Today my guest on the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is Steven Vincent, Vice President of Music & Soundtracks at Disney Branded Television. He is the man behind the music you love from not only the Disney Plus and The Disney Channel, but also Disney XD, ABC Family, and more, since 2007.

Steven Vincent advises and collaborates with TV series and TV movie producers on script development and creating original music, as well as licensed songs. He works with recording artists, songwriters and composers in conjunction with Disney Publishing, Disney Music Group and Radio Disney as well as external labels, publishers and management.

On the talent side, he has supervised the TV music careers of Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Jonas Bros, Zendaya, Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Bridgit Mendler, Bella Thorne, Ross Lynch, Laura Marano, Zac Efron & Vanessa Hudgens.

Vincent has a degree in Music Composition from UCLA, and studied film scoring with Walter Scharf, David Raskin & Fred Karlin while winning scholarships from BMI and ASCAP. He has also worked as a film composer, arranger, producer, conductor and musician.

We discuss what he does in his work, what it’s like to work with young talent, how he creates the sound of the Disney shows and movies you love, advice for young talent (both songwriters and actor/singers) and much more. This is a fascinating dive into the world behind the music from so many of your favorite soundtracks— including The Cheetah Girls, Camp Rock, High School Musical, Disney Descendants, and much more. Join us!

Listen to the first 12 minutes here for free, or become a Friend of the Podcast for just $5 a month — and get access to the full interview, as well as access to the entire collection of over 100 other inspiring and educational episodes designed to help you succeed in the entertainment industry.

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

  • “Leave your ego at home. You’re there to serve not just your vision, but the vision of the director, producers, writers, and the studio.”
  • “In some ways, my job is figuring out what each new show or musical should sound like.”
  • “I meet songwriters all the time… there are always new creative voices coming.”
  • “I remember the first thing we did with Bella and Zendaya… Bella was really nervous, and Zendaya would stand on the other side of the glass and cheer her on.”
  • “It’s about setting people up for success. That’s a lot of my job. Trying to nurture people and inspire them & provide them with the tools they need to be as successful as possible.”
  • “They’re very determined, driven people. They just happen to be kids at the time.”
  • “If you want to become a good songwriter, write a lot of songs… try and write one great song a week.”
  • “If you want to work in music, be a musician. Don’t just be a singer.”
  • “If you want to be a songwriter, you want to express something that somebody else is going to care about.”
  • “If you want to be a singer that matters, that’s successful… learn how to use your instrument. The voice is very much an instrument.”
  • “Find any opportunity to perform in front of people. All of it counts. All of it helps prepare you.”
  • “I’m all about creative expression… I think it’s really important in being a complete person.”

Feeling inspired? Take Steve Vincent’s advice to heart and try writing a song this week! Or singing in front of an audience, even if it’s just your family in the living room. Or writing a poem or learning an instrument. As he says, you can learn a lot of this online, even from YouTube. If you are serious about a career as a singer, take voice lessons so you learn how to safely use your instrument. If you want to be a triple threat, learn some basic dance.

And if you need a little help navigating the industry, invest in an online consultation with me. A single session can set you up for success and help you avoid the painful pitfalls that can cost you precious time as well as money.