During each episode of Atlanta, my Tuesday night Twitterverse and IRL friends share their collective excitement about hearing songs from artists like Kodak Black and Cousin Stizz. It’s not just that the show has featured artists that are below-the-radar favorites, or finally getting their deserved shine. It’s that the spot-on, deliberate-yet-nonchalant placement of their songs makes the show feel like it’s made just for you.
For example: Donald Glover’s dejected Earn, walking in the rain listening to “Skrt.” Or OJ da Juiceman‘s “No Hook” soundtracking episode one’s overhead tour of the city. The show’s music brings a kind of real-life magic to viewers — a magic that once seemed far-fetched for a cable TV show.
There’s a full creative team behind Atlanta’s success, but two individuals play a pivotal role in curating and facilitating the music each week. Jen Malone is the show’s music supervisor and Fam Udeorji serves as the show’s music consultant. (He’s also Donald Glover’s manager.) Together, the two hone the musical vision of the show and ensure that songs the team believes in make the final cut.
This week, we hopped on the phone with Udeorji and Malone. They explained how a song makes it to a scene and why Atlanta feels so natural.