Mike Scala (born August 16, 1988) is an American singer, songwriter and producer, and the lead vocalist for the electronic crossover group Delta Underground.Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he remains close to home and currently resides in the New York metro area. Scala is also known for his work in the space of social impact, his involvement in a number of domestic and international charities, and setting a world record for the first live concert performed inside a glacier.
Early life and education
Mike Scala was born and raised in Canarsie, Brooklyn and his interest in music began at a young age. He began writing lyrics and poetry at age eight and taught himself how to play the guitar at age twelve after a neighbor offered to help him repair a damaged guitar. Scala’s musical taste was originally influenced by soul, pop and hip hop. He grew up listening to Michael Jackson, Prince, Tupac Shakur, and Notorious B.I.G. After discovering the “Woodstock Era” and being inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Scala began exploring other genres and found inspiration in other artists such as Bruce Springsteen, U2 and The Doors.
Scala received his high school diploma and moved on to study Exercise Science and Music at the University of Ballarat. He acquired his BA from SUNY Cortland in 2009. Throughout college he was involved in the choral union and the SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir and volunteered with several organization such as Habitat for Humanity, Building Bridges for Kids and the YMCA.
Early musical career
At age 17 Scala entered the local music scene in New York City and Los Angeles. He began playing at underground jazz and rock venues such as CBGB, The Bitter End, Mercury Lounge, Troubadour, and The Viper Room as a sideman for touring bands and writing for other artists in the New York City underground scene. After gaining traction as a writer working with bands such as Alien Ant Farm and Dillinger Escape Plan, he decided to go solo after getting offered to record his first single with producer Graeme Hodge and members of the Austrailian Folk Rock Band, "The John Butler Trio". For the release of Scala’s first single, "Fallin", he collaborated with members of John Butler Trio and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Scala's first album, Heart on a String, was released in September 2013 working with indie label Soulsearch Records and producers Brian Caine, Phil Crayton, and Ernesto Gerardo who opened the studio after graduating from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
In April 2011, Scala played a show at The Gathering in Maynooth, Ireland alongside major acts such as Mr. Hudson, The Coronas and Ryan Sheridan. This concert was organized by the student body at NUI Maynooth in order to raise funds for charities around the local vicinity. On tour, Scala has also had the opportunity to work alongside bands such as Gavin Degraw, Mr. North, and DJ VH1.
Mike Scala's Band
|Mike Scala||Marcus Miller||Luke Capon||Eli Menezes|
|2007 to Present||2011 to Present||2011 to Present||2012 to Present|
|Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Piano||Saxophone, Keys||Bass||Bass, Guitar|
While in college, Scala performed in the tri-state area and throughout college campuses on the East Coast. After performing a concert on a campus at his University, he was asked by the Gospel Choir director to sing for the group. Later that year, the choir toured the United States and the United Kingdom. While touring with the Gospel Choir, Scala set up his own tour around the Choir’s dates performing at venues such as The Mint in London and House of Blues in Los Angeles launching him into the indie international scene. Shortly after his single “Fallin” was released alongside his debut album, Scala put together an independent tour with friends and tour mangers Andy Farmer and Richard Jones across Australia and New Zealand. The tour included 40+ cities and featured sold out dates performing at venues such as The Sands Tavern, The Evelyn, The Basement, The Dux De Lux, and more. They would later set a World Record for the worlds first live concert performed in a Glacier Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
In September 2015, Scala began this world tour across the U.S, Europe, Central America, Australia, and New Zealand. Simultaneously, he released an EP for the tour entitled "Stratosphere." His stage presence alongside his high energy performances led him to work with and share the stage with members of and artists such as Carly Rae Jepsen, Wolfgang Gartner, John Butler Trio, One Republic, Gavin DeGraw, Mr. Hudson, Wu Tang Clan, Tokyo Police Club, and many more.
In 2017, Scala started the Live Dance group and collective Delta Underground. Their first project is set to be released in 2018.
Mike Scala Foundation for Youth (MSFY)
The Mike Scala Foundation for Youth (MSFY) was established in 2009 in order to expand educational opportunities and provide mentoring programs for at-risk youth within low-income areas and developing countries. Scala sets aside a portion of the proceeds from all concerts and music sales and donates it to MSFY and other supportive, youth-based charities. In the past, he has worked with initiatives such as UNICEF, Building Bridges for Kids, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Programs, The American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, and Musicians on Call in order to assist in providing a foundation in development and education for children around the world. In April, 2015 Scala teamed up with charities in Central America to assist children who are victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. The program helped the children move into safe houses and attain the resources that they needed.
Extended Charity Initiatives
In October 2009, Scala put together a series of concerts in order to provide a platform for unsigned and independent artists. These concerts not only helped the participants gain exposure, but also provided assistance and inspiration to underprivileged youth domestically and internationally.
- Heart on a String (2014)
- Stratosphere - Single (2015)
Heart on a String Track Listing
|2.||"London Nights"||Mike Scala||3:56|
|3.||"See You Again"||3:59|
|5.||"Heart on a String"||3:43|
|6.||"Three Little Words"||3:11|
|7.||"Livin It Up"||Mike Scala||3:35|
|8.||"Streetlight Symphony"||Mike Scala||4:24|
|Stratosphere - Single|
Awards and nominations
When Mike Scala was in New Zealand on his first world tour he partnered with producer/friend Andy Farmer and XT Events to perform his hit single “Home” in the Franz Joseph Glacier on the South Island of New Zealand. After acquiring several permits, licenses and governmental approvals, Scala became a world record holder by being the first to perform a live concert inside a glacier. The concert gained international media attention and was featured on RTÉ and ABC.
The Wounded Warrior Project
The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization initiated to assist wounded veterans and service members transition back into civilian life. It seeks to support and rehabilitate those who sustained injury (mental or physical) or suffered from an illness while on military duty. In 2008 Scala’s single “Soldier’s Cry,” off his first self-titled album, was featured in this nationwide project.