YouTube Originals will launch “Behind the Beats” on November 18, a new animated pop music anthology series produced by TeamTO and 22D Music Group in partnership with France Télévisions, the French public broadcaster.
Episodes 1 through 4 of the new pop story will also debut on the YouTube Kids app, YouTube Originals Kids & Family announced Wednesday.
YouTube and TeamTO shared first-look footage from the series exclusively with Variety.
The deal sees YouTube launch the series worldwide but with a one-year hold in the French language, where France Télévisions has first-window exclusivity.
“This new animated musical series from TeamTO is ideal for family viewing, filling a void for parents who want to watch something with their children that they will actually enjoy,” said Craig Hunter, Global Head of Kids and Family Originals. . for YouTube.
Currently featuring a first season of 26 five-minute episodes, “Behind the Beats” chronicles how talented musicians with radically different styles came together to create a new genre or movement.
In “Disco Meets Punk: A Story of New Wave,” for example, Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein meet Donna Summer and composer Giorgio Moroder at Studio 54 as “I Feel Love” hits the charts. They decide to merge punk with the futuristic synth sound of Moroder. The result, “Heart of Glass”, creates the New Wave.
Snoop Dogg meets Dr. Dre who injects his childhood funk into Gangsta Rap in another episode. “Who Am I” by Snoop Dogg (“What’s My Name)?” becomes the first rap album to enter the charts at No. 1.
“Punk Meets Hard Rock: A Story of Grunge has L7, the all-female band, which combines Ramones-style punk with Joan Jett rock (“I Love Rock’n’ Roll”) and, moving to Seattle, founds grunge .
The series also explores the stories behind movements such as rock’n’roll, reggae, electro pop and trap. Each episode features three tracks, which may include some of the greatest songs of all time, such as Patti Smith’s “Gloria: In Excelsis Deo”, Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” history of New Wave.
The episodes feature a heated exchange between male and female commentators who make wider connections – between Debbie Harry and Lady Gaga, for example.
“When we discovered this project, we dreamed of offering it to both a local and international audience, so we are really delighted to partner with both YouTube and France Télévisions”, commented Corinne Kouper, SVP of the production and development, TeamTO.
“We can’t imagine a better way to launch this series on both digital platforms and public broadcasters, all made possible thanks to the incredible resources and expertise of 22D Music Group,” she said. added.
22D Music Group undertook the daunting task of obtaining the rights of the artists.
Even though the partnership included a big company like YouTube, owned by Google, and a classic European public broadcaster like France Télévisions, “the workflow was very pleasant with everyone. It was a very fluid relationship,” Kouper said. YouTube and France Télévisions also coincided in their objective of targeting audiences over 12 years old.
The characters are drawn in animated simplified lines that make them recognizable, though the series never attempts photo-realistic likenesses.
Many now-legendary artists started at a very young age, Juan Atkins at age 17 in his parents’ bedroom in Detroit listening to The Midnight Funk Association. His breakthrough came when his grandmother gave him a synthesizer, “Behind the Beats” notes. Amazed by Bernie Worrell’s use of the Minimoog bass on the Parliament song “Flash Light” and catching Kraftwerk’s “The Robots”, Atkins fused Parliament funk with electronics and recorded Cybotron’s “Clear” in 1983. Tech is exploding.
“The series repeatedly shows young people with dreams and those dreams come true, their creativity sparked by meeting other artists. It’s very inspiring and moving,” Kouper said.
“In each episode, we use the story of a person, whether singer or artist, to make the music more palatable. We also show how diversity is a great creative tool. In the world today is an incredible message,” said Patricia de Wilde, Director of Marketing and New Business for TeamTO.
“This series has it all, it’s educational, inspiring and just fun to watch for anyone who loves and appreciates music,” Hunter concluded.
The theme song is the classic “We Are Family” by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, revisited by Yeti Beats in collaboration with Rodgers himself and featuring Snoop Dogg and the voice of Sheléa: eras and styles collide to create an expansive and joyful statement of inclusivity.
“Behind the Beats” is created by Baptiste Jaquemet. It is produced by Corinne Kouper (TeamTO) and Emmanuel Deletang (22D Media Group).
Hunter serves as YouTube’s creative lead on the series with Zoë Di Stefano serving as creative director. The creative manager of France Télévisions is Pierre Siracusa.
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