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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in Music (176)

Friday
Feb202015

Call Answered: Kenyon Phillips: The Life + Death of Kenyon Phillips

Kenyon Phillips, Photo Credit: Spencer Drate"Call Me Adam" chats with singer, songwriter, actor, writer, model, and DJ Kenyon Phillips about his show The Life + Death of Kenyon Phillips which will be playing a limited run at The Box in NYC (189 Chrystie Street) February 20, February 28, March 7, and March 13 at 8pm! (Doors open at 7:30pm) Click here for tickets!

The Life + Death of Kenyon Phillips is a 90-minute rock opera that uses a cabaret-variety show format to explore the past, present and future of downtown performance artist Kenyon Phillips. In addition to Kenyon and his all-girl backing band, The Ladies In Waiting, the cast includes cultural critic and TV personality Michael Musto, Tony winner Cady Huffman, Tony nominee Gabriel Barre, and a host of aerialists, burlesquers, and other shining stars from the NYC circus underground.

For more on Kenyon be sure to visit http://www.TheKenyonPhillips.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

1. From February 20-March 7, you are presenting a limited run of your show The Life + Death of Kenyon Phillips. What excites you about this upcoming engagement? So many things! Mounting the show at The Box is super exciting because we can feature circus acts that Joe’s Pub couldn’t accommodate for the earlier iterations – like aerialists and tightrope walkers. And I’m in love with my new cast – especially Cady Huffman, who plays my mom, and Gabriel Barre, who plays my dad. I’m also loving Michael Musto’s new role, which is much larger than it was in the previous versions. We’ve been having a lot of fun, and that makes me feel like the audience is going to have fun too.

2. You have done this show previously at Joe's Pub, what made now the right time to do a multiple night run of the show as opposed to a one night concert? We sold out Joe’s Pub every time we did it there, which made me realize that there really was an audience for this crazy show. One-night affairs are sexy and loaded with excitement, but there can be a sense of disappointment when they’re over – like you wish you could do it again. I used to emcee at The Box, and I’m friends with one of the owners. They happened to have room in their schedule for an early show in February and March, so we just decided to go for it. Given the burlesque nature of the show, it really is the perfect venue for us. Hopefully this limited run will help build an even bigger audience.

"The Life + Death of Kenyon Phillips" at Joe's Pub3. The Life & Death of Kenyon Phillips is a 90-minute rock-opera that combines an interactive cabaret-variety show format with burlesque dancers, aerialists, and other circus acts to bring your story to life. What made you want to format the show this way and how does it add to your nightly enjoyment of performing the show? I had been doing concerts with my band, The Ladies In Waiting, at Joe’s Pub where I was bringing up guest performers – almost like a variety show. The original goal was to keep the audience excited and on their toes, while giving talented friends like Michael Musto, dancer Marlon Taylor-Wiles and chanteuse Lady Rizo a chance to do what they do in an intimate cabaret setting. It wasn’t long before a good friend suggested that I use this format to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end – and that I make it my story. Another friend suggested that I watch the Max Ophuls film Lola Montes for inspiration. If you don’t know it (I didn’t!), a 19th-century courtesan reenacts her life within the context of a seedy midwestern circus. It’s beautiful and sad and bizarre, and made me realize that telling my life story didn’t necessarily entail doing a one-man show. By formatting the show like a traditional burlesque (with strippers, circus acts, and vaudevillian comedy), I can literally turn my life into a circus – especially when things get too painful. And selfishly, I get a major contact high from having all of these performers around. When I have a Tony winner like Cady Huffman playing my mom or an acro-juggler like Kelsey Strauch playing my cheating ex, how can I not have a ball?

Kenyon Phillips, Photo Credit: Nadia Itani4. What was it like to go back through your life to create this show? Were there moments when you felt like you didn't have the emotional strength to get through everything to put the show together or was it a delight to go back through your life? Revealing! I realized just how much I live in the past. Certain moments are painful or embarrassing, of course, but that probably means they need to be reenacted in front of an audience. And by turning those moments into musical numbers and circus acts, I can process those painful memories and, in some cases, overcome them.

5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing The Life & Death of Kenyon Phillips? I want them to be entertained, obviously. But I also want them to feel better about themselves when they leave the theater. Hopefully they'll be inspired to air their own dirty laundry, and overcome whatever shame or regret they have in the process. We all have shame and regret, but we’re only as sick as our secrets. Choosing love over fear, and to stay present instead of living in the past – that’s the moral, I suppose. Pretty lofty for a burlesque rock opera, but still!

6. What makes The Box the perfect venue to present this limited run of the show? The fact that it’s a burlesque house, for starters. I love its notoriety – the fact that when you say The Box, people assume that you’re doing something sexy and shocking. I also love the intimacy of the space. Joe’s Pub has that cabaret house intimacy, and The Box does, too – but even more so, since it only seats about half as many people as Joe’s Pub. Most importantly, The Box can accommodate circus performances. Remarkably few spaces in NYC can, probably because of liability issues. I always wanted to have aerialists spinning above the audience’s heads – and now I can!

Kenyon Phillips, Photo Credit: Clay Patrick McBride7. You have been dubbed "the love child of Luther Vandross and Steven Tyler." How did you get this title and what did it mean to you to be compared to two legendary artists of our time? My friend Michael Musto (who plays a big part in the show) first called me that. Knowing Michael, I think he was being facetious – or maybe he was just trying to come up with the least likely combination imaginable? Either way, I’m honored. Luther Vandross was a genius, and Steven Tyler left an indelible stamp on my childhood between "Walk This Way," "Sweet Emotion," and "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)." And actually, both have glam roots – Tyler was always a glam rocker, and Vandross got his big break singing backups on David Bowie’s Young Americans album.

8. Some of your music has been featured on such TV shows as Showtime's Shameless, The Eleventh Hour on CBS, and The Mighty B! on Nickelodeon. First of all, how did you get your music onto these shows? What went through your head when you the deal was complete that your music was being featured? What was it like to watch the show and have that moment of "Oh my gosh, that's my song right here at this moment in the show"? I have my brother Stephen to thank for the Shameless and Eleventh Hour music placements. He and his writing partner Tim P. have a licensing label called Transphonic Records, which pitches songs for TV shows, movies and commercials. The songs we’ve gotten on Shameless and Eleventh Hour were actually songs I wrote and recorded with him – very "all in the family." The Nickelodeon placement was different. Amy Pohler had an animated series on Nickelodeon called The Mighty B! One of my old bandmates – Jonny Cragg, who’s also the drummer for Spacehog – was friends with Amy and the show's creators, and asked if I wanted to write a Rocky Horror-style song with him for a Halloween episode. Frankenfurter’s always been my spirit animal, so of course I said yes. Jonny and I recorded our version, and then we got to produce a version that Amy sang – in character, with a lisp. Both versions ended up in the episode. That led to more songwriting assignments for the series, including a boy band-style anthem with innuendo-laced lyrics. It’s surreal to hear your songs on TV. It’s like, wait, am I dreaming? Maybe I am. Maybe this whole interview is a dream!

Kenyon Phillips9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Be here now. It may be trite, but it’s hard to shake a stick at Ram Dass.

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a singer, songwriter, actor, writer, model, and DJ? I guess I’ve learned what I like. I like making people happy. And I like attention. I’ve also learned that what I like doesn’t seem to be very lucrative!

11. How do you want to be remembered? Like a good camper: As someone who left the world a little better than I found it.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I wish my hands could turn into veggie burgers whenever I was hungry. And that they’d grow back as hands after I was done eating, like a starfish. What’s that super power called?

13. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? Coffee. Cream and sugar.

14. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer briefs! Especially Diesel ones – they’re so Eurotrashy, as all men’s underwear should be.

Kenyon Phillips, Photo Credi: Nadia Itani.More on Kenyon:

Dubbed "the love child of Luther Vandross and Steven Tyler" by pop culture commentator Michael Musto, Kenyon Phillips knows how to put on a show. The wildly theatrical singer, songwriter, actor, writer, model, dancer, and DJ has been busy "being there, doing that" all over New York City since the days of Y2K. In addition to founding and fronting the bands Roma! and Unisex Salon and contributing lead vocals to Thrill A Minute, Kenyon has written and produced songs for Amy Poehler, Joey Arias, Raven O, and Sherry Vine; moonlighted as emcee of notorious variety show nightclub The Box; performed with renowned "punk ballerina" and choreographer Karole Armitage; and appeared as a silhouetted dancer in multiple campaigns for the Apple iPod. As he puts it, "There are very few things that I won't do for money." Backed by his all-girl band The Ladies In Waiting, Kenyon's stage shows are a blend of orchestral rock, surrealist theater and cabaret –frequently bolstered by surprise appearances from an array of downtown celebs. His songs have been featured on several network and cable television programs, including Shameless on Showtime, Eleventh Hour on CBS, and The Mighty B! on Nickelodeon. His debut solo EP Fire in the Hole was released in September 2013, and was helmed by multi-platinum award-winning producer, mixer and songwriter David Bendeth (Paramore, Papa Roach, Breaking Benjamin, Cowboy Junkies, Crash Test Dummies, IMA Robot). Kenyon is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Tuesday
Feb102015

Call Answered: Aaron David Gleason: 54 Below: Midnight at 9:30

Aaron David Gleason, Photo Credit: Prospect Photography"Call Me Adam" chats with actor, producer, and singer/songwriter Aaron David Gleason about his upcoming show at 54 Below (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue) Midnight at 9:30 on February 18 at 9:30pm! Click here for tickets!

Midnight at 9:30 is an evening of songs from every genre about "midnight." Joining Aaron in this special evening are his Tony Award winning mother Joanna Gleason, Chris Sullivan, Lucas Papaelias, Brittain Ashford, Or Matias, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Andromeda Turre, Daniel Ballen, and David Ballen.

For more on Aaron be sure to visit http://aarondavidgleason.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

1. On February 18, you are presenting Midnight at 9:30, an evening of songs about Midnight. What are you most excited for about this concert? Getting this crew together. I'm a huge fan of these other artists.

2. What made you want to produce an evening of songs about Midnight? What does this bewitching hour mean to you? My first band was called The Midnight Radio, of course I was inspired by Stephen Trask's song. That song encapsulates all of Hedwig's emotions at that time. It's heavy and exalting all in one. As for "midnight songs": Funny, that a lot of songs with that word in it end up being blues. The non-blues ones end up being epic. Once you get into that subject matter, there's no messing around. You must have something to say. When I posted that I wanted suggestions on songs with "midnight" in them, I got about 100 replies.

3. What do you love most about performing at 54 Below? Nice ambiance. Great history. The other people performing on a nightly basis there are incredible. It's been a fantasy to play there.

Joanna and Aaron Gleason performingAaron and Joanna Gleason in Aaron's music video for his song "Mastermind"4. Joining you on February 18 will be a host of Broadway performers including your mother, Tony Award winner Joanna Gleason, whom you have performed with before at 54 Below. She was also featured in your music video for your song "Mastermind." What are looking forward to most about having your mom as part of this evening? What do you like most about performing with her? My mom asked if she could make soup for everyone. I said, "I've had your soup, how about you sing one song." She agreed to that deal. All kidding aside, I'm as much a fan of hers as anyone. Her interpretations are inspired and inventive. Some people try in vain to distill her talents -- that's pretty tough because she is so nimble and electric.

5. Some of the other performers performing with you in Midnight at 9:30 are Chris Sullivan, Lucas Papaelias, Brittain Ashford, Or Matias, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Andromeda Turre, Daniel Ballen, and David Ballen. How did you decide that you wanted these particular performers to be part of this concert? This is my favorite part. These artists all have something that's impossible to pin down. Anytime I saw them perform, they changed the way I saw theater. I saw Brittain and Or in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, and it blew my mind, to be honest. Lucas and I used to play basketball, before I knew anything about the guy. Then, I see ONCE and he damn near steals the show. Nikka and I grew up together, and her mother and my mother were in I Love My Wife. Nikka has infectious charm. I'm a big fan of The Knick, and Chris Sullivan is incredible on that show.  He also happens to sing blues and folk like a mountain man. The Bailens are an up and coming great band and Drew Cooper, my MD, is literally my next door neighbor. I heard his playing coming through the wall, and thought, yeah I have to get that guy. Andromeda and I were in a reading of The Happy Hooker, and she knocked my socks off with her killer energy and voice.

Aaron David Gleason6. What do you hope audiences come away with after attending Midnight at 9:30? Their money's worth. Just having a nice night out. Excitement. Whimsy.

7. In addition to performing in Midnight at 9:30, as mentioned earlier, you are also producing the concert. What do you get from producing that you do not get from performing? Ownership, for better or for worse.

8. What's the best advice you've ever received? If someone ever tells you their way is the only way, it probably isn't.

9. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? It's what I live for, totally, completely. It CAN make you take a long look in a close mirror, which is fairly horrifying at first, but then you learn to be at peace with it. What I've learned most though, is that if I go too long between performances, I start to lose my sense of self.

Aaron David Gleason, Photo Credit: Prospect Photography10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The ability to play music at a high level.

BONUS QUESTION:

11. If you could create a signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? The Midnight Special. Ingredients: Gin, Bitters, Grand Marnier.

Monday
Jan122015

Call Answered: Frankie J. Grande 54 Below: Jan 20 and 21

Frankie J. Grande"Call Me Adam" chats with Frankie J. Grande about his return engagement to 54 Below on January 20 and 21. We also talk about him starring on CBS' Big Brother, Broadway's Rock of Ages, staying grounded, and his sister Ariana Grande! Click here for tickets to Frankie's show at 54 Below!

For more on Frankie be sure to visit http://www.frankiejgrande.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

1. You are returning to 54 Below for two new shows on January 20 and 21. What excites you about your return? So much has happened to me in the last year, I am so looking forward to performing this updated show for both my original Frankie fans, and for my new ones.

2. What do you love most about performing at 54 Below that made you want to come back? The sound!!!! It’s one of the greatest rooms for a vocalist to perform in, I cannot wait to get up there and sing my face off!

3. For someone who has never seen you perform, why would you tell them to come see you? You should come see my show because it will be like no other show you’ve seen at 54 Below. It will be constantly entertaining, full of heart, have a digital component, and be covered in sparkles - just like me!

4. For fans who have attended your previous shows, what can they get excited for with this new show (other than it's new)? There will be Big Brother and Rock Of Ages elements added to this version of the show!

Frankie J. Grande5. According to press notes, you are going to be doing some of your incredible impressions. When did you first realize you liked to imitate people and who are some of your favorite impressions? After the first Lord of the Rings movie I went home and just immediately began speaking like "Smeagol"/"Gollum," and I was completely shocked and obsessed with my ability to do so. So, I began to discover other impersonations that I was good at, but still none of them are as exciting to me as "Smeagol"/"Gollum."

6. You are finishing up your run in Broadway's Rock of Ages, which closes January 18. What made you want to be part of the show's final weeks? Being a part of the Rock of Ages Broadway company has been a long time dream, having the honor of taking the final bow with this incredible cast makes it even more of a dream come true.

Frankie J. Grande "Rock of Ages"7. You spent a season in the Big Brother house. Since you will be talking about this in your upcoming 54 Below show, what can you tell us about your experience on Big Brother that you will not be mentioning in your at 54 Below? Would you want to be on another show like Big Brother again? As you may have seen on Big Brother, I hold NOTHING back - so, there will be nothing I will be holding back at my 54 Below show. However, I will say that it was an incredibly fun, rewarding, and challenging experience that I am extremely proud of.

Absolutely I’d love to do another reality TV competition - sign me up for Survivor and Celebrity Apprentice!

8. With all your success how do you stay grounded in an industry that has lead others down darker roads? Luckily, my path toward celebrity has been extremely linear. One thing has lead to another, and I have worked extremely diligently along the way. This was not an overnight success, and I think that helps keeping me grounded.

Frankie and Ariana Grande9. You and your sister both work in the industry of show business, but each on your own path within the industry. While each of you are following your own dreams, do you feel you have a stronger connection with each other because you are both in show business or do you feel your relationship would be the same regardless of both working in the same industry? I think the fact that we both work in the same industry does make us closer as we have such similar passions and interests, and jobs! We often go to each other for career advice, but that probably wouldn’t happen if I had chosen to be a doctor (as I thought I might all those years ago in college!).

10. What's the best advice you've ever received? Be true to yourself.

11. What have you learned about yourself from your varied career (singer, actor, producer, host, social media mogul, etc)? I succeed when I think less and live more. My inner joy is infectious and when I can share that with the world as much as possible, without holding back, I am at my happiest and the world responds positively!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

Frankie J. Grande and Madonna #RebelHeart12. How do you want to be remembered? I would like to be remembered for being unapologetically myself, and for inspiring others to follow in my foot steps.

13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I would like to be an airbender so that I could fly around the world. I travel a lot. It would make things a lot easier.

14. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what would the ingredients be? The Go Grande Or Go Home; it would be filled with glitter, rainbows, sparkles, and served on fire.

Frankie J. GrandeMore on Frankie:

Frankie J. Grande is currently starring in Rock of Ages on Broadway, after spending a season in the Big Brother house! He is a performer, producer, host, YouTube star and social media mogul. Frankie has a rich history in the theater as he has performed in Mamma Mia! on Broadway, produced Hamlet starring Jude Law, and produced and co-directed Brooke Shields’ one woman show at Feinstein’s. He was honored with the title of Mr. Broadway in 2007.

Monday
Dec222014

Call Redialed: Graham Alexander: Repeat Deceiver

Graham Alexander, Photo Credit: Christina Sees"Call Me Adam" catches up with singer/songwriter Graham Alexander to talk about his sophomore album Repeat Deceiver which was released on December 19! Click here to purchase on iTunes and here for a physical CD!

For more on Graham be sure to visit http://www.graham-alexander.net and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instragram and Soundcloud!

1. On December 19, you released your sophomore album Repeat Deceiver. What are you looking forward to most about this release? Well....quite honestly the #1 thing I look forward to about this album is playing it live (also...finishing what was seemingly a never ending series of sessions that made up Repeat Deceiver). We are excited to promote the album despite its macabre feeling in title, and appearance--most of that has an underlying "freedom" from deception mantra. Across a platform of so so so many things in life, really.

2. How did you come up with the title of the album? I wrote the song first and then it was determined that the rest of the songs were thematically applicable to the rest of them....so it made sense. "Repeat Deceiver" was such a wonderful phrase (I felt) and in two words it described how I felt about so many aspects of the modern age. Is there a day that goes by that you *don't* hear about deception?

3. When you were thinking of recording your sophomore album, what goals did you set to achieve with this recording that you did not get to achieve on your debut album? I didn't set any goals, really. I think you just learn what you like and what you hate and then turn all of that on its head and try to create something that really breathes and makes you excited to listen to it. It's like...I suppose…to me at least, setting goals for an album of any tangible value sort of eliminates the possibility of it being anything you could ever a. enjoy, b. promote with love for it and passion and c. creatively be satisfied with. I say CREATE and perfect as much as possible but try not to shove the project in a box.

Graham Alexander and his band, Photo Credit: Christina Sees4. What was the best part about the making of this album? What was the most challenging? Finishing it. HAHAHAHAHA.......YEA....finishing the album was the absolute best part. Although notable highlights for me also include the live band stuff we did for things like "People Are Only Sorry When They're Caught" and "Third Wheel," which we recorded very much live (like the olden days)…together in a room. Very raw.

5. Aside from this being a new recording, why should fans be excited for Repeat Deceiver? It's my favorite album thus far that I've ever been involved with and my team and I feel we've really created something realllly unique and really enjoyable to listen to. We spent so much time to make sure we weren't cutting a single corner on the production. You hear real violins, cellos, trumpets, saxophones--humans--playing music. It's really a rare album in 2014/2015 and part of an overall plan to bring more substance from a drooping 100+ year old industry. These songs are handcrafted. There aren't any formulas we follow. We don't hire outside writers to churn out the next pop hit. The songs are from us. The music is from us and it's our absolute passion for almost 2 decades now.

6. How do you feel you've grown as an artist with this album? Ya know...I'm not sure how an artist grows really. I would say thinking about it too much might stunt creativity. I feel like thinking about things too much often ruins them like having 6 people try to write a joke. Eventually there are so many punchlines that the concept of the whole thing is dead in the water.

7. In addition to recording your sophomore album, you also reorganized and reincorporated RCA and merged your production and administration facilities with them. What made you want to take on this venture and what have you enjoyed most about this side of the business? Well....the first thing my production company LAIR did was to acquire a bunch of essentially ancient brands including some early record labels (and imprints) because, of course, RCA Records was sold off from the Radio Corporation of America (RCA Corp.) portfolio (to Sony) years before we were able to re-organize it. Because I'm from Victor Talking Machine Co.'s hometown (the very first major record company), I cared more about seeing that restored since it had more historic value for me personally than the later RCA Records division. So once we organized that together with our other brands we decided to dissolve LAIR as the parent holding company and return VTMC (and our other brands which include brand holdings in musical Instruments, pro audio, and apparel) to its parent (which of course GE bought in 1986 and subsequently sold off bits and pieces of...holding the company as a shell until recently).

Graham Alexander performing with his band, Photo Credit: Christina Sees8. Since the album is called Repeat Deceiver, what is an event in your life you would want to do over and over again and have you ever deceived someone? I don't think there is a single thing I've ever experienced that isn't better off a memory HAHAHAHAHA and by that I mean…I love the past BUT it's the past for a reason. Society should move as progressively out of the status it is in at all times and oddly that occasionally means peeking into the past to see what went wrong and how we can all make it better. I know that probably sounds pretty hypocritical coming from the artist releasing a record through a 115+ year old company, but I suppose thats the irony of progression sometimes…and occasionally, you don't know what you've got till its gone. And sadly, even more occasionally, it's not gone because of a natural progression of events.

9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I'd say the power to sleep. At this point. I can't stop my brain these days!

10. If you could be any original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? Cherry! but it stains your face.

BONUS QUESTION:

11. How do you want to be remembered? By having done something that makes people happy! I'll keep you updated if that happens!

Graham Alexander, Photo Credit: Christina SeesMore on Graham:

With a style incredibly eclectic and signature, Graham Alexander's life has been dedicated to performing, composing and producing music from an early age. Graham's upbringing brought in an incredibly diverse palette of pop artists from Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra and American folk music of the early 20th century, to Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and 2Pac. Born in a severely depressed post-industrial Camden, N.J., Graham's first guitar was picked from the garbage on account of not being able to afford one on his own. From that point, he and music of every kind became inseparable.

Having grown up with the birth and progression of the internet (and the vast media availability it granted the world), Graham never saw music as something that needed to be genre-based. As a songwriter, he preferred the freedom of writing what struck his mind as interesting at the moment rather than adhering to a trend. This fearless and rebellious attitude towards genre bending pushed him to produce and self release his first album in 2011 to rave reviews (quickly becoming a cult classic). Critics and fans alike lauded the album for its neo-retro sensibility coupling irresistibly catchy songs with organic and incredibly detailed production. Spotify's top 100 songs chosen by fans playlist even included the first single from the album "Biggest Fan" at #6 in its 2011 list. Shortly after, Graham Alexander with his band toured in support of the album, building the brand one set of ears at a time.

Graham formed his band of nearly 15 years while he was still in middle school--a rare feat in this day and age. Their commitment to touring and their history at such a young age makes Graham Alexander & Co. an incredibly special phenomenon in the live music world today. Additionally, they pride themselves on performing without the assistance of sequences or backing tracks that are all too common in live acts today. In addition to his career as a solo artist, Graham's passion for performance was nurtured by his work on Broadway as an actor, musician, and musical director in various productions at the Neil Simon, Brooks Atkinson, and St. James theaters in New York City.

In 2013, Graham reorganized and reincorporated 'Radio Corporation of America' returning it to Camden, NJ. In 2014, Graham merged his production and administration facilities while developing products for the company’s Victor Talking Machine Co., Victrola, His Master’s Voice, and Little Nipper brands.

Wednesday
Dec172014

Call Redialed: Scott Alan: Greatest Hits Volume 1 and 54 Below Debut Concert 

Scott Alan"Call Me Adam" catches up with songwriter Scott Alan to talk about his new album Scott Alan Greatest Hits Volume 1 and his upcoming 54 Below debut concert on January 19, 2015 at 7pm, which celebrates the release of Scott Alan Greatest Hits Volume 1!

Scott Alan Greatest Hits Volume 1 features Samantha Barks, Shoshana Bean, Stephanie J. Block, Lisa Brescia, Liz Callaway, Kerry Ellis, Hadley Fraser, Eden Espinosa, Marcus Paul James and Willemijn Verkaik, and new tracks by Marc Broussard, Taylor Dayne, Cynthia Erivo, RJ Helton, Christina Marie, Jonathan Mendelsohn, Stuart Matthew Price, Oliver Tompsett and Natalie Weiss.

Scheduled to appear at Scott's 54 Below concert include 2014 Tony Award Winners James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin) and Jessie Mueller (Beautiful), Tony Nominee’s Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, Violet) and Chad Kimball (Memphis) as well as Lilla Crawford (Little Red Riding Hood in Disney’s upcoming film adaptation of Into the Woods), Alysha Umphress (On the Town), David Burtka (upcoming’s It Shoulda Been You), Mykal Kilgore (Motown), Natalie Weiss (Wicked), Katie Thompson (Giant), Ellyn Marie Marsh (Kinky Boots), Danny Calvert (Altar Boyz), Elizabeth Stanley (On the Town). More performers to be announced. Click here for tickets!

For more on Scott be sure to visit http://scottalan.net and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

Designed by Robbie Rozelle1. You have just released your new album Scott Alan Greatest Hits Volume 1 which features, well, some of your biggest hits from your previous five albums, plus a few new recordings and re-workings of other hits. What made now the right time to release a Greatest Hits album as opposed to recording a new album? To make a new album would cost too much money and putting out a Greatest Hits album allowed me the opportunity to revisit my older catalogue of music and reconstruct it enough to give these songs a new feel. In addition, since so many of my past albums are out of print, it only made sense to place the greatest hits on one album instead of spending the money to duplicate all or most of my previous albums. Everything comes down to money, which isn’t to say this album didn’t cost money, it actually cost more to make then my debut album, Dreaming Wide Awake.

2. What does it mean to you to have enough material to be able to create a Greatest Hits album? It means I’m getting really old. I’m now in that stage of my life where graduates tell me they discovered my music when they were in Junior High School. Old. Old. Old.

Scott Alan3. How did you decide which songs you wanted to put on this first collection of Greatest Hits and how did you decide which songs you wanted to re-work/change from their original recording? We did a poll on my website and about 90% of the songs were picked from that poll. As for the re-worked songs, it was important to have updates on many of the songs to make this album special and unique and not the normal "greatest hits" collection of songs that fans already own.

4. Some of the artists featured on your Greatest Hits were not the original artists you initially had record the song. Why did you choose to change some of the artists for this release? It started with the song "Anything Worth Holding on To." It’s a very personal song but it never caught on when released on my third album, What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up, even though it was beautifully sung by the iconic voice of Crystal Monee Hall. Then when I did my IndigO2 concert at the O2 and it was performed by the extraordinarily gifted talents of Cynthia Erivo, it gained a new life and a new following. I knew I wanted to try and recreate that and so having Cytnhia record the song was not even a question. Nothing will ever match the magic of the live performance but it’s so incredible to have it recorded for this album. And, to have Stuart Matthew Price re-create his performance of "Over the Mountains" was a no brainer. He was my original idea for the recording but I had already offered it to Bobby Steggert. Then we tried to have him in for the LIVE album but he was busy with Shrek. So, we finally had the timing right. Thankfully. And, "In This Moment" recorded in the studio was a no-brainer. Marc Broussard. Hello. This new version of "Kiss the Air" was featured on the special edition of LIVE, so we changed the arrangement a bit. Oliver Tompsett’s voice is timeless. And Natalie Weiss' new version of "The Distance You Have Come" was our way of going back to the original demo of what the song represented. Simplistic and organic.

Scott Alan and Taylor Dayne5. One artist who is new to this recording is the one and only Taylor Dayne who sings "I'm Coming Home To You." I have loved Taylor Dayne since she burst onto the music scene in the 80s. How did you come to work with this Grammy-nominated artist? I’m annoying and overly eager. Taylor can tell the story better but truthfully I just kept tweeting her and emailing her assistant until she said yes. I wouldn’t give up and kept on pushing and thankfully our schedules linked up and I had the opportunity to work with one of my childhood idols. I grew up the biggest Taylor Dayne voice and that voice hasn’t changed one bit. It’s still crazy to look in my phone and know I can call her, and I do. She’s so down to earth and awesome. The studio session was a blast. Just two Long Island kids. We have the same lingo and she is brilliant in knowing what she wants and how to achieve it. She’s got a brilliant mind. It was an honor.

6. On January 19, you will be making your 54 Below debut to celebrate the release of your Greatest Hits. What excites you about making your 54 Below debut? Why was now the best time to make your 54 Below debut? You know, I feel like I’m having an affair on Birdland because I've been performing there for years but when Jennifer Tepper asked me if I would be interested in doing a concert at 54 Below I couldn’t help but say yes. I mean, aren’t all the cool kids doing it? Sometimes new scenery is just what the doctor ordered.

Scott Alan7. In addition to this concert being your 54 Below debut, your first concert in a year and a half, why should fans get excited for this concert? and What do you hope audiences come away with after attending this concert? I have always feared performing in New York because I feel like I can’t just sit back and relax and be myself. Over the years, performing in London and Australia and Holland and Germany and just having the opportunity to sit back and tell my story - I’m excited to do that now, in my city. It’s gonna be a very different vibe and I’m really excited to share that with this audience.

8. Why did you wait a year and a half to return to the New York concert stage? I always think nobody will show up and so I think it’s always smart to take breaks so that the audience awaits your next visit and I don’t overdose on xanax.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? From Frank Wildhorn. He said "The day you stop thinking you’re a new voice and think you’ve learned everything there is to be learned, leave the industry." Smart advice. Thankfully, I keep learning. And advice I always tell the young one’s which is to "Always remain a fan" and I do. I continue to work with my childhood hero’s because I am still that 12 year old kid in his bedroom waiting for life to begin.

Scott Alan10. What have you learned about yourself from being a composer/lyricist? How truly therapeutic music can be if you let it.

11. How do you want to be remembered? As a father and a husband. I just need a husband and kids to father. But that is what I want my legacy to be. 

BONUS QUESTIONS:

12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I seem to dream about flying a lot. I don’t know why. I have dreams often that I can fly. So, I guess that one?

13. If you could be an original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? Oh, hmmmm. Is cool mint an option?

14. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what would the ingredients be? The Dreamer. Part Malibu Rum, Part Pineapple Juice, Part Citrus Absolute Vodka, part Midori Melon and topped off with a cherry. And yes. I was a bartender and that actually was my signature drink back in the day at Stonewall Inn, located in the W. Village. So I’m sorta cheating.

Scott AlanMore on Scott:

Since returning to New York City in 2003 many of Broadway's elite have sung Scott Alan's songs, including Liz Callaway, Jonathan Groff, Shoshana Bean, Adriane Lenox, Stephanie J. Block, Cheyenne Jackson, Eden Espinosa and more, all of which can be found featured on his debut CD Dreaming Wide Awake. Scott then released the follow up CD, Keys, in 2008 which features more of Broadway and West End elite singing his work, including Sutton Foster, Norm Lewis, Kerry Ellis, Randy Graff, Megan Hilty, Hadley Fraser, Julia Murney and many more.

In the fall of 2010, Scott Alan released his third album, What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up, featuring Christiane Noll, Darius de Haas, Christopher Sieber, Willemijn Verkaik, Patina Miller and more.

Scott Alan released his fourth album, LIVE, in 2012 which was recorded at the famed Birdland Jazz Club in New York City. This recording featured Samantha Barks, Lea Salonga, Jane Monheit, Marc Broussard, Ramin Karimloo, Pentatonix and many of today's brightest Broadway and West End stars. On May 24th, 2012 Scott's composition, "It's Good to See You Again" was featured on the premiere episode of the ninth season of So You Think You Can Dance. His work has also been heard in the documentary The Standbys and on VH1's reality show Off-Pitch.

In 2014 Scott released his fifth album, a seven song collection sung by the composer called Anything Worth Holding on To.

Scott Alan has sold out concerts of his music in New York City, London, Holland, Germany, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles and Australia.