Music supervisor/producer Karyn Rachtman opens Mind Your Music in NZ

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This week M+AD’s own Kelly Lucas had breakfast with the “Queen of Soundtracks” Karyn Rachtman – originally from Hollwood, now resident in Auckland. The setting was the sunny deck at Rachtman’s home on Waiheke Island.

“If you know Karyn’s name it probably because of her work on films such as Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Clueless, Boogie Nights, Reality Bites Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet, and Office Space,” Lucas says.

“What you probably don’t know is she set a new standard for children’s movie soundtracks – utilising artists like Gwen Stefani, Busta Rhymes,Elvis Costello, Rakim Beck,Iggy Pop, Wilco and Ween to record original songs for some of the best Nickelodeon soundtracks.

“Throughout her career, Karyn’s distinct ability to pair artists and create unlikely collaborations (Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach) has made her one of the best musical “matchmakers” in soundtrack and brand history.

“Karyn also produced the award-winning documentary Sweet Micky For President alongside Pras Michel of The Fugees.

“Talking with Karyn is always a delight,” Lucas says “Karyn’s positive energy and enthusiasm carries through the interview as she talks to us about her opening Mind Your Music here in Auckland.”

Karyn Rachtman said: “The talent is here, my partner is here and my son is studying at university here. What is there not to love about being in New Zealand?

“Escaping Donald Trump isn’t a bad thing either.” 

“Karyn’s US-based colleague is now trying to figure out how he can set up shop here as well after his last visit to New Zealand.”

Soundtracks that Rachtman has supervised and produced have sold over 75,000,000 copies worldwide. She started her company in Los Angeles 25 years ago but has always dreamed of calling New Zealand home since she first came here as a 15 year old to live with her father.

Now she has decided Aotearoa is the place she wants to be and has opened up shop.

“Karyn’s goal for Mind Your Music NZ is to not only work with filmmakers, TV producers, and local musicians but also utilise her production and marketing experience to be able to produce music driven content for brands which she has done in the past for clients such as CNN, Vice, ATT, Hasbro and Levis,” Lucas says.

“Karyn feels the talent per-capita in NZ is second to none and it should be more commonplace to have music-driven content created here that triggers an emotional response and drives engagement on a global scale.

“She hasn’t completely dropped everything in the US for NZ – although she does incorporate what she is doing there into her daily life here.

“Mind Your Music US supervises and consults for Activision Blizzard Studio which produces the hit Netflix series Skylanders Academy, which Rachtman nabbed NZ’s own Phoenix Foundation to do the score for.

“Karyn also has been working with Ben Patterson – her business partner on Sweet Micky For President. They have been developing & collaborating on a number of projects through his creative agency, Onslot in New York City.

“However after his last visit to New Zealand he too is now trying to figure out how he can set up shop here as well.”

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