Vancouver composer Daniel Ingram scores two Emmy nominations, bronies go wild
Vancouver composerDaniel Ingram’s name is all over the Internet today, thanks to his having scored two Emmy nominations yesterday (May 9) for a couple of songs he penned for the animated children’s cartoon My Little Pony Friendship is Magic (created in Vancouver by DHX Media).
News of Ingram’s Emmy nods—he has been nominated in the Outstanding Original Song-Children’s and Animation category as composer and lyricist for “Every Pony” and as song writer for “Find A Pet”—has set the brony community all a-flutter.
For the unitiated, bronies are a self-identified group of grown adults—mostly men—who have curiously glommed on to the new My Little Pony cartoon and turned it into a cult hit for The HUB network. The bronies have become a source of fascination for outsiders, with profiles in Wired, shout-outs by Stephen Colbert, and numerous mentions on Gawker.
The bronies have not only kept up viewer numbers for the show, but they have also created a whole slew of fan art and tribute videos related to the show—with Ingram’s music figuring prominently. The popularity of the show, and its music, was enough to earn Ingram a recent online profile in Rolling Stone.
“It’s like a breakout success on the Internet,” observes Ingram, on the line from his home studio in Kitsilano. “There’s easily tens of thousands of adult fans of the series. It has a huge cult following. They literally have meetups in dozens of countries that happen every few months.”
Ingram, who studied composition at SFU, has been quietly been carving out a solid career in writing for animation—specifically children’s shows—with credits like the Vancouver-created Martha Speaks and Pound Puppies under his belt, in addition to his work on My Little Pony. But he’s the first to admit it was not the career path he at first had imagined for himself.
“I never thought that I’d be working in television or film, and I never thought I’d be writing songs,” he admits, with a laugh. “It’s weird how I said that I would never do either of those things, and yet both of those things are what actually make me the happiest doing music.”
Describing the two Emmy-nominated songs, he says, “‘Find A Pet’ is like a Broadway-musical-inspired duet, a classic. It’s very fun, and it’s an ambitious song. And the other one, ‘Becoming Popular’, is a pop song.”
The songs are up against some fairly stiff competition, with ditties from Sesame Street (“Don’t Give Up”, sung by Bruno Mars); Dora the Explorer (“Todos Juntos”, sung by Shakira); and a couple of tunes from Penguins of Madagascar. And while the animation community—as well as the bronies—may be filled with glee, Ingram confesses that the more serious composing community is a little less likely to be impressed.
“I think, generally, academic composers are called legit composers, and film composers are kind of in their own class among themselves, and I think animation composing is regarded as even being beneath that,” says Ingram. “But, you know, my challenge is to take it from a medium that’s been traditionally associated with some pretty bad music and try to take it up to a level that’s appropriate for a film, or something that you might even hear on the radio one day,” he adds. “That’s what I’m trying to do.”
And now, without further ado, here are Ingram's two Emmy-nominated songs, for your consideration.