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Monday, September 14, 2009

Who is Toby Gad?

Who is Toby Gad? The music world knows him as a New York City-based and Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter, perhaps best known for co-writing Fergie's hit song "Big Girls Don't Cry". He has worked with many artists including Sweetbox, Beyonce, Brandy, Natasha Bedingfield, Fergie, Shakira, Nick Carter, Donna Summer, The Veronicas and Ashley Tisdale[1]; has more than 10 Billboard hit records, 4 MTV sponsored Awards and a BDA Gold Award and has released over 80 records on major labels as a songwriter and/or producer. Toby is the younger brother of Jens Gad.

Born into a musical family in Munich Germany in 1968, Toby was influenced by both parents who were established figures in the Munich music scene with their group, “The Jazz Kids”. His Danish father is a clarinet player and a pilot. His German mother is a psychotherapist and composer/pianist who tours the UK and Europe with Brian Carrick's jazz band, the Algiers Stompers.

At age four, Toby was expected to study banjo and join the "Jazz Kids" but he took to playing the piano instead. By the time he was seven, he and his brother Jens had formed their own band, the “Gad Rollers”, and played original rock'n roll compositions during intermissions of their parents' gigs. The newly found recognition around town led to performances in various radio and TV shows. Before long, Toby and Jens scored their first recording deal with hit-producer Gunther Mende, the writer of the Celine Dion smash hit The Power of Love, however the deal was turned down by their parents, who felt education was more important.

Though too young to get into most clubs at age 13, Toby and Jens were no strangers to the live music scene in Munich. Weekly gigs in bars, concerts in open-air summer festivals and shows in legendary live clubs such as the "Domicile" spread the word, and Munich hit producer Tony Monn showed interest in the brothers. Tony handed over his state-of-the-art recording studio to Toby and Jens whenever he was out of town. The young men were able to spend endless days and nights in a state-of-the-art studio writing, arranging and recording their first three record releases.

In 1986, when Frank Farian, Germany’s most successful producer (No Mercy, Boney M, Milli Vanilli,...) was looking for new talent, a mutual friend turned him on to the Gad brothers’ material. The next day the boys flew to Frankfurt and thus started a seven-year collaboration with Frank. One week later they found three of their songs on Milli Vanilli's debut album, which later went multi-platinum.

Farian recognized the young men’s potential as artists and produced Toby and Jens’ first album “Q”, which was followed by a live tour. Funk legend George Clinton liked the record so much that he spent a full day jamming with the brothers and later invited Toby and Jens to perform two songs on stage with his P-funk band.

In 1990, Toby met Mauritian singer Jacqueline Nemorin. This became the beginning of a 10-year collaboration between the two. Together with Farian, Toby produced Nemorin’s first album “The Creole Dance” on BMG.

In 1994, Toby signed on with manager Klaus Frers (Daydream Music Supervizing) and produced Nemorin’s second album for EMI Europe. It was also Klaus who moved the duo into music production for dozens of successful TV shows, commercials and movie soundtracks. Toby and Jacqueline wrote and produced the title-song for the movie “Neverending Story III”, the music for two popular daily TV talk-shows that stayed on air for four years, and the single "The Magic of the Fall", which went on to win the BDA Gold Award in L.A. for best TV trailer concept.

In 1998, Toby was hired by the Spanish producer Rafael Perez to work on Enrique Iglesias’ third album. That same year Toby signed a deal with Joost Van Os, former head of Polygram, and Sony ATV which lead to songs on the albums of Ruth Jacott (Gold), Oli P (Gold) and Nino de Angelo (Top-30).

Following much success in his home country, Gad relocated to New York, opening Strawberrybee studio in Midtown Manhattan.

The album title song and hit single "Unspoken" of Christian Platinum artist Jaci Velasquez, written by Toby, Madeline Stone and O.Hatch, managed to stay half a year in the Christian Billboard top 20 single charts and was re-released on the Billboard #2 album WOW Greatest Hits 2004.

Meanwhile Toby had substantial hits back overseas. “Damn I Think I Love You” stayed at #1 for seven weeks and became the most sold single 2001 in Holland. The #1 StarMaker album with two of Toby's songs went triple platinum. Sita’s debut single “Happy" was at #1 for two weeks and remained in the top five for two months. The song was also released in the US on the "Wild Thornberries" soundtrack, followed by the #1 album of Sita.

After a period of time running from door to door at record labels, publishing companies, music law firms and managements, Toby was given the chance to work with MTV host Willa Ford. Their single "A Toast to Men" became a #40 radio single, appearing in the hit movie "Barbershop 2".

The collaboration with David and William Derella from the DAS management team resulted in a significant co-publishing deal with Cherrylane Music Publishing and record deals for several of Toby's artists.

In August 2005, Interscope Records released Texan teen sensation Kaci Brown's album "Instigator", entirely developed, produced and co-written by Toby. R&B group Fatty Koo has an album on Columbia records on which every song is produced and co-written by Toby. He produced and co-wrote songs on the album of the Australian twins The Veronicas, who scored the biggest US new comer record deal of the year on Warner Bros. Records / Sire records and went double platinum in Australia. Columbia records also signed Toby's protege Meleni. Their song "Happy" can be found in the Will Smith hit movie Hitch. Meleni and Toby co-wrote the song "Drop it on me" on Ricky Martin's 2005 album "Life". Another artist that Toby developed for years, Lola, released her single "No Strings" on Warner Bros. Records / Sobe which spent 4 months on the Billboard Dance charts, peaking at #2.


In 2006, Toby opened a second studio with five interns, expanding his production company "Strawberrybee Music" and his publishing company "Gad Songs". Toby produced the entire Blue Note records album of Elizabeth Withers, who starred in Broadway musical "The Color Purple", and contributed a song on Fergie's platinum selling album "The Dutchess". He also collaborated with then 13 year old Emmy nominated actress/singer Keke Palmer on her 2007 debut album on Atlantic Records and produced a song for the second season of hit Disney sitcom Hannah Montana.

In 2008, Toby's and Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" was Grammy nominated for best female vocal performance and won ASCAP Song Of The Year. The song twice broke the record for most airplay on US radio and spent a total of 21 weeks in various Billboard US charts at #1, including one week #1 in the Hot 100. Over 87 worldwide compilation albums feature the song. The recognition of this song led to further collaborations with stars such as Alexz Johnson, Beyoncé, Brandy (writing and producing 3 songs for her upcoming album including the title song "Human"); Donna Summer (3 songs on her 2008 album "Crayons"),; Natasha Bedingfield (2 songs, "Happy" and "Freckles"), Ashley Tisdale (2 songs, "Delete You" and "Me Without You"), Hannah Montana (2 songs season 3), Esmee Denters, Nick Carter Backstreet Boys, Keke Palmer (on the Nickelodeon show True Jackson, VP theme song).

In 2009, Toby co-wrote ten tracks for German singer Sandra's latest album, Back to Life, which was produced by his older brother Jens Gad.

Toby has written several articles and given numerous talks and demonstrations about his recording and production techniques, as well as his approach to succeeding in the music industry.

  • "From Neve to Native" in Recording - The Magazine for the Recording Musician
  • "Logic Used Native - How I Work It" in Recording - The Magazine for the Recording Musician
  • "Logic Longhaul" in Mix Magazine
  • "Starting Over in USA"
  • "The Journey"

Discography

Year Artist Album/Singles Charts Certifactions/Awards Credits
1988 Fancy Contact
  • "I Don't Want To Go"
  • "Girl Don't Let Me Down"
- - -
1988 Milli Vanilli All or Nothing
  • "Can't You Feel My Love?"
  • "Boy In The Tree"
  • "Is It Love"
  • #1 Billboard 200
  • #8 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
- -
1989 Q Q-NRG
  • "Rainy"
#5 Radio Charts - "Rainy" - -
1991 Los Reyes Tarot - - -
1992 Nemorin The Creole Dance - - -
1994 Nemorin Neverending Story III
  • "Mission of Love"
  • "Dream On"
- - -
1995 Nemorin The Magic of the Fall
  • "Mission of Love"
  • "Angelina"
#5 Radio Charts (Greece) - "Angelina" - -
1999 John Scatman Take Your Time
  • "The Chicadee Song"
- - -
1999 Bellissima Ohh La La (Single) - - -
1999 Enrique Iglesias Cosas del Amor
  • "Cosas Del Amor"
  • "Para De Jagar"
  • "Ruletta Russia"
- Platinum worldwide -
2000 AOC Maybe You're Right (Single) - - -
2001 Starmaker K-Otic/Bulletproof
  • Damn I Think I Love You
  • Rebel Child
#1 Billboard (Holland) 3x Platinum -
2002 Sita Wild Thornberries
  • Happy
#1 single (Holland) 4 Dutch MTV Awards -
2004 Willa Ford A Toast to Men
  • "Toast to Men"
Top 40 - -
2004 Sandy Mölling One In A Million (Later Covered By Hannah Montana)
  • "Unexpected"
Album #13 Official German Chart - -
2005 Lola Take it Like I Give It
  • "No Strings"
  • #2 Billboard Dance
  • #4 Billboard Hip-Hop
  • #1 UK Music Week
- -
2005 Jaci Velasquez Unspoken
  • "Unspoken"
  • Top 20 Billboard Christian
  • #2 Billboard Compilation (Wow Gospel Hits 2005)
Certified Platinum (Wow Gospel Hits 2005) -
2005 Ricky Martin Life
  • "Drop It On Me"
#5 Billboard 200 - -
2005 The Veronicas The Secret Life Of...
  • "Secret"
  • "Mouth Shut"
  • "Speechless"
  • #2 Australian Album Chart
  • #5 New Zealand Album Chart
  • #3 US Billboard Top Heatseekers
4x Platinum (Australia ARIA) -
2006 Meleni Smith Meet Me In the Bathroom
  • "Meet Me In The Bathroom"
  • "Happy"
#1 Junior Vasquez Playlist - "Meet Me In The Bathroom" "Happy" featured in Will Smith Movie "Hitch" -
2006 Kaci Brown Instigator
  • "Instigator"
  • "Unbelievable"
  • #9 Hot Dance Club Play - "Instigator"
  • #27 Hot Dance Club Play, #1 Disney Radio - "Unbelievable"
- -
2006 Elisabeth Withers It Could Happen to Anyone #6 Mediabase Urban AC Charts - -
2006 Fergie The Dutchess
  • 15 weeks in #1 Billboard positions
  • #3 Billboard 200
  • #1 Billboard Hot 100
  • Double Platinum (single)
  • Double Platinum in USA (album)
  • nearly 4x Platinum worldwide (album)
-
2007 Keke Palmer DisneyMania 5
  • "True to Your Heart"
  • #14 Billboard Top 200
  • #1 Top Kids Audio
- -
- So Uncool
  • "Bottoms Up"
  • "Rainbow"
  • "Skin Deep"
  • "Wake Up Call"
  • #14 Billboard Top 200
  • #1 Top Kids Audio
- -
2007 The Veronicas Hook Me Up
  • #2 Australian ARIA Albums Chart
2x Platinum (Australia ARIA) -
2007 Hannah Montana Original Soundtrack
  • "Rockstar" (producer)
  • "One In A Million" (producer/writer)
First Week #1 Billboard Top 200 - -
2008 Sweetbox The Next Generation - - -
2008 Donna Summer Crayons (album)
  • "Fame (The Game)" (writer, producer)
  • "Sand On My Feet" (writer, producer)
  • "Scyience of Love" (writer, producer)
- - -
2008 Beyoncé I Am... Sasha Fierce - - -
2008 Brandy Human
  • "Gonna Find My Love" (writer, producer)
  • "Human" (writer, producer)
- - -
2008 Keke Palmer True Jackson, VP
  • "True Jackson, VP (Theme Song)" (co-writer, producer)
- - -
2009 JoJo All I Want Is Everything
  • "Fearless"
  • "Underneath"
  • "Touch Down"
- - -
2009 Ashley Tisdale[1] Guilty Pleasure
  • "Me Without You"
  • "Delete You"
- - -
2009 Lola Nine to five
  • "Nine to five"
- - -
2009 Breathe Breathe
  • "Violent Violet"
- - -
2009 Sandra Back To Life
  • #26 German Album Charts
- -
2009 Jordin Sparks Battlefield
  • "Let It Rain"
  • "Emergency (911)"
  • "Faith"
  • "Vertigo"
  • "Papercut"
TBA

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