In the second installment of our Analyst Spotlight blog series, we chatted with another longtime Pandora veteran, Scott Pinkmountain, who has been lending his musical ear to the Music Genome Project since 2004 (yes, that’s just about 8 years!).
Scott joined Pandora before “Pandora” existed, when the company was still called Savage Beast Technologies and the Music Genome Project was being put to use as a recommendation system for brick-and-mortar retail stores. In the same way that the company has morphed over the years, so too has Scott’s contribution to Pandora. After several years of working out of an office, he relocated to a 5-acre plot in Pioneer Town, Calif., slightly outside of Joshua Tree National Park. Like many of our music analysts, Scott preferred to continue his Pandora work in a setting that also lent itself to his creative work, mainly music, writing and songwriting.
Scott began his foray into music at age 15 as many do, by playing electric guitar in various garage bands. But it wasn’t until college that he switched to the saxophone and became immersed in the world of avant-garde jazz and contemporary classical music.
Today, an average day for Scott involves waking up at 4 a.m. to work on his creative projects, followed by several hours of music analysis. He cherishes the flexibility of analyzing remotely and says, “it’s an ideal job for an artist, because you can fit it in whenever and wherever you need to.”
Check out the rest of our conversation with Scott here:
What do you remember about Pandora when you started and how do you feel about it now?
I remember having to elaborately explain my job to friends and family who didn’t understand how listening to music all day could make a paycheck, whereas now it’s nice to be working for a company that’s not only a household name but also one that’s positively associated for most people.
How has being a Music Analyst changed how you listen to music?
When I first started, I found myself unconsciously applying the analysis process to literally everything, including the construction workers outside my house. If anything, I’ve become much more in tune with music. I can easily cut through any production elements to the core of a song – really great music stands out to me more now than ever before.
What do you like about working remotely?
I just work better out here. There is something about being in a quiet place that lets your creativity have more space. It’s also pretty cool to have your binoculars sitting next to your laptop, watching the sunrise and spotting birds as the day goes along.
What kind of creative projects are you working on now?
It’s hard for me to switch between several projects at one time, so right now I’m really focused on my songwriting. I’m trying to complete a song-a-week challenge.
What was the last song you listened to?
I had my Mbilia Bel station cranking on Pandora last night. It was pretty fantastic. I’ve gotten really into West and Central African music. I’ll hear a song I love, make a Pandora station out of it and just let it spin for hours.