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Heitor Pereira Returns To The Minion Universe In Despicable Me 3

Grammy winning musician and composer Heitor Pereira, who has scored all of the films in Illumination’s Despicable Me franchise, returns to score Despicable Me 3.  The film opened in theaters on June 30, 2017 and quickly shot to the top of the box off.  Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, co-directed by Eric Guillon and written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio, the animated film is produced by Illumination’s Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, and executive produced by Chris Renaud.

In this third installment of the popular “Despicable Me” franchise, Steve Carell not only reprises his role as Gru, but also takes on a second part—that of Dru, Gru’s long-lost twin.  Kristen Wiig returns as super-spy Lucy, while Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winner Trey Parker voices new villain Balthazar Bratt, a former child star who has become obsessed with the evil TV character he played in the ’80s.  Gru’s most formidable and comedic nemesis to date, Bratt is out to take down Hollywood…and anyone who stands in his way.  Pereira has scored all installments inn theh franchise and was excited to return to the third.  He spent months refining the score, finding unique instrumentation that would bring out the evolution of Gru, and his complex relationship with his brother.

Dru hails from the country “Freedonia” and as such, has an affinity for the nation’s infamous cheese.  This note was not lost on Pereira, who utilized numerous unique instruments and objects to reflect this in the score, including cheese graters and a choir. In addition to incorporating a full orchestra and choir, Pereira performed with many instruments in the score.

Pereira played more than a dozen instruments for the score including: guitar, bass, piano, drum machines, ukulele, mandolin and a “bucket base.”  This is an instrument Pereira created by pulling one string over the top of a bucket.  To further create a unique tonal experience with percussion, Pereira devoted two days of the recording sessions specifically with multiple percussion set ups.  He worked with renown drummers Alex Acuña, Bernie Dresel and Mike Shapiro who played simultaneously on complete drum kits throughout the recording sessions.

Pereira then had them play orchestral percussion on ethnic instruments including taiko drums, African jun juns and Brazilian Surdos.  The addition of 60 members of a choir—who sing through tin foil—created a distortion complementing Pereira’s original ’80s sounding synth score to match Balthazar Bratt’s style. Bratt’s persona is displayed through ’80s pop hits along with the unique score. Pereira’s score also represents the themes of family to highlight the brothers’ relationship, as well as Lucy and the girls, and of course, the mischievous Minions.

Pereira has a reputation for bringing a unique sensibility to his film scores, ones built from his solid foundation of musical craftsmanship. Prior to beginning his career in film composing, Pereira was a member of the platinum selling band Simply Red. He has released three solo albums and has arranged music for and performed with such artists as Elton John, Shania Twain, Willie Nelson, and Jack Johnson. He received a GRAMMY award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist for his collaboration with Sting and Chris Botti.

The score album for “Despicable Me 3” released digitally on June 30, 2017, from Back Lot Music.  Pereira’s next animated film, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature opens in August, 2017.