Composer Rick Sakurai has been playing instruments for as long as he can remember, developing his guitar, piano and trumpet skills in local bands.
After attending Berklee College of Music, Sakurai began composing and songwriting professionally. He founded Crayon Music Studio and now works with some of the world's most recognizable brands.
How did you get into composing?
"After I graduated with a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production, I honestly didn’t know where to go with my career. I was 22 and married, and had been gigging and writing as much as I could, but I didn’t feel hopeful in making a career writing hit record songs. It was kind of a weird time for music in general, with the economy doing so horribly at the time.
So I moved toward composing for advertisements. I thought, advertising needs music, and ads will never disappear from this world. And I could see money moving through that industry, which is what I needed to start a family. It felt like the right direction to go.
Then, I was hired by JSM Music in New York City as an in-house producer/composer. At JSM, I composed for large clients such as Time Warner Cable, Chevy, IBM, and all types of commercials that you'd see in your everyday life. After a few years, I relocated to Los Angeles and started the Crayon Music Studio.
I admit, it was tough during the first few years. I had to start from scratch, cold-calling and networking, and doing the kinds of things that don’t involve actual music-making. But it all paid off, as I’ve been getting bigger and better gigs lately, and more steadily. And it’s honestly so rewarding to be sitting at the bar or somewhere, and looking up at the TV, and suddenly seeing the commercial that you worked on. By now, I’ve been composing/producing for numerous media projects, internationally and domestically. Commercials, live entertainment shows, films, video games, CDs/records, TV shows-- you name it. You might remember some of our sounds from commercials like Dominos Pizza, Honda, Konami, Verizon, NHL, Pizza Hut, Steinmart and the list keeps going."