Madison-area native up for Grammy award for Album of the Year

Middleton High School graduate Bill Rahko co-produced Coldplay’s latest record “Everyday Life”.
Published: Mar. 13, 2021 at 11:26 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A journey from Madison to Hollywood: a Middleton High School graduate followed his passion all the way to music’s biggest stage, ending up with an Album of the Year Grammy nomination.

Bill Rahko grew up playing music, starting piano lessons young and eventually picking up the bass.

“I was playing in bands at my school, both with friends and as part of jazz ensembles in high school and stuff,” Rahko described.

The Madison-area native found his true passion in the recording studio, but on the producing side of the glass.

“When I saw how the whole process goes, where you could record all the instruments separately and different microphones are good at different instruments and you can combine them and shape them and do all these things, I just was really hooked,” Rahko explained.

Rahko followed that path to Los Angeles for college, eventually landing a job at Henson Recording Studios.

“It was starting with grabbing food for people, sweeping floors, cleaning toilets, setting up microphones, printing out reports, whatever had to be done,” Rahko said.

After two years, Rahko worked his way up becoming an assistant engineer.

“There were things that I had seen in magazines like big recording consoles and stuff that you see in pictures, and now all of a sudden you’re right there in the room with one,” he remembered.

Working as an engineer at Henson, that was where he first met Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay, when he came in to work on some music. Rahko said Martin took a liking to Rahko and his chief engineer.

“Anytime he’d come back, he’d request both of us and we all just developed a rapport,” he explained.

Rahko started working closely with the band, co-producing their most recent record “Everyday Life,” released in 2019.

“The three of us made up the dream team, which is how we’re credited on the record,” Rahko said of the producing team: him, Daniel Green, and Rik Simpson.

Rahko said after the release, he did not think back on the album much—until it garnered a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.

“It was like, ‘Oh, this wasn’t just a moment in time, people are still resonating with this’,” he described.

Rahko’s producing work is being recognized alongside albums released by artists like Taylor Swift and Post Malone.

“Album of the Year is a huge honor, just to be nominated alongside some of the other great artists that are there, those are some crazy albums that came out this year, so it’s really exciting,” Rahko said.

Win or lose, Rahko said he is excited to see all the talent nominated this year and to continue making music. He said he hopes to go back on tour once the world opens up again post-pandemic.

Bill Rahko, a Madison-area native, is up for a GRAMMY award for Album of the Year for the work he did co-producing...

Posted by Sanika Bhargaw NBC15 on Saturday, March 13, 2021

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