Daniel J. Mertzlufft, who went viral with his arrangement of “Remy the Ratatouille” by Emily Jacobson, has signed with CAA and Kraft-Engel Management.
The composer, arranger, music director, songwriter and TikTok influencer’s arrangement helped lead to the TikTok Ratatouille musical movement. It also proved that even during lockdown, there’s a way to reach theater fans and lovers of ballads with killer orchestral flourishes. Mashable has a pretty fantastic breakdown of how Mertzlufft came across Jacobson’s ode to Remy, the lead character from the Pixar film, and gave it a big, jazz hands polish — one that prompted other songwriters to create their own Ratatouille songs.
A recent digital presentation of “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” raised a total of $1.9 million for the Actors Fund when it live-streamed on New Year’s Day. Mertzlufft was the creative leader for the show, which featured Tituss Burgess, Wayne Brady, André De Shields, Adam Lambert, Andrew Barth Feldman and Kevin Chamberlin.
In addition to helping bringing Ratatouille to the social media masses, Mertzlufft also made waves composing and arranging “The Thanksgiving Musical,” which was performed on “The Late Late Show With James Corden.” Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone, Josh Gad, Josh Groban and Kristin Chenoweth also performed. “The Grocery Store Musical,” Mertzlufft’s arrangement of Louisa Melcher’s “New York Summer,” was featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America” among other outlets.
“Who would have thought that the next generation of songwriters would have come from TikTok? We are really looking forward to working with Dan in association with CAA,” says Richard Kraft of Kraft-Engel management.
“I could not be more excited to be working with CAA & Kraft-Engel,” shared Mertzlufft. “To be on the roster with so many great talents, whose music played such an important role in my own compositional development, is a dream come true.”
Mertzlufft’s original works include “Breathe: Portraits from a Pandemic,” “Dot and the Kangaroo” and “House Rules: A New Musical.” He is actively developing original films, stage shows and adaptations, along with contributing to a variety of productions. He is a member of the advanced class of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and graduated valedictorian from The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.