Made Ready for Music: Citizens Bank & Questlove
by Ilaria Mangiardi and Elijah B. Torn
At MassiveMusic, we are passionate about helping brands harness the power of music in a holistic way. So imagine the delight when we were given the opportunity to partner up with Ogilvy to give life to a secret music event for Citizens Bank with none other than Questlove.
The event was part of Citizens Bank’s #MadeReady campaign, which wants to highlight life’s twists and turns that ultimately make us who we are.
Thanks to the collaboration with Ogilvy, the event was designed and arranged to be at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, commonly known as CAPA, Questlove’s old high school.
It’s at CAPA that Ahmir Khalib Thompson, Questlove’s real name, met Tariq Trotter (Black Thought) and formed The Roots. And that’s where we took him back. A place still dear to his heart, as his current involvement with CAPA’s charity foundation confirms.
A creative quest and pursuit
Now, try to be in our shoes for a second: doing music activation and direction for one of our idols? Definitely not something you get to do every day.
We went through the repertoire of the two bands that performed during the event, cast DJs who played before Questlove’s performance and got to curate the playlist for the school band. Needless to say how happy they were when we asked them to play ‘The Fire’ by The Roots as Questlove’s walk-off music.
Before debuting The Roots’ first new song in two years – the title is ‘Feel It (You Got It!)’, he was introduced by his sister who shared stories about their famous musical family and childhood. “I feel like I’m running for president” said an emotional Questlove right before his DJ set.
The inspirational anthem, created in partnership with Citizens Bank, was written to pay homage to The Roots’ own journey and the #MadeReady campaign.
“I’ve been bringin’ birth to lyrics,
before my first appearance.
The fact that I’m still here
is a product of perseverance.”
“The kids loved it and I always love giving back to the school that gave so much to me.” – Questlove
Made ready for music (and a million other things)
Icon. Inspiration. Mentor. And an incredible work ethic. Questlove is the true embodiment of Citizens Bank’s #MadeReady campaign as he was ‘made ready for music’. Yet, on top of being an amazing drummer in one of the most well-known groups in the world and hip-hop history, he has also been pursuing diverse passions and interests throughout his career.
In case you were wondering, he’s had 19 jobs so far. Yes, he counted them. Actually, he has probably added a few more to the list by now. Professor, DJ, podcast host, music director of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, producer of Hamilton, best-selling author, signature children’s drumset AND restaurant owner – his vegan cheesesteak company was served at the event. Oh and did we mention he even has his own signature popcorn seasoning?
Questlove is an ambassador to music and art and, most importantly, he has a nonlinear journey to success, which proved he was ‘made ready’ for every single field he decided to operate in.
A story that goes far beyond his roots, yet a symbolic name to never forget where he comes from. Guess curiosity is the answer. In his own words: “The journey is never finished. Always a student, never a teacher.”
Awards and accolades
🏅 GOLD at 2020 ARF David Ogilvy Awards in the category ‘Financial Services and Insurance’