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Randy Muller is the brains behind a stack of 1970s classics. Working with bands such as Brass Construction, BT Express and Skyy, he brought orchestral strings to funk, was at the forefront of synth disco and a stalwart of the mighty Salsoul label. As an arranger, producer and songwriter Muller has been responsible for hundreds of songs, many of which would go on to become classics and influence his contemporaries.

Legendary Philly arranger Larry Gold discussed the Philly sound, working with Justin Timberlake, Kanye West and Brandy & Monica and creating emotional depth with string arrangements in his lecture at RBMA Berlin 2018.

#LarryGold #HipHop #RedBullMusicAcademy

A classically trained prodigy who began playing the cello at age seven, Philadelphia native Larry Gold has worked on countless hit records over the past four decades. Throughout the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s he was a member of MFSB, the legendary house band for Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records, and helped shape “The Sound of Philadelphia,” as it came to be known, via classic recordings by the O’Jays, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the Delfonics, Teddy Pendergrass, Billy Paul and others.

By the late ’90s, however, Gold would truly come into his own as the go-to string arranger of the modern R&B and hip-hop era. His orchestral contributions to Brandy & Monica’s 1998 smash “The Boy Is Mine” set off a series of genre-defining recordings, including classics by the Roots, Erykah Badu, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Jill Scott, Common and Kanye West.

5:57 – Learning to play music in Philadelphia
19:34 – Working with Gamble and Huff and creating the Philly sound
31:32 – Opening The Studio and starting a new career
39:19 – Learning from younger artists like Rodney Jerkins, Timbaland
48:23 – Writing strings for Kanye, from Flashing Lights to his proposal to Kim Kardashian
1:00:34 – Creating emotional depth with string arrangements

2:23 – Jill Scott – “Hear My Call”
20:37 – The O’Jays – “Back Stabbers”
37:52 – Brandy & Monica – “The Boy is Mine”
45:11 – Justin Timberlake – “Cry Me a River”
51:36 – Kanye West feat. Dwele – “Flashing Lights”
57:57 – Ne-Yo – “Queen” (rough mix)

Red Bull Music Academy is the educational pillar of the Red Bull Music program. It is a global institution that for 20 years has been committed to fostering creativity in music by collaborating with those who are shaping our musical landscape and creating spaces for music makers to learn and immerse themselves.

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