What a challenge to create a gay credits, a theme, a gay leitmotif, for a gay channel, like that of HappyGayTV!
Even if the result seems simple and obvious, and we immediately want to hum the melody and dance to the rhythm of this chorus, of this song, it still required research, reflection , talent and even a bit of luck!
By reading the few lines below, you will know why it was so important for me to have for HappyGayTV, a playful and rhythmic sound design. Why, I called on the talent of Eric Renard, and Studio 21 Juin production in Paris, to create this credits. You will also discover, by what chance, a second version of the theme was born, the one in the video above, when it was not planned at all!
HappyGayTV: sounds or pictures?
It's funny, and even paradoxical, because at the very beginning of this project, when I imagined the type of videos I was going to edit, I had above all sounds that came to mind. And it very quickly became obvious to me that I needed a real sound design, as any good radio station should have these days!
This probably comes from the fact that I fell into the radio when I was little, since I actively cut my teeth when I was a teenager, long before the arrival of free radio in France in 1981!
So for me, HappyGayTV had to have a rhythmic theme, playful, not to say cheerful, and the sound of this channel also had to be very muscular, like that of the radios on the FM band!
The sound design had to be identifiable, and be memorized very quickly by any visitor. When you know the number of websites that exist today, I needed something catchy and that would allow me to stand out from the crowd, to differentiate myself from the lot.
Another aspect not to be overlooked is that the credits of the channel also had to be in keeping with the spirit of gay culture, which wants to be very festive, but that it should nevertheless be somewhat timeless. is to say not too marked by the spirit of the times, because as everyone knows, this one goes out of style very quickly. A real challenge, then!
In fact, the basic idea was to make sure that someone who visits the site, even by chance, is impacted by the sound design, and remembers it, so that, afterwards, he wants to go back there. Indeed, any image professional will confirm it to you, the paradox of a good video is not to have very beautiful images, even if it is important all the same, but it is above all to have great sound! Otherwise, no matter the pictures, viewers won't watch it to the end! As proof, aren't cinemas nowadays equipped with an exceptional sound of the Dolby Atmos type, a sound full of relief, while the images are, when for them, always in 2 dimensions?
So, in the creation of this project, one of the first things I took care of was to start the sound design of the HappyGayTV channel!
Looking for a recording studio: 21 Juin Production?
And so, somewhat by chance, one afternoon I came across an internet forum, which praised the merits of a Parisian recording studio, in the 11th arrondissement, and which is one one of the greatest specialists in radio sound design in France and Belgium, the 21 Juin Production studio. Indeed, to their credit, they have nevertheless created the appearance of French radio stations: RTL2, Chérie FM, Radio Bleu, Rire et Chansons…
So I left to meet them a few weeks later.
There, I met Eric RENARD, who before agreeing to create a sound design for HappyGayTV, made me pass as a kind of great oral, on what this project was, its purpose... We debated a whole afternoon on LGBT issues at the time, against the backdrop of the great debate that was raging in France, that of marriage for all, Gay marriage.
But in the end, even if we did not agree on all the subjects discussed, Eric still felt that the HappyGayTV project had to be defended and that it deserved a nice soundtrack. I still think now that for him too, the musical exercise was a bit out of the ordinary, and that creating a sound identity for a gay channel was both an original and unusual challenge for him. And I would therefore like here to thank him more particularly for agreeing to invest in this project, when his time was limited, because his help and his talent are absolutely inseparable from the success of this project!
Some time later, in fact, I realized that in his approach, he wanted to know if my idea made sense.
But I also understood that by formulating his objections to me, he wanted to pull the worms out of my nose, so that, beyond that, he could know the substantive marrow, not only of the HappyGayTV project, but also of what I animated deep within me!
We even came to talk about spiritual matters, which I absolutely would not have suspected when I walked through the door of this recording studio! But I have excellent memories of this discussion, which was certainly lively, but also very enriching!
And it is from these elements, that Eric, after having gone around the question, made his own opinion, and that he got to work.
A Gay channel, but in the end: 2 credits!
I don't know how it happened, but Eric sent me a first version that I thought was definitive, the magnificent voice of Hanna Hagglund was posed, a voice that the French and other French speakers may know, since it also appears in advertisements like that of Renault, Gifi… Therefore, the melody being made and having been approved by the HappyGayTV team, there was no question of modifying anything.
In fact, I don't remember exactly why I went back to see Eric at the studio.
So we went down to the basement, into the actual recording studio, and as Eric started turning on all the gear, he started activating tracks one by one. And it was then that one of them particularly caught my attention. I heard a synth musical line that was buried in the mix of the first version and almost inaudible.
And there, I understood that we had something exceptional! I then simply asked Eric if he could not push these synth chords to bring them to the fore.
For me, it was exactly what I was looking for. Indeed, I had asked him during our first interview, to be able to put a kind of countermelody, like 2 melodies that would respond to each other, a bit like in Gloria Gaynor's song: "I will survive" . And these synth chords fit perfectly in this way, with the sung melody. And that's how the final version of the HappyGayTV credits was born, which you can listen to and listen to at your leisure in the video above!
To put it simply, we kept Hanna Hagglund's pretty voice and melody, but completely changed the arrangement!
And so, it is from this line of synths that we declined all the dressing of HappyGayTV. Indeed, the chords that start most videos come from this melodic line.
Even the end credits of the HappyGayTV Show, even if it seems somewhat distant, also comes from this melodic base.
Eric's talent did the rest and in a short morning, we had the sound, the credits, the HappyGayTV theme.
So the first version will remain in the cupboards, in the department of the history of the creation of this gay soundtrack, of this LGBT soundtrack, as being a kind of draft, before validating the final version which, for its part, has aired and you can discover in the video above!
And this is how the credits of HappyGayTV were born, this beautiful melody with its counter-melody, all I had to do was put images on this magnificent credits!
So I decided to illustrate it, to draw, a little by chance, in all the rush videos, programs already shot and to make them appear in a wall of images! Wall of images which, as you will quickly understand, will evolve over time!
But by the way, what do you think of this magnificent adventure? I would like you to give me your opinion on the credits of HappyGayTV. Did you want to sing it, hum it, dance to it?
Thank you for leaving me your impressions, your comments on this subject, on the Hot-Line, by making me, either an audio message, or a video message, by clicking here!
You can even film yourself doing a little choreography, if you like! Do not hesitate !
Thank you and see you soon