a major-label record deal thanks to the use of their song “Bruises.”
Apple’s newest ad—“Bounce,” released today to promote AirPods—continues this tradition of featuring rising artists with little mainstream awareness. This time, the track, “I Learnt Some Jazz Today,” comes from 21-year-old producer and songwriter Tessellated.
Raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and currently based in Los Angeles, Tessellated blends a wide range of styles, ranging from reggae and funk to hip-hop and jazz. He recently had his first hit with “Pine & Ginger,” which has more than 11 million streams on Spotify.
The creators of Apple’s new ad found Tessellated’s music on SoundCloud and expressed interest in “I Learnt Some Jazz Today”—though it would be a while before he found out just what a dramatic stage his song was getting:
Adweek caught up with Tessellated today as the ad was launching to learn more about the track, his musical style and how this partnership came together. Here’s what he had to say:
Adweek: How did you first hear from the team behind the Apple ad? Were they specific about wanting to use the song in a commercial?
Tessellated, producer and songwriter: They first reached out via email. It was very vague at first, so I didn’t know exactly where they wanted to place the song. It wasn’t until we had been in contact for a while that I actually found out what the track might be used for!
What’s the history of this song? How did it first come together?
The original version of this song was done in 2016 while I was in college in Orlando. I produced & recorded the song in a few hours one night after finding a sample from Masego that inspired me. When this project began I went about completely revamping the song—adding new production, instrumentation and lyrics to bring it up to my current standard of work as well as to make it flow alongside the visuals.
How would you describe your musical style?
In one word: fusion. My style is a mix that encompasses both my Jamaican upbringing through dancehall and reggae alongside my sources of inspiration from elsewhere—hip-hop, jazz, funk, R&B and many more. I feel like my music is a delicate balance between the two where they can both be heard as separate styles but also together as something new.
Had you ever imagined having a track in an Apple ad? It’s a pretty iconic place for people to discover music.
I’ve thought of the idea before, as all of Apple’s ads are iconic and the music is often at the center of it all. However, it was more of a, ‘Wouldn’t it be crazy if…’, rather than something I actually thought would become a reality. In any case, I’m glad it did the way it did and couldn’t have asked for a better place for my music to be showcased.
What do you think the experience is going to be like as audiences around the world discover this song and your music?
Only time will tell! It will definitely be great to have a big influx of people listening and discovering my other music as well. I’m not sure on what scale it will be, but I’m just excited to be on for the ride wherever it ends up taking me!
You can find Tessellated’s music on his website, SoundCloud and Apple Music. He can be found at @tessvibe on Instagram and @tessellated on Twitter.