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.

IMG_4533.JPGScott 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.

in studio.jpgWhat 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.



  1. francelia
    August 11, 2012 at 4:11pm
    I love pandora
  2. jose romo
    August 12, 2012 at 6:27pm
    si soy jose y me gusta pandora por que da axseso a todo tipo de musica exitos albums de todo tipo de sonido cumbia rancheras rock salsa merengue y es muy capas de tocar todo tipo de musica bariada de todo tipo de jeneros ok grasias
  3. jane
    September 11, 2012 at 7:57am
    I have been a LONG time pandora fan, and even I don't remember it being called Savage Beast Technologies?? And haha about the "listening to music for a paycheck" -- I get that same type of thing in my business. Congrats for sticking with this gig so long - 8 years is historic now in nearly any industry, let alone a "start up" (guess you shouldn't call it that anymore?" gluten free snacks for kids
  4. Yesenia
    June 05, 2013 at 9:08pm
  5. Daniel Dossey
    February 29, 2016 at 9:04pm
    What's happened to the music genome project?? It doesn't seem to be a part of Pandora's algorithm anymore. You had such a good thing going and now it's gone.

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