Cris Velasco knows a thing or two about grit. He spent 7 years working day jobs (from retail to telemarketing!) until his big break into the gaming world. Now Cris has a worldwide passionate fan base and is one of the most sought-after, award-winning composers in the business, including his latest work on Fortnite, Resident Evil, Assassin’s Creed and many more. Cris also has written for TV, film and VR, the next innovative platform. During this insightful music careers episode, Cris walks us through his journey, from UCLA to crappy day jobs to his wildly successful video game soundtracks, how to write for an immersive, non-linear experience, how to get started in the business and to never, ever give up.
John DelVento truly understands the meaning of hard work. His passion and commitment started with 2 hour practices on the euphonium as a child, and he continued that drive to write music for advertising campaigns, video games, award-winning films, popular tv shows, documentaries and more. During this music careers episode, John walks us through his career trajectory and what it takes to be a successful composer, which is really all about being a music entrepreneur, and to practice your craft at every available opportunity. (As proof, John, is still a sought-after euphoniumist, playing venues like Carnegie Hall and other high-profile performances.) John also shares invaluable tips and insight, like how to pitch your music, how (and when) to start your own business, how to find opportunities, what pitfalls to avoid, how to market yourself, and more.
With over a decade of experience in the tech landscape as a software developer and entrepreneur, Jongnic Bontemps has an intimate knowledge of the marriage of music and tech, especially in today’s music industry. Jongnic has made a name for himself as a prolific and sought-after film composer, scoring for features, documentaries, shorts, VR, video games and more. His music is featured in the blockbuster hit movie “Creed II” as well as The New York Times and Tribeca favorite documentary “United Skates,” Sundance selection “Leimert Park,” and others. In this episode, Jongnic walks us through his music career trajectory, from Yale to Silicon Valley, USC’s film scoring program and Sundance Film Music Lab, and also discusses the unique perspective and innovative opportunities his tech and software experience have provided him in his successful career. He shares his valuable insight and experience in film scoring, music production, supporting your art and music entrepreneurship, as well as the importance of creating long-lasting relationships in the music business.
Brad Segal, founder of Fine Tune Music, is a working musician in every sense of the word. A classical pianist, he studied at the world-famous Julliard School before making his way to the ad agencies of New York City, composing jingles and programming music with computers (before the advent of digital-audio workstations.) During this music careers episode, Brad walks us through his many evolutions in the music business, working steadily as a music editor and composer before starting his own firm, Fine Tune Music. Brad shares his insights for breaking into the music scoring biz, where music licensing could be headed with streaming platforms, and the many lessons he has learned along the way.
Lolita Ritmanis is an Emmy-award winning composer, with a long and distinguished career writing music for TV and film. She has been nominated 10 times for an Emmy, and won for the Warner Bros. series “Batman Beyond.” Throughout her composing career, she has worked with the greats such as Michael Kamen, Basil Poledouris, and Mark Snow, along with many others, and was mentored by Shirley Walker. As Lolita walks us through her music career trajectory, she explains the importance of collaboration, the different aspects of scoring music for film and TV, and her current position as President of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, in support of other female film composers (she was awarded the BMI Champion Award this year in recognition of this work, along with her colleagues Laura Karpman and Miriam Cutler.) Lolita has also written songs and musicals, and her work has been premiered and performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, and The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Alejandro Cohen is a well-known creative force in LA’s music and arts community, with several music jobs under his belt as a musician, composer, DJ and Executive Director at dublab.com. Dublab began its start in the heart of Los Angeles, as one of the first online stations in 1999 and a fierce supporter of LA arts, music and culture. In addition, Alejandro worked on many bands and projects based in Los Angeles, including Languis, Pharaohs and Psychic Powers. His film music will be featured in the film “The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo,” about countercultural icon Oscar Zeta Acosta, premiering next month on PBS. Ale talks about his personal music journey and the expansion of dublab to affiliate stations around the globe, as well as to terrestrial radio, on the FM dial at 99.1.
Photo Credit: Kate Berry
We’re ending 2017 with a terrific guest, Chase Bradley – a.k.a. Chase Flow. Chase is a rap artist who has toured around the US and beyond with other high-profile artists and groups. Never one to rest on his laurels, he’s also a songwriter, beats maker, producer and film composer, up-ing his music career making music on everything from longtime soap The Young and The Restless to hit movie Ride Along starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. Chase talks about his career trajectory from Philly to Los Angeles, building relationships and actively seeking next-level opportunities all along the way.
(Check out our collaboration, “Valentineo” here)