Originality shines through on new EP

The vibrations from Nathan Muchnick’s guitar have been echoing through his suburban bedroom for years. He is constantly practicing but never formally recording – until now.

Muchnick, a sophomore originally from the outskirts of Philadelphia, has always had a passion for music but never took any major steps to get his name out there. That has all changed with the launch of his first album.

Muchnick’s EP, “Start From Scratch,” was officially released Nov. 4.

“It’s gotten to the point where my friends actually know the words to the songs and sing it back to me, and it’s really surreal every time it happens,” Muchnick said. “I never really thought that people would respond in the way that they have.”

The EP includes four self-written songs, including the title track and compilation’s namesake. Muchnick, who began writing songs in high school, said he had to partially detach himself from his music to make his words available to the public.

“It’s not like you’re telling your best friend or family member something, and that’s part of why I wanted to do a really professional sounding recording,” Muchnick said.

Artists like John Mayer and James Taylor inspired Muchnick to learn guitar when he was 13 years old. He said he tries to incorporate some of their influence into his own personal sound.

“When I started making music, part of why I did it was because I wanted to make other people connect to music and give them the same experience that music had given to me,” Muchnick said. “I felt that if I could do something that could have a profound impact on someone else as much as these artists had on me, that would be my main goal.”

Dimitri Vassiliou, who produced the EP, owns a small record label based in King of Prussia, Pa. but decided to work with Muchnick as an independent project.

“My honest opinion is that he’s one of the most talented musicians I’ve worked with in terms of song writing capabilities at such a young age with no classical training,” Vassiliou said.

Though he does not normally work with younger artists, Vassiliou said he agreed to work with Muchnick in early July, intending to complete a four-song demo over the course of one weekend.

Vassiliou said he turned the EP into a two and a half-month project because he believed in Muchnick and his music.

“He was very open-minded in allowing an outsider like me, who he had never met before to help him shape his songs,” Vassiliou said. “That’s not common because most artists are very particular in thinking they’ve created the next masterpiece.”

Muchnick collaborated with a number of accomplished musicians while recording his EP, including Kjell Benner, best known as the bassist for American rock band Quiet Riot.

“I really learned a lot just from being in the presence of people who were much more experienced and much more talented musicians than me,” Muchnick said.

“Start From Scratch” is expected to be made available on iTunes by the end of the month, Muchnick said. Fans can stream the songs on MySpace and Facebook, and Muchnick also hopes to make his music available on YouTube.

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