Jason Vitelli "Head Above Tide"

Just released is New York art rocker Jason Vitelli's new album entitled "Head Above Tide", a record immersed with dramatic arrangements and colorful production. The fourteen track release is filled with folk sentiment, striking lyrics and heartfelt emotion,


Jason is inspired by characters in circumstances that are very different from his own, yet that share a common thread of humility. "These songs coalesced around the idea of facing adversity and overcoming obstacles. Over the years I resolve my angst and become more sympathetic"... from the artist.


I spoke with Jason referencing his music and lyrics and found him extremely creative, very talented, and very relevant.....


Your music is very colorful.


It comes from a lot of different inspirations. I started my writing career so to speak in film music. A lot of the work that I've done at that time, and also the education I had, orchestration, developing different types of structure and also learning how to write the picture, there was a sense of an abstract sort of way of writing. You just sort of write what first comes to mind, your first feel. It could be a stream of consciousness. So a lot of my inspiration comes out of film music. It just comes out of an image.


What inspired you to write a song like "The Persecuted"?


I think I relate to the outsider's status that a lot of homosexuals have felt in society. As an artist in general you sort of feel like you're at the fringe of everything. You're observing everything, but also people are observing you. You're not necessarily part of the inner workings of society. You're sort of at the fringes of it. So I think it was me relating to their situation but also empathizing with it. That particularly being a resident of the City, when the supreme Court had okayed same-sex marriage I felt like there was just a change in the air. Everyone was excited. It was an acknowledgement. I was born in 1979 so it really was sort of the civil rights standpoint, the first moment in my life where something significant happened. I've only read about it in the textbooks growing up. That's where the inspiration for that came from. 


So, you're based in New York?


Yes, I'm living out  in Northern Brooklyn, Green point. 


Great place to live. Where do you gig in the City?


It varies, because sometimes as a side man I'm playing in a lot of restaurants, and jazz venues. My music has a sprinkling of jazz in it but it really is just singer/songwriter writer rock music. In the past I've played Rockwood a couple of times, the Bitterend, basically all the haunts are kind of related to the rock scene. More recently I've been playing the Brooklyn venues, but I do notice that in Harlem you are getting a more built in crowd. It's a crowd that's more interested in live music in general. They have a rich history of music.  I've studied a little Latin music with percussionists up in the harbor territory which is in 104th street, right where Spanish Harlem begins and it's incredible just learning the history, even the recent history of salsa. Obviously it just permeates their culture, and it permeates just the sensibility of Harlem. So I like to spend as much time up there as I can.


Where do you want to be in five years? 


I've asked myself that a number of times through the years and in a strange sense I work with a marketing consultant so I do have a plan for the next couple of years. How  I'm releasing things, and  I want to spread out and do some more regional shows. But as a writer I'm an open book. I think a lot of creative people leave things a little open because they just don't know what you are going to be steered by. And at the same time I was having an idea of creating a musical based upon the music I've already written but also some newer music that I would create specifically for the project. A project like that is kind of off in the future and depends on how my Fanbase develops. Also my head has been so deep into this project both in terms of the production and the promotional aspect,  it's been hard to see a few years beyond. I think the general goal is just to always follow what makes me excited to write and excited to perform. Whatever that may be will be a reflection of who I am at the moment and I think I have to be aware of that more than anything. So all the planning in the world is good but then to put something aside because my passion calls for me to do something, is also something I'm very connected to. 


Do you do music all of the time? 


I have a day job but I also dabble in some production work. As I mentioned I do get hired for shows. So I'm kind of juggling a few different things. Sometimes taking a break from music helps me to see things clearer. People always say the best writing happens when you're in the shower. For me it's particularly good to have a job that's not related to it, maybe use a little more left brain so when I go back to the music I'm excited about it. 


If you could say anything to your fanbase, what would you want them to know?


I hope that what my Fanbase can get out of my music is the sensibility to let something wash over you. Keep an open mind, not just necessarily to my music but to the world. Be empathetic, be opened to other people's energy, and be willing to learn. Be willing to put your ego aside and listen to the other side of the aisle, the other side of the conversation. I think a lot of my lyrics speak to different perspectives and my fans may or may not agree with them but it's just worth hearing the other side to understand where they're coming from.


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Written by Eileen Shapiro

I work with Jimmy Star and am a NY Times best selling author and rock star journalist....currently write for Get Out Mag, PureM, Classic Pop, Huffington Post, and several others....I write pop culture interviews with well established talent and up and coming great talent...look forward to working with you....



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