Out May 10 on Netflix!
Harvey Girls Forever (previously Harvey Street Kids) follows the neighborhood adventures of best friends Audrey, Lotta, and Dot in their hypercolor world where every day is Saturday. The series is produced by DreamWorks Animation for Netflix under the leadership of Brendan Hay and Aliki Theofilopoulos.
We worked with our frequent collaborator, composer Jay Vincent, to bring song production and electronic music to Harvey Street!
Crush4U: Harvey Street’s Heartthrobs
The residents of Harvey Street are obsessed with Crush4U, the show’s fabulous boy band voiced by real-life boy band legends Nick Lachey (98 Degrees), Joey Fatone (*NSYNC), Joey McIntyre (New Kids on the Block), and Shawn Stockman (Boys II Men).
Ryan Lofty co-wrote and produced Crush4U’s EP, as well as a collection of other ditties used throughout the series. Read more about it in this interview with Animation Magazine for the launch of season two!
Ryan & Jay created this instrumental demo for the composer pitch which featured the beginnings of what Crush4U’s sound would become. Listen out for orchestra stabs, record scratches, beatboxing, and other late 90s production techniques.
Once the songwriting process began, initial vocal melodies were recorded in iPhone voice memos. These roughs were used internally to share ideas and develop the piano demo which went to the studio for approval.
Fun fact: the lyrics were written by Brendan, Aliki, and screenwriter Mike Yank. “Aorta” and “sorta” has to be one of our favorite rhyming pairs of all time!
After the piano demo was approved, the song was fleshed out with added layers - primarily drums, bass, synths - and the vocals split into parts for each character. This demo then went to the board artists and animators to create the visuals, with vocal stems sent to the recording studio for vocal sessions. For this song each character was recorded separately and Ryan & Jay provided their own voices for backgrounds!
The process until this point is considered pre-production, months later the episode entered post-production for score. This is when all parts were assembled as a whole and submitted with the music preview for feedback from the team. One or two rounds of final revisions and then -phew- time to export and get the stems to the sound stage for the mix! Here’s the final comp:
My Heart Hearts Your Heart - animated!
And here is what Crush4U looks like animated - complete with shrieking superfans and iconic choreography! This clip is from the season two promo, released exactly two years after the first demo was written! Watch till the end for the final MHHYH.
A whole lotta Lotta
On the score side, Ryan Lofty developed the palette for characters including Lotta, the biggest girl with the biggest heart.
The sound of Lotta is the culmination of Future Vega releases: Serum pads, Spire plucks, EDM risers, and a huge variety of synths used in place of traditional orchestra. There’s a duality in Lotta’s score between her sweet/sparkly and “hulk Lotta” moments - you can read more about it here in an interview Ryan did with MPAA for the launch of season one.
I Got You, Dude
In this season one ditty, Lotta tries unsuccessfully to win the affections of Marco the cat. This song was crafted to sound like a karaoke backing track and with purposefully tinny 80s electronic piano and drums. And don’t forget the synth horns - the staple of any cheap karaoke track.
I Got You, Dude - but in German
This was the first time one of Ryan’s songs was translated in another language! And it’s included here as a memory because it’s amazing.
The show is also available in Spanish, French and Cantonese.
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We are very fortunate to be continuing on with DreamWorks Animation writing songs and music for another super secret project! Will talk more about it as soon as we can.
That’s all for now! Enjoy these pics from our favorite crew moments.
- Courtney & Ryan