This Inspirational Artist Spotlight brought to you by Scott Jason of Thriving Ivory.
I was born and raised in Orange County, Ca. Like most kids from Southern California, I grew up on the beach and played soccer on Saturdays.
My life has taken a few unexpected turns, some better than others. I went to college in Santa Barbara and during my junior year I was living in a house with 12 other guys and writing songs while not in class. In college, I met Clayton Stroope through a mutual friend and we immediately jumped into music. He eventually moved into the house and we just sorta went through songs and figured out who we were as artists. We started a band and put up flyers around town. This led to meeting Drew, Paul, and Bret and we eventually played our first show as Thriving Ivory.
After what seemed like a lifetime of playing half-filled rooms and empty bars, one of our songs, Angels on the Moon, was picked up by a Bay Area radio station, LIVE 105. This led to countless showcases for major record labels along with countless rejections and overwhelming feelings of doubt. We kept going and eventually signed with Wind-up Records, toured with some of the most talented musicians in the world, climbed the charts and earned a gold record.
This was my full-time job for over a decade. I truly never imagined that I’d travel around and play shows, it just wasn’t something that crossed my mind growing up. Then at the next turn, music took a backseat, I learned how to code and am now working as a software engineer in San Francisco. I still write music constantly.
After all this time, I think the biggest highlight was the connection our fans had to our music. This is something for which I am eternally grateful.
Along your journey, where did music come into play? What was your first memorable music encounter?
I was raised in an opera house of sorts. My father is a doctor with a life-long obsession for all things music and piano. He converted our house in Orange County to a place called “The Jason Opera House”, where a few months out of the year we’d put on concerts with understudies from Broadway shows like Les Miserable, Phantom of The Opera, Miss Saigon, etc.
I was the opening act starting around six or seven years old. I’d climb up on the piano seat and play a few songs.
Who inspires you?
There are a few authors that come to mind, Eckhart Tolle and Lao Tzu have had a big influence on me. Through Tolle’s writings, I learned about a book called “A Course In Miracles”. The teachings in these books have played a big role in my life.
Any musicians you would like to collaborate with, alive or dead?
Too many to name, so I’ll just pick Louis Armstrong. His voice has an unusual amount of soul and I think the possibilities would be endless.
Talk about your creative process?
I don’t really have one, at least not anything specific. I tend to zoom in on a small idea that I think is special and build from there.
Do you have a favorite piece you created?
I’ve always been a fan of the current song I’m writing. As soon as it’s done and I’m onto the next, I’ll think it’s as bad as the rest.
What do you have coming up?
More music. Right now we’re focused on writing and recording and releasing songs. You catch BRAND NEW Thriving Ivory on Spotify, iTunes, and other digital outlets. Out on Sept. 19th. To learn more about their new album check out this interview.
What do you do with your free time?
These days I write and record and hang out in the Marina District of San Francisco. I moved here recently and it’s really started to grow on me. I live a block from the water and it reminds me of home.
What are two things people might not know about you?
I wear a San Francisco Giants baseball hat all the time and yet could not possibly care less about the Giants or baseball or any other professional sports. At first, I just wore it because my hair would get out of control, but then I noticed all kinds of San Francisco dudes just sorta giving me a subtle nod as if to say, “right on man, good game last night”. So now I just roll with it, I think it makes me feel a little less like an outsider. I’m also the only person in the bay area who doesn’t know how to hike or do yoga.
Any shout outs.
My family, thank you for hanging in there with me.