Meeting Tony Savo
BritFights love catching up with the less obvious people involved in MMA and this time we caught up with Tony Savo of Coalition Fight Music (CFM) who hails from Sacramento, the State Capital of California.
CFM is an independent music group that sponsor high profile athletes in the UFC, Bellator, XFC and UCMMA in the UK. They are also the biggest ambassadors of UKMMA in the States.
CFM don’t just work within MMA, they started out focusing on developing music for MMA promotions and fighters but have since grown into a media company that is involved in brand building, telecommunications and social justice issues. They are currently in the process of getting into niche markets outside the fight business that include Extreme Sports such as Skateboarding, Snowboarding, BMX and Break Dancing.
But how did they get into the MMA Scene is a question we want to know. Tony tells us that growing up he was a huge fan of Boxing, WWF and Ninja Movies and he idolised Bruce Lee and other similar guys. MMA then graced our scenes and it stole Tony’s heart. He and his friends would get together on the weekends to play cards, have a BBQ and watch the fights. Tony says he saw the TapouT scene blow up and recognised an opportunity to bridge a gap. He says the idea of custom walkout tunes had been around in Pro Wrestling for years but there wasn’t anyone doing it in the MMA industry and that is how he got started.
We wondered how the process starts, do fighters contact him and ask to work with him. Tony says it depends as sometimes fighters will hear one of CFM’s songs online and then will make contact about making it their own song. Other times fighters will approach them with preconceived ideas or examples of the style or genre they are looking for.
With all the tunes Tony has produced we want to know his favourite and least favourite piece. As a Producer Tony says that whatever song he is currently working on is his favourite. He says the company really try and put their heart and soul into every track they develop. He goes on to say that each tune represents a different time or period in the bands life and has its own sentimental value.
We asked Tony what pieces we may have heard in the past and were blown away with some of the people he has worked with. When it comes to fighters, he has worked with former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Jake Shields, Nick and Nate Diaz, former UFC Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver and “The NYBA” Phil Baroni. They have also worked with several UK prospects that include Nick ‘The Headhunter’ Chapman, Jamaine ‘Mr Pain’ Facey, Jimmy ‘Justice’ Millar and they will also be doing former UFC and Bellator veteran Neil ‘Goliath’ Grove’s walkout music for UCMMA 31. A few years back they also did the soundtrack for Wartime TV on Sky Sports and last month they released “Ultimate Challenge”, the official theme of UCMMA. Going forward they are doing all the music for the new reality TV show “Warrior Island”.
Tony has worked with some legends and no doubt will continue to do so in the future so we wondered what his long term plans are. He tells me he is ambitious as this year they have become official co-sponsors of UCMMA and have the CFM “Bird” logo on the cage canvas. They are working on doing the same thing in the UFC octagon in 2013 as well as expanding their brand into new markets that include Russia and South Korea.
We think this sounds like a job that requires hard work and dedication but also provides awesome satisfaction. But what would Tony be doing if he wasn’t a Producer. He tells us that he is extremely grateful for all the things he has been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time and is living his dream and pursuing his passion with his mates. He says he wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. But if this wasn’t to be and he had the opportunity to train full time and become a pro fighter, he says he would be all over it.
For now we are happy to hear the walkout music and look forward to meeting Tony at UCMMA in December, perhaps we should get that autograph now because Tony and his gang are going way above the top of their game and we would like to thank him for taking the time to speak with us.
Check out the website at http://www.coalitionfightmusic.com/