Monday, December 23, 2019

Interview with Gianluca Magalotti

Gianluca Magalotti began his musical journey during the early teenage years. After high school, he graduated in BMUS Jazz Performance at Conservatory of Music "Santa Cecilia" of Rome. In the meantime, he was also attending the Umbria Jazz Clinics program - hosted by Berklee College of Music - during which he stood out as a prominent student, at the point that he was assigned two scholarships that allowed him to pursue this new adventure in Boston, MA. At this time, Gianluca had the opportunity to study with John Patitucci, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Jacques Schwarz-Bart, Enrique Gonzalez-Müller and Paula Cole. In 2017, Gianluca was awarded the Timothy B. Schmit Scholarship as an outstanding singing-bassist. Eventually, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee in 2018. Gianluca's professional experience extends further back in time, when he was touring with some Italian artists from the talent show Amici, as part of a national tour hosted by Radio Dimensione Suono. Today, Gianluca Magalotti is rapidly making his way into the Nashville's music scene.

AIM: First of all, where are you from?
Gianluca: I was born and raised in Rome, Italy.

AIM: What motivated you to come to the US?
Gianluca: While attending the Umbria Jazz Clinics 2015 program in Perugia, Italy, I was awarded two scholarships by Berklee College of Music in both bass performance and composition/arranging/production, that allowed me to pursue my studies at the college's main campus in Boston, MA.

AIM:Tell us about your music career. What or who inspired you to want to pursue a career in music?
Gianluca: I'd say that music surely pulled me out of my introverted teenage years. In the first place, it helped me growing up and overcoming the difficulties of my youth. Even though I can't recall the exact moment when I decided to make music my reason of living, I'm pretty sure that I mostly owe all the accomplishments I've gotten so far to my parents, who supported my studies, and to my first music teachers Pino Pecorelli and Marco Siniscalco, who were both equally crucial for my educational path pre-Berklee. In general, the inspirations that drove me to pursue a career in music changed over time. While yesterday I was just a kid chasing music for fun or for psychological reasons, today I'm an adult determined to make music in order to change the world for the better.

AIM: Who are some of your favorite music artists from today's era?
Gianluca: Through many contemporary artists I enormously appreciate, I must surely mention Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, D'Angelo, Peter Gabriel, Robert Glasper, Hiatus Kaiyote and Pearl Jam. Although, as a bass player myself, I must say the names of Pino Palladino and James Jamerson, whose playing styles have always influenced me so much.

AIM: So, you attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. What are some of the best things you've learned from this school?
Gianluca: Oh I've learned many things during my time at Berklee College of Music, within both the social and the musical spheres. I can still recall something that has particularly stuck in my mind since the very first day... During the orientation week's opening ceremony at the Berklee Performance Center, the Dean began by saying the following words to us freshmen: "Look at your right. Now, look at your left. Remember the people sitting at your right and left. They are your peers today, and will be your employers tomorrow. Always strive to be a good person, respectful of the others around you."

AIM: Would you recommend Berklee for new artists?
Gianluca: Berklee can be very tough, and stressful, and alienating. It's the perfect place for anyone who - like myself - happened to cross the borderline between being a music lover and aiming to be the music itself. I believe we all must keep in mind that music is one of the most powerful means we've got in order to spread a message, because it is capable of moving us both emotionally and rationally. I'd recommend Berklee for anyone who goes for a bigger picture in music, rather than for just a selfish sake.

AIM: Tell us a little about your professional career. What projects are you most proud of that you have worked on in the past?
Gianluca: I'm definitely proud of the work we did together with Dallas-based folk singer-songwriter Chavis Chance, who recently released a single called "Admit It" (available on any platforms online, make sure to check it out!), which I co-arranged, co-produced and recorded bass for. There'll be more to come from him soon. Also, I'm proud of the work we've been doing with up and coming Nashville-based soul artist Gamy & The Alterations, whose music will be on air in the new year.

AIM: You recently won an award. What was that for?
Gianluca: Yes. During my last two semesters at Berklee I was honored with two awards of the same kind. It is called Project Band Award and it may be assigned to a very few students during a given semester, at the complete discretion of the faculty and upon demonstration of excellent sight-reading abilities put at the service of special recording ensembles called "Project Bands," which are in charge of performing and recording - in mostly a single take - the arrangements written by students of different courses.

AIM: What are your current projects right now?
Gianluca: Nashville's constantly growing and changing, a lot, and so am I together with it. At this time, I'm mostly working as a recording and touring bass player within very diverse music genres, for both national and Nashville-based artists.

AIM: Going into 2020, what can we expect from you?
Gianluca: I'm very excited about 2020, it'll be a year of significant innovation for me, both on the life level and on the music career level. You can definitely expect my name to grow a bit more in popularity within the Nashville's music scene. I'm constantly on the look out for new people, new music professionals and new artists, and my hunger for music is too irrepressible to go unnoticed!

Find Gianluca Magalotti at

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