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HIT’S AMORE‘ Q&A WITH RICCARDO VINO

“I have always had a passion for old tunes and everybody knows that. I guess that comes from my grandpa who had is own swing orchestra in Italy back at the time. On the other hand, I am a keen listener of present-day American and British hits, so I thought, I’ll just bring Italian, English and retro vibes all together! I called this project Hit’s Amore! “!

http://www.riccardovino.com/single-post/2015/11/20/WOMEN-POWER
http://www.riccardovino.com/single-post/2015/12/01/WOMEN-POWER-vers-Celia-Cruz

When did you first start playing and which instruments do you play?

At the age of 5 is when I started playing. The instruments I play are piano and violin.

What is the name of the project and why is it important to you? What was the first tune(s) you learned?

The current project is called Hit’s Amore. I’ve always had a passion for the old tunes which is also what I have been singing at my concerts over the years, especially Italian songs. I am a keen listener of present day hits, so I thought, why don’t I bring Italian, English and retro vibes all together? I called this project Hit’s Amore, which is one of a kind.

Which famous musicians do you admire and why?

If we talk about the past days, the list is endless! I love Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday to name a few. Among the Italian ones, I would say: Natalino Otto, Nilla Pizzi, Beniamino Gigli, etc.. And of course the big bands of those times, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, etc.

Which famous musicians have you learned from?

I listen to a lot of old stuff. During that time, the execution in terms of vocal and instruments quality was very high –which it had to be, they didn’t have the post production technology we have today. When I sing, I try to reach that quality and pretend there’s no technology around.  I am a big fan of musicals too and I love Kirsten Chenoweth– her voice of course, but especially the energy and presence she has on stage and her sense of humor. I like it when artists don’t take themselves too seriously, at least on stage!

Describe your first instrument/other instruments ?

I started reading music and playing piano when I was 5 and it was my grandmother who taught me the fundaments. Her husband, my grandpa, was an established violinist and composer, but he died very early in the 50s. So, I guess my grandma felt she had to pass on his talent and passion for music to the grandchildren –And that she did, even if she was out of tune like a bell and didn’t know a thing about music, she was an exceptionally intelligent woman. She bought some books and would start teaching us. To make it short, we all made it to the Conservatory. When I got my music diploma I was only 10. Basically, I got my first music degree before I had finished elementary school!

What are your fondest musical memories at home, in your neighborhood or town?

My grandma has been telling me hundreds of stories about my grandpa’s life and career. He was an extremely handsome, tall, talented violinist and composer. He literally won her by playing her serenades with his gang, when he was 20 and she was 15. Big time love. So, the very, very first musical memories are probably the ones handed down by my grandma. Eventually, we all learned to play instruments in the family, thanks to my granny, so I’ve grown up with people in the house playing, rehearsing and doing scales all the time.

I wasn’t born a singer though. That came later. I studied piano for many years, then went to acting school and became an actor. A few years ago, I decided to start working professionally on my voice and follow a music career (I am also a professional voiceover artist). I went to an excellent opera singer teacher and, well… here I am.

Were you influenced by old records & tapes? If so, which ones?
I have named quite a few before, but I am also a big fan of musicals, old and new, Broadway and Cinema. My favorite? ‘Annie Get Your Gun’. The music of course, is by Irving Berlin, such a stunning composer.

Who are your favorite musicians/bands?
Ed Sheeran, Beyonce’, Pharrell Williams, Amy Winehouse, to name a few.

Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions in concerts, radio and TV ?

Of course I perform in public, that’s what I’ve been doing for years. I’ve performed in theaters and concerts halls. I like to be on stage and so far 80% of my program has been in Italian. I live in Berlin, Germany and even if Germans like Italian a lot, I’ve always wanted my audience to get the feeling and sense of what I’m singing. That’s why my concerts might resemble a cabaret or musical act because I like to take the audience by the hand and make a time journey together.

How do you handle mistakes during a performance? Do you get nervous and how do you balance your music with other obligations like relationships, children or other jobs?

Yes, of course I get nervous. Sometimes more, sometimes less. But people never notice that! Actually I look quite relaxed and smile. I guess that comes with the experience. Mistakes happens sometimes, but you just play along them if that happens.

When did you start writing music—and what or who were your early passions and influences?

I started a couple of years ago, I don’t know why, actually. I guess life is just a whole big process. I am working on my first album right now, it’s more melodic pop I would say. It’s very, very autobiographical. I guess that’s normal when you work on your ‘opera prima’.

What are your main impulses about your music? Also why is this project so special?

You know how I started this whole old tunes thing? As I told you, my grandpa was a well known musician back in the day and he had grounded his own band. They were playing with the big radio stars of those years and his repertoire was huge. He had a 30 year career, until he died in the 50s. So, guess who has inherited all those music scores? Me! I’ve spent 6 months going through dozens and dozens of old music scores and songs. I have discovered a whole new world and fell in love with it in a second. So, this is where I started, digging into old music archives and rediscovered old, forgotten Italian/ American radio hits. With Hit’s Amore I wanted to build a bridge between those old eras and the music of this day and age, which is so different but great too.

Hits Amore songs (or album) are available on itunes and you can also check out:

 

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