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Rob Parissi

Rob Parissi

Rob Parissi

How did this new album and overall concept for it come about, and what are your ultimate goals with it?

I write daily, no matter what, and it can be vocal songs or Smooth Jazz instrumentals, so this album is the best choices out of 6 months of writing we all thought would be a good representation of what I'm doing regarding the instrumentals I'm writing in the Smooth Jazz instrumental genre.

I met Steve Oliver through my manager Amanda Tilk, we hit it off, were fans of each other already, so it was easy getting started toward working on something together. Steve has already had major success in this genre for quite some time now, so he helped me along with this project, and my goal is to come up with material consistently that will warrant me a place as a viable Smooth Jazz artist, providing I earn it.

How would you describe what inspires you to do what you do?

I'm a huge fan of classical music and contemporary jazz since I realized life was way beyond 4 chord doo wop tunes when I first started hearing rock and roll as a small child, having been born in 1950. Hearing Mozart for the first time was as enlightning as the first time I heard The Beatles, Bert Bacharach, or Henry Mancini and Nelson Riddle. To me, music is quite a bit about the intrest in the mathematics, and I like writers who inspire me with their work to experiment with chord changes that are a little off the beaten path, but get to the same place, and come back home, and that's where the challenge to keep me going lies..stay fresh, and don't get too far away that no one can, or wants to follow where you're going, I guess, at the same time. To me, there's as much an art in painting pictures with audio as there is painting visual art.

Who would you say has been the single biggest influence in your life in getting you to where you are now in your career?

Myself. My father was a blue collar steel mill diesel mechanic who was my best friend and ally, as well as financial backer when I needed a loan for the band's sound system or something like that, but he used to tell me during lean times when I'd be down, to forget what I was doing and get a "real job", and each time, that seemed to be the sobering slap in the face to either do what he suggested, or just ignore him, drive on, and prove everyone wrong who doubted me, including him. Therefore, I say, there are times in your life where the only one who believes in you is you. Thus..if and when you make it happen, you surprise everyone around you, including even you!

This is an honest to God true story: I finally wrote Play That Funky Music, and not only was up for 2 Grammy awards that year, but played live on that program, and demanded my mom and dad, who'd never flown on an airplane up to that point, that they had to go, because it was one of those moments when "you just have to go". So they went, and on that day of the broadcast, they were in the lobby held up with the rest of the crowd to get in, which was pretty much everyone in the music business, and I finished the sound check, came out to find them, and my dad's in the distance with Ringo on one side of him, and Henry Mancini, guys from the Beach Boys, etc., around, and first thing he says when I get to him is: "Remember when I told you that you should quit and get a real job in the steel mill? Well, I'm glad you never listened to me".

What in your life outside of your music drives you in a creative sense ?

I believe that if you do for a living what you love, you'll never work a day in your life, so my work is my hobby, but being happy in my own life and skin, and having someone to share it with that you love being around you lends itself to just live and enjoy it all. I have a second home on the Gulf of Mexico and a boat to cruise nearby, it only takes an hour from our mainland home in Tampa to get there, we spend half a week at each place, and going over there after a stint of writing and recording here in Tampa to have fun, recharges the batteries in me, so balancing fun and work has always been the ultimate goal, and I also try to never take myself too seriously, braking for comedy often, especially when I realize I'm becoming a basket case and need to laugh at myself. I also have family and friends around me who are not afraid to kick my butt when needed.

At what point in your life did you make the decision to become a professional musician and actually record your own albums?

From the time I can first remember wetting the bed. Seriously, I was born to do this. I always knew what I wanted to do, and tried to get there as fast as I could, and that rule of progress still applies.

What are you most proud of at this point in your life and career?

I already have written, produced, and was lead singer and lead guitar player of (Play That Funky Music). It's the 73rd biggest song of all time, still very popular, and seems to have timeless legs, and for that, I am eternally grateful and humble. I've gotten Grammy nominations, won the American Music Award, Billboard New Band Of The Year award, on and on, and met and made friends with some of the most successful and influential people in my field, and for that, anything else is icing on the cake at this point. I'm just happy to still be out here, and hopefully interesting and viable to whatever genre I'm contributing.

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