Asa Taccone
Electric Guest.jpg
Taccone performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival
Background information
Born (1983-09-21) September 21, 1983 (age 38)
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • producer
Years active2003–present
RelativesJorma Taccone (brother)
Tony Taccone (father)

Asa Taccone (born September 20, 1983) is an American musician, songwriter, producer, and frontman of the band Electric Guest with whom he has released three albums since 2012. He is noted as a close collaborator of The Lonely Island and has contributed to their musical work on Saturday Night Live and a number of their films. He also has written music for other comedy film and television projects including American Dad! and Portlandia.

Early life

Asa Taccone was born on September 21, 1983, the second son of Suellen and Tony Taccone (a theater director) in Berkeley, California. His brother is Jorma Taccone, a former writer for Saturday Night Live 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

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, as well as Charles Bradley and The Weeknd's episodes on American Dad.[10] Taccone was a co-writer and co-producer on the Portugal The Man hit Feel It Still.[10] The song became number one, and garnered the band a 2018 Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.[10]

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

Reception

"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

With Electric Guest

Main article: Electric Guest § Discography

Production

Title Year Artist Album Notes
"Just a Blessing" 2003 Dor 1, Sok The Virgo & Enzyme The Network Producer
"One Unit at a Time" Sok The Virgo & Theory
"No One Wants To See Me On Stage" Sokrates The Virgo Elenchus: The Album
"1984"
"Benterlude"
"Sax Man" (feat. Jack Black) 2009 The Lonely Island Incredibad Producer
"Boombox" (feat. Julian Casablancas) Producer, writer
"Dick in a Box" (feat. Justin Timberlake)
"Natalie's Rap" (feat. Chris Parnell & Natalie Portman)
"Mama's Got A Brand New Swag (So Exquisite)" 2010 Joyo Velarde Love & Understanding Producer
"Take You Home"
"Motherlover" (feat. Justin Timberlake) 2011 The Lonely Island Turtleneck & Chain Producer, writer
"Ana" Charlotte Gainsbourg Stage Whisper Vocals
"Chariot" 2016 Luke Top Suspect Highs Vocals
"Real People" Ice Cube & Common Barbershop: The Next Cut OST Writer
"Tiger Smile" 2017 Nine Pound Shadow Nine Pound Shadow EP Album producer, writer, vocals
"Bridges"
"Tell Me Why"
"Melody"
"Bright Like Gold"
"Feel It Still" 2017 Portugal. The Man Woodstock Producer, writer
"Keep On"
"Feels Right" 2019 Carly Rae Jepson Dedicated Producer, featured artist

Songwriting for media

Title Year Artist Production Notes
"Lazy Sunday" 2005 The Lonely Island & Chris Parnell Saturday Night Live Writer
"Young Chuck Norris" The Lonely Island & Jason Sudeikis
"Natalie's Rap" 2006 The Lonely Island, Chris Parnell & Natalie Portman Writer/producer
"Harpoon Man" The Lonely Island Writer
"Dick in a Box" The Lonely Island & Justin Timberlake Music/producer
"Andy Popping Into Frame" 2007 The Lonely Island Music
"Sloths" Writer
"Roy Rules!"
"Iran So Far" The Lonely Island, Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar
"People Getting Punched Just Before Eating" The Lonely Island
"Ace Rockwell: Thumper in Your Trumper" Himself Hot Rod Writer
"The Late, Late Show with Dr. Schadenfreude" 2008 Himself, Matthew Compton & Justin Bailey Igor Writer, performer
"Hero Song" 2008 The Lonely Island Saturday Night Live Writer
"Daiqurai Girl"
"GIRAFFES!"
"Motherlover" 2009 The Lonely Island & Justin Timberlake Producer
"Boombox" 2010 The Lonely Island & Julian Casablancas Writer
"What Was That?" The Lonely Island & Arcade Fire
"We Happen to Be Clubbing" 2010 Himself & Drew Campbell MacGruber Writer, performer
"Dip a Toe" 2011 CeeLo Green American Dad! Writer
"Hot Tub Song"
"Do Whatever You Like"
"Daddy's Gone" Scott Grimes & Seth MacFarlane
"Hot Tub Research" CeeLo Green
"Psychotic Hot Tub"
"End Credits Medley"
"Girl You Need A Shot (Of B12 (Boyz 12))" 2012 Scott Grimes, et al.
"Dream of the '90s" Portlandia Portlandia Writer, performer
"Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Boy" 2013 Scott Grimes American Dad! Writer
"The Perfect Gift" Rachel MacFarlane
"You Get the Rod" Charles Bradley
"We've Been Bad" Scott Grimes & Charles Bradley
"Family" Rachel MacFarlane & Daran Norris
"Rubbernecking" 2014 Chris Diamantopoulos, David Koechner, et al.
"Fraudulence" Terry Crews
"Is She Not Hot Enough?" Scott Grimes
"I Wanna Be Seen" Seth MacFarlane, Scott Grimes, et al.
"Old Springfield Anthem" 2015 Dan Castellaneta The Simpsons Writer
"New Springfield Anthem" Nancy Cartwright, et al.
"Trapped in the Locker" 2016 Scott Grimes American Dad! Writer
"Real People" Ice Cube & Common Barbershop: The Next Cut Writer
"Owen’s Song" 2019 The Lonely Island Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Vocals
"The Snoopa Loompa Rap" Himself American Dad! Writer, performer
"The Weeknd's Dark Secret" 2020 The Weeknd Writer

Collaborations with the Lonely Island

Composition for theater and film

Awards

References

  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"[permanent dead link]. 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 c d Hanley, James (April 25, 2018). "'I'm very lucky': Universal Music Publishing Group signs songwriter Asa Taccone to global administration deal". NewBay Media. Retrieved April 25, 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.