Scott Erickson produces, arranges and writes songs with an experienced and flexible style that glides through the most demanding and diverse musical challenges.
From co-producing Barry Manilow’s Grammy nominated ‘In the Swing of Christmas,’ to producing the platinum selling album ‘Vivir Asi’ for Latin superstar Mijares to composing a slew of entertaining songs for a for the long running children’s show Barney and Friends, Scott brings a passion to any project he accepts. For example, arranging and producing the production show music for Seabourn or Holland America Line, working on jingles with globally recognized advertising agencies or writing and producing songs for several of the Disney theme parks’ most popular live shows in Tokyo and Paris are all in an enthusiastic, very skilled day’s work for Scott.
Scott grew up in Washington State and discovered his love for music at an early age. Where most young people pledge allegiance to superstars on the front of album covers, Scott was in awe of the behind-the-scenes players on the back covers. Such attention to detail would serve him well in his destined field of profession…along with a classical music foundation to support his pop music appreciation when embracing new challenges.
“What I love most about producing is getting to work with so many other talented musicians,” Scott states. “The musicians I get to work with are the greatest on the planet and make everything I work on better than I could imagine! Being around them is so inspiring… What could possibly be better than working with these musicians I’ve loved, admired, and respected since I was a kid?”
Scott Erickson was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, and grew up all over Washington State. At the age of seven, Scott’s piano instructor entered him into a young piano composer contest where he placed 2nd. However, the instrument that truly called his spirit was the drums. He got his first snare drum in fourth grade. By sixth grade, he was performing in both the All City Band and Chorus. When the family moved to Eugene, Oregon during junior high, Scott was evolving into an outstanding classical percussionist, playing in the youth symphony. All the while, his musical taste was blooming across the spectrum of music, especially pop and jazz vocals.
A year apiece at the University of Washington and Washington State University (a time in which he was also a member of the Washington/Idaho Symphony) led to a year of traveling around the globe singing and dancing with the non-denominational musical organization Up With People. This opportunity gave Scott an up close perspective on different cultures where he truly learned just how international the language of music can be.
Scott settled in Massachusetts for the next three years at the renowned Berklee School of Music, where he majored in on Music Production, Engineering and Arranging. Never shy, Scott’s zeal for reaching out to artists he loved brought him into contact with vocal quartet The Manhattan Transfer. The friendship resulted in his very first professional gig as a copyist of orchestra charts arranged by Corey Allen, “TMT” member Cheryl Bentyne’s husband and among Scott’s earliest mentors. He would later earn the privilege of hearing them sing a vocal arrangement he co-created with member Tim Hauser of King Pleasure’s “Blues I Like to Hear” from a Stuttgart, Germany stage.
Upon graduating from Berklee, Scott moved to Los Angeles. Within weeks of his arrival Scott also penetrated the inner circle of another of his all-time favorite artists, Barry Manilow. Four days into the gig as a production assistant, he was putting the copying skills to work assisting Manilow by recopying band charts. Fast forward a couple of decades and Scott would be co-producing Manilow’s Grammy-nominated Hallmark holiday CD, In the Swing of Christmas.
From 93-94 he learned the inner workings of a major corporate record company as an assistant to MCA Music Entertainment Group Chairman Al Teller, offering him the opportunity to work with many executives that would prove instrumental later in his career.
Following his experience at MCA Scott Erickson spent seven years as the assistant to pop arranger and producer Robbie Buchanan. During this time he coordinated, engineered and later associate produced (along side Robbie) recordings for some of the industry’s biggest artists, including Barbara Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Bette Midler, Peabo Bryson and Michael Crawford.
As the changing of the millennium approached, Scott accepted a one-off assignment to do some demos for “The Tigger Movie” that kicked off an association that would branch off into several divisions of Disney. That first assignment found him working with the legendary Disney songwriting team The Sherman Brothers. Acknowledging Scott’s fine efforts, Dick Sherman forecasted, “You will do great things with this company.” And so it came to pass – from engineering and coordination on the “102 Dalmations” and “Gepetto” projects to orchestration and choral arranging for “Best of Pooh & Heffalumps, Too” (featuring Carly Simon), “Bambi 2 (featuring Alison Krauss) and “Tarzan II: The Legend Begins” (featuring Phil Collins) – all for Disney Toons Studio. Nice work for a guy who recognizes his birthday as the day that Disney’s “The Jungle Book” had its theatrical release (October 17, 1967).
Scott also ghost wrote several episodes for the first season of “Dragon Tales” (1999) which led to even more interactive work at Sony Tristar. And he is currently a regular contributor to children’s television gems such as “Barney” and “Angelina Ballerina.”
Scott’s expertise in music that often animates parades, cartoons and Christmas albums is one of the factors that set him apart from peers that only work in the field of pop music recordings. “It’s a jingle sensibility,” he explains, likening his intuition to that of the people who coin catchy television/radio commercial spots. “I can write a good hook!”
That sensibility has resulted in Scott Erickson melodies touching hearts around the globe. Scott finally landed his first solo producer’s credit helming half of the 2001 CD Dreams by singer/songwriter Michelle Tumes (an ASCAP Christian Writer of the Year honoree). He is the co-writer of the hit song “When She Smiles” by South African singer Ed Jordan.
“If I can feel an emotional journey in the music once I’ve completed it, I know I’ve done my job. But once I’ve finished something,” he concludes, “I’m off to the next thing.” Scott Erickson distinguishes himself from songwriters by identifying more with the title “composer for hire.” 90% of the songs he’s written have been placed. So if you want to call him a songwriter…go right ahead. He has an extremely good track record. And his work load is only getting heavier.”
He got to work with one of his childhood production icons Ron Dante on an Archies Christmas album as well as two songs for former Monkees lead singer Davy Jones. He recently composed the theme songs for the Shanghai World’s Fair. And he also produced the Spanish language album Vivir Asi by Mexican singing star Mijares. The CD shot to #1, remained in the Top 3 in Mexico for 8 weeks, and became Warner Music Mexico’s biggest seller that year.
By A. Scott Galloway