With student loan debt piling up and no lucrative gigs around the corner, Scott Bradlee found himself in a situation all too familiar to struggling musicians and creative professionals, unsure whether he should use the little income he had to pay the rent on his basement apartment on the fringes of New York City or to avoid defaulting on his loans.
It was under these desperate circumstances that Bradlee began experimenting, applying his passion for jazz, ragtime, and doo wop styles to contemporary hits by singers like Macklemore and Miley Cyrus–and suddenly an idea was born. The bands Bradlee went on to launch–from A Motown Tribute to Nickelback to Postmodern Jukebox, the rotating supergroup devoted to period covers of pop songs for which he is best known–borrowed from and refined the initial idea he had arrived at to bring genres now sometimes considered arcane to wide audiences. Today, the success he has had is astonishing, with Postmodern Jukebox collecting upwards of three million subscribers on YouTube, selling out major venues around the world, and developing previously unknown talent into superstar singers.
“They paired me with this amazing singer named Miche Braden who was actually a Motown legend. She grew up in Motown she studied with the Funk Brothers and they told me that she would be singing one of my arrangements. At this point I had never really teamed up with a singer before I didn’t even really like singers …so we got into the studio and Miche Braden just to let loose with this amazing kind of Bessie Smith blues voice …Hearing this amazing singers sing to one of my arrangements and I just thought, well maybe I’m not just a pianist maybe I have a chance of being a producer. Maybe you know, maybe arranging, maybe that’s something I like to do.”
Taking readers through the false starts, absurd failures, and unexpected breakthroughs of Bradlee’s journey from a lost musician to a musical kingmaker headlining Radio City Music Hall–and presenting all the insights he learned along the way to becoming an entrepreneur like no other–OUTSIDE THE JUKEBOX is an inspiring memoir about how one musician found his rhythm and launched a movement that would forever change how people make, distribute, and enjoy their favorite songs.
Pre-order it here.