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For composer Mark Rivers, there were three keys to cracking the tricky “Big Mouth” Season 1 song “Totally Gay”: the hopeful lyrics, the Queen-inspired melody, and finding a singer who could really sound like Freddie Mercury.
“If he couldn’t do a good Freddie Mercury, the whole thing would’ve just been kind of subpar,” Rivers said in an interview with IndieWire, while in production on Season 2 of the Netflix original series. “When I very fortunately found the singer, Brendan McCreary, he actually did a better high, rockin’ Freddie so he actually pushed the range level higher to where his Freddie sweet spot was.”
Productions - Rivers - Lyrics - Music - Composition
Unlike other productions, Rivers wasn’t given lyrics or music, so he settled on the composition’s tone largely on his own, right from the start.
“Obviously the genre was ‘It’s a Queen Song,’ but we didn’t really discuss what variety of Queen songs — whether it was a rocker like ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ or something [else]. I wound up defaulting to a ‘Somebody to Love’ feel, just because that’s what came out when I started thinking about Freddie melodies.”
Demo - Cappella - Writers - Something - Song
After submitting the demo, he added the opening a cappella because the writers “wanted something more spectacular to launch into the song.” Luckily, “Somebody To Love” also starts with a similar vocal exclamation point, so all Rivers had to do was come up with the lyrics — you know, the words to a song about a kid who thinks he’s gay thanks to the encouraging words of famous, openly gay ghosts like Freddie Mercury.
Undertaking - Task - Songwriters - Rivers - Background
While such a delicate undertaking may have been a daunting task for other songwriters, Rivers also has a background in comedy writing. After playing in various rock bands during high school and college, he made sure to always have his “foot in the comedy world” after moving to...
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