In sunny California, Executive Producer Kiki Einziger and Executive Creative Director Ben Einziger have launched CAYA Music & Sound. The co-founders (and husband and wife team) bring a fresh point of view and welcoming, feel-good vibes to each project, providing advertising clients with services including original composition, sound design, music supervision, sonic identity, voiceover and final mix.
Naming a company can be a painstaking process. But for Kiki and Ben, ‘Come As You Are’ quickly rose to the top. The philosophy and mantra, as Kiki explains, is more important today than ever.
“However you identify, come to CAYA as YOU. People are inherently unique beings, and often times, insecurity and fears can steer us into uniformity. We encourage our clients to stand out! Authenticity is crucial to our process. We invite you to tell us your story, and together we’ll discover its authentic sound.”
True representation is paramount to the founders of CAYA. “As a Cuban American woman, I feel a strong sense of pride that CAYA is a female and minority-owned business,” says Kiki. “I’d be proud in any climate, but reading the headlines reporting that Latina and Black women currently hold the highest unemployment rate in the U.S., it feels even bigger to me right now.”
Ben and Kiki met in advertising, and worked as colleagues for years before becoming lovebirds. Having started on the agency side, Kiki led the production department at MassiveMusic for almost a decade. During that time, she produced music for global brands such as Target, Coke, Hulu, Budweiser, Dr. Pepper, and Taco Bell, among many others.
At Massive, Ben was the Creative Director with a focus on Business Development. Ben comes from a strong musical background: his mother was an opera singer; his brother is the lead guitarist for Incubus; and at age 23, Ben’s first rock band signed a deal with Atlantic Records. Ben was first given the opportunity to compose for a broadcast commercial 14 years ago while he was touring the world with his band. Pairing his ear for composition with a mind for business development, the rest is, as they say, history.
“Ultimately, Kiki and I decided it was time to leave the nest and start a new adventure,” explains Ben. At CAYA, their shared ambition – to elevate the creative beyond the client’s expectations – is supported by a collaborative business model. “As a composer, I won’t write for a project that’s outside my musical wheelhouse. That’s the beauty of being a Creative Director, knowing when and which virtuosos to bring in that genuinely understand the true sound of the requested genre.”
To that end, CAYA has curated a pool of over 100 incredible composers and sound designers located all over the globe, each specializing in particular genres. Having a reach to composers in varying time zones is a huge logistical advantage for CAYA, as it means production occurs on a 24-hour cycle.
The ability to laser in on the brief and emerge with spot-on sound is showcased in CAYA’s advertising debut, the Nike spot “You Can’t Be Stopped.” Ben explains, “Based on AKQA’s creative direction, we knew the music needed to feel contemporary, lively, authentic, and human. It’s not in us to ‘fake the funk’ so we ended up recording a live horn section and gospel choir. I’ve watched the spot probably 200 times, and it still makes me want to dance every time I hear it.”
CAYA has a handful of other projects already out the door, including the recent creative campaign for wellness brand NOOM, and spots for KIA and Taco Bell. Additionally, CAYA is crafting bespoke sonic identities for several major brands slated to be released later this year.
Being business partners who are also married, it was natural for Ben and Kiki to build CAYA on a bedrock of trust, respect and teamwork. As Kiki recalls, “Years ago, Ben showed up at my doorstep and said, ‘I got a call from a client. We have 24 hours to compose, record, and deliver a full orchestra for their Super Bowl spot. I took a deep breath, made a joke, took a shot of tequila, exhaled deeply, and then we both got to work. I feel like we’ve tackled every major life experience the same way ever since.”