Indie Songwriters: Laura meets Scott Krokoff (NYC)

Scott Krokoff is a singer/songwriter based in New York City. With a rich sound drawn primarily from his love of 60s and 70s music, he weaves elements of folk rock & country pop into confessional and compelling Americana. He is an evocative and introspective songwriter, and a deft finger-picker in the vein of James Taylor and Paul Simon with "an edge of Replacements styled alt rock to his strum" (Hiplanta). Scott has opened for Elle King and Grace Weber, toured from Vermont to Nashville, played live in Belgium, Germany, France and UK, and received radio airplay throughout the US, Canada and Europe.

This interview is very special to me because actually he was the first indie musician I met on social media, more than one year ago. What I personally love most of his music are his wonderful lyrics, melted with unique and often sweet harmonies.

Laura meets Scott Krokoff 

A little chat with Scott Krokoff

Can you say in your own words how does music influence your life, what is the thing you love most of being a musician and what would you like to transmit to your listeners?

Scott: "Like most artists, music is part of my being, part of my soul. And a vital part at that. What I love most as a musician is simply that, after a lot of time and effort, I’m able to write high quality songs that resonate with people and perform at a high level. And I hope I’m able to convey the importance of staying true to oneself and not giving up"

When did you start thinking of yourself as a musician? When did you write your first song and what was it about?

Scott: "I started thinking of myself as a musician during my college years. It was during that time when I formed my first band, Equinox. The first song I ever wrote - at least that I can remember lol - was a song called So I Went back in the early 90s (pretty sure it was early 1993).  It was a love song and a total Southside Johnny ripoff. And it was terrible lol"

Does the inspiration for a new song come to you immediately or it takes you much time to put together lyrics and music? Where do you usually find inspiration?

Scott: "In terms of the music for a new song (meaning the chord progression and melody), yes, that often comes together very quickly. Sometimes I might need additional time to sort out a specific part of the song, like the bridge for instance, or to further refine the initial progression/melody I came up with.  Lyrics, however, are another matter  that often takes me a long while, sometimes months, and sometimes years (even decades)! I often equate it to a pregnancy as the lyrics take a long time to gestate lol.  It’s a big victory for me when the lyrics come together quickly. Every blue moon that happens. But for me, “quickly” means a few days or weeks. I’m definitely not the “I wrote the lyrics in 30 minutes” type…I wish I could do that haha. In terms of where I find inspiration, that usually comes from my experiences or observations, or desires I have (like pursuing my musical dreams for instance – that, and the more general theme of not giving up, has been the backstory for a number of my songs)"

Are there things that you would change in the music industry? Which is the most difficult thing to cope with being an indie musician?

Scott: "Ironically, even with the music industry being in such a state of flux the last decade or so, the new opportunities out there and the ability to connect with people digitally give someone like me a chance to keep my music going and to keep building upon what I have already done. So the ever-changing landscape doesn’t bother me too much, and in fact, I embrace it. The most difficult things for me are two-fold. One, just keeping up with everything on social media is incredibly time-consuming. I’ve really ramped up my social media presence during the pandemic, including doing livestreams, all of which has been great. But it takes a ton of time and effort, and given my introverted tendencies, even the mere posting of something on social sometimes takes some effort on my part, although I have gotten much better in that regard. On the flip side of social, sometimes as an artist you inevitably compare yourself to what other artists are doing and as a result sometimes there’s this feeling like you’re never doing enough, even when you’re working your behind off. But it’s important to remember that their paths are their paths, and my path is mine. It also helps to take social breaks, if only to recharge. Two, sometimes I panic when I hear a new song if it bears any similarity to new material that I’m working on. Most of the time it’s just an irrational fear, thankfully, but whenever I feel that way it puts me in a bad place. Unfortunately, it sometimes feels like you’re in a race with other artists in getting your stuff out. I totally understand that has more to do with the feeling of urgency on the part of artists to keep producing content and moving forward, which I get, but nevertheless I hate that side of the business especially since I tend to be a slower writer"

How many instruments do you play and which have been your mainly musical influences?

Scott: "I mainly play acoustic guitar and I also play harmonica. I also dabble in a little bass, and very basic piano, that I hope to feature eventually in my songwriting and performances"

You have kids and also a professional job, is it difficult to manage that with your musician career? Have you suggestions for other artists who do not have music as their first job?

Scott: "It’s definitely a constant challenge to manage everything. It takes a lot of discipline as it’s often an ongoing juggling of priorities. I’m very methodical in how I approach things, so that helps. It also takes patience. I often can’t do everything at once. And knocking off tasks on my never-ending music list (don’t all artists have that lol?!) sometimes takes me longer than others who can devote more time to it in the short term than I could. But for the most part I’ve been very good at keeping everything moving and I’m proud of myself for that (and also thank my wife for giving me that extra time when needed!). I focus on moving everything forward in incremental steps – in other words, a little at a time. And that approach works best for me. That’s true even with my songwriting (although when I can feel it’s close to being finished I tend to ramp it up a bit)"

Singer-songwriter Scott Krokoff

Scott Krokoff talks about his music

FAR TOO MANY TIMES

"This song is about my wife ripping me a new one and basically telling me I need to change my attitude particularly when it comes to my musical aspirations – in other words, the world doesn’t owe you anything, enjoy the process and struggle that comes with being an artist and do it because you love it, and stop worrying about everything (and everyone) else haha!"

 

MY OWN TERMS

"This song is all about perseverance and not giving up on yourself or your dreams, no matter who doubts you along the way, and that it’s never too late to reach your goals"

GROUNDHOG

"This is song is about my fear of confrontation and analogizing that with the plight of the groundhog, and particularly the celebration of Groundhog Day in the US on Feb. 2 when we find out if the groundhog is afraid of his/her own shadow (and, if so, runs back in his/her hole in the ground, meaning there will be another 6 weeks of winter)"

SOMETHING I’D LIKE TO KNOW

"This is my song for introverts. As a fellow introvert, it often takes some extra energy on my part to socialize or talk in public settings and I’m definitely not the “work the room” type. I tend to be more wallflower-ish. Extroverts, on the other hand, seem to enjoy being the center of attention more and if anything get energized in social circles or other public settings"

CUBICLE

"Cubicle is about the workplace and the fact that, while you should no doubt work hard and take your work responsibilities seriously and do whatever is needed, sometimes the work can wait for the next day and it’s important to remember the things you work for and make time for them (family, friends, leisure, etc.)"

REALIZATIONS & DECLARATIONS VOL. 1/2

"When I first came up with this idea, I meant for it to be much bigger – like a 20-25 song concept double album with one side being all “realizations” and the other being all “declarations”. That was the original idea, back in the early to mid 2010s when albums still had some relevance (or at least more so than today). I still have my sheet of paper where I mapped out all the potential song titles (with some that I still have to finish)! But I got ahead of myself with that initial ambition lol, so I instead released them as Eps – Vol. 1 and 2 – with the “realizations” and “declarations” themed songs jumbled together, along with a re-introduction of a few songs from my A Better Life record"

A BETTER LIFE

"Where my solo career began, and to date my longest album (13 tracks). About half of these songs were initially recorded during my Equinox days but I wanted to rework (or, more likely, re-sing) them again for one reason or another. And the other half were newer songs that I had yet to record"

 

"I’m a lifelong New Yorker, originally from NYC and now living in the suburbs. Between being married with kids, and leading a double life as a lawyer and singer-songwriter, as you can imagine my life is literally busy 24/7. But it’s also full with great moments and experiences, and all of that centers me and gives me perspective and balance.    

If you like what I do, I’d be so grateful if you can follow me on Instagram (and Facebook and TikTok, too, if you’re there) at @scottkrokoffmusic. I’m on YouTube and Spotify as well. Every Monday at 2pm ET, I host a weekly livestream on my Instagram page called One Up One Down One Cover where I play 3 songs – one “up” original song, one “down” original song and one cover song. I started this during the pandemic and have now completed over 60 episodes! It’s been so much fun not only livestreaming but also connecting with my fans on a more personal level. Occasionally I feature another songwriter as well as a special guest (in which case we each perform 3 songs). And if you want even more access to what I’m doing – including more livestreams, merch opportunities, special events and behind the scenes access – I strongly encourage you to join my street team by visiting https://go.scottkrokoff.com (which includes, if you’re on Facebook, membership in my private street team group there)! 

Thanks again @laurameetsmusicians for featuring me, and to your followers for taking the time to learn more about me!"

Instagram: @scottkrokoffmusic

Facebook: @scottkrokoffmusic

Twitter: @scottkrokoff

Website: www.scottkrokoff.com

Spotify: Scott Krokoff

YouTube: Scott Krokoff

Popular posts from this blog

News: Phil Robinson & Victor V. Gurbo make their Carnegie Hall debuts!

News: Brad Butcher & Brielle Brown duet in "Lay your head"

News: Allison Leah releases introspective single "24 years down"

News: Lee Autumn debuts in the indie music scene with "Running away" and "Save You"