How Elle King’s “Playing For Keeps” Became The Theme Song for Mob Wives: Chicago

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You’ve heard Elle King’s “Playing for Keeps” as the theme song to our new series, Mob Wives Chicago. This season, we’ve decided to differentiate the soundtrack from Mob Wives New York by creating a new through line for the series. We chose powerful female vocals to compliment the strong female characters.  Whether it’s quirky pop, emotional acoustic material, upbeat new wave, we’ve got ladies belting out the featured songs this season. “Playing For Keeps” meshes nicely with this soundtrack, but it is also a intended nod to the retro soul inspired theme song to Mob Wives, Rock Mafia‘s “The Big Bang”.

“Playing For Keeps” was pitched to us by Elle’s publisher back in December 2011. There wasn’t an immediate spot for it, but we held on to it knowing what a powerful track it was. The perfect opportunity came with Mob Wives Chicago. The way Elle’s soulfully unique and gritty voice speaks of anguish made this a no-brainer when it was coupled with the visuals of the women who have endured the roughest of rough being the spouses or relatives of alleged mobsters.

When Elle visited our office recently, we asked her about the true meaning behind the song. “The song is about somebody who doesn’t care about where they came from or who they have to hurt to get what they want, and if you’re not genuine about yourself and loyal with the people who have helped you throughout your life, you’re not going to get anywhere,” said Elle. “It’s kind of about somebody who is realizing they screwed up and it sucks for them because it will always come back to you in the end.”

Just as “The Big Bang” was serendipitous for Mob Wives NY, “Playing For Keeps” became an obvious choice when we needed a track that could provide a dramatic overlay to the story arcs in this season of Mob Wives Chicago. It captures the essence of mystery, pain, loyalty and fear … all sung in the hauntingly beautiful voice of Elle King, an artist who has just begun the journey of what will surely be a very long and successful career.