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Q & A with Mike Skriloff

How old were you when you first started playing?

I started taking guitar lessons at the age of ten and instantly fell in love with the guitar. I stopped the lessons after just a few weeks because, although I loved the instrument, the lessons bored me. I just wanted to be a rock star! I picked it up seriously again when I was sixteen. One thing I can say is that those early lessons I took as a kid taught me a very valuable lesson about being a music teacher: Don't be boring!

Where did you go to music school? What's your degree in? What did you study there?

Maybe you've read the studies correlating math and music? I began college at Rutgers University in New Jersey with a focus on education and calculus. After a couple years I realized my passion lies in music. I'm currently enrolled at Berklee College of Music where I'm studying all sorts of courses from fundamentals like Ear Training, Arranging and Harmony to interesting classes like Music Business, Music Technology and some fun Pop Ensembles and Blues Labs.

What are your favorite kinds of music to play and why?

I like to write and play music that rides the line between pop music and other genres like r&b, funk, soul, jazz and rock.

What are some of the musical styles you teach?

I teach many styles of music including blues, rock, pop, soul and jazz.

Where are some of the places you've performed?

I've performed at venues all over New Jersey as well as Café 939 here in Boston and here and there around the country.

Who are some of your favorite bands and musicians?

While I grew up on classic rock, I've come to like a wide range of musicians and bands including Jimi Hendrix, SRV and the Kings, new guys like John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr., as well as other artists such as Jack Johnson, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Beatles, Childish Gambino, Billy Joel, Sara Bareilles and Bruno Mars.

What are your other musical pursuits and accomplishments?

I really try to do it all. I think there's something special that happens when a song is written, composed, recorded and produced all by the same person with a very minimal amount of hands involved. I've been learning how to record and mix the songs I write in my own little home studio.

What are some of your artistic goals?

I want to make music that's honest, shares my personal life experiences and lets people know they aren't alone. Life is just kind of weird and we make it through one way or another. Currently I've been writing songs that highlight the period between late teens and early twenties where many of us are just going out into the world on our own for the first time.

Tell us about your sound clips:

1) The first excerpt is me singing and playing the very first love song I ever wrote. It's called "Holy Cow". 2) "Blues Jam" is a little something I cooked up recently to showcase one of my favorite styles of music. 3) This clip is a section of "Metronome Heart" which I wrote at Berklee while playing around on my friend Tim's guitar. I came upon the melody for this piece and before I knew it, it was something real.

219 Washington St, Wellesley, MA 02481