We had the good fortune of connecting with Richard Niles and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Richard, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have been a professional composer, arranger, songwriter and broadcaster since 1975, working with some of the most respected artists in pop, jazz and soul music (including Paul McCartney, Pat Metheny and Ray Charles). During my 20 years as a BBC broadcaster in London, I made many acclaimed documentaries, interviewing iconic artists.
When I moved Orange County I felt these interviews should not be lost. So I created a YouTube channel, RADIO RICHARD. Music lovers and students can hear me speaking with artists such as Barry Manilow, Richard Carpenter, and Michael McDonald – musicians such as Pat Metheny, Greg Phillinganes (Michael Jackson), Mike Stern, Laurence Juber (Wings) – producers such as Trevor Horn, Pete Waterman, Arif Mardin and Jerry Wexler.
I continue to interview new musical talents as well as legendary figures from the past.
I am very pleased at the tremendous response and am glad people are able to have their lives enriched by the ideas of these innovative creative artists. As my channel says, “IDEAS MAKE YOU BETTER”.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
On graduating from the Berklee College of Music in 1975, I began working as a composer and musical Arranger in London. Over the years I have worked with such artists as Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Cher, Pat Metheny, Bob James, Michael McDonald and Randy Brecker. I was able to bring my jazz background into my work in pop. And my jazz work has always been informed by the dynamics of pop, understanding how to create a series of EVENTS, always wanting to bring the audience into the music. I also love working with vocals and as a songwriter, have recorded many great singers. I have released solo albums as a guitarist and released 2 albums of my jazz orchestra, BANDZILLA. My next project is a smaller band project simply called “Niles Smiles”. It is never easy to have an artistic career but I think the reason mine has lasted so long, and continues, is that I am a professional, and have the technique, training and experience to handle any kind of musical work, from writing and conducting for orchestras or solo performances. From working in the studios or on television, from writing pop songs or classical works to jingles selling cereal!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The greatest thing about living in Southern California is the weather! Laguna Beach is only 15 from my house, so friends who stay with us for a week would spend some time there. My wife Aylin is literally one of the world’s best cooks, so it is very hard to find a restaurant better than our house! Now that live music is back, LA and Southern California has such incredible musicians. It’s always rewarding for music lovers to check out the clubs.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Of course I learned music from my father (Tony Romano) and writing from my mother (Pat Silver-Lasky) and step-father (Jesse Lasky Jr.), both authors and screenwriters. While enjoying a busy career in London as a composer and musical arranger, I also wrote and hosted music documentaries for the most respected broadcasting organization in the world, The British Broadcasting Company.
This was essential to my creation of my podcast RADIO RICHARD (https://www.youtube.com/user/DRRICHARDNILES)
The BBC taught me about communication of complex ideas in an articulate manner. Their concept is that information should be delivered in a way that is both EDUCATIONAL and ENTERTAINING. I’m also an educator teaching masterclasses at many Colleges so this was an extension of my teaching and my many books. (https://richardniles.com/books/)