Sport

Meet the unknown Welsh band picked to star on FIFA 22 soundtrack

22 Sep 2021 6 minutes Read
Top: The Fifa 22 soundtrack. Bottom: Merthyr band Public Order.

David Owens

They’ve not yet played a live gig, don’t have a record deal and have released one solitary single.

Yet that track in question – ‘Feels LIke Summer’ – a swaggering burst of youthful energy – has launched Merthyr band Public Order into the musical stratosphere.

And the reason for the rapid fire ascension? The song has been chosen to appear on the soundtrack to best-selling game FIFA 22.

To give you an idea of the exposure that will bring the outfit – David Ashraf, Jac Dodson and Elis Lloyd Jones – have a read of these numbers. Listed in Guinness World Records as the best-selling sports video game franchise in the world, the FIFA series has sold over 325 million copies as of 2021. It is also one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time.

The band are understandably still reeling from their inclusion, thanks to their publisher, who sent it to the game’s makers EA Sports, with the speculative hope it would attract their attention.

“To be fair it was a bit of surprise to us,” says Jac, in a moment of complete understatement. “We had an email through saying that they were interested in having it on the game, and then followed up a couple of months after with the confirmation. We are proper buzzing to say the least.”

The Chemical Brothers (Credit: Creative Commons)

The exposure could hardly be better especially when you look at who Public Order line-up with on the soundtrack.

There are established names such as Martin Garrix, The Chemical Brothers and CHVRCHES, as well as fast rising stars like LIttle Simz, Sam Fender and Inhaler.

“Most of the people we’re into currently are on there,” says David. “It’s a great feeling to be put in the same bracket with them lot and fly the flag for Wales in the process.”

There’s a sizeable prestige to being included on this highly desired soundtrack.

The BBC this week wrote a story titled: ‘Fifa 22 soundtrack: Why getting on it is a ‘bucket list’ moment’.

Meanwhile the makers of FIFA back up that claim describing the soundtrack ‘as a cultural mirror, elevating the game for millions of our players.

‘It’s a soundtrack with a soul,’ they say. “Designed to trigger emotion through a fearless blend of genres. It breaks ground every year and drives worldwide culture. More than just the #1 international destination for new music, it is a collective energy that ignites the year to come. Artists recognise this, coveting spots on the soundtrack that will take their careers to the next level.’

With those exalting words ringing in their ears you can sense the excitement Public Order are feeling right now, and understandably so.

Public Order in the studio (Credit: Public Order)

The game has only been out a week but they are already reaping the rewards.

“The reaction has already been sick,” says Jac. “We’ve had a massive boost in plays and new people mailing us asking about the song. We have found loads of new bands we love over the years from FIFA, so with any luck it will be the same for others as it was for us.”

Swagger

The incredulity is only natural given the trio have played FIFA for years.

“We spent a good too many hours on it, especially when we were younger,” laughs David. “We absolutely love a good game of pro clubs with the boys!”

As for expectations, they’re just enjoying the ride.

“To be fair, we haven’t really got any expectations,” says David. “It’s been sick so far, and we’re just going to carry on and crack on with what we’re doing, making tunes and having the best time. It’s already mental that we’re on there, so whatever comes of it will be a bonus.”

Mixing indie rock guitars, breakbeats and electronica, the band who formed in school and have been mates ever since, say they “pull a lot of our inspiration from the ’90’s, and the indie dance crossover sound.”

We only have ‘Feels Like Summer’ to go on, but there is a definite swagger and an attitude that promises much more to come from the band. It’s evidently written into their DNA, if the bands they cite as inspiration are any measure.

“We’ve got to definitely give The Stone Roses, The Prodigy and The Clash a mention,” says Jack. “But with there being three of us we kind of pull inspiration from everywhere and anywhere, like Elis is proper deep into his house music, so bits and pieces might come from records he’s picked up.”

Having seen the track given support by godfather of Welsh music, Adam Walton, on his Radio Wales Show and Radio 1’s Indie Show guru, Jack Saunders, they have plenty of support from radio’s tastemakers.

“We’ve got to give a massive shout out to Adam Walton for his continued support of our tune on his BBC Introducing show,” says David. “That man is a legend of the game, and we couldn’t be more grateful.

“The Radio 1 support is also sick, such a big milestone for us, and shout out Jack Saunders for making that happen. We adore Radio 1 and it’s guaranteed to always be on in the car when we’re going somewhere.”

Public Order (Credit: Publicity image)

The band were recent graduates of the Forte programme, the Welsh music development scheme that helps to develop new young talent – and they can’t speak highly enough of their time working with the scheme.

“It helped that it got us to buckle down and start making music seriously,” says Jac. “That’s when we gave ourselves a name and a sort of identity.”

As yet Public Order haven’t played a proper gig, although they’ve dabbled in DJ sets around Merthyr.

“We’re definitely looking to build a proper live show asap, and play all the bits we’ve got in the pipeline,” says David.

“For the future the plan is more tunes, gigs and generally just trying to have a good time and bring people along with us for the ride.”

Our advice? Hold on tight and get ready for lift-off.

Find out more about Public Order HERE

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