Interview with ICMP alumnus Alessandro Ciminata
London singer songwriter Alessandro Ciminata’s talents have been growing at pace since completing his studies with ICMP.
Over the course of numerous releases including ‘Flashing Lights’, ‘Demons’ and latest track ‘Heal Your Heart’, he’s built up some support for his distinctive brand of indie pop, getting plays from John Kennedy (Radio X) and supporting Australian singer-songwriters Ainslie Wills and Dustin Tebbutt on a sold-out show at Omeara for Communion Music.
We caught up with Alessandro to quiz him about his music, creative process and how support from ICMP's Accelerator Fund helped him record his latest single...
How did you start your musical journey? Was there a person or record that kicked everything off for you?
Yes! It’s all because of Michael Jackson and John Mayer.
M. Jackson because he died and J. Mayer because he played at Jackson’s funeral. I remember I was in my room, practising my guitar and my mom called me to tell me there was on a guitarist on the TV I needed to see. It was at that moment I realised I wanted to become a singer songwriter.
What drew you to ICMP to study?
I wanted to learn the craft of songwriting while also wanting to move away from Italy and start my career.
How did you prepare to spend time studying music at ICMP?
I remember I was working part-time in Starbucks while studying at ICMP, starting shifts at 5am, then studying and writing songs in the afternoon.
I was lucky enough to meet awesome tutors and classmates who helped me through my studies at ICMP. I learned a lot from all of them. Everyone has been so nice to me! I miss it.
You’re a recipient of backing from the Dyne Road Development Fund - could you explain how this has helped you further your career?
It’s a great idea I think. I still have a day job in order to finance my project so being granted a little funding from what used to be my university, it’s such a helpful thing! This fund helped me recording [Alessandro’s latest release] ‘Heal Your Heart’.
How do you approach the creative process - do you have a way into your music?
Most of the times when I am particularly moody, I take my guitar and I start to improvise chords and a melody on it. I never know where it could take me and it’s a beautiful thing. Lately I’ve been co-writing quite a lot and I think it’s a great experience if you want to become a better writer!
Who are your biggest inspirations/songwriting heroes?
John Mayer. Then Alex Vargas, Jack Garratt, James Bay, Bon Iver and lately, Dermot Kennedy!
What's the best piece of advice you've been given since about your music industry career?
Let me say a huge thank you to the guys at the Careers and Industry Hub at ICMP, Dave Roberts and James Brister. They have been giving me advice since I left ICMP and are continuing to do so. This is precious to me and it’s a great service that ICMP offers to students once they leave school and they start to face the ‘wild’ real world, which is really hard.
The best advice? Never give up! There is room for everyone in this industry!
What does the future have in store for you musically speaking?
I've got new music out, ‘Heal Your Heart’, then a couple of London shows over Summer, on June 18th at The Finsbury and on July 3rd at The Social - come along if you can guys!
Also, I will be planning exciting things for the second half of 2018 so … if you haven’t already, start following me on my socials and you’ll find out when the right time comes…
Listen to 'Heal Your Heart'.
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