Toby Gad Talks About Co-Writing John Legend’s Big Hit, “All Of Me,” And His New Projects

John Legend and Toby Gad
John Legend and Toby Gad, at Gad’s studio in Los
Angeles where they wrote the hit “All Of Me”.

During the past decade, writer/producer Toby Gad has co-written several chart-topping hits, including “If I Were A Boy” for Beyonce and “Big Girls Don’t Cry” for Fergie. He has also co-written hits or key cuts with Demi Lovato (“Skyscraper”), One Direction, Jessie J, Colbie Caillat, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, Selena Gomez, Big Time Rush and other artists.

Currently, Gad is back atop the pop charts with his latest hit “All Of Me,” which he wrote with John Legend. This acclaimed, romantic ballad has become the highest-charting single of Legend’s career. Legend has dedicated “All Of Me” to his newlywed wife, model & actress Chrissy Teigen. “All Of Me” was released as a single in August 2013 (from Legend’s album Love in the Future) and has gradually risen to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. Notably, “All Of Me’ has become a hit in many other countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium and South Africa.

Gad recalled how he and Legend wrote “All Of Me” at Gad’s recording studio in Los Angeles in 2011. “John (Legend) reached out to me about three years ago. He came to my studio and we wrote a few songs together, and one was ‘All Of Me.’ Another song we wrote was called ‘Peace,’ which we performed on World Refugee Day in the House of State in DC for an audience which included John Kerry (U.S. Secretary of State).”

“John came into the session with a chorus idea and the title ‘All Of Me’, and said he wanted to write a special song to express his love to his fiancé Chrissy Teigen,” explained Gad. “We wrote the song on piano. We are both piano players so we switched seats many times. We wrote the whole song in just a few hours.”

When the song was finished, Gad really liked the song, but at the time he didn’t know it would eventually be released as a single and become a big hit. “A few months later (after writing the song), I met John and Chrissy at the Clive Davis party (prior to the 2012 Grammy Awards),” said Gad. “John introduced Chrissy and she said she loved the song, and it was going to be their wedding song.”

Gad recalled how he and Legend wrote “All Of Me” at Gad’s recording studio in Los Angeles in 2011. “John (Legend) reached out to me about three years ago. He came to my studio and we wrote a few songs together, and one was ‘All Of Me.’ Another song we wrote was called ‘Peace,’ which we performed on World Refugee Day in the House of State in DC for an audience which included John Kerry (U.S. Secretary of State).”

“John came into the session with a chorus idea and the title ‘All Of Me’, and said he wanted to write a special song to express his love to his fiancé Chrissy Teigen,” explained Gad. “We wrote the song on piano. We are both piano players so we switched seats many times. We wrote the whole song in just a few hours.”

When the song was finished, Gad really liked the song, but at the time he didn’t know it would eventually be released as a single and become a big hit. “A few months later (after writing the song), I met John and Chrissy at the Clive Davis party (prior to the 2012 Grammy Awards),” said Gad. “John introduced Chrissy and she said she loved the song, and it was going to be their wedding song.”

In September 2013, Legend & Teigen got married in an intimate ceremony in Lake Como, Italy. Soon after, the couple released photos of their big day via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Tumbler. In Legend’s video of “All Of Me,” there is real footage of the wedding ceremony which is shown at the end of the video. Legend has also recorded a new version and video of “All Of Me” which features violinist, Lindsey Stirling.

Since the “All Of Me” writing session in 2011, Gad and Legend have continued to write together. “We recently wrote a new song with the duo Alex & Sierra (the winners of the 2013 season of X Factor U.S.).”

Gad has also been busy writing & producing songs for many other projects. “I’ve been working with Colbie Caillat for her new album, which I’m very excited about,” he said. “Last year, we flew to Kauai together and wrote a few songs at Hanelei beach. This is as fun as song writing can get. Surfing in the morning, hanging out with Colbie’s friends and family all day and writing a song every evening. I co-wrote several songs with Colbie on her upcoming album.”

“I’ve also done a lot of work with (hit pop & Latin artist) Prince Royce. On his current Spanish hit album (Soy el Mismo) I have a song called ‘Already Missing You’ which is a duet with Selena Gomez. I’m also working with Prince on songs for his next album, which will be in English and released on RCA Records.”

In addition, Gad has two songs on Sean Paul’s next album. He’s also been working with X Factor winners Alex & Sierra on Columbia Records and a number of other upcoming records.