Six degrees of separation happens a lot in the music world; a producer will work on one album then go and work on a another band’s album who happens to hate the first band, and so on and so forth. So it isn’t that surprising to find out that Beck and Beyoncé have similar connections. What is surprising is that it isn’t only Kanye West the two share, it’s Beck’s father, David Campbell, and he helped Beyoncé win her 2006 Grammy for best contemporary R&B album. As Reddit user, Sitdownyo, pointed out, the Canadian-born composer, music arranger, and music director did the string arrangement and conducting for Beyoncé’s 2006 B’Day album as well as strings and brass on Beck’s 2015 Grammy award winning album, Morning Phase.
The Manhattan School of Music graduate has worked on over four hundred and fifty gold and platinum records by artists ranging from My Chemical Romance, Metallica, and Green Day to Neil Diamond, Sheryl Crow, and Adele. Campbell, who has played viola on both Marvin Gaye‘s “Let’s Get it On” and Bill Withers‘ “Lean on Me,” has composed, arranged, or orchestrated music in over eighty films including, Rock of Ages, Brokeback Mountain, Dream Girls (which starred Beyoncé), and even alongside Nigel Godrich on Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. Aside from his work on film, Campbell has conducted at the Hollywood Bowl, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The Broadway musical, Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, has song and dance arrangements, underscoring, and orchestrations by Campbell. In 2013, he collaborated with Beck for the Lincoln Motor Company ad campaign, Hello Again, an interactive concert which allowed people to control what they were seeing by moving their head and has 360-degree binaural audio.
Beck, who’s been in the news recently thanks to Kanye West’s public disapproval then public apology of Morning Phase‘s Grammy win, has five gold records and has performed on Saturday Night Live seven times. Aside from appearing in several television guest roles, Beck appeared on the last ever episode of The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien as a backup guitarist alongside Will Ferrell, Billy Gibbons, Ben Harper, and Conan himself. The group performed Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” with Ferrell doing the vocals.
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