Football and music have a special connection — whether it’s the local high school marching band or an A-list performer like The Weeknd performing during half-time, or the ever-changing network football themes.
Netflix has its own football offering coming soon — the unscripted series “Titletown High” produced by Blue Eyes Entertainment — where music curated by country star turned executive music producer Jimmie Allen serves as a narration device.
As seen in other reality series like “The Hills” or “Vanderpump Rules,” contemporary songs help propel the plot — age-old rivalries, teen romance and expectations on and off the field — as the young players and their families chase dreams of a state championship.
TheWrap caught up with ahead of the show’s Friday premiere. Not only does Allen serve as the executive music producer, his song “Big In A Small Town” serves as the theme song. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
TheWrap: How did you get involved with “Titletown High”
Allen: I’ve always wanted to have an executive role behind the camera. When this opportunity came my way and I learned more about the show’s premise, my creative wheels were already turning with the possibilities. The conversation evolved from using one of my songs as the theme song to the larger role of executive music croducer and everything really clicked into place.
TheWrap: How do you select your songs?
Allen: After watching a few clips and understanding the full landscape of the show, I felt like an unreleased song of mine – “Big In A Small Town” — was a perfect fit to be the theme song of Titletown High. I grew up in a small town in Delaware and I know how tightly knit those kinds of communities can be – where everyone knows everyone and everything. The song really encapsulates the beauty and simplicity of the little things that are big in a small town. In terms of my process as executive music producer, it’s all about feel. I watch, I listen and I see what music feels the best over a certain scene. Music is such a powerful tool and in the context of a television show, it can serve different purposes – enhancing a scene, building tension, providing a place for the scene to linger… so I approached the song selection based on what was going to serve the scene — and show — best.
TheWrap: What type of artists were selected for the series? Why these specific artists?
Allen: When selecting songs, it really wasn’t based on the artist. I was searching for the songs, first and foremost, and how they fit into the scenes and the overall sonic structure that was coming together for the entire series. So every decision when it came to song choices was based on the song itself and how it fit. We’re fortunate that the songs featured in the show are by incredible artists such as Demi Lovato, G-Eazy, LANCO, Matt Stell and Chris Bandi. I’m very proud of how everything came together and can’t wait for viewers to be able to immerse themselves in both the show and music when it premieres.
TheWrap: How did you react when you heard your song as the title track?
Allen: It’s pretty surreal. There are a lot of 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 back to you at a show… hearing “Big In A Small Town” for the first time as the theme song for Titletown High was one of those moments. The song already meant a lot to me before it became part of this project, but seeing the way it captures the essence of the show has taken it to an entirely new level.
Come back Friday to learn more about Demi Lovato and G-Eazy’s featured track “Breakdown” and check out the show’s trailer below.
“Titletown High” premieres on Netflix Friday, August 27th.