David Das is a prolific composer, music producer and songwriter based in Los Angeles. His experience covers the range from feature films, TV shows, cartoons, commercials, trailers, and other media work, over to modern music production, choral and orchestral writing/arranging, and more. He has worked on projects for Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox, CollegeHumor, Funny or Die, DirecTV, Dreamworks, Fremantle, Intel, BBDO, HBO, PBS, TLC, Telemundo, Weight Watchers, Coca Cola, Hal Leonard, and many others. He has composed music for dozens of TV shows, scored films (such as Lionsgate’s feature thriller The Appearing and the drama Trafficked), written additional music for films (US, See You Yesterday), and written and produced songs for numerous pop, rock, R&B, soul, and indie artists. He serves as President of the Academy of Scoring Arts and is on the board of the Society of Composers & Lyricists.
When did the journey start for you?
Age about two, bossing my family around telling them what tracks they could and couldn’t play on the record player, and throwing a fit when they put on the wrong track.
Who are some composers/artists you pull inspiration from?
I go all the way from Maurice Ravel to Dirty Loops. I love listening to any musician who can create something inspiring that moves me.
Which instrument(s) do you have the most fun playing?
Anytime I pick up a new instrument, it’s fun to see what I can make it do. Sometimes it’s the instruments I know least well that make me think differently about how to make music.
What's your favorite piece of gear in your studio?
My 8-track player.
Is there a piece of music you're most proud of?
Over the years I’ve composed literally many thousands of cues and songs, so I don’t know how to pick favorites. Each cue has a little part of me in it. Two film scores I’ve written have songs that I’m really proud of (“Disappear” co-written with Rachael Yamagata, featured in The Appearing, and “Fly Away” co-written with Ginny Owens, featured in Trafficked).
Other than your studio, where does inspiration most often strike? (or rather "where is the second most common place you come up with ideas?")
When I’m on TikTok. No, seriously, TikTok is rewiring my brain on how music relates to picture. I think it’s going to define a lot of where media music, and especially advertising, is headed for years to come. The diversity and the creativity going on there is magnetizing.
What are two things you're most proud of? One musical/professional, one personal. No humility allowed.
Musical/professional: doing my earliest arrangements for my peers in orchestra and band when I was in junior high and getting them performed. This was the spark that lit the flame that’s burned for the rest of my life. Life-changing thanks to my music teachers.
Personal: that despite the challenges and pressures of this industry that occasionally test me to my limit, that I have an awesome family, great kids, and am able to keep forging forward every day with music.
Who is your "guilty pleasure" artist?
Debbie Gibson 4-evah.
What's the oddest job you've ever had?
Producing 1800 different versions of a kids CD with the child’s name spliced in dozens of times across each album. I’ve produced multiple albums for Disney, Sesame Street, Barney, Wiggles and others.
If you were stranded on a desert island with one album on your walkman that somehow never ran out of power, what would it be?
I think Bruce Hornsby’s ‘The Way It Is’ might keep me sane the longest. Take 6’s debut album Take 6 might keep me occupied the longest because I’d just spend my days transcribing every singer’s part. Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2 would just keep my soul happy. Give me a 120-minute cassette so I can squeeze it all on the one cassette.