Artist, Composer, Producer
Super Quick Bio. I landed a national TV theme when I was 17 which kick-started a 25 year career writing jingles, producing network promo music and producing indie artists and songs.
My True Identity
As my website demonstrates, I have a few labels: web-guy, video-guy, business person, geek, etc. but where I feel my most true is as a musician – artist, composer, producer.
It started when I was like 3 or so and I’d plunk out on the piano the melodies I’d hear from my Gramma Nelson’s music box. Years later, I took a few years of traditional piano then rebelled into jazz, RnB and black gospel. I added bass and guitar along the way to help me with writing and producing and to book online. I’m a MIDI whiz and expert in computer music and digital audio. I love to arrange a familiar melody into a new experience. So fun!
My Big Break
I became a professional writer/artist/producer at age 17, when I wrote a nationally syndicated theme song. That was a kickstart to a varied and good career spent scoring music for ads and videos, writing jingles, producing indie artists of all styles, making demos for publishers and all kinds of work.
Music, Music, Music
When it comes to musical styles, survival in the business taught me how to be versatile – but my heart beats for soul, pop, RnB and orchestral. I’ve worked for ad agencies, record labels, publishers, other music producers, and countless indie and label artists from coast to coast. Check out my site, my music and if you’re feelin’ it – let’s make some music together!
- Sing lead and BGVs
- Read, write and chart music
- Play by ear
- Music scoring
- Music producer/arranger
- MIDI expert
- Computer music
- Digital audio
- Audio editing
- Mix in studio
- Mix live
- Music director/band leader
- Choir directing
- All manner of live performance
- Hookup small to medium sound systems
- Cubase Pro 8.5 / Nuendo
- Ableton Live
- 100’s of MIDI and audio plugins like Sampletank, Native Instruments, Ivory, etc.
- UAD plugins
- iPad music apps
- Familiar with ProTools, Digital Performer, Reason, Reaper, Logic, etc.
- PC based
- Skilled at PC-related issues
- Music Licensing
- IP/Copyright issues
- BMI member since 1988
- Music friends coast to coast
- Negotiating terms with ad agencies, video producers
- “Loosely” manage(d) various artists/producers
- Writing memo deals
- Good understanding of legal lingo and contracts
For a little more info and sounds of my former “for hire” music producer life, visit www.MNRSongs.com
AMERICAS GOT TALENT
BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES
BROTHERS & SISTERS
COMMANDER & CHIEF
DIMENSIONAL MUSIC PUB.
DISNEY’S AKEELAH & THE BEE
DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID
DISNEY’S CINDERELLA DVD
ANGEL WARS for EMI VIDEO
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE
KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS
LAW & ORDER
MY SUPER SWEET 16
HEROES SEASON I DVD
NBC NETWORK PROMOS
NICK CANNON’S SHORT CIRCUITZ
PERSON OF INTEREST
PIMP MY RIDE
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE?
THE 700 CLUB
THE BIGGEST LOSER
THE INSPIRATIONAL NETWORK
THE REAL WORLD
THE SING OFF
THE TODAY SHOW
THE TONIGHT SHOW w JIMMY FALLON
THE UNITED WAY
THE WEST WING
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
THE FAMILY CHANNEL
Some awards and such. I really don’t follow this stuff but I’m told by various director/producer types that it’s a nice list.
NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL AWARD
NASHVILLE FILM FESTIVAL AWARD
COLUMBUS INTERNATIONAL FILM
…blah, blah, blah
SOME PEEPS (PEOPLE)
Roy “Future Man” Wooten
Windmark Recording Studios
Universal Music Publishing
When I first emailed Michael requesting some minor custom audio work I was only half expecting a reply. Not only did I hear back, but I was surprised and delighted that he was willing to make the changes I was looking for. During subsequent email and phone calls it was clear that Michael was taking a genuine interest in my work and that meant a lot to me. It was wonderful to hear and see how well the music he created fit with my visuals. I have since hired him for other projects and look forward to working with him in the future. I recommend him without reservation.
Rob Baxter | Baxter Video
“I met with Michael for a consultation a few weeks ago and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. He changed my life. He helped me see everything BIGGER. He didn’t increase my talent – he helped me have confidence in the talent I already have and showed me ways to use it more effectively. He open up a whole new world in that area. He’s incredibly versatile and knowledgeable about the industry. Following his advice, I instantly started making money selling my music. And the best part is I’m making more money everyday on work that I’ve already done! I just hired him to do some synth/loops/fx work on a project I’m doing. It sounds AMAZING. He totally took it to the next level. He’s setting me up with website now and based on what I’ve seen of his other work, it’s going to be great!”
Matt Riley | Instrumental Music Director, New Hope Church
“Working with Michael Rizzo was an inspiring, exciting and educational experience beyond what I had imagined. We spent time discussing the focus of what I hoped to accomplish and Michael taylored a musical package that was awesome – and fit my limited budget. Very cool, for a regular guy like me. I had no experience with the production process until I met Michael. It was nice to have someone completely honest and forthright to teach me the ins-and-outs. Being able to trust who I hired was paramount since…Michael and I have never met in person. Everything was completely and smoothly orchestrated from opposite ends of the USA – all through the internet and phone. What I learned has given me the power to be an effective and professional musical craftsman. Since working with Michael my career has grown and flourished. The possibilities are endless so I just say…Hat’s off to you, Michael!”
Brad H | Portland, ME singer/songwriter
“I’ve been in many studios with many different and very talented souls here in Nashville – and around the world – and Rizzo is at the top of the list! Whether in front of or behind the console.”
Rick P | Nashville based writer/producer
“Michael Rizzo has the wisdom and expertise one needs to be successful in the music business today. His counsel has been vital to me. He helped me create a strategy to achieve my goals and realize my dreams as a professional composer and musician. That strategy included not only the knowledge of how to craft good music, but how to market it, and how to fashion a brand for myself that is bold and unique. I highly recommend his services as a consultant to those who wish to be successful in the music business. He has much to offer. Furthermore, in my experience I see that he truly cares and wants to help others. He’s not only got brains…but heart!”
Greg K | pianist/composer with a doctorate in music
“I have been in the “biz” for over twenty years as a performing and studio artist. I have done and seen alot. A chance and very fortuitous meeting brought Rizzo into my world. He recognized abilities in me I either didn’t know existed or failed to acknowledge and develop. With his encouragement, I have uncovered these abilities so they may grow and blossom. His invitation to write and create music with him has introduced me to an exciting and prosperous new field. With his continued guidance, encouragement and friendship I am learning new skills that will complement my talent in the best of ways. Having the chance to work with such an amazing artistic visionary is truly a gift, and I can only look forward with the greatest amount of positive anticipation as I move into the next phase of my career.”
Matt Voth | Indie Artist who got his first network TV music placement after working with Rizzo & Epic Soul
“Without Rizzo’s guidance and education about the business for the past 10+ years, I would never have made it as far as I have.”
Jaymes V | Contestant on CBS’s “The Amazing Race / Vegas based entertainer
“I met Michael unexpectedly one Friday afternoon last fall. He invited me to sing and co-write a song for a film pitch that evening. It was an amazing night of creativity, and within 3 hours we had tracked the music, written the lyrics, and cut the vocals. It was smokin’! I have gotten to know Michael over the last few months as a composer, performer, producer, web developer, friend and visionary. He’s got a great heart, and is one of those rare individuals who can combine creativity, business savvy, and vision. He is a wealth of knowledge!”
Sutton S | Independent Artist
“I have known Rizzo since I was only fifteen and can personally attest to the passion that this gentleman has for music and emerging talent. When I was a teenager, Rizzo let me use his studio to compose and record music for my personal use. The influence of professionals like Rizzo through my formative years helped create a solid foundation for me to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Nearly two decades later I have begun to reap the harvest from a lifelong pursuit of success as a professional composer. I can truly say that Rizzo is a devoted, hard working, and very talented person who I am happy to recommend.”
Mark W | now an A-list Hollywood composer
“I first worked with Michael when he came onto the production scene in November of 1988. He was 17, full of energy and creativity, and wrote a winning theme song for the nationally syndicated broadcast talk show I was producing. Since then Michael and I have worked on numerous broadcast, cable and corporate projects. His talent is exceptional and the works Michael creates are always outstanding, but the main reason I come back to Michael with projects again and again is that he is extremely reliable and a real pleasure with whom to work! His work is always on time, on target and spot on! When we first worked together, the organization for which we worked followed the motto, ‘Excellence, Innovation and Integrity.’ Michael still works and lives by that motto. I recommend him to you without reservation!”
Nancy K | VP Creative Product Development
Coastal-DuPont Training Technologies, Corp.
“Rizzo can do it all. I am always amazed at his expertise in such a wide array of subjects. His music skills are surpassed only by his idea-oriented mind and his infectiously positive personality. He has proven this to myself both as a composer, my web developer and as a tireless ‘idea guy’. His involvement in my success is without measure.”
Erik G | owner of major Hollywood music library
“I have known Michael for about 6 years now as a friend and as a colleague. I know him to be one of the hardest working and most consistent professionals I know – being someone who has unique ideas and follows through with them. In the music community, Michael has shown leadership in the areas of copyright issues and music business knowledge; sometimes having helped his peers navigate through business options they didn’t know existed. I am familiar with Michael’s current endeavors and I can tell you that he is certainly on the pulse of where music and media are today. As a colleague, I have personally worked with him on various projects and will continue to do so where there is opportunity. I might also mention that I find his consistent track record of network credits to be truly unique in the tight-knit circles of Nashville – offering even more evidence of his musical skill and business prowess.”
Carl M | Arranger-Producer
“I highly recommend the talent and work ethic of Rizzo. He did a lot of work for me at Universal Music, and he was consistently going the extra mile and finding a way to make things work to bring out the best of the song he was working on. He was always on time and usually ahead of schedule in bringing the product to me. Michael’s greatest gift was in developing the music to exactly where the song demanded it go. He was always true to the music.”
Michael P | Music Publisher
Final Four Music/frmly Universal Music | Adj. Prof. of Music Pub., Belmont Univ.
“Rizzo is a very talented and well respected composer and musician. We needed a score for a training video on back safety. Needless to say, the subject matter is not very exciting, but the music that Michael created, made the video very entertaining and a success, which is a huge compliment.”
Ken G | Video Producer
“Masterfully technical and equally as creative….Rizzo has more talent in his pinky than most people have in their entire body.”
Timothy L. | Producer/Songwriter
“As owner of a commerical audio/video production company, I’ve worked with alot of music producers and Rizzo is one for the few that consistently delivers high quality, creative work in a timely manner. He has been a pleasure to work with and I recommend him highly to anyone looking for professional level music composition.”
Bob S | Earworks Audio
“Rizzo is an exception. He’s more than just musical talent, he knows how to capture a feel by dipping his fingers into a tonal palette—turning ebony and ivory keys into a rainbow of sound. He can caress your ears or rock them till they bleed…and he knows when to do which. Talent isn’t all that hard to find, but when you pair the brilliance of craft with an intuitive, perceptive ear, then you have something exceptional…you have Rizzo.”
Terry E | Composer of hundreds of TV commercials including Target, McDonalds, Pepsi, etc.
“…everyone noticed the music, loved it. In fact, some went to say that it added that much more to the piece…GOOD JOB!”
John F | Video Producer
“Rizzo is one the best producers I have ever worked with. His flow of ideas is never ending and his producing skills nothing short of outstanding. I am confident you will find your project greatly improved by adding the Epic Soul flavor to it. Rizzo’s versatility in the area of music production is remarkable and his mixes are top notch providing the entire scale of emotions from a touching/soft “angelic” to a cutting edge modern.
Sampsa S | Producer, Music Director
“The thing about Rizzo is that he is a visionary, you can’t even wrap your mind around all the ways he can make you better. He can make your business better by helping you get organized, he can make your music bigger, better, bolder, and more commercial, and as a result of all that, he can make you money,! I love working with Rizzo and I truly hope that we have the chance to work together more in the future.”
Johnny S | Artist – Songwriter
“Everything went well with the program, the music turned out good. Thanks for everything, especially making your work so available, I appreciate it. I hope to be working with you in the near future. Thanks.”
Matt | Video Producer
“Rizzo was a joy to work with. I was really lucky to have randomly clicked his response to my ad, as I had like 200+ responses and didn’t wanna go through all of them. But I was really impressed by his website and even more impressed with his work. As a budding filmmaker, I had little idea of how to talk to a composer – I only knew the mood I wanted the music to help create. He walked me through it all and made it a painless process being fast, efficient, understanding of my budget, and best of all…deadline-friendly. I have no reservations recommending him to other filmmakers, and very much look forward to our next project together.”
Sheila | Filmmaker : Los Angeles
“My partner and I both agree that we LOVE the music. Thanks again we are really excited about this final piece. The foreshadowing is spot on!!! Great work.”
Mica | Filmmaker