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Music & Brands with RA*W talent Jhelisa Panfred

In each episode, we feature a different talent (from the RA*W community), focusing on their musical influences and connection to brands. How do young talents in the creative industry perceive music and sound in advertising and branding? Which brands do they admire? And, of course, we want to know who their favorite artist is.

In this episode: Jhelisa Panfred, Strategist at HERC.

Who are you, and what do you do?
I am Jhelisa (28), and I have my hands on a few things. I work as a strategist at HERC, I’m a board member of RA*W, I host my own podcast called “LIFE chats with Ezri and Jhelisa,” and I’m a photographer in the time I have left. What drives me is making everyone feel like they “belong” and are normal, even if they fall outside the Western social norms.

Which brand do you admire and why?
The first thing that comes to mind is Ben & Jerry’s. This brand illustrates that it’s possible to be committed to making the world better and still be “mainstream” and successful. They show that you don’t necessarily have to be a niche company to align your brand identity with a higher purpose. They truly practice what they preach; not many big brands can say that. I’m looking at the latest news from Ben & Jerry’s, and I realize that I completely stand behind what I’m reading. makes the brand truly remarkable.

When you think of your favorite brand – if it had a theme song, what would it be?
I don’t have a favorite brand, but there’s a brand that I find aesthetically amazing: Gentle Monster. They’re an eyewear brand but operate more like a lifestyle brand. Each store is completely different in design, yet still a part of the “Gentle Monster world.” If you’re unfamiliar, I recommend looking via this link.

Which brand (national or international) distinguishes itself by embracing the use of music? Do you have an example of a campaign that demonstrates this?

I think Burberry does this very well. In their campaigns, they elevate the brand experience to a higher level by integrating music. You are fully immersed in the emotion portrayed visually. A prime example of this can be seen in their “Open Spaces” campaign film, where the progression of emotions is beautifully captured.

Their campaign film “Festive” is another great example where they establish a deeper connection with the consumer by using a well-known song that we all recognize: “Singing in the Rain.” The song is beautifully woven with ambient sounds in this film, creating the perfect atmosphere. Burberry has demonstrated a skillful way of intertwining music with visuals to evoke powerful emotions and engage their audience.

What is your favorite artist/band? Can you explain why?

Stormzy is a remarkable artist who appears to be deeply committed to his craft. He excels in his lyrics, music production, and visual presentation. Furthermore, his dedication to the culture makes him a role model for many.

I find it particularly impressive how he incorporates Gospel elements into his music, whether through his lyrics or by including a choir. One of my favorite tracks by Stormzy that showcases this well is “Blinded by Your Grace Part 2.” How he seamlessly weaves these elements into his music adds a unique and impactful dimension to his work.

I would also highlight  “Stormzy – Mel Made Me Do It.” It’s clear how much energy and dedication he puts into his craft. The monologue in the song includes a line that resonates positively with me: “This isn’t destroy and rebuild. This is I love my future more than I hate parts of my history. You’ve seen what we put together when we come together.” This line encapsulates a powerful sentiment about embracing the future and unity’s potential for creating positive change.

If you compared that artist or band to a brand, what brand would that be?
I can see the comparison between Stormzy and Corteiz. Just as Stormzy is deeply rooted in the culture and well-received, Corteiz is also through the culture for the culture, and it’s apparent that both prioritize engaging with their audience authentically. The parallel in their spontaneous releases and appearances adds an element of excitement and surprise, making them both compelling figures in their respective fields.

Which song takes you back to a certain moment in your life? What moment is that, and why is that song so connected?

It’s fascinating how music has the power to transport us to different times and evoke emotions from moments that may not even be part of our own personal experiences. “Can We Talk” by Tevin Campbell has that nostalgic effect on you, even though it was released in 1993 before you were born. This phenomenon, where you feel connected to a time you haven’t personally lived, is often called anemoia, a term that describes nostalgia for a time you’ve never known. It’s a testament to certain songs’ enduring influence and emotional resonance.


Maurice Paans

Client Director

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