SANTA MONICA, CA — Music studio South (www.south-music.com) has promoted both creative director Matt Drenik and head of production Ann Haugen to partner. The promotions come at the tail end of a busy 2020 for the full-service music and sound company.
“Despite undergoing many of the same challenges thrust upon small businesses and the production community due to the pandemic, South has experienced a number of creative highs in the last year,” notes South partner Dan Pritikin.
The current thriving operation at South is attributed in part to Drenik's leadership contributions. Since joining the mix two years ago, he has worked to develop his creative role, whether composing, briefing, mixing or simply listening. Not only has he brought in talent to the studio’s roster, but his artistic background has led him to establish deep creative relationships with clients, partners, artists and composers.
“To survive as a recording artist, you have to have a sense of fearlessness about your process,” Drenik explains. “Taking chances shouldn’t be feared, but encouraged, and that philosophy was what initially drew me to South. They understood my creative vision because they were already doing it. Now the question is, how far can we take it?”
As a veteran producer, Haugen’s knowledge and expertise stand out. Having her voice and viewpoint on the artists, and with clients, has added to the company’s success. She has an eye for resource development and team building, and was integral in bringing Drenik on board.
“These past five years at South have been epic,” Haugen comments. “We’re all restless people who aren’t content with doing things the same way twice. In music production, you always have to be taking chances, searching for the next cool artist or composer, discovering a new singer or finding a new creative director. It’s been my passion to help bring in the best people and ideas to the company. When I met Matt, he was touring, producing bands, running an indie label, composing for film and TV, and I just knew he’d offer a unique perspective to South. He’s definitely proven me right!”
South’s projects include an emotional soundtrack for Toyota’s Come Home; rock covers for Ford’s holiday campaign; Nike Rally, featuring tennis sensation Rafael Nadal; a short film for Cox highlighting healthcare workers in the time of COVID; and the Super Bowl LV spots for Rocket Mortgage starring Tracy Morgan. The studio also created the sonic branding for Google’s cloud-based gaming system Stadia.