Meet Alex Jaffray, co-founder of production agency Start-Rec

Emilia-Luz Catenazzo - Content Producer,

Emilia-Luz Catenazzo

Content Producer,

Alex Jaffray’s picture with the bridge connect logo

Alex Jaffray is the co-founder of Start Rec, a French music production agency. He’s also a producer, composer, columnist and stand-up comedian.

Through his rather atypical career, Alex Jaffray has shown interest in everything related to music. In the 90s, he hosted a number of television programs and co-composed theme songs that have since become iconic in France, namely the ones from “Silence, ça pousse!” and “Scènes de ménages”. Later, he played a pivotal role in shaping the sound identity of leading French TV channels such as TF1, France 2, and TFX. Moreover, since 2018, he’s been performing his very own musical stand-up show “Le Son d’Alex,” taking it to audiences all over France.

He is now the co-founder of Start Rec, a music production agency that he created with Domitille Mahieux in 2002. The agency’s aim is to create unique and coherent musical universes that bring visual projects to life through five main areas of expertise: sound identity, advertising, events, sound design, and the creation of podcasts, reviews, synthetic speech and original soundtracks for fiction.

Find out more about Alex Jaffray by watching his Bridge Connect interview below:

In this article, you’ll discover a more in-depth version of the references and experiences that have made Alex Jaffray the man he is today.

The artist that made him fall in love with music

At age 8 or 9, Jaffray discovered Ennio Morricone’s ‘best of’ album entitled “Il était une fois… Ennio Morricone” at his grandparents’ house. He was immediately captivated. Morricone became the catalyst for Alex Jaffray’s decision to pursue music as a full-time career, igniting within him a profound desire to translate the imagery evoked by music into tangible compositions. In other words, he wanted to become a film music composer. Around 30 years later, his professional trajectory led him to meet Ennio Morricone* in person.

*Ennio Morricone was an Italian composer, musician, producer, arranger and conductor, born in 1928 and who recently passed away in 2020. In his long career, he composed the soundtracks to films such as “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” in 1966, and “Des oiseaux, petits et gros”, released the same year.

An encounter that introduced him to the profession

Jaffray very quickly became interested in composing music for images, and in the 90s his dream was just starting to come true. Indeed, it was at that time that he met Philippe Edouard, who composed music for corporate videos. Despite not yet working in the advertising business, Alex Jaffray was hooked. Very quickly, Philippe Edouard became a mentor to him, and by his side Jaffray got to discover the full breadth of the profession and learn how to navigate the constraints a composer can sometimes face.

An important and significant collaboration

In 2009, Alex Jaffray worked with Greg Tanielian on the soundtrack of the movie “Le Séminaire”. This film was a feature-length adaptation of “Caméra Café”, a TV show broadcast on major French TV channel, M6 from 2001 to 2004. It was while working on this project that Alex Jaffray met Charles Nemes*. They continued to work together on a number of projects, and in so doing, became close friends. Part of why their friendship blossomed so fast, and why they made such good collaborators, is how deeply they both thought about music in film. Funnily enough, their discussions on the matter were rarely musical. Instead, they discussed what the character was feeling and going through, the psychology behind their choices, the mood of the scene, rather than focusing on the notes and instruments the director wanted in the final result. As Jaffray says, music in film reveals what is invisible, so it’s necessary to express in adjectives and verbs what the music should illustrate.

*Charles Nemes is a French director and screenwriter, whose credits include ”La Tour Montparnasse infernale” 1 and 2, released in 2001 and 2016 respectively, “Le Séminaire” from 2009 (the feature adaptation of “Caméra Café”), and “Hôtel Normandy” released in 2013.

Artists who inspire him and with whom he would like to collaborate

Throughout his career, Jaffray has had the opportunity to meet film-music legends such as Hans Zimmer*, Michael Giacchino*, Ennio Morricone, Alexandre Desplat* and John Barry*. The best part about being in the music business himself is that he was able to have real conversations with them, and ask them questions about their unique compositional choices.

*Hans Zimmer is a film composer and soundtrack producer. Born in Germany, he is now a naturalized American citizen. He has received numerous awards for his work on films that are renowned today, such as “Interstellar” in 2014, “Dune” in 2021, “Inception” in 2010 and” Pirates of the Caribbean” in 2006 and 2011.

*Michael Giacchino is an American composer who is known for his work on music for video games such as “The Lost World, Jurassic Park” and “Call of Duty”. He has also collaborated for quite some time with Pixar Studios, working on “The Incredibles” in 2004, “Ratatouille” in 2007, and “Up” in 2009.

*Alexandre Desplat is a French film music composer who has worked on a number of international projects, including the movie “The Girl with the Pearl” that was released in 2003, or “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in 2014, and even the iconic movie “The Grand Budapest Hotel” that was released the same year.

*John Barry was a British-American film music composer. He worked on the music for “Dances with Wolves”, released in 1990, and “Out of Africa” in 1985, but he is best known for his work on the James Bond movies.


In conclusion, Alex Jaffray has been passionate about music from childhood, a passion that has enabled him to work on projects as diverse as they are fascinating throughout his inspiring career. For him, the human element to music production is essential if it is to be impactful, and it’s something he is always mindful about when communicating ideas for the creation of a specific soundtrack or when asking questions to legendary composers in order to understand the logic behind their bold choices.

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