Melbourne singer Steven Rossitto has just released his debut EP ‘My One And Only Love’ with EMI here in Australia. The three tracker sees him tackle some pretty big songs for a young man who’s not yet out of his teens.
With a high-profile record deal and an album on the way, we ask Steven how his signing came about, his love of music and, with his chosen style, whether he’s just an old soul.
Q : It’s hard to believe you’re just seventeen years old – where did this massive voice come from?
Well I don’t come from a very musical family, nobody sings or plays a musical instrument. Instead I come from a long line of butchers. I do however have relatives a few generations back who were opera singers and musicians, so I suppose that is where it all comes from.
Q : How did you discover your love of music?
I suppose that even though my parents never played much music at home, I have always had a natural love for it. I would always be singing around the house and it would be quite hard to get me to be quiet. Even though I have always sung, I had never really taken it too seriously, however with a lot of encouragement from my parents and other family, I eventually agreed to have lessons. I think the moment when I realized I wanted to be a singer was when I saw one of my idols, Luciano Pavarotti, in concert, which as you can imagine was very inspiring.
Q : What drew you to this particular genre? Or are you just an old soul?
Well people have always told me that I am a bit of an old soul and I do tend to have a fascination with things of the past, so perhaps I should have been born 100 years ago. When I first began singing I was drawn more to the music of Andrea Bocelli and Pavarotti. I loved classical music and still do, however to be an opera singer at the age of 11 is very difficult and requires a lot more development and study. Whilst I was not afraid of the hard work and still wanted to be an opera singer, I also loved Jazz. Jazz still has its difficulties, but I felt that I was more ready to sing it.
Q : What’s been the defining moment for you along this journey?
It’s hard to pick just one defining moment, however over the past 6 and half years there have been a couple of moments which have really paved the way to this time in my life. One would have to be when I went for my first singing lesson with Cosimo Ciccone. This was really the beginning of this entire journey and much of what has happened over the past 6 and half years can be attributed to my relationship with Cosimo. As a result of this I was introduced to Barb and Adrian Hannan, who in turn offered me my first recording deal, which really defined the way the rest of my life was to go.
Q : How did the signing to EMI worldwide come about? You must be pretty chuffed with that?
It has been a dream come true and an honor to be signed under the same label as some of my idols such as Enrico Caruso, Frank Sinatra, Maria Callas and so many more. I was very fortunate, when I was 14 to have been signed by Barb and Adrian Hannan to their label called The Songstore. I was actually their first signing. Together, we began recording demos, writing music and pretty much planning my debut album. The intention was however to get a larger label on board to support the release internationally, and with this in mind we approached EMI who signed me in December 2010. Now, as there has been so much interest overseas from Capitol Records and Blue Note, we’re planning a trip to America in late July to do some showcases.
Q : Tell us about your debut EP ‘My One And Only Love’.
The EP is made up of three tracks, one is of course ‘My One and Only Love’ which really was a no brainer because of the immense success it has had online. ‘Saturday Night’ is the next track which is a song I have been singing for a while, and one we felt really showcased what you can expect to hear on the album and the EP finishes with an original track which I wrote with Barb and Adrian called ‘Man and Strife’. We all love the great jazz song writers of the 20th century and really wanted to employ a lot of the tongue–in-cheek humor they used to use.
Q : Why did you choose the songs you have?
Firstly they are all songs that I love and have always wanted to sing. They are also songs I feel suit me and my personality, and will show something unique about my voice, which will hopefully set me apart from other singers. We also wanted to put songs on the album that people are going to love and are going to want to buy. That’s why we’ve opted for great songs such as ‘My Funny Valentine’ and ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ because we know that whether you are a fan of this kind of music or not, the chances are you will know these songs.
Q : What are the plans for your debut album? And has it got a name yet?
The title of the album is the name of a Cole Porter song called ‘Night and Day’. We have not yet decided upon a release date, but the aim is to get it out before Christmas.
Q : Will people be able to see you perform live soon? If so, where?
At the moment I’m focusing on heading over to America in late July, however when I get back we will definitely be organizing some shows. People can keep up to date with any of my upcoming gigs via my website www.stevenrossitto.com or my Facebook page.
Steven’s debut EP ‘My One And Only Love’ is available digitally now.
As he mentions, his debut album ‘Night And Day’ will hopefully be out before Christmas.