LA songwriter/producer, Peter Amato worked with numerous artists like LeAnn Rimes, Tina Arena, Aaron Carter, Michael Bolton…
I recently got to know more about his work, and I must say he is a truly talented songwriter/producer. I am personally learning a lot from people like him who lived a lot of different experiences in the music industry.
Peter shares with us his stories, memories and advices about the music business.
When did you start writing songs & making beats?
I started around 15 years old. I just jumped on a piano one day and started playing. Never took a lesson. No one in my family is musical. At the time my dad was the dean of the business college at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. He had a faculty member that was a former pretty big A&R person at Columbia back in the day. I asked him for advice and he suggested we go see his friend and composer, Angelo Badalamenti. I sat down at Angelo’s piano and played for him. When I was done he said to my dad “ just buy him a piano and let him play and write.” Over the years I played in bands. When my father took the deans job at The University Of Nevada Reno I moved with him. That was in 85. I had just graduated high shchool. While there I met Byron Peterson. He was a faculty member teaching music and midi based recording. That was my first taste of working with a computer and music and I was hooked. I would hang around him as much as I could to learn. I took piano lessons from him but would never practice because all I wanted to do was write songs and make tracks. Being a great player wasn’t what I was interested in. After a couple of years learning from him I moved to LA in 91.
Landed my first publishing deal the 2nd year of living in LA. I’ve been here ever since and have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing writers and artists over the years and stay busy in this ever changing industry.
What do you like the most about creating music?
The freedom. I love that moment when I’m just starting an idea and it just grows and grows and all of a sudden it’s a song. Then to take that song and turn it in to a production I’m hearing in my head is an amazing feeling.
Peter wrote the song ‘So Easy’ (with Stephen Wrabel and Pete Sallis) by American Idol winner, Phillip Phillips, from the album ‘The World From The Side Of The Moon’. Click below to listen:
You’ve been in this business for a while… What is the best memory you have so far?
Years ago I was working with LeAnn Rimes. She played at The Bridge School Benefit Concert in The Bay Area. I was fortunate enough to attend. The night before there was a party at Neil Youngs house. Lot’s of food, drinks and all the artists that were playing the next day’s concert were there. We grabbed some food and headed down to a campfire by a small pond. Sitting there with a guitar was James Taylor. We were all sitting around listening to him, play and sing and tell stories of things he has done and seen over the years. That was a surreal and unforgettable moment.
What is the biggest struggle you lived throughout your career so far? What are the lessons learned?
I have to say I’ve been fortunate enough to stay pretty steady in this business. The struggle for me came at the beginning of my career trying to make a name for myself. I moved to LA not knowing anyone in this business. Had a lot of doors slammed in my face, was told to give it up and move on. What I’ve learned from that is to just believe in myself and not chase what other people want. If it’s something you want and believe in strong enough, never stop pushing forward. Not everyone is going to like what you do but if you keep pushing forward you will find that one person that does and that will change everything.
What advices would you give to young songwriters and producers?
Learn to take critisicm. Don’t think everything you write or do is amazing. We all feel that rush after writing a new song and think it’s the best thing we’ve ever written. Take a step back and listen not as the creator but as the audience and ask yourself “is this something I would listen to?” Then ask the even more important question. Is this something I would buy? Songs you think are amazing suddenly reveal their flaws when playing them in a room with A&R people, managers, artists, etc.
Connect with Peter: