Football and music have a special connection, whether it’s the local high school marching band or a top performer like The Weeknd who performs at halftime, or themes of network football in constant evolution.
Netflix soon has its own football offering – the unscripted series “Titletown High” produced by Blue Eyes Entertainment – where music curated by country star turned executive music producer Jimmie Allen serves as the storytelling device.
As seen in other reality series like “The Hills” or “Vanderpump Rules”, the contemporary songs help propel the plot – age-old rivalries, teenage romance, and expectations on and off the field – as young players and their families pursue dreams of a state championship.
TheWrap caught up on the show ahead of the show’s premiere on Friday. Not only does Allen serve as an executive music producer, his song “Big In A Small Town” serves as the theme song. This interview has been edited slightly for length and clarity.
The Envelope: How did you get involved with “Titletown High”
Allen: I always wanted to have an executive role behind the camera. When this opportunity presented itself to me and I learned more about the premise of the series, my creative wheels were already spinning with the possibilities. The conversation evolved from using one of my songs as a theme song to a bigger role as an executive music producer and it all really fell into place.
The Envelope: How do you select your songs?
Allen: After watching a few clips and figuring out the full landscape of the series, I felt that one of my unreleased songs – “Big In A Small Town” – suited the Titletown High theme song perfectly. I grew up in a small town in Delaware and know how closely this kind of community can be – where everyone knows everything and everyone. The song really sums up the beauty and simplicity of the little things that are big in a small town. As far as my process as an Executive Music Producer goes, it’s all about the feel. I watch, listen and see what music feels best on a certain stage. Music is such a powerful tool and in the context of a TV show it can serve different purposes – enhancing a scene, creating tension, providing a place for the scene to linger… so I approached the song selection depending on what was going to be used. the stage – and the show – the better.
The Envelope: What type of artists have been selected for the series? Why these artists in particular?
Allen: When selecting the songs, it really wasn’t based on the artist. I was primarily looking for the songs, and how they fit into the scenes and the overall sound structure that came together for the whole series. So every decision about song selection was based on the song itself and its suitability. We are fortunate that the songs featured on the show are from amazing artists such as Demi Lovato, G-Eazy, LANCO, Matt Stell and Chris Bandi. I’m very proud of how it all turned out and can’t wait for viewers to be able to immerse themselves in both the show and the music when it premieres.
The Envelope: How did you react when you heard your title song?
Allen: It’s quite surreal. There are many unforgettable “moments” when it comes to hearing your song – the first time you hear it on the radio, the first time you hear a crowd sing it to you at a show … hear “Big In A Small Town” for the first time, because Titletown High’s theme song was one of those moments. The song meant a lot to me already before it was part of this project, but seeing how it captures the essence of the series took it to a whole new level.
Check back Friday for more on Demi Lovato and G-Eazy’s featured track, “Breakdown,” and check out the show’s trailer below.
“Titletown High” premieres on Netflix on Friday, August 27.