The New Jersey musician, writer, and actor Greg Amici return to BuzzMusic with his latest conceptual track "Spin That Ball." Greg Amici noted that the song was inspired by the upcoming film "Blackjack: The Jackie Ryan Story" based on Jack 'blackjack' Ryan and his basketball ventures. He also mentioned that he has a small role in the upcoming film premiering October 2020. Greg Amici's single "Spin That Ball" ties in many melodic instrumentals into this upbeat alt-rock tune, as well as detailed and story-like lyricism that tells a lively tale of Jack Ryan and how his legacy will inspire many others down the road.
Opening "Spin That Ball" with pulsing electric guitar and drums, Greg Amici's vocals jump into the song and describes the roaring energy of a basketball game. While his lyrics turn into this well-rounded story, we begin to hear the troubles of this character and what held him back from moving forward. Greg Amici's vocals are incredibly striking and bright, as he sings with passion towards this character and tells a compelling story. The rocking instrumentals keep the track's energy at a high and pushes the song to be a perfect fit for the soundtrack of the upcoming film. Listening to "Spin That Ball," we feel that drive to go out and play a game for ourselves, especially after hearing Greg Amici's encouraging messages.
Welcome back to BuzzMusic, Greg! We're full of excitement after listening to your single "Spin That Ball." What sort of themes did you want to illustrate with this song about a basketball star's experiences?
The song was inspired by Black Jack Ryan, who had a shot at basketball stardom but blew his opportunity. To me, that wasn’t the most interesting aspect of the story. What interested me is that his second act ended, not in victory, but in acceptance of a more banal, but much healthier existence. When someone overshoots for the stars and crash-lands afterward, where does he or she go? We perversely romanticize the dramatic final act— murder, suicide— but overlook the mundane— get married, get a regular job, and stop dreaming. That’s change. To me, the mundane is the essence of existence.
How did you write the lyrics for "Spin That Ball," and how did you channel real concepts within the movie while making the song your own?
I had a small role in the movie, Black Jack: The Jackie Ryan Story. The director, Danny Abeckaser, really liked my performance. I told him I’d like to take a crack at writing and recording a song for the movie. He loved “Spin That Ball," but ultimately it didn’t fit in with the more urban-oriented soundtrack of the film. I basically took some aspects of the basketball story and then exaggerated or changed some of the elements to fit the theme above (answer to Question 1). It’s also about controlling your life; it’s about self-dependence. “If you want to be the mayor, better buy the town."
We've noticed that you create a lot of conceptual music, especially towards characters in films. Does all your music surround this theme, and what pulled you into this unique songwriting approach?
Sometimes the song revolves around the theme and sometimes I find the theme as I go along. I have to keep things somewhat loose when I start out. The one thing I’ll say is that I write from the character’s point-of-view, which may be benign, engaged, disengaged, violent, etc. One thing that drives me crazy is when people presume that the “voice” within the song is that of the artist, especially if it’s in the first person. That’s ridiculous, but that’s what’s they’re selling these days in this culture. In “Spin That Ball,” the speaker is a friend or an observer of the basketball player, and I would say is a bit judgmental. The narrator is a character that serves the story.
We've heard that you are not only a musician/artist, but you're also a screenwriter and actor. How do these experiences help your artistic career expand?
Well, I was hired by the film director, Danny Abeckaser, to write a script which I’m currently writing. Meanwhile, he knew that I was an actor, so he put me in Black Jack. I culled the idea for “Spin That Ball,” from being in the movie, so I wrote the song. That’s usually how it works for me. What's keeping you inspired in 2020? I was just reading about Nabokov’s tendency to thwart an unhappy experience by funneling it directly into his work. This has been an unhappy year, but I’m managing alright because I have a creative outlet. There was a lot of great work that came out of the World Wars and the “first" Cold War, so I’d say that socio-political elements shouldn’t be a drag on art/entertainment, they should be a boon.