How The Mr. Robot Soundtrack Moved From TV To The Roxy

Mac Quayle wants you to hear the music from Mr. Robot IRL

Television scores and soundtracks have become an increasingly popular and cherished art. TV critics and fans alike have raved over the sound of Atlanta, InsecureStranger Things, Luke Cage and one of the pioneers of the trend, Mr. Robot. But how does an artist or composer take music from a TV show to the next level? By performing it live. That’s what Emmy-winning and Grammy-nominated composer Mac Quayle aims to do with his upcoming performance at The Roxy in Los Angeles.

“My vision for this music to be performed is that it’s more like a rock or EDM show than what you might consider to be a typical film or television music concert,” Quayle told Player.One. “They tend to be orchestral based in theaters—everyone is sitting down, they aren't too loud, they are a little more restrained. This music, to me, lends itself to something a bit different, which is it is loud. It’s like going to a rock or EDM show, and The Roxy is a great place for that.”

The live performance is fittingly titled “M@cQuayle_TheMus1c0fMrRob0t.mp3” and takes place Dec. 5. The concert will feature a selection of music from all three seasons of the show, but building a set list was more complex than simply putting all his favorite pieces on a playlist—Quayle had to choose what to perform based on several factors.

“I start looking at which pieces would be feasible, which pieces would be enjoyable to play and hopefully entertaining for an audience. That narrows the list down a little bit. And then I start doing some adaptations to make it playable. It may be a re-arrangement, I may extend it or shorten it. For some pieces, I’ve been doing medleys from one into another. Slowly, the set list grows and I get more and more pieces that will work on stage,” he said.

What makes Mr. Robot so alluring, in both the music score and the TV series itself, is the technique and finesse. Performing live presents different challenges than a recording studio, and to maintain that same feeling, Quayle had to strip down certain elements of the instrumentation.

“You can pack a lot more detail in a recording that will be noticed and appreciated when someone listens to it. But if you try to pack all that detail into a live performance, due to the nature of acoustics and the venue and whatnot, to me, a lot of that can get lost. I like to simplify a bit and pull out some of the details that aren't going to add too much to the performance, clutter it and make it more difficult to perform.”

The instrumentation for the concert is similar to what Quayle uses to record the score for the show. It’s very electronic based, with two keyboard players, including himself. However, Quayle will also add a live drummer to his live performance, something he didn’t use on the show.

“That drummer will be playing some of the electronic sounds, the drum sounds, that are used in the score, but will also have an acoustic drum kit. So that adds this whole other element, brings the energy up a lot from what some of the recordings are and makes it what I hope is an exciting performance.”

Some of the pieces are approaching dance music and Quayle said considering the fact The Roxy has mostly standing room, he wouldn’t be surprised if people were more physically engaged than the traditional instrumental performance. At least that’s the goal. The very first performance, at another Hollywood nightclub for an early summer Emmy promotion event, was the proof of concept.

“We just performed three pieces, but it was in a nightclub with a big sound system and it really showed me that that is a great type of venue for this music. The next performance was in Spain at the MOSMA film festival in July, and we did a full set of music from the show. That was in a theater and it was great, but didn’t quite have the impact that I envisioned for it. I’m thinking The Roxy will be more in line.”

Quayle has been performing live since he was seven. First in the church choir, then the high school band orchestra, then a rock band. Up until a few years ago, he was playing with Donna De Lory. Live performance is one of his early passions, and he sees Mr. Robot as an opportunity to continue.

“This music is important to me. I’m looking forward to The Roxy show as the next step in the evolution of where I think a performance of Mr Robot music could go.”

Quayle’s performance at The Roxy is on Dec. 5. Buy tickets here and catch Mr. RobotWednesdays at 10 p.m. on USA Network.


Whose Your Landlord Is More Than Yelp For Housing

Home ownership is plummeting among millennials, and it’s not because they eat too much avocado toast. Rent prices are rising, while incomes remain stagnant. No matter how much grit you have, these issues remain largely out of one’s individual control. However, there is one choice we all make when it comes to finding a place to live: choosing a landlord.

The right to have a responsive landlord who offers a fair lease and quality living conditions is the void Whose Your Landlord aims to fill when it comes to the housing market, allowing renters and home providers to share experiences and feedback. The site’s name uses the possessive form of the word ‘who' to underscore its purpose of letting renters take ownership of their living situation.

“We will spend 20-30 minutes just reading the ratings of a video before we Netflix and chill to it. We will spend a lot of time looking at Yelp reviews before we select a restaurant we want to pop into for an hour. The question is, why don’t we spend that kind of time and effort looking at where we are going to live before signing a lease?”

Whose Your Landlord CEO and Co-Founder Ofo Ezeugwu posed this question to International Business Times ahead of his company’s site re-design and SeedInvest campaign (50 percent of goal already raised), and we didn’t have a good answer. But he argues this is a problem with a solution.

“We tend to blindly go into living situations and a lot of times we feel restricted into doing so. We have a lot more agency of power and a lot more agency of choice,” Ezeugwu said.

It all starts with community, and that’s why Whose Your Landlord is revamping its platform.  Ezeugwu (a HuffPost contributor) and his partner Felix Addison are the brains behind manyviral videos addressing public housing reform, redlining and helping tenants deal with unfair and unjust treatment. In becoming more active within the online community, Ezeugwu realized Whose Your Landlord could do more than help users find a new place to live. The platform has the capacity to allow renters to connect with each other and empower themselves to create fairer and more transparent relationships with landlords.

“What makes any community strong is the ability to not only connect with each other, but also connect about a means to an end. By allowing our Whose Your Landlord community to engage with each other on the site, we can create a stronger renter in general as we move forward in the space where rentership is skyrocketing and homeownership is plummeting. Rentership is a reality, so we have to empower, unify and inform these renters to become better consumers.”

This also means cultivating relationships with landlords, both the good and the bad. Ezeugwu sees this as an opportunity to help landlords improve, while also acknowledging those doing a fair job.

“It’s a space that has been widely unchallenged, pretty much forever. There are a lot of laws that lean the way of the landlord, but there are also laws that lean the way of the renter that people just aren’t aware of.”

As Whose Your Landlord gained footing in the market, some landlords expressed concerns about slander, libel and bad renters. And it’s no secret that many folks using a review service do tend to harbor negativity. While the platform is protected by the Communications Decency Act -- the same act that protects Facebook, Yelp and TripAdvisor -- Whose Your Landlord pays equal attention to both sides.

“Reviews are vetted, but a lot of time facts are facts and landlords don't want to acknowledge that,” Ezeugwu said, adding that he’s never had any issue with landlords escalating a complaint over an unfavorable review. “We want to know who the bad actors are out there. Positive reviews can help you figure out where you want to live next, negative reviews can help you figure out where you don't want to live next. Both are very viable.”

Founded in 2013, Whose Your Landlord has grown to 265,000 users, boasting 25 percent month-over-month growth. Seventy percent of its users are millennials, with the highest concentration of users residing in Washington D.C., New York City and Philadelphia. With 10,000 landlord reviews and 500,000 listings on the platform, there is still room for growth.

“The same way we make decisions online -- I don't want to shop here, or whatever your justification is for your boycotts or what banks you put your money in -- people are a lot more acutely aware of things now. Whose Your Landlord is tapping into that behavior shift and renters want to make sure they are getting the most bang for their buck.”