Like the eternal city of Rome, Daniele Luppi’s music is at once exotic and familiar, sophisticated but funky, sexy yet sinister, sleekly modern and wonderfully timeless. If you’ve listened to Gnarls Barkley’s Grammy-winning St. Elsewhere, or John Legend’s platinum-selling Once Again, you’ve experienced Daniele Luppi’s brilliant cinematic production and arrangements. If you’ve seen HBO’s Sex And The City, Disney's Under The Tuscan Sun (starring Diane Lane), or the acclaimed Brian Grazer-produced documentary Inside Deep Throat, you’ve heard the beguiling soundtrack contributions of this Italian-born composer. Coming up, is also Luppi’s on-camera songs arranging and production work for the forthcoming, highly anticipated Rob Marshall musical Nine, featuring Daniel Day Lewis, Marion Cotillard and Penelope Cruz.
Trained in classical piano and jazz organ, Luppi was immersed from an early age in the film scores of the most influential Italian composers of the era. He made his initial mark in Hollywood scoring indie films The Woman Chaser, Jesus “Jess” Franco’s Red Silk and Christian Taylor's Showboy, as well as contributing original music to Sex And The City.
While scoring films in Hollywood, Luppi began writing a series of songs in homage to the cinematic sounds he first discovered in his youth. These compositions became the basis for An Italian Story. The album features a number of exotically groovy instrumentals that actually reunited many of the 1960s Italian recording session mainstays. Among them were artists like Alessandro Alessandroni, whose signature whistle and twangy guitar indelibly marked Ennio Morricone’s “spaghetti western” soundtracks. Released in the US by Rhino/Warner, An Italian Story garnered rave reviews in The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter and dozens of other publications, and received regular airplay on such influential radio stations as Santa Monica’s KCRW; film critic Elvis Mitchell devoted an entire episode of his KCRW show, The Treatment, to the making of the album, with Luppi and Alessandroni as his special guests.
The album's unique blend of retro and modern sounds attracted the attention of Brian Burton — a.k.a. Danger Mouse — who asked Luppi to add his keyboard playing and innovative arrangements to what would become Gnarls Barkley’s debut album, St. Elsewhere.
The multi-platinum success of St. Elsewhere led a number of other collaborations between Luppi and Danger Mouse including Gnarls Barkley’s acclaimed sophomore album, The Odd Couple, featuring the Grammy nominated song Going On, on which Luppi arranged and conducted. Furthermore, the pair collaborated on The Last Laugh, the psych-folk debut by Joker’s Daughter and the year's most mysterious album, Dark Night of the Soul. The album features music by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse with vocals and visuals by David Lynch, as well as guest singers: Gruff Rhyes of The Super Furry Animals, Julian Casablanca of The Strokes, Frank Black of The Pixies, Iggy Pop and Suzanne Vega.
Since then, Luppi has also produced Grand Animals, the critically-acclaimed sophomore album by New York indie buzz band Robbers On High Street, and wrote an emotional, orchestral score for the award winning film Malos Habitos (Bad Habits), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
Most recently he wrote the score to Hell Ride, the Quentin Tarantino produced tale of motorcycle revenge and retribution, starring Michael Madsen, Eric Balfour and Vinnie Jones. He also scored the twisted high school comedy Assassination of a High School President, starring Bruce Willis and Mischa Barton. Both films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Next up will be a collaborative project with Danger Mouse — recently previewed in the pages of Spin and Harp magazine — that will see the two musicians traveling to Rome to record with the musicians from An Italian Story. Luppi is also collaborating with legendary Faith No More/Mr. Bungle frontman Mike Patton, and has several other exciting projects in the pipeline.