We had the good fortune of connecting with Marcus Veltri and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marcus, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When I hear the word risk, it excites me. It gives me drive and motivation. Since my job is naturally more risky than other professions, risk is what motivates me to work even harder. Now that I’m actually in a position that I have dreamed about being in, I will do anything I can to make sure I never fall out of this position. That’s what I love about risk. It creates fear, which can be used as fuel if you have the right mindset. When you take great risks in life, luck can also be a huge factor in determining whether you’re successful. I’ve noticed that for the most part I have been very lucky to be in the position I currently am. This doesn’t mean that success isn’t deserved, but for me personally it makes me appreciate what I have. The fact that a lot of the reasons I am where I am today is because of luck makes me realize how privileged I am, and again makes me realize how much I want to take advantage of the position I’m in. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca While luck may be a factor, it’s not the only factor at play when determining success. I think when you are trying to be successful in a creative space, it really comes down to being able to take on high risks, and working as hard as you can to put yourself in the best position to succeed. The rest is out of your control, and it is important to recognize this. Sometimes time is the only solution when all else is failing. This is why it is so important to stay passionate about what you do so you never give up. It took me 6 years of posting weekly on YouTube to reach 3,000 subscribers. It was a rough start, but it didn’t really matter to me because I enjoyed it so much. When things started growing exponentially, I knew this would be the best time to take on risk, because this is what I wanted more than anything else in life. And looking back, I couldn’t be happier with deciding to pursue a creative career. Risk brought me to where I am today, and it’s what continues to get me out of bed in the morning.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
With music and piano, I really try to go in a direction no one else is going. I think this idea can apply to almost any form of art. When I first started learning piano, I was mostly just replicating other styles of playing I saw on YouTube. Now when I make a cover of a popular song, I actually avoid watching other piano covers so I can attempt to be unique/original. This concept is a huge part of the reason I started playing piano while beatboxing at the same time. Before I started learning how to play piano and beatbox simultaneously, I had never seen anyone actually do it. I randomly thought of the idea when I was trying to think about how to implement beatboxing into my channel that at the time was exclusively piano covers. I tried looking online for videos of people piano beatboxing, but it was mostly just videos of one person playing piano, then a different person beatboxing. This made me realize I could create something that was brand new and unique. Trying to learn how to play piano while beatboxing was not an easy task, but the reward was totally worth the risk. I think what I learned from this is not to be afraid to head the other direction of everyone else sometimes. Try things that aren’t traditional, or things that aren’t commonly practiced. See what sticks, and what doesn’t. See what you enjoy the most, and master that craft. This will allow you to have no limits to your success, because you are truly YOU, and no one can replicate that better than you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite things to do is rent some bikes on the beach down by Main St. in Huntington Beach, and bike down all the way to the end of Newport Beach. It’s a great way to experience Newport Beach/Huntington Beach, and it’s also super easy to just lock your bike up and walk on the beach. You don’t have to worry about paying for parking/finding parking and it makes it a very relaxing day. I would also be sure to show them Laguna Beach, and take them to the Top of the World. It’s one of my favorite spots in SoCal! The beaches at Laguna Beach are also super nice. I’d also of course be sure to show them some of my favorite food spots, which include Hashigo, Din Tai Fung, and Duke’s.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I definitely owe a lot of my success to pianists I watched on YouTube when I was first learning how to play. A few of my biggest inspirations are Frank & Zach Piano Duets, Lara6683, and Kyle Landry. They all gave me something to chase when I was first learning. I can’t even begin to describe how important it is to have role models, especially early on. It shows you where you CAN be one day, only if you decide to put in the work.