John Scargall is our guest on Fan4Racing Fan2Fan NASCAR & Race Talk on Monday, August 17, 2015 at 9 pm ET. Call 929-477-1790 or tweet @Fan4RacingSite or @Sal_Sigala with any questions or comments during our LIVE broadcast.
As a teenager, John Scargall, like most his age played video games and he remembers enjoying not only the game but the music playing in the background. At that time, Scargall had no idea that he’d have a closer NASCAR connection later in life.
“I played the NASCAR game, as well as Madden and all the other sports video games when I was younger,” he said in a recent telephone interview with his local news. “I always found a lot of great music on the video games, and more often than not, it was by a new or up-and-coming artist or band. I remember going on iTunes and buying the songs that I heard in those games.”
Now, Scargall enjoys his own music on the latest release of the NASCAR game he enjoyed as a teenager. Scargall’s song ‘Leave It On The Track’ is the main theme for the official NASCAR ’15 video game, that came out in May.
Since then, Scargall has visited several NASCAR race events, giving fans the chance to hear his live performance of the theme song, along with other select songs he’s writes and performs.
Although as a teenager playing video games, the idea may have seemed only a dream, as a singer-songwriter, Scargall knew immediately, the potential of this particular song, ‘Leave It On The Track.’
“After we finish recording ‘Leave It On The Track,’ I remember thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if NASCAR had this for its theme song?’” Scargall says. “I had this image in my mind of the music playing as the cars were racing around the track. Plus, the song has a country feel that I felt fit it in well with NASCAR’s image. I was able to find the company that was making the game, and I asked my manager to get in contact with them. They wound up using two of my songs – ‘Leave It On The Track’ and ‘Live Out Loud’ – in the game.”
Scargall is a 25-year-old from the state of Delaware. But what makes him unique from other music professionals is that his success is not a life-long pursuit. Scargall seriously started pursuing a career in music a little over two years ago.
Although he played saxophone in grade school, then sang in the choir and performed in annual variety shows at Malvern Prep, Scargall’s first wistful thought of a career in music was in his senior year of high school, when he had the starring role of Tevye in their production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof.”
“The first time you walk out on stage at the end of a show and you get a standing ovation, it’s something you never forget,” he says.
Despite enjoying the idea of a music career, Scargall put the idea on the back burner, for the four years he majored in business at Millersville University.
“When I graduated from Malvern I got spooked,” he says. “I loved music, but I didn’t think I could actually do it as a career. I wanted to get a job.”
Scargall started two companies while still in school, with one a fund-raising product and the other a penny auction website.
“I was really into business and I learned a lot of things about marketing that I use today in promoting my music,” he says.
After interning at Boeing for two years as part of his school studies, Scargall graduated in 2012 and went to work full-time for the company. That’s when he discovered his true calling and listened to his heart.
“Boeing is a great company that does amazing stuff, but once I was there I realized that it wasn’t what I really wanted to do with my life,” he says. “I knew that I really wanted to make music – I wanted to write songs and sing and perform. Leaving Boeing was a leap of faith kind of thing, because Boeing is a great company to work for. You’re leaving a lot of things on the table – not just your salary, but job security as well. I heard that from everyone – including the voice in my own head – but ultimately I knew it was something that I had to do.”
After his due diligence in learning guitar and piano to go along with his saxophone experience and making the right connections within the industry, Scargall started getting air time on the radio. Scargall’s music is heard on rock, country and top-40 stations.
Ten songs are already recorded for his début album, with seven of the songs on his website JohnScargall.com, and three are brand-new recordings, including the title track, ‘Breakthrough.’ Scargall intends to release the album this fall, but no there is no firm release date at this time.
Between July and November, Scargall is busy performing throughout the country at various NASCAR events – gigs that were ironically already set and unrelated to the video game soundtrack. The marketing savvy musician, of course, makes a point of acknowledging the game and its soundtrack at all NASCAR event performances.
This weekend, fans can see Scargall sing during the NASCAR race weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Also on Thursday, he’s taping a 30 minute live show at PBS 39 Studios in Bethlehem, PA called ‘Steel Sessions,’ airing on PBS 39 later this month.