Photo Credit: http://www.itv.com
If you can’t get enough of fit people falling for each other, then Love Island season 9 has you covered. Love Island 2023 is a special treat for fans – it’s the first winter edition of the show since 2020. What else has changed? It’s time for Maya Jama, previously the host of BBC Three’s Glow Up, to take charge of the presenting duties.
Previous series have been filmed in a variety of villas in and around Majorca, but the producers wanted a location guaranteeing better weather than February in Europe has to offer, so Love Island season 9 took place in South Africa, with the supersized luxury eco-retreat villa on the 25-acre estate of Ludus Magnus near Cape Town.
Otherwise, it’s very much business as usual. And that includes the Love Island songs – in amongst the dates, dalliances, passion and betrayal, there’s a soundtrack of ballads, bangers and bops. Plus, there are some huge pop names to make your Love Island Spotify sizzle.
The Love Island Theme Song
The Love Island theme tune is called ‘From Fiji with Love’. A-Mnemonic Music (aka Andrei Basirov and Toby Jarvis) were brought in by ITV to produce a music package for the show, including the theme tune, bumpers, promos and stings, through to the end credits.
The producers asked for music that captured the essence of Ibiza’s dance scene – the result? An edgy but undeniably catchy set that’s been remixed by iLL BLU and featured on a Ministry of Sound Pool Party album.
Music From Love Island
The official Love Island playlist 2023 on Spotify contains an astonishing 828 songs – that’s over 24 hours’ worth of music to soundtrack flirting, getting together, having your head scrambled by a new bombshell and either sticking with your partner, or backing yourself and heading off in search of someone who’s more 100% your type on paper and who you might end up going exclusive with.
The Love Island UK 2023 soundtrack is, it’s fair to say, pretty exhaustive – in the finale episode alone there were 36 featured tracks! Sigala, Mae Muller, Caity Baser and Stefflon Don’s ‘Feels This Good’ went head-to-head with Diplo, Paul Woodford and Kareen Lomax’s ‘Promises’; Ava Max declared ‘Maybe You’re the Problem’ – alternatively Sam Feldt and Rita Ora suggested that the finalists ‘Follow Me’.
Other major names on the series tracklist include Beyoncé, the Chemical Brothers, The 1975, Self Esteem, Kylie, Demi Lovato, Mabel, Dua Lipa, Megan Thee Stallion, Ariana Grande and Clean Bandit. However, it’s not all sultry, sunny house and dance tracks.
There are some old school classics, such as The Ronettes’ ‘Be My Baby’, The Bay City Rollers’ ‘Bye Bye Baby’, ‘Agadoo’ by Black Lace and even London Music Works’ ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ (which might be more familiar if you’re a big Toy Story fan.)
Would you expect a show about snogging in the sunshine to feature Pinkfong’s ‘Baby Shark’? Yep, Love Island went there. But then they’ll segue straight into P!ink’s ‘Raise Your Glass’ or ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawamba or Primal Scream’s 90s classic, ‘Rocks’.
Fancy a bit of classical? Choose from The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra playing Harry’s Potter’s ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ or the Titanic classic ‘My Heart Will Go On.’
Seemingly, the one thing you can predict about the Love Island songs is that they’ll be totally unpredictable. It’s pretty much a full Music 101 Degree course accompanied by sunshine, six-packs and an almost overwhelming surfeit of emotions.
Where Does Love Island Get Their Music?
With a massive audience that dominates the summer viewing schedules (and now the winter ones), if you’re an artist, getting your music played on Love Island can really take your career up a gear. ITV’s Hayley Smith is one of the team of music supervisors behind the show’s soundtrack and says that it’s ‘a beast – it realistically takes up almost half of my year.’
The turnaround time for each episode is fast – around 24-36 hours, so she and the team work to prep every possible scenario, music-wise, months in advance with the series producers, providing thousands of pre-cleared commercial tracks.
Plus the team also prides itself on hunting for new and lesser-known artists – stripped back versions and covers have been a particular hit on social media. Hayley often speaks to her contacts at labels to source those up and comers, as well as the labels, publishers and music libraries sending her music that might be a perfect fit.
And she’s not averse to a Spotify playlists dive (utilising the ‘related artists’ feature) and checking out new talent at gigs and festivals.
In terms of getting your music featured on Love Island or other shows, Hayley recommends networking, particularly at the yearly AIM sync conference. And do your research into the show if you’re pitching – make sure it really does fit the brief.
Want to know why Joel Corry is massive now? It could be down to summer 2019, when his track ‘Sorry’ notched up 41,000 searches on Shazam – the most in-app song searches in a single day in the UK – during an episode of Love Island.
Freya Ridings? Same, but a year earlier – her ballad ‘Lost Without You’ featured during a pivotal moment in the 2018 series.
Alt-pop singer-songwriter Moss Kena told the Guardian that the Love Island music supervisors shared a list of acoustic covers they were looking for, which artists could record and submit. Kena submitted a cover of ‘Nothing Breaks Like a Heart’ by Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus, which topped the Shazam charts when it appeared on the show.
Tom Walker, meanwhile, had his entire discography used in 2018, catapulting him from penniless musician living in a 12-person flat share, to a No. 1 album and a BRIT award.
As to why the show can have this effect on a track, Andrea Madden, Made in Chelsea’s music supervisor, said that, ‘people invest emotionally in a series like Love Island or Made in Chelsea, and they connect with songs when they’re played in an emotional scene.’
Mugged Off, or Catching Feelings?
Looking for Love Island-style music for your TV show? We’ve got stacks of options. Make life easy with our hand-picked playlists, featuring everything from romance to tracks full of enough attitude for a Maya Jama strut. Drama round the fire pit? Got you covered. Or if you’re just hunting for summer hits, these will keep you at Feelgood Factor 50.
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