Thursday, January 19, 2012

No auto-tune necessary: Teen is pursuing his musical dreams

From: 



PURE GUITAR—At 16, singer-songwriter Scott James of Thousand Oaks has taken the stage at Sunset Boulevard’s Whiskey a Go Go and The Canyon club in Agoura Hills. “I just like the feeling I get when I play. There are no distractions. I escape into a different world,” he said. PURE GUITAR—At 16, singer-songwriter Scott James of Thousand Oaks has taken the stage at Sunset Boulevard’s Whiskey a Go Go and The Canyon club in Agoura Hills. “I just like the feeling I get when I play. There are no distractions. I escape into a different world,” he said.
By Dashiell Young-Saver
In the ever-more-digitized world of the modern-day music industry, emerging artists struggle to create unique sounds. Many new albums contain old melodies that are merely autotuned to sound a different way.
It’s a trend local musician Scott James defies.
The 16-year-old from Thousand Oaks recently released his second EP (a term for a small album; it stands for “extended play”), featuring three songs written, sung and played by him.
“It’s just me and the acoustic guitar,” Scott said of the album. “It’s the most real and genuine way I express myself as an artist. I am thrilled with the results because it has an indescribable uniqueness.”


INDEPENDENT LEARNER—Scott James left Oaks Christian School so he could spend more time on his music. He is currently taking independent study courses. INDEPENDENT LEARNER—Scott James left Oaks Christian School so he could spend more time on his music. He is currently taking independent study courses.The EP is named “Saudade,” a Portuguese word that means “a longing for something that you can’t have,” Scott said.
The up- and- coming performer described his music as a combination of pop, blues, rock and folk. He attempts to give every song the accessibility of John Mayer, the vocals of Jeff Buckley and the meaningful lyrics of Bob Dylan.
“He’s taken what other artists have already done, studied them and put his own spin on it,” said Joe DiBlasi, Scott’s guitar teacher.
Diblasi, a professional studio guitar player and record producer who’s earned two Grammy nominations, produced “Saudade.”
“I don’t think I’ve heard another 16-year-old that has near the same amount of passion in his playing,” he said.
Artist on the rise
Scott began playing the piano at age 10 and started taking guitar lessons a year later. He began to sing and write songs two years ago.
Since then, he’s performed more than 15 concerts at venues such as Sunset Boulevard’s Whiskey a Go Go, The Canyon in Agoura Hills, Conejo Valley Days and The Ocean Club in Hermosa Beach.
While Scott occasionally performs alone, he’s often accompanied by fellow high school students Christian Meissner on the drums and Shay Seguin on the bass.
“I just like the feeling I get when I play. There are no distractions. I escape into a different world. It’s the best way to express myself,” Scott said.
The young guitarist decided a year ago, after receiving compliments for his singing at a concert, that he wanted to turn his musical passion into a career. He’s since taken voice lessons from worldrenowned vocal coach Roger Love, guitar lessons from DiBlasi and advice from record produer Jimmy Jam, former chair of the Recording Academy,which produces the Grammys.
“When I met Scott, he was a fantastic guitar player,” Jam said. “He has since added vocalist, singer and songwriter.”
Scott left Oaks Christian High School after the first semester of his sophomore year and began taking independent study courses in order to spend more time practicing and writing songs. Often, when he finishes his studies at noon, he goes home and plays music until midnight. He’s still on track to earn his diploma on time.
“It’s about having the passion to get better at what you do while having the talent. (Scott) has natural ability, but he also has the work ethic to do whatever it is he wants to do,” Jam said.
Challenging road
Starting out in the music industry can be daunting, and Scott and his family have lost more money than they’ve earned over the past two years producing and publicizing the teen’s music. They know this is to be expected at the beginning of an aspiring career and that Scott must acquire more fans to be successful.
Scott’s current number of listeners is moderate but growing. When he visited Brazil last summer he introduced many locals to his music. Since then, he’s developed a Brazilian fan base that has created a Web page and translated his songs on YouTube into Portuguese.
But Scott’s most important fans are his family members: his father, Preston; mother, Candi; and his brother, Ross. They’ve supported him financially and emotionally in the pursuit of his career, he said.
"It's been amazing having support from my parents...my opportunities would be very limited if I didn't," Scott said.
His father works as his booking agent in his spare time and supports Scott in any way he can. According to Jam, having parents who believe in you is key to starting off and maintaining a successful career in music.
“He has very supportive parents who understand his passion,” Jam said.
Scott hopes to continue to develop his style and expand his fan base in an attempt to find his niche in the music industry.
He may release a six- to eight-song EP this year.
“I want to improve in general, perform more and get my music out to bigger audiences and have them enjoy it.”
To hear Scott’s music and see videos, photos and more, visit www.scottjamesmusic.com.

second

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.