Human pushes its industry-leading talents into fresh territories, joining the robust Chicago creative market with a new West Loop studio and office under the leadership of veteran composer/producer Justin Hori. Already hosting offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Paris, the expansion stretches the reach of audio excellence that Human is known for, enabling the company to serve as the ideal music and audio partner for Midwestern clients and collaborators.
As the principal creative for the Chicago market, Hori will bring out the very best artistry from Human’s team of composers. A composer himself, Hori’s track record for pairing the client’s visuals with the perfect audio identity has resulted in the creation of transformative narratives across advertising, film and digital.
“Justin’s artistic output in the commercial space is prolific,” says partner Gareth Williams. “There’s equal parts poise and fun behind his vision for Human Chicago. He’s got a strong kinship and connection to the area, and we couldn’t be happier to have him carve out our footprint there.”
From learning to DJ at age 13, to working at legendary haunt Gramaphone Records, to studying music theory and composition at Columbia College, Hori’s immersion in the Chicago music scene has always influenced his work. He began his career at com/track and Comma Music, before moving to open Comma’s Los Angeles office. From there, Hori joined Squeak E Clean, where he served as creative director for the past five years.
Returning to Chicago in 2016, Hori didn’t miss a beat. As he says, “There’s an amazing community of independent artists and musicians in Chicago that are interested in working with brands, and I’m in a prime position to make that happen.”
Hori is known for producing unexpected yet perfectly spot-on pieces of music for advertising, including his head-bobbing track “Da Diddy Da,” which was used in the four-spot summer 2018 Apple iPad campaign. His work has won top industry honors including D&AD Pencils, The One Show, Clio and AICP Awards, and the prized Cannes Gold Lion for Best Use of Original Music.
In today’s oversaturated marketplace, Hori knows clients have plenty of ways to find music. What sets Human apart, Hori explains, is the company’s long tradition of incredible work: “Human has always championed the power of music to inspire and provoke emotion, and that’s the result of being led by true artisans and visionaries. It’s evident when you watch a reel…I’m pretty sure every creative wants to make the caliber of spot that would have a Human track on it.”
The launch of the Chicago studio comes during a period of significant growth for Human. In New York, senior producer Craig Caniglia has added Head of Sonic Branding to his title, having honed distinctive audio content for clients such as National Geographic, IKEA, Visa, GE Appliances and Brighthouse Financial. Of the department, Caniglia says, “We’ve built up a rich history of best-in-class creative, and now, with the added guidance of data, key stakeholders can see that they’re buying into a sonic brand that keeps their larger brand strategy in mind.”
Meanwhile, Post Human, the audio post sister company run by award-winning sound designer and engineer Sloan Alexander, continues to build momentum with the addition of a second 5.1 mixing suite in NYC. Plans for similar build-outs in both LA and Chicago are currently underway.
On May 17, Human Label releases the self-titled debut album from Penny Engine, comprised of producer/composer Matt O’Malley and vocalist Heather Ogilvy from Grammy-nominated The Silver Lake Chorus. Teased with the single “Fool’s Run,”the LA duo’s sound combines a light pop sensuality with the dark themes of old Hollywood.
Built on a foundation of award-winning composers, artists, and producers, the Human team collaborates on a global scale. With world-class services ranging from composition, sound design, and mixing, Human harnesses the power of music to help advertising, broadcast, digital, and film projects bridge the divide between seeing and feeling.