We had the good fortune of connecting with Jake Silverman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jake, why did you pursue a creative career?
When I was about 4 years old, my grandmother had passed away and we inherited her piano. I took a liking to the instrument even before I had any idea of how to play it. As a kid, I had a very difficult time in school. I had trouble paying attention and performed poorly in class. I was socially inept, and as a result was bullied a lot. The piano became a means of escape from the troubles I faced so frequently in school. As I got older, my relationship with the instrument only deepened. By my senior year of high school I was a regular performer at the jazz clubs in DC and Baltimore. When I was on the band stand with my friends, I felt a strong sense of purpose. Since then there has been no turning back for me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My project “Button Masher” brings together the harmonies, rhythms, and compositional forms of modern jazz with the sound design and aesthetics of video games from the 80s and 90s. I have also recently expanded the project to include singers from a variety of genres. Many people have very deep feelings of nostalgia for these old games. Particularly for games that were released on the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis. Packaging my music with these aesthetics has been a winning formula for me and has allowed me to grow my social media presence at an astounding rate. This process was not easy and has required me to try many different approaches to my production, composition and presentation. Along the way, I’ve learned to put quality over quantity and to never release anything until it sounds and looks exactly how I want it to.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Unfortunately, most of my favorite places to go in LA are closed at the moment but if they were open, I’d take them the Blue Whale, the Baked Potato World 8 Video Games, Barcade (in Highland Park), Plan Check in Santa Monica, Tenno Sushi, and Silverlake Ramen.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to thank my first jazz teacher Benny Russell. Without him, I may have never fallen in love with music the way that I did. Benny ran our local jazz ensemble. After our rehearsals we would sit around listening to music, talking, joking, and just bonding as musicians. Without him I’d be nothing. I also must thank my parents. Without them I would have never found Benny and would not have made it very far outside of my home town. They have made my entire career possible and instilled in me the work ethic necessary to make it as a musician.
Patrick Ackerman did the Artwork for both of these Album Covers.