Toby Gad

Infobox musical artist 2
Name = Toby Gad

Img_size = 150
Background = non_performing_personnel
Birth_name = Tobias Gad
Alias =
Born = 1968 in Munich, Germany
Height =
Origin =German
Instruments = Piano, Guitar, Bass, Programming
Genre = Pop, Rock, R&B, Dance
Occupation(s) = producer, songwriter, musician
Years_active = 1986–Present
Label = CHERRYLANE Musicpublishing / GAD songs
Related_acts =
URL = []
Current_members =
Past_members =

"Toby Gad is a New York City-based and Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter. Toby has a monthly Video Blog on" ""' which showcases talents he works with like Brandy, Natasha Bedingfield, Fergie, etc. Toby's website "" contains a flash section with audio and videos of most of his over 100 record releases.

Toby was born in Munich, Germany in 1968 and grew up in a household of musicians. In the mid 1980s Toby and his brother Jens, after performing for years in various bands, got their big break through producer Frank Farian. Three songs by the Gad brothers found their way onto Milli Vanilli's multi-platinum debut album. Toby went on to enjoy great success as a producer in Germany, before departing for New York City in late 2000, in search of an international audience. Toby has more than 10 Billboard hit records, 4 MTV sponsored Awards and a BDA Gold Award. He has released over 80 records on major labels as a song-writer and/or producer. Toby has worked on records for artists such as Sweetbox, Donna Summer, Fergie, Natasha Bedingfield, Ricky Martin, Daddy Yankee, Enrique Iglesias, Keke Palmer, Hannah Montana, Sean Kingston, Milli Vanilli and The Veronicas. Toby is currently working on the records of JoJo, Beyonce, Hannah Montana Season 3, Brandy, Esmee Denters, Christina Milian, Taylor Dayne and many more.

David Sonenberg, manager of the Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Keke Palmer, Meat Loaf, The Fugees and Joan Osborne, says about Toby: "...Toby Gad can do it all...write, program, orchestrate and play just about anything. But Toby's talents extend beyond the norm...he somehow manages to get inside and bring out the best in the artists he works with. Toby Gad is the real deal!"


Childhood and Early Musical Experience

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 Mom’s piano instead. By the time he was seven, he and his brother Jens 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 “Power of Love”. But Mom and Dad turned the deal down and decided education was more important.

Young, fresh and enthusiastic, the Gad brothers continued to form various bands and seized every opportunity to play their latest compositions on stage.

Early Career Successes

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.

Commercial Breakthrough

In 1990, Toby met the exotic 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).

Move to New York City

With many successes on the home front, Toby grew anxious for an international breakthrough and started thinking about relocating to his second home in London where his Mom lived the US. Over the years he had produced records in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New Orleans, etc., but it was New York City and it’s amazing energy that excited him the most. In December 2000, he packed his studio in a cargo container and crossed the Atlantic.

Europe becomes the past, and a new chapter begins in a new world. Toby's Strawberrybee studio opens in Midtown Manhattan and he starts over, collaborating with new artists, new writers and new contacts.

The first two years in New York prove to be a dire test for Toby's perseverance. The five-year Sony publishing deal runs out, so do the savings. Out of more than a hundred promising co-writes and artist collaborations in L.A., Nashville and New York only one song ends up in the record stores: The album title song and hit single "Unspoken" of Christian Platinum artist Jaci Velasquez, written by Toby, Madeline Stone and O.Hatch. The song manages to stay half a year in the Christian Billboard top 20 single charts and is re-released on the Billboard #2 album WOW Greatest Hits 2004.

Meanwhile Toby has substantial hits back overseas. “Damn I Think I Love You” stays at #1 for seven weeks and becomes the most sold single 2001 in Holland. The #1 StarMaker album with two of Toby's songs sells triple platinum. Sita’s debut single “Happy" holds #1 for two weeks and continues in the top five for two months. The song gets also released in the US on the "Wild Thornberries" soundtrack and is followed by the #1 album of Sita. But the success in Europe can not win him back.

uccess in America

Toby spends countless days running from door to door at record labels, publishing companies, music law firms and managements. Eventually, Lava records gives him the chance to work with MTV host Willa Ford. Their single "A Toast to Men" becomes a #40 radio single. The song appears in the hit movie "Barbershop 2" and connects Toby to her manager David Sonenberg who then proposes to become his exclusive manager.

The fruitful collaboration with David and William Derella from the DAS management team opens a new chapter in Toby's career. DAS scores Toby a significant co-publishing deal with Cherrylane Music Publishing and gets several of Toby's artists record deals.

In August 2005, Interscope Records releases Texan teen sensation Kaci Brown's album "Instigator", entirely developed, produced and co-written by Toby. R&B group Fatty Koo is starring in a 13-episode reality TV show on BET with an album on Columbia records on which every song is produced and co-written by Toby. He flies to Sydney to produce and co-write songs on the album of the Australian twins The Veronicas, who score the biggest US new comer record deal of the year on Warner / Sire records and sell double platinum in Australia. Columbia records also signs Toby's protege Meleni. Their song "Happy" can be found in the Will Smith hit movie Hitch. Meleni and Toby co-write the song "Drop it on me" on Ricky Martin's 2005 album "Life". Another artist that Toby developed for years, Lola, releases their single "No Strings" on Warner / Sobe which spends 4 months on the Billboard Dance charts and peaks at #2.

In 2006, Toby opens a second studio with five interns, expanding his production company "Strawberrybee Music" and his publishing company "Gad Songs". Toby produces the entire Blue Note records album of Elizabeth Withers, who is the star in Oprah Winfrey's successful Broadway musical "The Color Purple" and lands a song on Fergie's platinum selling album "The Dutchess". He collaborates with the 13 year old Emmy nominated actress/singer Keke Palmer on her 2007 debut album on Atlantic Records and produces a song with Disney star Hannah Montanah for the new season of the number one TV show 2007.

In 2008, Toby's and Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" gets Grammy nominated for best female vocal performance and wins ASCAP Song Of The Year. The song breaks the record twice for most airplay on US radio and spends a total of 21 weeks in various Billboard US charts at #1, including one week #1 in the Hot100. Over 87 worldwide compilation albums feature the song. The recognition of this song helps Toby to collaborate with more stars such as Beyoncé (writing and producing the first single of her upcoming album "If I Were a Boy"), 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"),JoJo (upcoming album), Hannah Montana (2 songs season 3), Esmee Denters, Nick Carter Backstreet Boys and many more.


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"


External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Featured Interview with Toby Gad]
* [ Toby Gad at MySpace]
* [ Fergie] - Toby and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas wrote the song "Big Girls Don't Cry" on her solo debut album "The Dutchess". The album was released September 19th and shipped 850.000 units that day.
* [ Lola] - Toby is producing and writing a number of songs with Brooklyn-based French artist Lola for her upcoming album which will also include songs produced and written by Alicia Keys and Scott Storch
* [ Kaci Brown] - In 2003 Toby began developing Texas native Kaci Brown, writing album material with Kaci on several trips to Nashville, L.A. and San Francisco, ultimately signing her to the management of DAS, David Sonenberg. Toby produced Kaci's entire debut album.
* [ Meleni Smith] - Toby co-wrote and produced all the songs on the debut album of24-year-old Jamaica/ Harlem artist. Meleni Meleni and Toby's song "Happy" is featured in the WILL SMITH movie soundtrack "HITCH."
* [ Ricky Martin] - Toby co-wrote the single "Drop it On Me" with and Meleni. Daddy Yankee also appears on the track.
* [ Fatty Koo] - Toby produced and co-wrote Fatty Koo's debut R&B album "The House of Fatty Koo." BET aired 13 weekly episodes of the reality show "BLOWING UP FATTY KOO."

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