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Happy Valley Song Lab Offers Guidance and Platform for Local Musicians

by on November 18, 2020 5:00 AM

Attempting to get into the music industry can be difficult and daunting for artists, and a global pandemic sure doesn’t make it easier.

Popular State College-based band My Hero Zero's frontman Jason Olcese (better known as Jason O) and his partner, Angel Mariotti, have stepped forward to be the guidance for musicians in need to take the next step in their musical careers.

Olcese recently opened Happy Valley Song Lab, a music studio aimed at helping musicians grow in their songwriting techniques and recording abilities in a music studio.

“When the shows stopped [because of the pandemic], we had to figure out what we were going to do to keep music in our lives,” Olcese said. “One thing led to another and it was kind of the next natural step.”

Olcese explained that co-writing and being a music teacher have always been passions of his. Opening Happy Valley Song Lab gave him the opportunity to take on a mentorship role.

“It has been in my sights to be an artist coach at some point in my career,” Olcese continued. “I just had a lot I wanted to do first on stage and in my own music, and the pandemic created the situation where I had time to explore that.”

Olcese said the process of helping other people with their “musical blocks” has helped himself grow as an artist, too.

The Happy Valley Song Lab wants to help people grow into their own style of music and help each person who comes through the doors make their own brand and platform.

“We want Happy Valley Song Lab to be a place where you can come in as a fledgling artist, find your voice and discover who you want to be creatively, and from there going into the process of actually developing a brand of who you are that’s authentic to you, and move into a phase where you can record, release and market your music,” Mariotti said.

Happy Valley Song Lab is working with producers, social media managers and a branding company to help musicians in their careers.

Described as a “holistic” and “person-centered” approach to music, Olcese and Mariotti want people to become the best musicians they can be. The two are working with experienced musicians as well as people who don’t play instruments or those who have only ever recorded music on their phones.

“Creativity is a tube,” Olcese said. “As human beings, it feels to me that we are all drawn to create. We have to express, we have to be creative. And if we’re not, that tube gets blocked up. The same way if you ate something and never unblocked the other end of that tube, some part of your body isn’t going to feel good.”

Musicians interested in working with Happy Valley Song Lab or reserving the studio can check out its website.



Charles Reinert is a Penn State student and a writer for Onward State.
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