Meet The Artist: Jeff LaPlante -
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Meet The Artist: Jeff LaPlante

Hailing from the scenic landscapes of Western Massachusetts, USA, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Jeff LaPlante embodies a lifelong dedication to the world of music.

With over 30 years of experience crafting songs, Jeff has left an indelible mark on the music scene, showcasing his versatile talents and unwavering passion. We had a chat with Jeff to welcome him to Melodie, and hear more about his illustrious musical career.

The Interview

Melodie: Hey Jeff, welcome, it’s great to have you on board! You’ve worn multiple musical hats throughout your career. Can you tell us a bit about how you got started?

Music has been a very important part of my life since early childhood. I remember writing simple songs on my little Yamaha keyboard as early as seven or eight years old, and performing them for my family around the dinner table. I was always more interested in creating my own music, rather than learning how to play popular songs.

And by age 12, I had put together a local band and started playing small gigs like school dances and parties around my town. By 15, my brother and I toured New England with a group of other child/teen performers, playing at state fairs and festivals. During my college years and early 20s, I formed two bands, Entropy, and The LaPlante Brothers, performing regularly around the Rhode Island club/bar scene as well as various college campuses, serving as the opening act for bands like Guster and Matchbox Twenty.

What did you like most about being part of a band? What did you learn from the experience?

I have always enjoyed the creative more than the performance aspects of music.  Playing at bars until 2am, playing ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ and ‘Sweet Caroline’ for the thousandth time, dealing with performance anxiety, and  hours of travel took a toll on me. I soon realized that the life of a touring/performing musician was not for me.

In contrast, I was thriving in the studio.  The creative process was a dream come true.  Over the course of 15 years, my brother Steve and I released six albums, including 2009’s Essential LP” and 2014’s “Living In A Reverie”.  I am still extremely proud of the music on those projects. 

In 2020 you embarked on a new venture into the realm of music for film and television. What was that transition like?

Most of my 30s was spent raising my two amazing children as well as embarking on a rewarding teaching career. However, the passion for creating music was still very much alive in me.

Writing music for film and television has been a tremendous joy in my life, because I am able to create music consistently, at a very high pace, without having to stop, go on tour to support the release, sell merchandise, etc…  I can just focus on the music and the artistic side of the industry.  As a touring/performing musician, you would be lucky to release an album of 12 tracks every few years.  As a composer, I get to produce 250-300 cues in just one year.  For someone who loves creating but dreads performing, it is an awesome career.  

Whether it be a poppy scene opener for Real Housewives, an investigative tension cue in a crime series, or a quirky hip hop track for a comedic scene of a dating show, I still feel a great sense of accomplishment when I hear my music being used.  It is this accomplishment that fuels the motivation to keep going.  My music can be heard on television programming all over the world, and that feels good. 

How important to the art of visual storytelling is evoking emotion through music?

It is hugely important. Have you ever tried to watch a scene from a movie without the sound on? It totally falls flat. Every show-runner and music supervisor understands this, and that is why there are hundreds of cues used in every episode of reality television programming. The music is crucial for telling the story, for sure.

What do you do to get in the zone when starting on a new composition?

Half the battle for me is just sitting down and starting something. Once I hear something that I enjoy, I am in it, and I won’t stop until the cue is done… usually about 2-3 hours.  I work very quickly, but I am also laser focused on the final product.  If I sit down and start something, and I am not hearing anything that I enjoy, after about 10 minutes of experimenting, I usually delete the session and start again.  That doesn’t happen often, only occasionally.  So, I guess my trick is to only compose music that I would enjoy listening to myself. 

Beyond your musical endeavours, you are also deeply committed to education. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a school teacher and passing on your knowledge – especially when it comes to music?

While creating music continues to be my passion, I would say that my true purpose in life is teaching. 

Part of keeping lessons fun and engaging has been the use of music.  My guitar has always been a talking point in my classroom, and we have songs for everything – from our morning greeting all the way to multiplication facts (maybe I’ll license those songs someday!).  Aside from that, I am always playing music during student work time.  It creates a very calm learning environment. I wish more teachers would consider adding a daily soundtrack to their classroom repertoire. 

What is your DAW of choice? Any plug-ins or equipment you swear by? 

I use PreSonus Studio One, and I absolutely love it. The workflow is super easy and intuitive. I have a few virtual instruments/plug-ins that I use on pretty much every cue I write, including: Omnisphere 2, Kontakt Komplete, Serato Sample, Valhalla Reverb, Alter-Boy by SoundToys, and Ozone for mastering. 

What is your favourite track in the Melodie library and why?

If I had to choose one of my own, I would probably say ‘Knock On Wood’.  It has a really cool vibe and does a great job blending some organic sounds with other electronic elements over a drill/hip hop beat.  It is very versatile.  

If you are asking about the entire Melodie catalogue, my choice is ‘Paradiso’ by Greg Carrozza. Greg is a composer that I’ve always looked up to, and he just really nails it with this high-energy pop track. It is modern, catchy, and positive… definitely a mood that I strive for in a lot of my music. 

What are you working on at the moment?

Right now, I am working on a few different projects including 80s Pop for a documentary, Investigative Tension for a few different crime shows, and Sports Hip Hop for College Basketball on CBS Sports. 

Melodie Music

Melodie is a music licensing platform, founded by a family of composers, musicians and sound designers - all with a deep understanding of the essential role music plays in storytelling. Our purpose is to connect and inspire Melodie artists, content creators and employees - growing a benevolent, diverse and sustainable business.