We recently got an opportunity to interview talented and passionate artist Don DiLego. Here is our conversation with him.
Pro Media Mag : Hi Don! Please introduce yourself to our readers and give a little background of your musical history that lead you here today.
Don DiLego : Well, this is certainly a potential book-length question here! Let’s make this a twitter-like response. Age 5 grandpa’s piano. Age 10 saxophone – poorly. Cheesy highschool rock band. Moved to Boston. Great music scene, got signed & of course broke up. Life over. Ended up in NYC. Someohow got a major label record deal as solo artist. Made great record. Got dropped. Settled into east village music scene over latter 2000’s. Produced many records. Started a recording studio and record label (Velvet Elk). Released Magnificent Ram A. Won a grammy. (thought I’d try and sneak that in there)
Pro Media Mag : Who or what inspired you to get into music industry? Did you get inspired early on?
Don DiLego : I’m not sure any one is “inspired” by the music industry. It wasn’t ever much of a choice for me. Just what I did. Thankfully I found something I loved early in life.
Pro Media Mag : Tell us about your recent release ‘Magnificent Ram A’; what was the writing and recording process like? What are your favorite songs from the album and why?
Don DiLego : I often start with an album title and this one was no different. It came from a visit to the Museum of Natural History in NYC. The name just stuck with me and I immediately had the album cover. The first song on the record, ”Karma King” came from a late sleepless night and the sound of that recording helped shape the other songs. I guess for that reason, it remains perhaps my personal favorite simply for what it did to guide the rest of the process.
Pro Media Mag : What kind of response it has received so far? We have been seeing your name around quite often!
Don DiLego : I wish I could say that I keep a deaf ear to any critical response to my art, but that’s be a lie. Somewhere we all what a level of validation whether we admit it or not. Let’s just say that the fact that I was fortunate to have received such glowing on this record didn’t hurt. My mom is proud and that works for me.
Pro Media Mag : What do you enjoy more performing on stage or working in the studio; especially since you have a good deal of experience in both.
Don DiLego : Performing is always preferred. The studio experience is for whiskey, wine, and battered egos.
Pro Media Mag : How did your most recent tours of Europe and the U.S. The Touristas go? What was the overall vibe of the crowd, and how would you say that European crowds differ from those in the U.S.?
Don DiLego : The European tours were great. Not to dismiss any US audiences, but there seems to still be a remnant of an older-school support for the singer-songwriter and musicians in general. As a support act, we always played to a receptive audience. This is just more often rare state side, where you need some other level of public recognition. But ultimately, it still comes down to delivering something that’s honest and good. That will always translate in the end.
Pro Media Mag : Looking back to your career you seem to have always been a hard worker in the studio and on the stage. What was the motivation behind your heavy enthusiasm for music?
Don DiLego : Mental illness.
Pro Media Mag : Are you working on any new projects for the New Year? What can you tell us about what you have coming up; any surprises?
Don DiLego : I’m working on a piano-based EP and then my next full length record, hopefully later in 2017. Then it all starts over again!