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LAist Interview: Brandon Schott

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Golden State isn’t just the name of LA-based singer/songwriter Brandon Schott’s second album, it’s also a great description of his outlook on life. Schott’s two albums are infused with a thoughtful optimism, and when he was diagnosed with germ cell cancer last winter, he turned that experience into a new organization, (Artists for Healing), through which musicians give back to the community.

Now cancer-free, Schott is getting back into the LA music scene with a benefit this Sunday at Safari Sam’s, from which all the proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. LAist recently caught up with Schott over espresso floats at Mel’s Drive-In on Sunset to chat about his two records (Release and Golden State), his recent battle with cancer, and life as a musician in Los Angeles.

LAist: I know you’re a multi-instrumentalist. When did you start with each of your instruments?

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The piano was my first instrument and still my most proficient one, which I started right after I moved to England at the age of eight. I took piano lessons for eight years through the Royal Academy of Music in Oxford. As for the guitar, there was a period in seventh grade when our music class learned piano for two to three months. All the other kids were new to keyboards, but I had already been playing for three or four years at that point. So the teacher let me go in the back room where all the miscellaneous instruments were kept. They had a nylon string guitar and I remember that I only initially set out to learn how to play “Amanda” by Boston, which was big at the time. Then came “Heaven” by Warrant…I’m gonna stop there before I have to dust off my 80s power wig.