Noteworthy musicians enjoy soundtrack-focused careers
By Melinda Bargreen
Early piano and guitar lessons paid off for Paul Goldowitz, though he soon figured out some musical “instruments” of his own—creating sound effects and making recordings with a reel-to-reel tape machine his electronic-engineer father brought home when Goldowitz was in the third grade at a school in the Los Angeles area.
“Goldo” went on to attend the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he majored in film and video studies with a minor in electronic music, and emerged as a highly versatile songwriter. Sony Immortal/Epic Records signed him to produce and record an album of his songs (“Goldo”) in 1998, after which he toured with his band, playing guitar, rapping and singing.
During that same time, he began to focus more on composing. His song Boom da Boom, released in 1999, was featured in Fox TV promos and is on the 2000 CD “Disney Kid Jams 2,” alongside songs by musicians such as the Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. Goldo co-wrote four songs on Jennifer Love Hewitt’s 2002 album, “Barenaked,” including the title song, which appeared on a compilation CD that sold more than two million records.
“I had been working with Meredith Brooks, who was producing Jennifer Love Hewitt’s album,” Goldo says, “and I asked her, ‘Hey, are you looking for any new songs?’ Two friends and I made a track just for fun. I gave it to Meredith. She and Jennifer wrote the lyrics.”
Most of Goldo’s soundtrack composing has been for TV. He composed music for Disney’s House of Mouse, and for the MTV shows Punk’d and Jackass, among other projects. Now he’s working on a vampire musical film, The Bloody Indulgent, starring Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys. Goldo wrote all the music and is currently involved in post-production tasks such as doing final mixes of the songs and writing any additional music that is needed.
He works from the Sonoma County, California, town of Petaluma, after moving from LA about eight years ago because he wanted a more peaceful environment.
Writing songs and soundtracks takes perseverance,” he says. “You’ve gotta be tough, because this kind of career is like a roller coaster. It’s stressful; you have not enough work and then too much work. I have friends who were in bands in school, and a lot of them aren’t doing music anymore; it’s just too hard to make money.”
But composing means too much to Goldo for him to consider life without it. “I’m constantly working to learn new things. I still love to do it, and to share my music,” he says. “To this day, I feel awe about how cool it is to make music. Honestly, I think I’m getting better all the time.”
A few weeks ago in Hollywood I had the pleasure of going to the annual ASCAP conference. It was very inspiring and interesting and hectic all at the same time. I got to meet Diplo (producer of “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.) and Katy Perry for a minute. And was enthralled by listening to top producers and artists talk about one of my favorite subjects – SONGWRITING!!!!!! :-)
It would probably be boring for many people, but, if you’ve been infected by the M.U.S.I.C. virus as I have been, then it was all entertaining, inspiring and educating. Even though I’m a BMI guy myself, the ASCAP conference was very cool!