We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Scartocci and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brian, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
Success, to me, has a balance. I’d say it’s half internal, half external. I can write a song that I’m really proud to lay down and leave for the world, and I’ll feel great about getting as far as recording it and wrapping it up – presenting it. But if that song doesn’t perform well, if people aren’t streaming it, if it doesn’t get a genuine reaction at live shows – that affects the way I feel about that song going forward. With music, it’s sometimes tough to balance what makes you feel good creatively with how well you’re eating. This isn’t my hobby, it’s my career, so those times when you aren’t being booked, when your songs aren’t hitting, when you’ve got to decide which bill you’re going to pay and which you’re going to leave up to mercy – it’s hard to feel successful no matter how pleased you are with the art you’ve created. In the long run, I think leaving behind a legacy of music that I’m proud of, songs that I’m proud to have produced, albums that represent the thoughts and sounds of my life at that time – that’s a meaningful measure of success. The other half of that success is finding and keeping an audience of people who feel the same. Got to have that balance.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I knew it was going to be a long, long road when I was 14 or 15, studying Sam Cooke & David Ruffin when everyone else I knew was “gettin’ low.” Something hit me on a visceral level at that time when you’re really figuring out who you are and who you want to be. It was more than a connection to the existing music, those old gospel-inspired, beautiful sounds I was so wrapped up in – I knew I had to use whatever natural gift I had to bring it forward. I needed to be a part of it, try to add to it and lift it up. It became that important to me, even then. From that point on, it’s been a constant push to prove to myself and to the world that this is my calling, and I’m going to craft my own version of success no matter how difficult it gets. I’ve had times when everything fell into place and that road was smooth enough that I could speed ahead. Then there have been plenty of times when I found myself stuck in the weeds, having to stop and chop through them to find my way back to that smooth road. Through it all, I’ve learned that my task in life is to try to distill my life experience into the perfect words, something people can relate to, and then use my natural voice and spirit to make sure the message is heard. It’s a singer’s job to make you believe. That’s something I’ll always be working on, always trying to improve. I know that if I can hit that combination just right, the world will let me know. It’s been a perilous journey, really, but it’s my life and I’m proud of it. I’m here forever – your Italian soul singer from Jersey, sweating and reaching for my star from every beer-stained dancefloor in Texas.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If there’s one spot that springs to mind when I think of having a grand time in Austin, it’s my Skylark Lounge, 2039 Airport Blvd. I’ve lived some of the best moments in my life at the diviest bar in Texas. It may be cheating since Skylark has been my homebase as far as my music career is concerned, but it’s been more than that to me. If I had to bring my best friends anywhere to have a drink, dance, have a real conversation, mingle with real people, laugh, cry, let their guard down and be themselves..it’s Skylark. I’ve had some good times at White Horse, C-Boys has it’s charm; if I had a week, sure we’d hit up some other spots, but if I had two nights I’d spend them both at Skylark. I’d get us some breakfast at the Hillside Farmacy. Lunchtime we’d just grab some cantaloupe or watermelon and head to the greenbelt, swim & get some sun on our face. Dinner would be Ramen Tatsu-ya. We’d have to see where Soul Man Sam was playing, make it our business to be there. Maybe 888 at 1am afterwards – it’s tradition.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Any success I find in my life, I dedicate to my kids. Avery, Ruffin & Isley. They’ve been my light in the dark and my reason to strive for something bigger in life. I’d surely like to thank Soul Man Sam Evans for believing in me and supporting me since day one. I also owe a whole lot to Austin Roach, the finest guitar player in Texas, who has always had my back and helped me make music I could be proud of for ten years going.

Website: https://www.brianscartocci.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brianscartocci/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrianScartocci

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/brianscartocci

Image Credits
Kim Yarbrough, Bella V, Hide & Seek Photography, Wes Brown

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