We had the good fortune of connecting with Silas Hite and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Silas, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Choosing to pursue a career in music is pretty risky. I knew the odds for success weren’t good, but I felt confident that my work ethic and creativity would see me through. Once I’d actually “made it” as a composer, I had seven years of a pretty great in-house composer job. But after a while I realized I had hit a ceiling working under someone else. I needed the challenge of striking out on my own to force me to grow as a composer. Leaving that job to become a freelance composer was the biggest professional risk I’ve ever taken, but it’s been 10 years since then and things have gone really well, thankfully.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Maintaining a career as any type of freelancer takes a lot of hustle and dedication, but honestly I love it. My favorite part is the variety of jobs. I might write music for a TV show, a film, a commercial, and video game all in one day. Work is slow at the moment because of Covid, but there’s still plenty to do. This morning I worked on a piece for The Perth Symphony Orchestra to perform live. Yesterday I wrote some wacky music for a reboot of the classic video game Tetris and spent some time promoting my new Americana album Amigos. I have a commercial job coming in later today and I have no idea what style of music they will want. But that’s what I enjoy, the variety.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d take them to Mercado in Boyle Heights to hear some Mariachi music, then Mercado on Cahuenga for happy-hour al pastor tacos. If they are a musician, I’d show them McCabe’s Guitars. I’ve always been fond of downtown LA and even though it’s lost a bit of it’s deserted charm, there are so many fun things to do. La Cita has been my favorite bar in LA for close to 20 years; I hope it never changes. Sometimes we’ll drive into the Angeles National Forest to get a break from the city. I like visitors to see there’s actually a lot of nature here too. The evening always ends with a stop at La Estrella taco trucks in Eagle Rock/Highland Park for late night al pastor tacos. They’re legendary in my book.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I give the most credit to my family. My parents have always been super supportive. They instilled a solid work ethic and can-do attitude in me, along with an appreciation for music and creativity in general. My uncles Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh are composers (and in Devo) so as a kid it seemed like a life in music was an achievable idea. After college, Mark let me get my foot in the door in Hollywood by interning at his studio. I worked my way up from his intern to an in-house composer. I also learned a great deal about scoring and the music business in general from my uncles. They gave me an amazing opportunity and musical education. I’ve had amazing music teachers and professors throughout my whole life that I certainly owe a great deal to, but in my mind, my family was the biggest key.
All photos by David Broach