Music

Scott Storch Recalls Auditioning For The Roots, Says The Group Created The Neo-Soul Wave

Source: Red Bull/YouTube

“It was a culture shock for me,” the producer and songwriter said of joining The Roots.

Scott Storch was the focus of a Red Bull Music Academy lecture in Canada, where he talked about everything from auditioning for The Roots to working with Dr. Dre.

READ: Scott Storch On Why He Left The Roots To Produce: “I Didn’t Have An Identity”

In regards to the former topic, Storch recalled befriending Richard Nichols, who went on to become The Roots’ manager.

“He took me under his wing, eventually after my parents found out I wasn’t going to school they said ‘You either go to school and you can stay or you gotta go’ and I went,” Storch said. “I did odd jobs and did whatever I had to do to support myself at 15, 16 years-old, and I got a record deal with The Roots.”

From there, Storch talked about auditioning to be in The Roots, and how he had to go to Germantown, Pennsylvania for the audition. There, he met Questlove and auditioned on a Fender Rhodes keyboard.

“Questlove went crazy and he couldn’t believe I was using that keyboard,” he said. “They put me to the test…Questlove got on the drums and it felt natural…it was culture shock for me. I was catapulted into this neo-soul, native tongue world of hip-hop and Philly. I’m just a little white boy from South Florida.”

While speaking with the interviewer, Storch clarifies that the events being discussed happening around 1992, much before neo-soul even existed. When the interviewer brings up this point Storch says that The Roots “created that wave” and then talks about how other rap groups started to incorporate bands following The Roots’ rise, including Digable Planets.

Storch also talked about what he learned most from Questlove — how to keep time.

“He’s like a human drum machine,” he said. “Just learning all the rhythms and how to keep the energy of the beat going.”

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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