Friendly Rich, born Richard Marsella, is a Canadian music composer and musician from Brampton, Ontario. He has independently released a number of albums of satirical and melodramatic songs. His music has been featured on CBC and The Tom Green Show.
Early life and education
Marsella earned a Masters degree in music at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Lee Bartel and composer R. Murray Schafer, studying mainly musical instrument construction and parade pedagogy.
Friendly Rich has produced and composed nine full-length CDs, which have been featured on CBC Radio One (five documentaries for Outfront), CBC Radio 2 (continuous airplay on Brave New Waves), TFO (VOLT) and Muchmusic (Muchnews, BradTV).
In 2000, Friendly Rich founded the Brampton Indie Arts Festival, an annual event which promotes underground artists, held in February at the Rose Theatre in downtown Brampton. This event, under Rich's direction, has featured Nash the Slash, The Nihilist Spasm Band, Ron Sexsmith, Cuff the Duke, Bob Wiseman, John Oswald, Moneen, Scott Thompson, and Hayden.
Friendly Rich and his live ensemble The Lollipop People signed a deal with Hazelwood Records (Germany) to release two albums in Europe. They have since toured Europe three times; the first album to be released there was We Need a New F-Word.
Dinosaur Power, also released in Europe, appeared on the !earshot National Top 50 Chart in 2008. The third to have a European release, 2010's The Sacred Prune of Remembrance, noisily combined music from several genres.
In 2018, Friendly Rich arranged and performed, with the Lillipop People, Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky's piano solo Pictures at an Exhibition.
Film and television credits
- 1994 to 1996 - Composer for children's TV series "The King Stanlislav Show" (Russia)
- 1998 to 2001- Background music for MTV's "The Tom Green Show"
- 2005 - 3 pieces used in Thom Fitzgerald's 3 Needles (director's cut) starring Lucy Liu.
- 2006 - Old Trout Puppet Workshop short film (featuring The Lollipop People).
- "Rock, Blues, and a Healthy Dash of Crazy". Electric City Live, April 25, 2013
- "FRIENDLY RICH AND THE LOLLIPOP PEOPLE". NOW Toronto, by Elizabeth Bromstein, February 16, 2006
- "Friendly Rich The Friendly Rich Show". Exclaim!, By Vish Khanna Feb 16, 2007
- "Friendly Rich and the Lollipop People, The Friendly Rich Show". Broken Pencil, Hal Niedzviecki (Moderator)July 21, 2011
- "The National Top 50 For the Week Ending: Tuesday, May 27, 2008". !earshot.
- "Friendly Rich and the Lollipop People The Sacred Prune of Remembrance (The Pumpkin Pie Corporation)". The Coast, September 09, 2010By Sean Flinn
- "Friendly Rich Returns with 'Bountiful' Album". Exclaim!, By Alex Hudson Apr 16, 2014
- Friendly Rich & the Lollipop People at the Horseshoe". NOW Toronto, by Sarah Greene, July 25, 2014
- "Friendly Rich reinterprets Mussorgsky, loosely". The Globe and Mail, November 2, 2009. Robert Everett-Green