Meeting Mark Ronson and Katy B
We caught up with Mark Ronson and Katy B at the launch of our Move to the Beat™ campaign
Mark Ronson and Katy B have teamed up with five Olympic athletes from around the world to create Coca-Cola’s song for London 2012. The uplifting track, featuring the sounds of five different sports, aims to bring the Olympic Games closer to teens up and down the country by tapping into their passion for music.
Why did you want to get involved with Coca-Cola’s Move to the Beat™ campaign?
Mark: It was a chance to be a part of London 2012. London was the city I was born in; it’s the city I live in. It’s a pretty big deal to be involved in it. To have this idea… it was kind of a challenge, to travel around recording the sounds of these different athletes to make the track. The fact that Katy wanted to be a part of it as well – I knew that it could be cool and credible.
Katy: Exactly the same thing, really. It was a chance to get to work with Mark – and to be part of London 2012 is obviously amazing. Meeting all the athletes has been incredible. I’m just really looking forward to hopefully seeing some of the events.
You created Coca-Cola’s song for London 2012 – which three words would you use to describe it?
Mark: Move, beat, world.
Mark, what was your favourite sporting sound you discovered on your journey around the world and why?
Mark: I liked all of them, but I think things like archery were the kinds of sports that, going into it, I was like, ‘How are you gonna record archery?’… ‘What’s it gonna sound like to record an arrow flying through the air?’
And then all these little tricks you learn along the way. If you space the mikes out at a certain distance, instead of getting like a “Fooossshh!” you can get the arrow sound: “Ffft! Ffft! Ffft!”. All these kinds of little things that we learned, and just hanging out with all these people in their home towns – it was great.
What did you find most exciting – and most challenging – about fusing sport and music together?
Mark: The thing was, when we got all the sounds back to London and went into the studio to start the track, not to make it so it’s just ping-pong or an arrow, but to keep the natural rhythm of the athletes. And I think from actually being there and spending the time with them and watching them compete and train, I got a sense of what their natural body rhythms and all that stuff was like to make the track a bit more human.
Katy: The most exciting thing was seeing the similarities between music and sport. They train; you’re training for a performance – and you have this one shot at trying to either entertain people or trying to get your goal. And challenging… when Coca-Cola approached us, they explained to us what it was all going to be about – it was writing a song specifically for something, which you’ll always try to live up to and try to prove yourself, I guess in the same way that the athletes do.
What do you think the Olympic Games can do for young people in Great Britain? How can it inspire them?
Mark: [to Katy] You’re a young person, you can answer!
Katy: [laughs] Meeting the athletes was one of the most inspiring things that I’ve ever come across. Their discipline, their understanding of how hard you’ve got to work to achieve something or to reach your goal, or achieve something absolutely incredible – even stuff people have never done before, like break a record, just push your body to the absolute limit and be the best that you can be. I came away from there thinking, 'I just wanna be a gymnast now!' And I’m sure that’s going to happen with a lot more young people as well, like taking up a sport, or even just feeling inspired to do something and knowing that you can do it. I could sit here and talk for hours about it!
Many people, including Coca-Cola, are passionate about ensuring that London 2012 leaves a lasting legacy for local communities. What do you think is the most important thing that the Games will leave behind?
Mark: Just seeing how Darius [Knight, the London-based table tennis player who features on the song] came from being an eight-year-old kid who didn’t have a lot of opportunities to now competing on an Olympic Games level. Or the young gymnasts that we saw and visited in east London that are training. It’s just the excitement – seeing people that aren’t that much older than they are being able to get to this level of achievement. I think it’s inspiring.