Love is the basis of Philip Serino’s music. A love for music, a love for his audience, and a love for his family; all combine into his sound.
With family at the foundation of music, he was a part of a musical community from a very young age. Growing up in a family of worship leaders, he was always surrounded by music and music lovers. Music was always something larger than life.
Family didn’t stop at the inspirational start, in his present music career, he regularly collaborates with his family members including his brothers Andrew Serino, Matt Serino, and Thomas Serino, and his cousin DJ. The Serino brothers have a strong connection with music separate and together.
Creating, producing and even touring with his brothers is exciting for them (not to mention their audiences). The collaboration allows each of them to bring their own sound forward to one single harmony. One example is the Serino brother’s cover of “Burning House” originally by Cam. This is a fantastic and moving cover full of passion. Each musician brings the piece to a deeper level of emotion.
“We made it happen. It wasn’t even spectacular, it was just, “let’s make music”. It didn’t even get a lot of views, but it was like, “Wow! we just came and made something happen”, Serino explains how publishing the cover felt.
Cover music for all of them, Serino especially, is a way to take a song somewhere that you and your audience wouldn’t expect. The different perspective from a cover of the same song is entertaining and doesn’t get boring.
“I did this one version of “Annie’s Song” by John Denver, and it sounds completely diﬀerent from the original. I think it’s a really good practice for musicians to be able to cover the song, not to try to imitate the actual original but making their own version,” Serino said, “the artist, they are storytellers, even though John Denver — I don’t know if he actually wrote this song — but he sang that song his way and another artist can sing it with a different perspective, and it’s just fascinating.”
Serino’s music both past and present shows a great amount of diversity. As nostalgic as it is, his love for music was sparked by his love for video games. Video games were a way for him to connect with others as he moved around quite a bit as a kid.
“I loved my Gameboy. It gave me so much serenity. But it wasn’t so much the game itself that kept my mind at peace. It was the music,” Serino reminisces.
His life in music continued from his childhood to his adulthood starting with the alto saxophone, then drums, bass guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, then the voice, ending with the piano. It’s hard to put his finger on a single genre when his sound can be described as Pop, A Cappella, Soundtrack, and Electronic. Having a music career is a lot of hard work, especially one so diverse. Serino’s resume as a musician is extensive and incredible and throughout the USA.
Graduating from Pacific Lutheran University in 2011, he has a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition. At the time, only one freshman gets chosen into the top choir. In 2007, that was Serino. During his senior year, he was the featured composer for the school’s Student Soloist Concert and world premiered. His orchestral piece, “Ruach Ha Kodesh” (Hebrew for “Holy Spirit) was broadcast around the world.
He was featured on America’s Got Talent in 2007 with the men’s A cappella group, PLUtonic. They performed Serino’s musical arrangements.
Four years later, in 2011, PLUtonic took first place at ICCA Quarterfinals where Serino won the award for “Outstanding Soloist”. At the ICCA Semifinals in Berkeley, PLUtonic won third place. Again, he won the “Outstanding Arrangement”.
With such an impressive background, He’s a musician that aims to do it all; composing, lyric writing, production, guitar, piano-octave singer/bass II and alto saxophone player. His versatility doesn’t stop there. He can and has performed in congregations, choirs, orchestras, bands, and so many more. There’re many projects and dreams in his future.
As a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), he’s a musician with a business in mind. The ASCAP assists artists in ensuring they are being properly paid for their intellectual property. His work is published in both Pavane Publishing and Santa Barbara Music Publishing both have published his work. His main business is simply music and sharing that music with the world.
“I want to establish my business to help composers, and also producers, and also artists. I wanna start that project and keep with it, where we create demos from scratch, and send them off. We’re just a music laboratory, like a beat factory”, he explains.
Other ideas include a music café, film and television composition, trailer and advertisement composition, video game music rearrangements, going on tour, and so much more.
“I have a lot of ideas. I want to help people share their stories in a creative way. TV and film are a passion of mine, that’s why I went to school for music composition. That’s the big dream,” Serino describes.
Having such plans makes life really hard. For many musicians, it’s difficult to find a balance between life, love and work. With so many projects on the go and in the planning stages, it’s not easy to balance all of them.
It starts with being patient with yourself and knowing what you want from your life in general not just in one particular spot. Focusing all of your energy on one aspect of life does impact the other areas.
“If that’s something that you really love when it comes to music, or whatever your passion is you don’t want to squander it. You don’t want to make it something that is not enjoyable for you, I had to let go of my past, of my obsession with music. If it’s creating a problem in your relationship, and it’s creating a problem, then is a problem”.
Passion is amazing to have but your passion isn’t the only thing that defines you. There are other aspects such as hobbies, loved ones, family, future, day to day concerns. Serino admits in an interview with Switching Styles that he was so focused on his work that he didn’t give his family the time they needed.
“I’ve been so focused on trying to make this work, that I haven’t given her the time. I didn’t really give my child the time. In order to save my marriage, I must make the conscious decision to lay down my desire for significance, which meant that I had to lay down my dreams and adopt the only dream that mattered most—to be the best husband and daddy I could be for our family,” he explains.
Love is at the basis of Serino’s actions. His passion for music is strong even if it’s not currently full-time. It’s a passion for him as much as it is love.
“You need to really look at yourself, your life, and be thankful for everything you have, and realize that, this is for me, that, what I have with music, is all bonus.”