An indie-pop vibe: Mikey McCleary chats about scoring the music for a new season of Four More Shots Please!
Michael 'Mikey' McCleary is a musician, songwriter, composer, producer and director who was born in Chennai, but has his roots in New Zealand. He has been living and working in Mumbai since 2007, and made a rather prolific profile of ad-films, OSTs and songs for Bollywood films. He chats with us about scoring the music for the Amazon Prime Video web series, Four More Shots Please!
How is it like to be working with the Four More Shots Please! team again?
It’s a great team and I’m thrilled to be on board for Season Three too. Four More Shots Please! is full of music. Season One established music as a core element, almost like an unseen character. I have used different genres, but there are some key elements that give the score an identity. The songs are mostly sung by women, as this naturally connects with the lead characters, and I have recorded up-and-coming indie singers whose voices are interesting, fresh and authentic.
What is the music like for this season of the series? Is there any difference from the first one?
Season One was all about establishing the characters and their world. The music helped to set that up. Season Two has more drama, and the character arcs really get exciting, so the music also is more dramatic.
Tell us a bit about your group, The Bay Music House? What motivated you to hunt for new and fresh talent, and give them a platform on the big screen?
Bay Music House is my new company that creates music for film and TV, with an exciting new approach. I lead a team of talented composers, and I guide and collaborate with them to create fresh music. It’s a music hub where we nurture and develop talent plus provide terrific contemporary music for our clients.
Are there any new takeaways from your work with these fresh artistes? How has that influenced your own music?
The collaborative process has been exciting and has kept the music fresh. I have my own style and my own way of creating music, but working with lots of other musicians helps me keep my mind open to trying new musical ideas.
What are the future plans for Bay Music House?
I envision Bay Music House expanding into music for projects all over the world. We are also starting to release music through Bay Music House as a record label.
In Four More Shots Please!, is there a common vibe through the songs or is it totally situational?
Overall, the music is very modern and international. There are times, of course, where Indian folk and Bollywood elements are used, such as during a wedding scene, but the music is what these South Bombay characters would most likely listen too. The development of reoccurring themes is also important in creating familiarity for the audience.
Using little short song-excerpts to highlight the drama has been a key element. These little songs or songettes are then often developed into full songs that come at the end of the episode and on the season album. It’s both situational and also, it has an overall indie pop vibe.
At the end of the day, what keeps you inspired to make music?
Urgency usually. Deadlines are almost always tight. I go with my first instinct and try not to overthink or revisit too much.