Earworm Studios is led by Emmy-winning married composers JP Rende and Kat Raio-Rende, who are operating at the top of their game. The duo have an infectious pop sound that is irreverent and yet filled with heart. Their songs and scores can be heard across several hit series, including “Sesame Street” on HBO Max / PBS, “Gabby’s Dollhouse” & “Princess Power” on Netflix, “Blaze and the Monster Machines” & “Baby Shark’s Big Show!” on Nick Jr., “101 Dalmatian Street” on Disney+, and on the NAACP Image award-winning series “Tab Time featuring Tabitha Brown” (YouTube).
The Rende’s music has been performed and recorded by artists such as Cardi B, Tori Kelly, Michael
Buble’, The Jonas Brothers, and Fifth Harmony. Awards Focus’ Byron Burton spoke to JP and Kat Raio-Rende about composing, the “Baby Shark” song phenomenon, and their ongoing collaboration as married creatives.
Awards Focus: Your company Earworm is involved in a diverse range of projects, from animated series to YouTube shows and even Grey’s Anatomy. How do you adapt your musical approach to suit the specific tone and style of each project?
JP: We are so very fortunate to be able to make music in such a variety of different areas.
All are different but the one thing that stays true for us is to approach each project with a set of fresh ears to give each the unique identity it deserves.
Awards Focus: “Baby Shark” has become a cultural phenomenon, loved by kids and parents alike. How did you approach creating music for such a widely recognized and cherished brand?
JP: The Baby Shark song is both infectious and polarizing, especially to parents. We keep the infectiousness in mind while we are creating each song, but try to make parents not wanna rip their ears off when kids play them on repeat.
Awards Focus: Could you share some insights into the musical process of creating catchy and memorable tunes for children’s shows?
Kat: I think the most important thing to remember is that kids are not stupid, they know when things are ingenuine. We always try and make the best music regardless if its for children or adults, If you go into a project trying to change the approach because it is for kids, Kids will know and not respond well.
Awards Focus: As composers, how do you strike a balance between crafting music that appeals to children’s sensibilities while also making it enjoyable for adults?
JP: At the end of the day, we are first trying to make ourselves happy with the work we create. Kat and I are both overgrown children ourselves so if it gets us excited, we know we are onto something.
Awards Focus: How do you typically approach a new project as a team? Do you divide responsibilities and tasks, or do you work collaboratively on all aspects of the project?
Kat: This is always so fun for us. We are both songwriters and producers so we get our hands dirty on everything from song inception to delivery.
JP: We also have two separate spaces to work in so that we aren’t on top of each other all day.
Awards Focus: You’ve collaborated with an impressive range of artists from Cardi B and Tori Kelly to Michael Bublé. How do these collaborations influence your work and enhance the musicality of your projects?
JP: We love to collaborate and always learn so much from the process. Being a composer and producer is most times a solitary activity, Kat and I are really lucky to have each other to bounce ideas off of, however when we also get to include someone else it opens the creativity up to a whole other level.
Awards Focus: With so many successful projects under your belt, what’s next for Earworm? Are there any upcoming original projects that you’re particularly excited about?
Kat: We are really excited about what’s to come in 2024 but you’ll have to stay tuned.
JP: The one thing I will say is that we never know what is gonna come through the door and we wouldn’t change that for the world.