'Daisy Jones & The Six' features Riley Keough's real live vocals in the show's most distressing concert scene
Warning: This article contains spoilers for episode eight.
"Daisy Jones & The Six" stars Riley Keough as Daisy, a charming singer who struggles with addiction.
Insider spoke to music supervisor Frankie Pine about using Keough's live vocals in concert scenes.
The appeal of "Daisy Jones & The Six" hinges on the magic of its titular heroine.
In Amazon's limited series, Riley Keough plays Daisy Jones: a charming, passionate, and volatile young singer who struggles with various addictions. Her twin-flame connection with The Six's frontman Billy Dunne, played by Sam Claflin, sparks the perfect storm of creativity and notoriety in their dramatized world of '70s rock music.
In Taylor Jenkins Reid's original novel, Daisy is described as having an effortlessly powerful voice, one she doesn't truly value or work hard to maintain.
According to Billy, "Talent like Daisy's is wasted on people like Daisy."
But in real life, Keough was unsure about her musical abilities, despite her esteemed family legacy as Elvis Presley's granddaughter. She sang a quiet Fleetwood Mac song for her audition tape, but was told she'd need to "belt" to get the part.
"I was like, what does that even mean?" Keough told Vanity Fair. "I didn't even know how one gets to be able to sing loud."
Enter Frankie Pine, the show's music supervisor who helped spearhead a "band camp" for the cast.
"My heart and soul going into this was, 'They need to be a real band,'" Pine explained. "I wanted them to be a real band. I wanted to see them at the Troubadour."
Along with Keough's vocal coach, Pine was tasked with transforming the actor into a vocalist who could match the skill and stage presence of a fictional rock star.
In fact, whenever the cast was shooting concert scenes, they were singing and playing instruments live on set.
"We had so many months of band camp that they actually were playing the songs. It wasn't like they were just miming or anything like that," Pine said of the cast's on-screen performances. "All the instruments were on, everything was being played out loud. So we were there to capture everything and anything."
Typically in Hollywood, musical numbers are dubbed with studio versions during post-production.
Keough and Claflin did record studio versions of the show's original songs, which were compiled into a soundtrack titled "Aurora" — but viewers can hear their real-life vocal takes in several major moments.
The eighth episode, for example, features a particularly distressing scene when Daisy Jones & The Six are playing a concert in Miami.
Backstage before the show, Billy punches Daisy's new husband. She deals with this tension by abusing alcohol and cocaine, causing her to crumble in front of the screaming crowd.
While singing, her vision becomes blurred and she falls over, slicing open her leg.
—amanda ❁ djats spoilers (@iIIicitdaisy) March 18, 2023
As she watched Keough throw her body around onstage, wailing into the microphone, Pine was already wondering: "How am I going to make this work in post?"
"We ended up using so much of her live vocal in that moment," she explained. "Because it was the only way that I could get across the fact that she was out of her mind."
Keough's live vocal take was a better reflection of Daisy's mindset than the polished studio version, Pine said.
"The pre-record's perfect, do you know what I mean? So we needed to kind of finesse it in a way that allowed us to have that kind of flexibility," she continued, adding: "We needed to make this as realistic and authentic as possible."
"Daisy Jones & The Six" is available to stream on Amazon Prime. Follow along with our coverage here.
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