Composer Kurt Farquhar on “American Soul”, “Black Lightning”, and Scoring Thirty Years of Television

Kurt Farquhar Kurt Farquhar (photo Rhapsody PR), (top) BET's "American Soul"; (bottom) CW's "Black Lightning."

Welcome back to More of a Comment, Really…, a weekly interview podcast hosted by Clint Worthington! Every episode will feature interviews with actors, filmmakers, producers, and more, giving you the skinny on the latest films and TV.

Throw a stone at the last thirty years of television, and chances are you’ll hit a show Kurt Farquhar has written music for. One of the most prominent (and prolific) African-American TV composers of the last three decades, Farquhar’s hand has touched everything from The King of Queens to Soul Food, Moesha to Sister, Sister, and more. The seven-time BMI winner has been dubbed “the musical voice of BET,” but he’s scored dozens of other shows for networks like NBC and CBS.

Right now, for instance, he’s pulling triple duty on three shows that couldn’t be more dissimilar – CBS’s sitcom The Neighborhood, American Soul (BET’s groovy ’70s drama about the origins of Soul Train), and CW’s street-level superhero series Black Lightning. Despite that heavy workload, Farquhar’s sound – borne of an early music education at the National Conservatory of Music and studying under percussionist Johnny Lane – remains incredibly dynamic and diverse, from the R&B reminiscences of American Soul to the trap-laced beats of Black Lightning.

Farquhar was kind enough to sit down and talk with me about his history with music, his roots in Chicago, working on the films of acclaimed character actor and director Bill Duke, and putting in thirty years’ worth of television composition with no signs of slowing down.

(More of a Comment, Really… is a proud member of the Chicago Podcast Coop. Thanks to Overcast for sponsoring this episode!)


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Check out Kurt Farquhar’s SoundCloud here, including tracks from Black Lightning, Stitchers and more.

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