By: Brittney O.
Hip-HopVibe.com Entertainment Editor
URBANFLIX TV, a new Black-owned streaming platform, has released a six episode series ‘PUMP’ that everyone is talking about. The series stars Ray J, Jennifer Freeman, McKinley Freeman, Lanett Tachel and Michael Jai White in a drama filled series about a celebrity fitness trainer that launches a new line of products that are defective.
The main character Sean Ford (played by Ray J) takes a massive plunge and finds himself right back in Inglewood. Alongside the original storyline and awesome cast, the music definitely keeps the vibe rolling. We caught up with the Music Supervisor of the project, Shiré Burgess, and she shared her experience providing the music for the project.
Shiré! Thank you for joining Hip-HopVibe.com. Tell us about the your involvement as the Music Supervisor for ‘Pump.’
Thank you so much for having me! It was such a fun project to be apart of. I’ve known Corey Grant, the Director of ‘Pump’, for awhile and he is familiar with my work as a singer/songwriter and the relationships that I have within the music industry. We worked together on his previous film called “Illicit” starring David Ramsey, Shireen Crutchfield, Vivica A. Fox & Dean Cain. When that movie started to come together he would reach out to me for songs here and there. I feel like because I was prepared and could provide what he was seeking, it helped. He ended up choosing like ten of the songs that I had sent over to him for the film. From there my manager, CK, who has managed me for over 10 years now, suggested that with my contribution I should be brought onboard the project as Assistant Music Supervisor at the very least. Fast forward and now when his new series “Pump” came along he immediately called on me to be the Music Supervisor because of what we did together in “Illicit”. The position was not handed to me at all. I definitely earned it. His decision was solely made due to my ability to contribute to the project. It has been amazing and challenging all at the same time.
What does the Music Supervisor’s job entail?
Well what you’re going to hear on this project are the artists, writers, and producers that have put in work. For the window of opportunity that they gave me, I went to people that were also ready! Songs prepared, catalog tight, and key relationships flowing. I was grateful to have good friends that I’ve worked with along the years that when I needed, they were able to work with me. The people that were able to identify with the vision were so important.
What did the vision look like to you? And how were you sure that you could match the music with it?
The first thing the Director sent over was the script. You have to balance good music with his vision – he’s also a writer so having a background in theater helped me gauge and capture what he wanted in different scenes. There were times that he challenged me to even step outside of some genres that I wouldn’t normally use. It pushed the project to sound more united. A good relationship with the Directors and creators are very important.
How important is it to have representation, like management or agents, when trying to get your foot in the door in the industry?
Well you can’t do it all yourself. Its’ teamwork. As a creator you may know where you want your vision and sound to go, but then there is the business. The majority is the business…I’d say maybe even 90%. Having another set of eyes and ears is always helpful and also takes the extra stress and pressure off of you. Teamwork is important.
What is the most important thing to know as a Music Supervisor for a series?
It’s best to know talent with a large discography. I come with my own, but there are others that I know that I can pull from too. Those relationships are golden. People like Carvin Haggins, whom you know is a veteran in this industry. He is incredible. He has written and produced so many great songs. The last episode, Episode 6, he really came through. Everything that he sent over everyone just loved.
Tell us about your experience creating with new people from this position that you’re now in.
There is a team that consists of a songwriter named Pendrick and a producer from Baltimore named Josh that I met along the way in my journey. We actually met at a writing camp for the TV show “STAR” on FOX. When this opportunity with “Pump” came around I remembered them. They created about three songs for the show. It feels so good to just collaborate with people that are so dope. It makes everything better, more versatile.. you just feed off of each other. I like that I was able to make this opportunity work for us.
Where was your mindset when you learned that we were going to be placed in quarantine for awhile?
The first thing that came to mind was the show. We had all of these plans! So we had to adjust.. but with the time being home — we know that we are fighters and creators. Even during the pandemic. So being able to provide a TV series in the midst that can uplift and make you laugh with great acting and music makes me proud that we had something ready to go during this time.
Top Three People that you would like to work with in the industry?
I would love to work with T-Pain. I love H.E.R., she’s amazing. And the third, super veteran, I would have loved to work with BabyFace when he was making music.
Shiré do you set goals monthly or annually or have certain expectations of yourself by a certain time?
OMG! All of the time! If CK, my manager, was on the phone with us he would laugh because I do this all of the time! There is a 6 month plan that I have and a weekly. I’m a big planner. I’ve had a problem with procrastinating in my past so now when I write things down and set these goals it helps me to stay on top of it all.
Would you say that you’re seeing goals come into fruition in 2020 already?
OMG yes! They really have! I feel honored to be doing music still as far as my creative side and now to be able to pay it forward… I’m just happy to be an influencer to help shed light on others’ music and their art.
You are a multi-talented and multi-hyphenated woman with so many accomplishments already, and you’re still adding to the resume. What’s next for you? Scoring movies?
Absolutely we are scoring movies. When you asked me about when we went into quarantine and things were placed on hold, that was one of the things — we actually were about to start on the next project with Corey, a BET Film original. We were supposed to be in Atlanta filming in April, and it has been pushed back. I do think once people catch the wave of “Pump,” the quality, the great acting and music.. and this business relationship with Corey we will see what the next offer is in the near future.
Last question, what advice do you have for artists at home that are struggling mentally and are uninspired during this time?
I know that it’s hard but take the time to study – when this first happened I watched lots of documentaries on artists and learned how they made it through heavy times and overcame their heavy loads.
Dig deep and connect with yourself. Maybe watch some positive videos, read books and quotes. Meditate. I would highly encourage writing down how you feel. If you’re angry, write that down.
What documentary resonates with you the most or was most impactful for you?
Marvin Gaye. The ending is so sad. He’s so amazing and it’s so unfortunate how he left here. I love that he used his music to heal.
It was such a pleasure vibing with you, Shiré! Please let our readers know how to stay connected with you!
Absolutely! My social media is the same on all platforms: @shireuniversal for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Please make sure you check out “Pump” on UrbanFlix TV guys!!!
Make sure to download Urbanflixtv app and watch the full series of “Pump”