SOUTH Promotes Matt Drenik & Ann Haugen to Partner as Business Booms


By Egotist / /

Premier music studio SOUTH elevates both Creative Director Matt Drenik and Head of Production Ann Haugen to Partner. The promotions come at the tail end of an exceptionally busy 2020 for the full-service music and sound company, with no signs of letting up.

The current thriving operation at SOUTH is attributed in no small part to Matt Drenik’s leadership contributions. Since Drenik joined the mix two years ago, he has constantly worked to develop within his creative role, whether composing, briefing, mixing, or simply, listening. Not only has he brought in talent to its roster that includes indie, electronic, hip hop, and film composers, but his artistic background has led him to establish deep creative relationships with clients, partners, artists, and composers that operate far beyond conventional advertising.

As a veteran producer, Haugen’s vast knowledge and expertise stand out in the niche industry of music production. Having her voice and viewpoint on the artists, and with clients, has added to the company’s success and has been a hugely important component of what SOUTH has become. Ann’s eye for resource development and team building is unparalleled. In fact, she was integral in bringing Matt on board the SOUTH team.

“These past five years at SOUTH have been epic,” Haugen comments. “We’re all restless people who aren’t content with doing things the same way twice. In music production, you always have to be taking chances, searching for the next cool artist or composer, discovering a new singer or finding a new creative director…It’s been my passion to help bring in the best people and ideas to the company. When I met Matt, he was touring, producing bands, running an indie label, composing for film and TV, and I just knew he’d offer a unique perspective to SOUTH. He’s definitely proven me right!”

As a result, SOUTH has seen exceptional work for global brands, further cementing the company’s foothold in the top tier of music production. Projects include an emotional soundtrack for Toyota’s “Come Home”; rock covers for Ford’s holiday campaign; Nike “Rally,” featuring tennis sensation Rafael Nadal, which was nominated for Best Original Music at AICP; a short film for Cox highlighted healthcare workers in the time of COVID; and the hilarious Super Bowl LV spots for Rocket Mortgage starring Tracy Morgan, which were both named by USA Today as their favorite ads of the big game for 2021.

A crowning achievement for SOUTH was providing the sonic branding for Google’s cloud-based gaming system Stadia. Wanting to create a hook that would explode with enthusiasm and intensity, SOUTH crafted a unique, chant-like mnemonic lifted by a ton of human energy. It was a company-wide effort that was made seamless by the contributions of Drenik and Haugen. A definite feather in both their caps.


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