MY final interview before the weekend...
is with Alessandro Ciminata. He discusses his new track, Kings, and explains its story. I ask when he got into music and the artists he followed; whether there is more music coming along and which rising artists we should get behind.
Ciminata reveals his gig plans and states which three albums are most important to him; the musician he would support on tour above everyone and how he relaxes outside of music – the songwriter selects a cool track to end the interview with.
Hi, Alessandro. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey, Sam! I’m good thank you! How are you? It’s been hectic so far; busy is good! Haha.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a London-based singer-songwriter and solo artist. I do what I call ‘retro-tinged Indie-Pop’. I like to write songs that people can relate to. I was born and raised in Italy but London-based since 2012.
Kings is your new track. Is there a story behind the song?
There is a story behind it. We watched a documentary on Netflix about celebrities being addicted to social media and all of that. I love social networks; looking at my phone is probably the first thing I do when I wake up so I’m probably the worst example but have you ever tried not to look at your phone for the next ten minutes, look around your room and outside your window instead?
Try it…now…how do you feel? We are missing out so many moments in our life by looking at a screen.
Can you recall when you started out in music? What inspired that decision?
I’ve started to record on tape music that I was listening on the radio and that I liked. I was probably a five-six-year-old kid. Then, after unsuccessful trials in football and basketball, I bought a guitar and started to play music. When I was a teenager, I suffered anxiety for a while. Playing my guitar was my escape from it.
When you were growing up, which artists/records did you hold dear?
Definitely John Mayer – Continuum is my favourite album. He changed my musical mind. The fact I decided to become a songwriter is his fault!
Do you have a standout memory from your time in music so far?
When I supported Dustin Tebbutt at a sold out show at Omeara (London) with the crowd supporting me all the way through my set; applauding me and then asking me to play one more song when my set was over.
Might there be more material arriving later this year?
In terms of influence, do you think modern music plays a role? Do you feel inspired by what is happening around you?
Yes, I do. As a songwriter, it is vital to remain up-to-date with music trends. This is a great time for finding inspiration in what’s around us. We can find inspiration every day from the Internet.
Having won support from some big publications, does that give you drive and confidence?
It does but, at the same time, it makes me think I should work even harder. They can support you once but then it is hard to keep that support constant and ongoing.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
John Mayer - Continuum
The album that changed my musical mind.
Jack Garratt – Phase
Jack Garratt’s music has played a big role in my life since I moved to London. I was impressed with what he was doing.
Kula Shaker - Peasants, Pigs & Astronauts
I’m not a big fan of them, not even of the album, but I remember my dad buying the album, playing it in his car a lot when I was little. This is a memory of my childhood that I can’t forget and evokes positive feelings every time I think about it.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Good question. Supporting John Mayer would be a dream for the teenager-me. I’d probably ask him to play me an intimate version of Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.
Are you planning any gigs in the coming months?
I’ll be playing London shows for now. We’ll see what the future holds.
How important is performing? Do you prefer it to life in the studio?
It is vital nowadays. I like to perform and to go to gigs as I think it’s what defines an artist identity and what can truly connect an artist to an audience.
IN THIS PHOTO: M w S/PHOTO CREDIT: Amalia Navarro Photography
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Yes. My friends M w S. They are working hard too and deserve attention. Carmen Rosa, too as her voice is incredible. She recently released a song on Spotify that gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it.
IN THIS PHOTO: Carmen Rosa
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I don’t, really. At the moment, I have to find a balance for all the things that I do and it’s quite hard. In my free time (whenever I get some), I like to spend time with the people I love, eat new things; watch Netflix, go to gigs; football…life can be good (smiles).
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
John Mayer - Slow Dancing In A Burning Room. It’s my favourite song ever
Follow Alessandro Ciminata