ARTIST NAME: Evan at Studio Pros
SONG TITLE: Ellen When She Smiled
Music by John Dusenberry and Allan Provost
RELEASE DATE: 9/14/2017
Discuss your past.
I was born in New York City and raised in Huntington Station on the north shore of Long Island. I began my musical life as a trombone player in the award-winning Walt Whitman high school jazz band led by pioneer jazz educator Clem DeRosa. Highlights include broadcasting on Voice of America, playing at Leonard Bernstein’s home in Fairfield Connecticut, appearances on national television, and performing with guest soloists such as Phil Woods, Urbie Green, and Marion McPartland.
After graduating from Lehigh University, I studied trombone at the Navy School of Music with trombone virtuoso Tom Ervin; and after leaving the Navy I studied with Ned Meredith of the San Francisco Symphony. A growing interest in composition led me to study counterpoint privately with Will Johnson (Princeton, Cal Berkeley); and after settling in the Los Angeles area, music composition with Morten Lauridsen, Robert Linn, James Hopkins, and Anthony Vazzana at USC, and film scoring with Don Ray at UCLA.
Shortly after this composition training, I wrote a song that was performed by a singer/guitar player who had worked a great deal in Las Vegas. Hearing him sing it opened a new area I hadn’t thought of – songwriting. Since then I’ve been writing both songs and instrumental music evenings and weekends while working in the computer and computer game field.
The very positive response to my songs, as well as to my instrumental music, has been rewarding and encouraging. So, I continue to write.
Discuss music royalties and how to get paid.
I receive payments from TuneCore for sales and from ASCAP for radio play and other public performances.
List the names of your biggest supporters.
Award-winning computer game composer Garry Schyman is a great supporter of my music. He especially likes this song, “Ellen When She Smiled”, and another as well – “Green”…
Explain what has motivated you so far in your music career.
It’s pretty simple: I love music, and I find a great deal of satisfaction in creating new music.
Discuss your experience as an artist.
Briefly, though, I started as a trombone player in an award-winning jazz band and went on to study music composition at USC. Since then I’ve been writing both instrumental music and songs.
Tell us the biggest mistake you have ever made in your music career.
Working outside the music world took me away from personal contacts with people in the industry.
Discuss the story behind the song.
Lyricist Allan Provost sent me the lyric. He wanted a specific name in the song, but couldn’t decide which two-syllable name to use. I said, how about my fiancé’s name, Ellen? She has a beautiful smile. So, Ellen, it became.
We were both very happy with the version Evan did at Studio Pros, as well as the piano work by Mark (who had been playing for Aretha Franklin, when she didn’t do her own piano playing).
Tell us the greatest piece of advice someone has given you as an artist.
Be yourself – write from your experiences and your feelings.
Tell us what you will improve or change in your music.
The lyrics in this song are by Allan Provost. I also write lyrics, and in this area, I always want to avoid clichés. It’s not something I tend to write, but it’s something I never want to write.
List your best artists with reasons.
Michael Buble – great sound, and rhythmic phrasing a la Sinatra.
Paul McCartney – great melodies, great lyrics, great voice – innovative.
Lady Gaga – her voice, and ability to sing big production uptempo, as well as intimate introspective songs.
Aretha Franklin – voice, phrasing, rhythm, soul – she had it all.
Discuss your existence as an artist.
My goal is to write music and songs that mean something to people – Something good to leave behind.
Tell us the greatest problem you think is facing society and the solution.
Entrenched sides in politics and society as a whole. More kindness and more use of reason are needed most of all.
Discuss your songwriting and recording.
I write most days – it’s just what I do and who I am. I don’t think about it ahead of time – I just do it. I’m more intuitive about my music, even though I can be analytical.
After some years I was able to find a first-rate recording studio – StudioPros.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
As the writer, my name is my own.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
Ellen When She Smiled – It could be a song about someone who has passed away or someone who is still alive, but gone from the singer’s life for some undisclosed reason.