Alex Lacamoire, 'Hamilton' Music Mastermind Talks Ingredients Behind Musical Success
The paths traced in Broadway's smash hit, Hamilton, are endless. Lin-Manuel Miranda's brainchild takes in the life and history of Alexander Hamilton but with its own added ingredients. With the music as one of those ingredients, so is Alex Lacamoire, the man who orchestrated the score and co-arranged the songs.
What has stepped into the hearts of fans of all stripes and sanctions, Lacamoire and Miranda have crafted a soundtrack making references from artists ranging from The Notorious B.I.G. to Jason Robert Brown -- to the Beatles and D'Angelo.
In regards to the Beatles, Lacamoire said in an interview:
"There's a 'Penny Lane' reference in the vibe. In the first chorus [of 'You'll Be Back'], the vibes go, [hums 'Penny Lane' chords]. There's a 'Mr. Kite' reference: At 'You say your love is draining and you can't go on,' the synth goes, bah dunna-nah, dunna-nah, dunna-nah. The bass line is a total Paul-ism. At 'My sweet submissive subject,' the bass does da-dunnoo-dunnoo, the high triplet fill, and the bass is muted so it sounds like a Hofner. The drums -a-ts-ts-ts-ts, ta-ts-ts - are a fill I know I stole from Ringo. And the way [Jonathan] Groff intones, 'Everybody!' at the end is a little like Lennon in 'All You Need Is Love.' That idea came up in the studio last minute."
But the Beatles weren't the only point of inspiration for the tracks. The musical is heavy on rap and hip-hop and Lacamoire is a stranger to that sphere, thus ushering him into a realm of new music was none other than Questlove and the Roots.
The group successfully recorded and mixed the original cast recordings to great success, making it to number one of the Billboard rap album charts for the week of Nov. 28.
Mr. Lacamoire, a Berklee grad, is also halfway to an EGOT. So being a part of Broadway's most popular production since sliced bread, Lacamoire is certainly having the best year ever.
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