Interview | Space Primates

We learn how our alumni have worked with everyone from Enrique Iglesias to the Jonas Brothers...


With clients and collaborators including some of the world's biggest stars, Space Primates are a much in-demand multi platinum DJ/songwriting/production duo from London. 

The pair - Marc Sibley and Nathan Cunningham - met at ICMP and have since moved to Los Angeles where they record.

Since we last spoke with them in 2018, their global success has continued at pace with a recent Emmy nomination for their work on the Netflix show 'Green Eggs and Ham'  as well as excursions into K-pop. 

We caught up with Marc to learn more about their recent musical adventures…

I'm interested to hear about how your career has grown over the last few years - how have you approached this? Have you a team in place around you to source opportunities? 

Our career has grown steadily mainly because of consistency which has just put us in more situations to be successful. 

Also, overtime you build up a bigger catalogue of songs so it's easier to get more placements and work as a result. 

We've been published by Prescription Songs for the last seven years and they have been great at always helping us get more sessions and opportunities. We've also been managed for some of that time but currently aren't managed. 

Overall I would say no one is going to work harder for you than yourself so that's always going to be the driving force behind your growth!"

How did your time at ICMP help prepare you for the industry - have there been any important things you learned? 

Our time at ICMP really helped in just understanding the landscape of the music industry and the possible paths we could take in the future. 

I went to ICMP expecting to leave as a session guitarist but came out with a completely different goal just because of the experience and greater understanding I had of the industry. 

I would also really recommend attending a lot of the masterclasses since they're generally by people who are currently working and have forged successful careers. ICMP is also where we met!

How did you end up working with Enrique Iglesias? 

This all came about because of a song we released ourselves that we later found out he really liked.

A writer called Marty James that we worked on that song with also knew Enrique and played it to him, he then got us out to Miami and we've been working together since about 2019 now. 

We live in LA so we do songwriting camps in Miami with Enrique and pick the best songs from those trips! It can be tricky nailing what he likes so we end up doing maybe 20 songs and a bunch of ideas in the week.

I'm also interested in your work within K-pop - how have you approached this? And how does it differ to other projects such as those with the Jonas Brothers?

K-pop is super interesting to us because it's such a fast growing genre and they approach it very differently. 

We've been lucky enough to work with some people who understand K-pop better than anyone such as J.Y. Park. He really showed us that it's important to focus on the dance elements of K-pop acts, which is where they really differentiate from western acts. The music as a whole will also be more energetic and have more changes from a structural standpoint than most pop music in the west. It's evolving so quickly and we're definitely starting to see a lot more songs from the K-pop space cross over into the mainstream over here. 

It differs from projects over here because you normally won't collaborate with the artists themselves, it's all pitch songs. It's also a different mindset writing the song since there tends to be far more melodic changes in a shorter amount of time.

Congratulations on the Emmy nomination for 'Green Eggs and Ham' . How did this project for Netflix come about? And what does this industry accolade mean to you? 

This was quite random. Rivers Cuomo from the band Weezer heard some of our tracks and just wrote to one of them which ended up turning into the song they used to open the show.

Getting a nomination for that is great as it's a good way to gain recognition for our work!

For any ICMP students looking to follow in your footsteps, what would you advise them? 

I think just work hard and be proactive about getting to where you want to be.

After ICMP we worked for about three years every week building a catalogue with very little response from people in the industry, playing in wedding bands and teaching to make ends meet. Eventually we became pretty good and almost over night everybody wanted to meet us."

Learn from the best but don't copy them, we had a lot of interest from publishers and labels in the US because our sound was different from what they were used to hearing there.

Also, use the tools at your disposal, the world is so connected now so you can get in touch with people relatively easily, and believe me people are always listening out for the next talent. We found a lot of the emails we needed to contact on Twitter!

Connect with Space Primates below: 

Instagram | Twitter | Spotify

Great producers change the way the world listens

If you’re looking to turn heads with your own unique production style, ICMP’s pioneering approach to music education will provide everything you need. Our Music Production students all benefit from fully equipped Audient and SSL recording studios, Mac Labs, world-class gear, an exceptional team of tutors, masterclasses, exclusive events, collaborative opportunities, and a curriculum that covers studio and live work, engineering, composition, advanced skills, business, and professional development.

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

Production Courses
by ICMP staff writer
August 14, 2023
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