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Manish Raval, ‘Girls’

“It was in the finale, episode 610, and it also answers the question about something we thought we’d never get the rights to. It was the use of Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car.’ It came down to the fact that Tracy Chapman does not license her music — it is a blanket no. I have gone to her many times over the last many years for many different projects to try to license ‘Fast Car’ and ‘Talkin’ Bout A Revolution.’ It is always a no. Don’t ask. Doesn’t matter what it is. I respect the decision, but directors never stop asking about her songs. And we always say, “We will ask, but just be prepared to move on and find something else because it is always a no.” It happened to us in the first season very early on when we were just starting out. Lena [Dunham, the show’s creator and star] told us she loved Tracy and wanted us to get one of her songs. We had to tell her, ‘Just so you know, she will never give us a song. Ever.’

Cut to six years later, when Girls has become a cultural phenomenon and we were tasked with what to do for the music for the very final episode of the show. Lena brought up Tracy again. I had a feeling this might be the one time she would give a song. I just knew that if we could get to her directly and make our case, [prove] that the request was coming from a good place. We could only imagine that she was a fan of the show and of Lena. So we went to her and explained that we wanted her song to be the series finale song. We weren’t going to get an artist to write a new song to play us out. We wanted ‘Fast Car’ to be the song that ends our series. And I said, ‘Before you guys say no for Tracy, can we get [Lena and Tracy] on the phone and let them talk about it?’ I got them set up on a conference call, they spoke, and 10 minutes later, Lena emailed to say, ‘Tracy’s on board. We can have the song.’ It was just magical. It was something I never thought I’d be able to get ever. But something inside just told me to pursue it this time. I just knew if there was ever going to be a time where she made an exception, it would be this. We are so grateful she gave us the privilege of having this song that has never been used in anything. That is a tremendous honor.”
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(Credit: HBO)

Emmys: 8 Music Supervisors Share Their Biggest Challenge This Season

This year, Outstanding Music Supervision makes its long-awaited debut as an Emmy category. In honor of the milestone, Yahoo TV asked music supervisors for some of our favorite series to answer the same set of questions about their work this season — and to name a past show they believe would have been recognized had this category existed sooner.

Here are best-of excerpts from their responses. Click on the links to read their full questionnaires.