A winning tenor voice arcs into a transcendent falsetto; lyrical authenticity and melodic simplicity are framed in effortless arrangements. With his debut CD, You & Me, Austin Marolla illuminates an unfolding path of discovery and destiny. Remarkably, “My Journey,” the introduction to this musical sojourn, is also the first song that Austin ever penned. “I picked up the guitar three years ago,” he says. “I sang ‘My Journey’ into a tape recorder before I even knew how to play.
Although he is a relative newcomer as a singer/songwriter, Austin possesses considerable credentials as a performing artist. Trained in the theater, in music and as a dancer, he has performed in shows and musicals on stages from his hometown, New York City, across the U.S. to Italy, France and Spain.
Now with his first CD, he is writing his own script in song, with lyrical passages that trace an emotional terrain both complex and multifaceted. A theme of self-acceptance and the influence of his father, an Italian immigrant, both underscore “Be Your Own Hero,” while a pair of songs, “All for You,” and “Time Traveler,” bookend the beginning and elegiac conclusion of a relationship.
Gratitude is a key ingredient in Austin’s life philosophy, as his song title “Thank You” might indicate. He explains, “Life can be hard. You can put yourself in a pool of despair and write about that, but that’s a heavy song to sing. I’ve surrounded myself with loving and beautiful people and my music reflects that.” The title track, “You & Me,” extends a joyous invitation to a life partner and the gentle poetic promise of “I’m Gonna Love You,” echoes this theme. Between the lines of “You Found Me,” the protagonist finds salvation through love. In “Skylar’s Song,” love come in on four paws, delivered by an orphaned cat.
While Austin’s intellect and intuitive love of the arts might seem to go in diverse directions, at college at Binghamton University he integrated his devotion to theater and dance with studies in science. Over four rigorous years of medical school, he spent summers touring Europe as a performer. “To support my life I set up a vehicle, which is being an eye doctor,” he says of his dual endeavors. “New York is an interesting place. You need something to help you keep in balance. My work as a doctor has helped me to be grounded in my life and as an artist. “Like stepping stones; one step leads to the next, and they’re all part of the same staircase.”
Key to Austin’s emergence as a songwriter and solo performer were intensive guitar studies with two-time Grammy award winning slack key guitarist Jeff Peterson in Hawaii and Valerie MacKend in New York. While attending Summer Songs Songwriters Camp, he met Sloan Wainwright, scion of the legendary musical family, who contributes backing vocals to four songs from You & Me. “I think we meet people for a reason,” Austin notes, “there are no coincidences.”
Austin, who has taught courses on eye and vision care at New York (CUNY) College of Technology, is studying a mastery of energy principles that encompass Reiki, Sacred Geometry, ACCESS, animal communication, the Runes, Numerology, color and sound –all based on the science of physics. “It’s all about communication and energy. I’m a practicing doctor because it pragmatically supports my music and I’m an energy practitioner because it pragmatically supports my life, which reveals itself in my music.
My logo is the third eye; how you see things and how others see things, and how others see you, seeing things. When I give an eye exam I’m opening up my patient’s spirituality center; what they want to accomplish in life, and helping them to see their dreams clearly.”
And realizing his own dreams through music reveals Austin’s profound process of self-discovery (revelations he now shares through lyrics and melodies.) “With songs and music I create what I want in my life: it’s about the process, making art and being on the journey.”