Reflect on these contemporary scenes with a critical eye.
Q&A with John DeFaria
- 01 Nov 13
Fnd out more about LA based composer John DeFaria the man behind new album Backwoods Drama.
You had great success working with Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine - how did that come about?
I was in Miami playing with an amazing band called "The Company”. Gloria and Emilio were looking for new musicians. They came out to see us and hired us the next day. We became a really solid unit for her live and in the studio.
You’ve worked with great producers like Phil Ramone, George Duke, Maurice White and David Foster. What makes a good producer?
Funny, the people you mentioned all have one common trait. They let the musician be who he is. They don’t get in the way... I’m so sad that Phil Ramone and George Duke aren’t with us anymore. Besides being the icons they were, they were really fabulous people ... maybe that’s another trait. Besides having elephant ears ... great producers seem to have a great connection to other people.
What was your first break?
I think I had a few first breaks ... I’m not sure why I say that ... it’s just that when you’re young you’re learning as you go. Probably my very first break was when I was playing with Bob James ... along with a few other great players from University of Miami. I was still rough around the edges though...
You’ve worked on some great high profile movie scores. Do you have a favorite?
That was back when I was doing sessions ... Wow I guess one of my favs was Alex Wurman’s score for a movie called “A lot Like love”. I absolutely love his work! I also worked a lot with Joel Mcneely ... I had great fun with him working on a movie for Disney called “America’s Heart and Soul”.
Sum yourself up in three words.
Inspiration, Tenacious, Caring.
What advice would you give to new composers?
Learn everything you can and then throw it all away and create something brand new!
How did you get involved with Audio Network?
My old buddy Carter Armstrong who is the head of Film Music over at Lion’s Gate introduced me to your Global Head of Music, Ali Johnson... Ali is a musician as well so we got along right away. The rest is history!!
How old were you when you wanted to work in music?
My gosh ... I think music took hold of me very young. I’ve been addicted ever since I can remember!
Do you like to do different things or perfect what you’re good at? Or both?
Well ... most composers will tell you they fantasize about writing a score like so and so ... that’s just human nature. We all want to live in someone else’s shoes. But obviously you’re going to get known for a particular style. I still think there is a lot of magic in trying something else for the first time. You’re just going by pure inspiration and instinct. Your brain hasn’t quite caught up with telling you, you don’t know what you’re doing! Hah! Being a composer is a lot like being a human being. You have to get rid of the 'cant’s' and 'wont’s '...
You won an ASCAP pop award for 'Get on your Feet'- that must have been awesome?!
Absolutely! Although when it happened my beautiful wife Chaille went to the awards and accepted on my behalf ... I was off doing a gig!
What’s been your biggest achievement?
Hah - Raising my three sons!
A few different gigs ... some commercials, some "Lifetime Network" gigs and a show on Bravo.
Learn about the iconic composer, who made his name with films like Vertigo and Taxi Driver.
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