Ben Neill, a Ramapo music professor, produced music for a Cadillac commercial featuring DJ A Trak that recently aired during the Olympics.
"The commercial's theme is the introduction of a new Cadillac logo, and shows A Trak spinning records with logos from different eras," said Neill.
This particular commercial featured different versions of the song "Brand New Cadillac," representative of Cadillac's new logo.
"I was asked to create versions of the song 'Brand New Cadillac' that A Trak would mix together, with each version referencing a different decade," said Neill. "I worked with several different singers, guitarists and Ramapo professor Mack Brandon on piano."
Neill himself played trumpet, produced and mixed the music using Logic Pro.
Neill has been writing and producing music for advertising since the late 1990s and has even produced and written music for eight different Cadillac TV and Internet commercials over the past few months, but this commercial was unique.
"The unique approach to this spot, which involved collaborating with A Trak, made it even more appealing," said Neill.
The unique approach involved the collaboration between the creation of different versions of "Brand New Cadillac" by Neill and the mixing of those songs by DJ A Trak.
"The DJ spot was very unusual in its approach to making the music," said Neill. "Normally, I would produce and mix all of the music myself for a commercial, but in this case it was done in collaboration with DJ A Trak."
The style of the commercial was also unique, straying from the typical car commercial.
"The commercial is in 60 and 90 second formats as well as the standard 30, which along with the cinematography, makes it seem like a hybrid between music video and commercial," Neill said.
Neill has had previous experience working with DJs as a recording artist and producer, and he said he had a great experience collaborating with DJ A Trak for this particular commercial.
"We worked together closely from the beginning of the process back in November," said Neill. "We first had conversations about the tempo, keys and styles of music that I would produce. I delivered the music to both him and the agency over the next few weeks."
After Neill delivered the music, A Trak was able to mix the tracks and add beats and scratches.
"We have stayed in touch since the commercial was finished. Overall, he was great to work with and we are both very happy with the end result," said Neill.
Neill also mentioned that collaborating with DJ A Trak brought a unique quality to the commercial.
"I think A Trak was an interesting choice for Cadillac. He has a solid following in the EDM scene and commands a lot of respect as a DJ with incredible skills," said Neill. "The spot brings a more youthful identity to the brand, but also references its history."
Neill also discusses the history of DJs and its role in music today in his DJ Culture course.
"The DJ continues to play an extremely important role in contemporary music," said Neill. "Aspects of music that DJ's have introduced include sampling, remixes and mashups which have made a huge impact on music over the past several decades."
In addition to the commercial featuring DJ A Trak, Neill also created two other spots for Cadillac that will air during the Olympics, including a spot called "Monkey Do."