Apple's New Ad Salutes the Glory of British Music, Past and Present

From Paul McCartney to FKA twigs

What is it about the British that they've managed to produce so many legendary musical acts?

Rock 'n' roll may have been born in America, but since the '50s, when teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney caught the sounds of Elvis Presley on Radio Luxembourg, the British have always had a magic touch for synthesizing their musical influences and producing something groundbreaking and fresh. 

As the 2019 British music festival season kicks off, Apple has chosen to salute the vibrancy of British music, past and present, in a 60-second spot from TBWA\Media Arts Lab London. 

"Behind the Music. Behind the Mac" is done in the style of other recent "Behind the Mac" ads—with its subjects shown in still photographs, while using Apple's Mac products. This time, though, the subjects are all British musicians—almost 30 of them in total. 

The piece is set to the 2019 track "What We Do" by Swindle, featuring Rider Shafique, D Double E, Daley and P Money. And it may have you itching to pull up any of the dozens of British music playlists on Spotify. 

Apple, of course, has music at its core. It practically invented the digital music industry, and has long celebrated musicians in its advertising. This work goes further to emphasize the role the Mac itself has played in the creative process of so many musicians. 

Apple says the spot also serves as "a reminder that the nation's music driven creativity—both past and present—has the power to unite us." 

Here is a complete list of the musicians featured in the spot, in order of appearance: 

• Kelly Lee Owens
• Matt Healy
• The XX
• Paul McCartney
• Lily Allen
• Mura Masa
• Charli XCX
• Skepta
• Mahalia
• Wolf Alice
• Koreless
• Paul Epworth
• Moses Boyd
• Bastille
• Stormzy
• Gorillaz
• Brian Eno
• Little Simz
• Mark Ronson & Zane Lowe
• FKA twigs
• David Bowie
• Actress
• Blue Lab Beats
• Sampha
• Richard Russell
• Anna Meredith
• Hudson Mohawke

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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