INTERVIEW with SCOTT in PHILLY - 2009
December 4th 2009
Interview with Scott Nerdo DeAngelis
by Maureen ODwyer
Tyler School of
Art and Design
Philadelphia, Pa, usa
*1. What is your art form? What kind of music do you make? What instruments do you play? What are you motivated to do?
I would say Music is my art form. I am a Pianist/Composer. I also sing and make Experimental Soul Music. I was brought up studying classical music. I love that style of music and technology gives me the freedom, electronically, to open doors to imagination with sounds. My creation process is very experimental, but I also like to go on an adventure in mind. I am motivated make deep sounds and keeping it simple. I love high classy and meaningful sounds. I want to make as much music I can, around the best musician I can be around. I want to perform, make film soundtracks, learn, and create.
*2. Give me a brief biographical sketch of your background history? When and how did you discover your calling?
Well I was born in Paris, France. My mother was a single parent and already had my older brother for 2 years. We moved to Nice, France shortly after to Study Music @ the Conservatory of Nice. I earned a scholarship that mother helped me get in order for me to get the best out of me. I always improvised and created melodies since I was 5 years old. I always knew what I wanted to do, and that was to make music.
*3. What level of success are you having with your music career?
I earned a National Title at age 9, winning a "Radio France" Piano Competition in Paris, France. I have played out, with bands and as a solo act in New york, Orlando, New Jersey, Philadelphia performing playing the Piano, Singing, and Djing. I independently released a cd on itunes earlier this year, called Piano With Imagination. It's out on on the Internet in a few Website including Amazon.com, and iTunes.
*4. Of the things you have done in life, of what are you most proud? To what do you attribute your success?
I am most proud of all I did in France as a child as a Concert Pianist. I have great memories of winning a lot of competitions. It made me who I am today. Heart and Determination are the reasons for my success.
*5. Of all the obstacles you have encountered in your life, which was the hardest to overcome? How did you do it? Any that you did not overcome?
I have def been through a lot in my life. The one that stands out , is getting off the streets. Not having anywhere to go, but finding ways to get out of it and keep on dreaming. I kept on believing that I was worth something. Loneliness can take the best of you, especially during those moments. I looked at life and still do, like it's a simple world. It's not like being locked up with nowhere to go. You can still dream. Inspirations of hope, and love make it easier to look forward.
*6. Has there been a particular project or event that has significantly influenced the direction of your career? How so? Do you still have interesting, stimulating experiences like this?
When I lived in Orlando Fl, I started messing around with studio production. I lived close to the University of Central Florida, where my half brother was going. kinda. I started singing in a band with students and friends of mine. I really liked it. I then connected with a couple Trance Producers, djs and saw how the music industry can make you. I wanted to stay myself and know that I had a gift to make something special, whatever style i choose to do. I get influenced to make my craft better.
7. What advice would you give to a young person starting out in music?
Stay Yourself. Don't imitate , just create.
8. Has there been point when music became less intensely involving – seemed less interesting or important to you? Can you describe a time that stands out? What were the circumstances? What did you do?
I can remember when I was in France , being forced to practice for hours and hours. My Mother would abuse me and sometimes beat me if I wasn't playing right or I didn't want to play. Those days, I didn't like the piano anymore. If I could take a break I would run to that chance. Although deep inside i love music more than anything, but If I'm not feeling it, I can easily walk away and refresh.
*9. If there has been a significant person (or persons) in your life who has influenced or stimulated your thinking and attitudes about your work...
The Doors...the band
a. When did you know them?
when I was in High School I got familiar with them.
b. How did you become interested in them (e.g., did you actively pursue them)?
I really like the band he sang in. The sound was like freedom to my ears. It felt like total desert rock music. I would listen to their albums and stay free in the mind. I had to get away from the pain of my life somehow.
c. How did they influence your work and/or attitudes (e.g., motivation, personal or professional values?
Their image and what they stood for gave me the freedom to be myself and to pursue music while staying myself.
*10. What does the word “flow” mean to you?
The word Flow means a lot to me. It's means staying in the groove, and focused
*11. Where do the ideas for your work generally come from?
melodies i hear and follow in my mind. I hear harmonies all the time and want to fill in the holes with beautiful sound waves.
a. What determines (how do you decide) what project or problem you turn to when one is completed?
I find a new one or I open up projects I left open for me to come back to and relive and create more.
b. Have there been times when it's been difficult to decide what to do next? What do you do?
Yea that always happens but I keep with it. I believe in it and try out things. If one doesn't work I stay patient til I find another direction. I always find a new one =)
*12. How important is rationality versus intuition in your work? Describe.
Well it's either you wanna make money or you wanna be creative. The key is to be both. I always wanna just go and make a soundtrack in my mind an go with it. I also wanna make sense to others, because in the end, They buy the music in order for me to eat.
a. Are there two different styles in your work (e.g., one more “rational” and the other more “intuitive”)?
Yea, but I always try to keep them close, so it all makes sense.
b. Do you think it's important to “go with your hunches” or “trust your instincts”? Or are these usually wrong/misleading?
Trust yourself. I believe I'm blessed with knowing what I should put , where I should put it. Of course i'm still learning everyday, but finding simplicity in life and in my creative process, has made things a lot better for me. I believe in myself, that doesn't mean everyone should. Some people shouldn't hurt themselves.
c. Do you have better success with a methodical, rigorous approach to your work?
no, my best work comes on the fly. Go with the Flow. If you keep doin and doin it, you lose the magic....makes my mind wonder
d. Do you think about work during leisure time? e.g. did you ever have any important insights during this “off” time?
My off time is my On Time.....There is never an Off Time....I'm always thinking.
e. How many hours of sleep do you usually get? Do you tend to do your best work early in the morning or late at night?
morning is great, but late at night I believe my mind is at its peak. After a long day of preparing and listening, I'm ready to make something powerful and timeless.
f. Have you ever had a useful idea while lying in bed, or in a dream?
yea, i just had one a couple days ago , I wanted to record it on my iPhone voice recorder, but I was too tired, and lazy....but yea I do =)
*13. How do you go about developing an idea/project?
I just do it.
a. Do you write rough drafts? Outlines? How often do you rewrite?
i rarely write it down. I usually just go and do it.
b. Do you publish your work right away or wait awhile?
I have one album out, and I look forward to publishing more in the Future. I usually wait though, since I know I'll have something better coming after that... =)
*14. Can you describe your working methods?
I get in the zone, listen to tracks I feel like I could go towards or I just got with it.....I let my Soul Drive me.
a. Do you prefer to work alone or in a team?
I rather work alone....I love to work with others though, I'm just so used to working alone...
*15. Overall, how is the way you go about your work different now from the way you worked when you first started making music?
I have more confidence in my approach now. I know what I'm doing more, and with the luxury of technology, I can do anything, anytime.
a. What if any changes have there been over the years in the intensity of your involvement in music?
It's the reason I am where I am, and the only reason I am still living. Love keeps me inspired. I want to Love. I want to feel Love.
b. What about changes in the way you think and feel about it?
Well I know now how important it is to me. I know now how serious it is to be focused. I am more humble and feel more blessed than ever.
*16. At present, what task or challenge do you see as the most important for you?
Finding work, and Loneliness. It always has been a challenge for me. I don't choose to be, it's just the way it is. I always felt like an outcast.
a. Is that what takes up most of your time and energy? If not, what does?
It takes a lot out of me, yea. It also inspires me to stay strong and to keep on believing.
*17. Do you make music primarily because you feel a sense of responsibility to do so, or because you enjoy it? Describe
Well I was forced to play music as a child in France. I was abused mentally and physically for years. I was finally separated from my mother by the French Government, when I was 9 years old. That was weeks after I won a National Title for Radio France National Competition. When my mother went into the mental hospital, I stopped playing the piano. There even was a keyboard in the orphanage that I never touched. I feel back in love with Playing the piano when I started living my life alone and wanted to explore life from within, and not be distracted with the outside world, knowing I only had one life to live. Making Music Saves my Soul
*18. Are you planning to make any changes in how actively you make music?
Yes, def. I am currently singing in my new Rock band. I am going to be writting rock songs along with the songs we already have. I will also be playing the keyboard to complete the Energy. I look forward to playing LIVE alot. I love the stage.
*19. If we had met ten years ago, what different views of the world and yourself would you have had?
I wouldn't have that much different views, just less facts and sense. I feel like I've learned so much in the last ten years. It feels good to grow and understand a lot more. I look forward to you asking me this ten years from now.
*20. Have there been some personal goals that have been especially meaningful to you over your career? If yes, could we talk about some of the most significant?
Yes , making my own album.
a. How did your interest in this goal begin?
Well my whole life I wanted to have my own studio and record my own album. Listening to artist that I admired and loved to listen to their recordings. I was always fascinated at the way records were recorded. I have an ear for that, and that is home to me.
b. How did it develop over time? (Now?)
Well I saved up money in 2007 and got an apt in South Philadelphia. I stayed there for over a year where I built a studio and recorded "Piano With Imagination". I am proud of it, but I def want to make new ones and more new ones.
c. How important was this goal to your creative accomplishments?
It was a huge deal. I have been very traumatizing things in my life, so I don't want a whole lot in life. I love simplicity and the small things in life. I can smile at just a melody and even cry when I hear something I know in my heart is real. Making an album great or good , I would be happy. I had to go through those first steps in order to look forward at the New Projects I am opening for myself. Life is full of Chances, take them while you can.
Thank you very Much =)
No! Thank you!!! =)