Asa Taccone

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Asa Taccone
Electric Guest.jpg
Asa Taccone of Electric Guest performing at Montreux Jazz Festival
Background information
Born (1983-09-21) September 21, 1983 (age 34)
Berkeley, California
Occupation(s) Musician
Associated acts Electric Guest
The Lonely Island

Asa Taccone is a musician and the lead singer of the band Electric Guest.

Early life[edit]

Asa Taccone was born on September 21, 1983, the second son to Suellen and Tony Taccone (a theater director) in Berkeley, California. His brother is Jorma Taccone, longtime Saturday Night Live staff member and one third of the comedy music trio The Lonely Island. He is of mixed Italian and Puerto Rican ancestry.[1] His interest in music began playing trumpet in his elementary school choir during religious holidays; the choir director included a bongo section where he and other children could sing and play the drums.[2] During high school, he became interested in jazz, continuing to play trumpet in the band.[3] Taccone was eventually kicked out of his high school, and sent to a boot camp that he could only leave on the weekends.[4] While there, he began to frequent a local Dunkin Donuts.[5] There, he met an elderly woman who remarked that he was "an electric guest of the universe."[5]

Career[edit]

Taccone had long been a fan of hip/hop music, and was influenced by Bay-area rappers like Souls Of Mischief, E-40, and Mac Dre.[2] He moved on to synths and started producing hip/hop music, however, he eventually grew weary of the "bullshit" of the hip-hop world.[3] One day—while visiting an incarcerated friend—another inmate recognized Taccone, requesting that they work together after his release.[3] The incident rattled Taccone, and he left the genre for good.[3] His already budding interest in 1960s music increased, and he began making music that stemmed from that era.[3]

Taccone's older brother, Jorma, joined the writing staff of Saturday Night Live in 2005, and enlisted Asa in composing music for the show's Digital Shorts performed by his comedy group The Lonely Island.[6]

Jorma asked his friend Brian Burton (professionally known as Danger Mouse) to listen to some of Asa's music over the phone.[4][7] Burton provided positive feedback, encouraging the younger Taccone to continue making music.[7] At the age of 24, Asa made the move from his hometown to Los Angeles to pursue a music career.[8] Burton recommended that Asa take his former room in a boarding house full of musicians.[4][9]

Initially, Taccone found it difficult to collaborate with others creatively, after years of writing alone.[3] He kept "grinding",[4] producing and writing music for projects that included Digital Shorts on comedy show Saturday Night Live, as well as scores for his father's theatrical productions, making enough money to support himself and his own music.[4] He wrote music for Lady Gaga’s episode on The Simpsons, Kanye West’s episode on The Cleveland Show and Charles Bradley's episode on American Dad.[10]

In April 2018, Universal Music Publishing Group signed Taccone to a global administration deal.[10]

Reception[edit]

"Even though I shed a couple of tears after I read that shit, I do kind of understand it, in a weird way, because of my involvement with Brian and then my brother's background. I think that that shit is just a deadly combination for people to just go: 'silver spoon!'"[11]

Asa Taccone to the newspaper The Age in response to a particularly negative review from Pitchfork

The Guardian calls Taccone "a strutting junior Jagger with an androgynous falsetto prepared to front EG's tunes with as much gall as it takes."[12]

Discography[edit]

This is his work as a solo artist. For his work with his band, see Electric Guest#Discography.

Composer[edit]

Theater[edit]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hurwitt, Robert (July 5, 2006), "Tony Taccone: Riding high on his recent successes, theater veteran has big plans for Berkeley Rep". Chronicle Theater Critic. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Kauffman, Alexia (May 3, 2012), "Q&A with Electric Guest". We Love DC. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Shedden, Iain (June 16, 2012), "Nice and cheesy". The Australian :10
  4. ^ a b c d e SWIFT, JACQUI (April 19, 2013), "WELCOME GUEST". The Sun :55
  5. ^ a b Gotch, Kristin (May 7, 2012), "An Interview with Electric Guest". PopMatters. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  6. ^ Beer, Jeff (May 19, 2009), "Black Iris' Asa Taccone Talks SNL Skit Soundtracks". Adage.com. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  7. ^ a b (November 27, 2012), 296/electric-guest-on-world-cafe "Electric Guest on World Cafe". NPR. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  8. ^ Mathieson, Craig (July 27, 2012), "Depths of their soul". The Sydney Morning Herald. :Metro, 5.
  9. ^ Rolling Stone staff (April 11, 2012), "Danger Mouse Reveals Why He Produced Electric Guest's Debut Album". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Hanley, James (April 25, 2018). "'I'm very lucky': Universal Music Publishing Group signs songwriter Asa Taccone to global administration deal". NewBay Media. Retrieved 25 April 2018. 
  11. ^ Drever, Andrew (July 27, 2012), "Sticks and stones a low note". The Age.
  12. ^ Lester, Paul (March 7, 2012), "Electric Guest (No 1,223)". The Guardian. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  13. ^ Asch, Amy; Viagas, Robert (August 2007), The Playbill Broadway Yearbook, :Hal Leonard Corporation, p. 28, ISBN 1557837325
  14. ^ Hodges, Ben (November 2009), Theatre World 2008-2009: The Most Complete Record of the American Theatre, :Hal Leonard Corporation, p. 341, ISBN 1423473698
  15. ^ Harvey, Dennis (December 6, 2010), "Review: ‘Lemony Snicket’s The Composer Is Dead’". Variety. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  16. ^ HBO staff (October 21, 2009), "HBO Tops 59th Creative Arts Emmys, NBC Leads Nets". HBO.com. Retrieved March 1, 2016.