We spoke to the team behind the EA Sport game soundtrack


Ask any FIFA fan what they like about the game and they’ll usually stick to the norm; the gameplay, its realism, the graphics and the pleasure of beating your friends over and over again.

But while these characteristics of the game can fluctuate and frustrate at times from edition to edition, there is one part of the game that remains steadfast every year: the soundtrack.

Play anyone of a certain age “You Held The World In Your Arms” from Idlewild and there’s a good chance they’ll say, “That was on FIFA 2003, wasn’t it? “.


Some songs from the past are now known simply as “FIFA tunes”.

And while established artists like Blur, Kasabian, and Radiohead have all featured prominently in the game’s soundtrack over the years, the ever-brilliant EA Sports playlist manages to compile from “unknown” artists and revolutionary acts is an impressive and sometimes overlooked facet. Game.

Radiohead – more concerned with instruments than controllers, but still benefiting from FIFA

So how is the game’s soundtrack compiled? And what does it take for an emerging artist to break into the coveted list?

We spoke to Cybele Pettus, Senior Music Supervisor at EA Sports, about how the franchise discovers new music, compiles the playlist, and what it looks for in ‘FIFA style’ music.

“Being ahead of the curve is the ultimate challenge and reward of conservation FIFA, but it takes an insane amount of hard work and instinct to make it happen, ”said Cybele Dream Team.

She continued, “We’re starting the process almost a year before the game is released, so we have to be a combination of ultimate A&R scouts (artists and reporters) and music Nostradamus trend.

“There are a huge number of artists and bands – both completely unknown stars and established stars – who want to be a part of FIFA because a) they recognize the overall impact of the soundtrack and b) they are huge fans of the game.

“Certainly, our professional experiences come into play here, as do our relationships with national and international labels, publishers, managers and artists. “

idle wild

Idlewild’s “You Held The World In Your Arms” Best FIFA Song Ever?

One edition of the FIFA game can encompass everything from worldly sounds to drums and bass, and Pettus says that while there isn’t a particular genre they’re looking for, there is a certain “FIFA sound.” “.

She said, “Although FIFA soundtracks celebrate – and are celebrated for – their international diversity, I believe our soundtracks have established an identifiable brand of their own.

“It’s an overall rhythmic sound, always surprising, and yes, always resolutely ahead of the curve.

“This is an unprecedented annual opportunity to showcase unknown or developing artists we believe in, as well as work with established artists to take their international appeal to a whole new level.

“In fact, I’ve seen artists and industry partners showcase their music to me, by isolating a particular song and saying, “that sounds like a FIFA song.’ For me, this is the best compliment we can receive.

Revolutionary Act of 2016 Jack Garratt

Jack Garratt’s “Surprise Yourself” in 2016 in FIFA 17

The playlist has grown more and more prestigious over the years, and with online streaming services and a greater choice of download sites available to purchase the weird song here and there, getting a nod from the curators. can greatly increase an artist’s appeal.

But, surprisingly perhaps, the Kings Creation music team is relatively small, drawing on industry experience and FIFA developers to discuss the overall feel of the game that year and of how the music should react.

Cybele explains, “Our core creative team is quite small, led by Steve Schnur with myself as the senior music supervisor.

“Everyone on the team comes from similar backgrounds in music marketing and / or A&R, but we all have different musical tastes, gender instincts and international connections.

“We get thousands of songs every year for FIFA soundtrack review, which then needs to be reduced to a manageable stack.

“We listen together as a team, exchange ideas about each other and often passionately debate the artists and songs we love and hold dear. “


FIFA – where Kygo meets Catfish and the Bottlemen

The FIFA soundtrack is, for many, something that really matters to the gaming experience.

A good playlist can make transitions between menus and settings a joy, not a chore, and for the discerning music fan, it can inform your music choices the next time you fire up iTunes or Spotify.

And it is this importance which is not taken lightly by Cybèle, Steve and the team of EA Music.

Cybèle continues: “At the end of the day, our primary goal is to listen locally and act globally. I work closely with two key members of the FIFA development team throughout the process to reach the final song list; they are very tasteful, open-minded and like a challenge.

“Most of all, we use our ears and trust our instincts. Like the nature of FIFA itself, the entire EA Music team wants to create – and then bring to market – a soundtrack full of unpredictable excitement where anything can happen anytime from any country, all the way through. of the FIFA season and the life of the game. “

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