Music Is What Feelings Sound Like
Shie Rozow (pronounced “shy”) has defined dedication. Shie is not only an accomplished music editor with over 100 feature film credits including feature films such as Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Spider-Man 2 and independent films like the hugely successful Hustle & Flow, Geography Club and The Last Word, he is also a great composer with the essence of a true artist and an innovator of thought. And he loves scuba diving.
Shie Rozow was born and raised in Israel. He was a kid like any other with friends who dreamt of everyday things like playing outside and letting their imaginations run wild. At a very young age Shie’s parents tried to put him in piano lessons, but many instructors would get frustrated and then would drop him. His parents attempted to hire many others but no one would take young Shie on. Eventually, they gave up. It wasn’t long before he found himself inside the house, his friends running around outside. He was at the family piano writing a song for a classmate’s father who had just died of a heart attack. Shie grew up with a large heart and it continues to grow with his love for music. This marked the beginning of art for him.
“Forget whether or not you want to be an artist…”, Shie explained, “…you either are or you aren’t.” Since his youth he was taught to appreciate the things he had in life. At age 12, Shie got his first synthesizer, a Roland JX3P which didn’t do much but he learned it well. A couple years later he received his first music computer an Atari-ST. These days, when giving young musicians advice about getting new instruments he’ll recall not having much to work with saying, “Have you really squeezed everything out of what you have? It’s not the tools you use, but how you use them, so make something great with what you have.”
Shie knew, early on, his love for music and quickly learned that he would have to work hard for this dream. His father was a practical man and the importer for BMW to Israel. He also had a mechanics garage that would repair the cars that were imported. He taught his son the need for hard work and was a tenacious manager. When Shie turned 15, his father gave him a job at the garage along with a couple of other things. First, a strict start time of seven a.m. He asked his father what time they would both leave in the morning to which his father replied, “I’m not going in until 10.” Shie’s father then gave him a reminder that his bicycle was going to take him longer so he should leave early. His father made it clear to the employees at the garage that Shie was not to be given any preferential treatment.
Following his first job, Shie asked his parents about going to a boarding school in Jacksonville, Florida. His older brother had just graduated from there and explained to them that this is where he could find his independence. They agreed and off he went. While in Jacksonville, Florida, he was asked to perform in a Christmas concert. He was not too forthcoming on performing. He was assigned a three-minute long synthesizer solo in a seven-minute long version of “Silent Night”. This was no easy task, but it was a task. So he fulfilled it.
After graduating boarding school, Shie moved back to Israel and joined the Israeli Army (required at his age in Israel). At the end of his service years he became a veterinary assistant, but found that his discomfort with the death of animals triumphed over his love for them. His father had talked to him about stability and becoming a computer programmer. But Shie knew he loved music so he applied to Rimon School of Jazz & Contemporary Music where he took two days of entry-level exams and music theory tests and scored the absolute lowest of anyone who had applied at the time. “Somehow, I still got in” , he said, “…but I knew that I had to catch up to these people fast or I was going to look like a fraud.” He eventually moved to Boston and received his degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music in just 5 semesters. After graduation he embarked to Los Angeles to pursue his career in music. He went on to work in a post facility. After that he started working for a retired music editor but always maintained access to a studio so he could always work on what he wanted to work on.
Shie shared with me that a couple of years ago he experienced a significant slowdown in work. Since he wasn’t getting the kind of work he wanted, he embarked on a Kickstarter campaign raising just over $20,000 from 202 followers to record and release his first album of concert works called “Musical Fantasy” performed by The Lyris Quartet, pianist Rob Thies & the late Brian O’Connor on French Horn. He explained how someone in a working mindset always overcomes adversity. “You have to be proactive. You just have to do, do, do, do. Since no one else was hiring me, I hired myself.” As soon as he embarked on this project, other work started pouring in, or as he told me “work breeds work.”
Shie has spent some of his life on the well-being of humanity. He has become an accomplished artist and composer while dealing with bipolar disorder. Following his diagnosis, Shie founded a non-profit organization to help others dealing with mental-health challenges. He built a website called www.the-bright-side.org, which started with a handful of pages and has grown to over 1,000 over 15 years. He enthusiastically shared, “There’s a lot of clinical information out there that isn’t presented in a very inviting way. There are personal stories, and plenty of inaccurate information, but nothing that brought together accurate information and personal stories all in one place.”
A person should spend their life pursuing their dreams and help those around us along the way. That is the art of being dedicated.