Exclusive Interview With Italian Composer, Producer And ArrangerVittorio Iue`

1.      Hello Vittorio!  It’s a pleasure to speak with you about your
thirty-year career as a renowned music producer. You are a composer,
arranger and producer.  Of the three, which do you enjoy the most and
why?
I love music in every single way, so this is a very tough question to
answer.
My main activity as a composer is to create soundtracks for films, music
for live shows, always trying to combine both, my passion and my job. My
father gave me a piano when I was just a kid, so I had a lot of
opportunities to experience music even if I didn’t know where to start.
I kind of created my own bases

I decided to be involved in the direction of music basically when I
started composing.
It has been very exciting and very truly collaborative being able to
work in some different areas.

2.      You spent many years in the TV and radio industry.  How did you get
involved in TV and radio? Which did you prefer more?

As a youngster, I was out of work and knocking on lots of doors. I tried
and tried to enter the wonderful world of cinema and television, until
one day a phone call from Rome cut the bull’s head: they were looking
for people to write the music for a new Rai show, Rai being a national
channel and one of the most watched without a doubt. I have been several
days without sleep, I realized I was at a crossroads. But in the end,
partly out of curiosity and partly out of necessity, I have I decided to
accept. And everything has changed since then. I moved to Rome and
discovered that making music was not just my passion, but my whole life.
The first few times it was really a very strange effect, to see a famous
person dance to one of my music, written by me a few days earlier. The
first program I worked on was called “Domenica In”, an iconic show of
Italian television comparable to “Sabado Gigante” in the Latin industry
or “Saturday Night Live” in the United States. Then came the other
programs: “Mi Raccomando”, then “’Medina” and the collaborations on
Radio with Jettyranx, and many other artists.
For some years now, however, thanks above all to my move to the United
States, I have been able to work on even bigger projects, live concerts
and to organize my own events, to choose the music, to compose it and to
direct.

3.      You were also the creative director for many important commercials,
working with some of Italy’s finest voice-over talents.  Any favorites
that you worked with? Any funny or unusual stories you can tell about
doing these commercials?

The inspiration came once again from music: from the piece Medina by
Pino Daniele. Needless to say, the late Pino Daniele has been an
absolute icon for Italian music – he performed with legends of the
caliber of Richie Havens and Eric Clapton, with whom he was friends.
My success thanks to the collaboration with him came unexpectedly. in a
decidedly risky and delicate moment of my career, but I believe that the
collaboration with Pino Daniele was also a moment of opportunity that I
was able to seize, managing to understand what were the needs of his
audience, proposing a sound that knew how to combine creativity , rhythm
and soul. My career from that moment on has grown rapidly because I
believe it has anticipated offering something new in a musical scenario,
which has remained unchanged and unchanged for years. Furthermore, from
the very beginning with my music I wanted to create something
contemporary and communicate it immediately, taking advantage of live
shows, as I did for example with Max Giusti, and also the power that
social networks offer us today. Not to mention the young artists I
collaborate with and who are taking inspiration from our collaborations
to create real digital channels, a great opportunity for personal and
professional growth.

Looking at the future and the past I can only be happy, excited to have
been able to collaborate with so many valid artists, even if the path is
not always all that easy.

4.      You produced “Party of the Century,” which featured a who’s who of
names in the music industry, including Bobby Kimball, David Paich , John
Mahon , Leland Sklar, Simon Phillips, Steve Gadd, Ron Carter, Peter
Erskine, Greg Phillinganes.  How did that project come about, and how
did you get involved?

It’s true, and it’s called The Party Of The Century, probably the most
spectacular music record project I have ever created. Two years of
intense work all around the world, 30 of the world’s most influential
and legendary musicians put together by the tireless enthusiasm of the
young talent Giorgio Onorato Aquilani. Wanting to make something
remarkable, Giorgio wrote down 10 original songs together with his lyric
partner Ivan Nossa dreaming to involve the best musicians on earth.
Giorgio’s concept for his new album is the vision of a “big mansion”
hosting an unforgettable music Party. Giorgio reached out to his
musicians friends and heroes like: Bobby Kimball (TOTO), David Paich
(TOTO), John Mahon (Elton John), Leland Sklar (Phil Collins, James
Taylor, TOTO), Simon Phillips (TOTO), Steve Gadd, Ron Carter (Miles
Davis), Peter Erskine, Cherisse Osei (Mika), Charlie Morgan (Elton
John), Ted Jensen, Greg Phillinganes (Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder,
TOTO), to name a few, and got back an incredible number of “I’m in
man!!!”. The Party crew so stepped up, adding their individual specialty
to what has become an exceptional original music project.

5.      You had the prestigious opportunity to perform for The Pope!  How did
that come about, and were you the least bit nervous, performing in front
of 300,000 fans?

Pope Francis’s stage was an exceptional stage. Performing in the
presence of POPE FRANCIS was a real challenge, me and Max the comedian
who accompanied me, we did not sleep for days, a bit because singing in
St. Peter’s Basilica is something truly solemn, a millenary history that
contains the mysticism that you breathe there, and then you get excited
with the notes and the musicality that come out of your soul, and doing
it in front of the pope is something absolutely indescribable. It is
true that there are all the instruments around you that accompany you,
but you make the melody, it comes from you. I am also convinced that if
you get excited, everyone else gets excited. Singing is also
transmitting one’s emotions to the public. And I believe that Pope
Francis felt exactly what we wanted him to receive.

6.      What has been your “crowning achievement” in the music industry, so
far?  What are you most proud of accomplishing?

After so many years in the world of music I can say that opening my own
record company was the greatest goal I ever managed to achieve.
  The courage I had in 2009, in full record desertification – with record
stores closing one after the other – to make room for the internet and
technology, led me to create FunkySworfi, which, a few months later,
became also a small but indomitable independent label.
Thanks to my career as a very active musician, having been able to play
in numerous bands of extreme jazz music, conducting radio programs, web
radio and organizing concerts in many clubs and social spaces in the
city for years, my record company is to become a point of reference for
the American and Italian underground. And precisely by virtue of my role
we decided to ask Massimo to talk a little about his business and above
all, to tell us how an independent record company in our city is doing
nowadays.

7.      Tell us about “Relax In The Cities?”
The city of California has always represented an important point in the
world of clubbing and live events map. I believe Los Angeles has become
one of the protagonists of the global scene year round, not just in
spring.

California has taken its place as a protagonist on the global music
scene with important labels, DJs, musicians, producers – everyone wants
to live in LA, which is in fact the main attraction of the music biz
today. And in a cascade the people flock to be part of that multitude of
evenings with stellar names as much as underground that do not make you
regret the relaxation of smaller realities for nothing.

8.      You are currently working with Arcane Global Media in Hollywood, and
you’ve scored Damon Jamal’s latest film.  First, how have you managed to
adapt to life in LA? Second, what can you tell us about the music for
the film?

When I left Italy, I did it without looking back, many of my friends and
relatives told me that so far away I would be and feel alone. This was
actually the case in the first year … but then things changed. The
United States has a great influence in the world of music while Italy
has become weaker in recent decades, although I must say that lately
some Italian rock bands are also managing to reach the United States.
In any case, we Italians live well in all the places in the world where
you put us.
The movie tells a story, a late-night DJ at the hottest Radio station in
Atlanta struggling to find his way back to the top after being dumped
live on-air. In his journey to revive his career, a woman that once
called his show seeking love advice enters his life and that is where
things begin to entangle.
In short, a love story of music and passion that is worth living.

9.      Any upcoming projects that you have lined up?

I have many projects underway that are about to be launched. However,
being Italian, for good luck I will not reveal anything before the
official releases. However, I can name you artists, like, Ludovica Cola,
Damon Jamal, La Tonda Hardy-Davis, Robert Mills, AB Management, Andronic
Music and some many more collaborations and live show such as my
personal music party FunkyParty, but let me do not reveal too much.

10.     What do you hope that people will remember about you, when they hear
the name “Vittorio Iue`?”
I wish I could be remembered as a good artist, as someone who
characterized his era, as one of the leading musicians of the music
scene of his generation, an artist with personality who had something to
say, like the greats of previous generations, those of the years 60s or
70s.

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today.  It’s been
a pleasure.  Best of luck to you for the future!

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