Human’s introspective three minute spot, Remember The Why, which takes viewers on the jagged experience of a star basketball player who’s escaping the madness of celebrity and getting in touch with his pure love of the game, took the Ryan Barkan Best in Show Award at the 2023 AMP Awards for Music & Sound. The honour was presented at a sold-out ceremony at Sony Hall in New York, as the AMP Awards celebrated its 10th year of honouring creative excellence in music and sound. 

At the same time, the Association of Music Producers, sponsors of the AMP Awards, took the occasion to celebrate its 25th year of advocating for independent music and sound companies across all forms of advertising and media. 

Remember The Why, created by Johannes Leonardo, also won the David & Jan Horowitz Award for Best Original Score. It marks the second time that Human’s work for Adidas and Johannes Leonardo has taken the top prize at the AMP Awards: the company won Best in Show in 2017 with Original is Never Finished.

Additional multiple winners at the AMP Awards include the L.A. office of Deutsch, Wave Studios NY and Yessian Music. To view all of the 2023 AMP Awards winners, go here.)

Adidas – Remember The Why

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Deutsch LA won for Taco Bell’s Doja Cat x Taco Bell: A ‘Contractual’ Partnership in the category of Best Artist + Brand Collaboration, Presented and Sponsored by BMG/BMG Production Music, and again for Taco Bell for Mexican Pizza: The Musical, in the category of Best Use of Music and Sound in New Media Marketing.

Wave Studios NY won two AMP Awards for The New York Times’ Independent Journalism for an Independent Life, which won in the Best Sound Design and Outstanding Mix categories. The spot was created by Droga5.

Yessian Music also won two AMP Awards. It won for its Jazz Bath project for State Farm, created by The Marketing Arm (TMA) in the category of Excellence in Audio Only Marketing, and for its Detroit Youth Choir DYC ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine video in Outstanding Adaptation/Arrangement. 

Awards Show Highlights

The event kicked off with live music, as usual, this time performed by the Senegalese-American singer/songwriter Marieme, who performed two numbers, one of which was backed by singers from the acclaimed gospel group Sing Harlem. Also performing during the event was Hang The DJ, led by music industry veterans Charlie Davis and Francis Garcia, which has performed at every AMP Awards show since 2016. 

Leanne Amann, Group Creative Director at Anomaly in New York and Chair of the 2023 AMP Awards, welcomed the audience with comments about the value of music and sound to make advertising content that’s both emotional and effective. And AMP’s quarter century of achievements on behalf of the independent music and sound community were highlighted by Lyle Greenfield, founder of BANG Music, a co-founder of the Association of Music Producers and one of the key people in the creation and growth of the AMP Awards.

Amann describes the Best in Show winner from Human as “a jealousy-inducing masterclass in music and sound design. Its combination of original composition, sound design and licensed music takes you on a sensorial trip. It engulfs you as it creates something that’s at once as emotionally impactful as it is stylish and inventive: It hooks you in with the trippy and intoxicating bass thumping score, then submerges you deeper into the darkness with a hectic sound design and haunting, Hans Zimmer-rivaling orchestral composition. 

“When you finally re-emerge with the effervescent, Alton Ellis version of You Made Me So Very Happy, it feels like a much-needed gasp of air,” Amann continues. “For me, it sets a new standard for excellence in music and sound design craft and execution. And I was so honored to present it with the Ryan Barkan Best In Show award.”

In a surprise move, AMP and the AMP Awards presented a special honour, a New York Rangers jersey bearing his name and the number 10 to Matt Miller, CEO of AICP, for his years of unwavering support for the AMP Awards. Miller’s guidance and counsel have played a huge part in making the AMP Awards a true benchmark of excellence in music and sound for agencies and brands. 

The opening title sequence for the event was created by the New York-based animation house Cleos Studio and directed by Chevez Sanchez, with original music created by independent composer Gawen Head-Allain. Also providing production support for the AMP Awards presentation were Groove Guild, MetaTechnik, Yessian Music, Roam Editorial and Editor Charlie Cusumano.