Geoff Countryman, CEO of Geoff & Tyler Recording
The benefits of music to humans cannot be overemphasized. It is a tool for conveying deep feelings of the heart, and unbundling the mind, even when words seemingly fail. Music is a universal phenomenon that speaks directly to the soul. This is probably why a song can stay in a person’s subconscious and they may find themself still vibing to the melody hours after listening to it. Music is also very powerful in connecting people of different ethnicities and races. It has the ability to move seamlessly across nations without barriers.
The power of music cannot be thoroughly explained without also examining the critical role played by musicians, as well as appreciating some of the challenges they face on their way to the big hit. These challenges range from career threatening press to a shortage of funds for marketing, to crazy schedules, and disputes over intellectual rights. Building a unique style and creating an acceptable, distinct identity is the desire of every musician. However, a lot of them often have their voices overshadowed by numerous challenges.
Amid all of these challenges, it is always an uphill task for a young musician to stay motivated and inspired to perform their role of entertaining and keeping their audience happy. Geoff Countryman is a young musician who has managed to surmount all hurdles to continue to make his growing audience happy. Mr. Countryman is a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, engineer, and teacher.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Geoff came to New York to attend NYU’s Jazz performance program where he studied with Gil Goldstein, Lenny Pickett, John Scofield, and Chris Potter. Since graduating from NYU he has created an impressive body of work and has continued to be in high demand.
Geoff is a great example of a self-motivated talent that has an unwavering commitment to always churn out quality sound to delight his fans across the world. He has been featured in a number of artistic works, including Julie Taymor’s “Across the Universe”, and has performed regularly with the Saturday Night Live Band and with Chico Hamilton’s “Euphoria”. He produced Kenny Werner’s album “Lawn Chair Society” (Blue Note Records) and Dave Douglas’ “High Risk” and is a featured performer on hip-hop artist T.I.’s platinum, Grammy nominated album “King” (Atlantic records) and the Emmy Winning “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”. As a copyist, his work has been a part of the Oscar winning score for a project called Joker and Emmy winning shows like “The Marvelous Ms. Maisel” and Saturday Night Live.
He alludes that there are indeed days of low motivation, when he just doesn’t feel like himself. However, due to his strong passion for the craft, he manages to self-motivate and his instruments produce sweet melodies at his command. Geoff says when he doesn’t have an instrument in hand, he is busy in his mobile studio, recording Grammy award-winning artists in some of New York City’s most prestigious venues. According to Geoff, his six-time Grammy nominated company, Geoff & Tyler Recording, has worked with notable musicians like Dave Douglas, Lee Konitz, and Gregory Porter, among others.
Geoff speaks on his formula for self-motivation and staying successful in the music industry:
“As an up-and-coming act, it is normal to have days when you feel like giving up, because you think things aren’t going as planned. You’ve stayed up late to make records, tried to get the right channel for circulation, but it just keeps going nowhere. I’ve been there and can tell you that, as long as you believe in your talent, don’t give up on your dreams, and set goals for yourself that you make progress towards, these objectives will help you stay focused on days when it can be difficult. Loosening up and trying playing for pleasure rather than production is a big thing people should take into consideration too. Overall, you must have accountability with your choices, but don’t forget to give yourself a treat when you achieve a goal,” Geoff says.
Speaking on how his persistence has paid off, Geoff explains that two years ago, after working at the television show Saturday Night Live for the last 20 years, he has taken over as the the head of the Sound Effects Department, and has been nominated for an Emmy for his work.
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