Scott Zartman is a singer-songwriter from Hanover, PA. Scott fuses pop and rock elements with folk-like vocals to create a unique multi-genre sound. He composes from the heart and his songs are defined by feeling and the relationships in between.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
My earliest recollections of music were hearing the Beatles on my mother's car radio when I was about 4 years old and I could instantly resonate with their lush harmonies and song melodies. For me, that has always been the ideal song formula because ultimately you want the listener to remember the music by humming along. At the age of 14 I taught myself guitar after seeing the group Kiss perform.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
I don't have much of a music career and this isn't really crazy but once while in the local music store I decided to go into the private soundproof room to try out a very expensive guitar. Eventually there were 3 other individuals that came in and heard me strumming and singing songs from Guns and Roses and Led Zeppelin. They each picked up an instrument and started playing along. We had this cool jam going on, complete strangers.
What has been the high point of your music path?
I like being able to sound much more like a band than a single musician with today's technology. In the early days all I had was my acoustic guitar and voice. And while some have said they miss that about me I always wanted to showcase my talent on a wider scale. Of course what artist or band doesn't enjoy seeing their music on social media and online music stores.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I've always approached my songwriting with the music first whether on acoustic guitar or keyboard. I like to have a drum loop playing in the background so I can establish the tempo. Eventually I get a sense of melody by humming and from that the lyrics come soon after. I may or may not have a story line in the beginning but in the end it comes together. Once however I had a dream where I was playing some unknown song and woke up the next morning to not only write the music I heard but also the lyrics I was singing. It's always been a mystery as to how I was able to remember any of it.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
On one hand, indie artists today have a lot more ways to get their music listened to but at the same time there are infinity so many talented musicians all striving to get noticed. One has to be unique and have presence in order to compete with all the deserving artists globally. It's so easy to get lost in the shuffle. I'm showing my age here but in my teens all we had for recording were the cheap tape recorders. Eventually we got the 4 track recorders around 2000 only to be replaced by music recording software for computers. But it's only been a few years now where we all have had the luxury of the Internet helping our cause in promotion. These days anyone with creativity can honestly make their dreams a reality. But at the same time, now that independent artists no longer need the A&R guy or the record company behind them, that additional expense to promote ourselves has been passed on to us.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
I suppose if you read my answer about my earliest recollections than you wouldn't be surprised that I would love to perform with the legendary Sir Paul McCartney for just one song. Need I say more? I can just hear it now as he and I duet on "Hey Jude." I just think the world of him. His music is timeless. But I also grew up a really big KISS fan and in the 70s they ruled the world. Since they are going out on their final tour starting in the New Year, I wouldn't mind sharing the stage dressed in make up singing along side Paul Stanley.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
I'm not really so much a performer as I am the guy writing music behind the control panel. The only places I have officially played live are at family picnics and my church. For this reason, I don't rehearse all that much. Once I get in the zone however I just cut loose. I have on occasion thought about doing the local mic night in town but I would almost have to assemble a group to help me or play tape recorded backtracks.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
I suppose all of my songs these days are a challenge to write because they don't come as easy as they used to. Any of those tunes that are autobiographical from a relationship standpoint naturally would be difficult to convey without perhaps breaking down from time to time. For me, perhaps the hardest song in recent memory to get thru was one I recorded for my last record, "I Will Not Leave You." I wrote it for a close friend of mine that died of stage IV Pancreatic cancer at age 25. He was instrumental in helping me come out as being gay. I miss him so much.
What's coming up in the future?
Well, to be honest I already have a full time profession that pays the bills. Music has always been what I would call a hobby although some have said I should have invested my future solely in being a singer/songwriter. Let's face it, it's one thing to embark on a dream and wanting to succeed. The music climate changes every few years and you're only as good as your next single. If by way of promoting I manage to become this very popular and rising star on the horizon, I would certainly think strongly about touring and leaving behind my current job. But as far as my future is concerned, I have a long line of albums from the past that were not digitally recorded. I hope to re-master them in due time and release them. I've already starting writing new material as well.
Tell us where fans can access your music?
Fans who would want to check out my current album can visit my webpage at Hearnow.