Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
45trona Ut: I was originally born in Venezuela from a family of Italian immigrants and then moved to the United States when I turned thirteen years old. Since I was a little kid, I always had a fascination for music and when I turned five years old my father gave me a Casio SK 1 keyboard as a birthday present. Thanks to this gift I started making music by ear and learning about synthesizers, which later on led my father into taking me to the local conservatory of the town I was from. I began formal music training when I turned seven years old and fell in love with the cello at the age of eight. I’ve been playing and making music since.
Exposed Vocals: How did you come up with that name? What was your inspiration behind it?
45trona Ut: My pseudonym “45trona Ut” is a world play. The first two numbers of the name were inspired by the 45 rpm phonograph. The second half of the name “Ut” is inspired by Guido of Arezzo’s (the person attributed to creating solfege during the middle ages) solmization syllables (UT, re, mi, fa, sol, la) altogether pronounced “Astronaut”.
Exposed Vocals: What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why?
45trona Ut: This is a very complex question to answer. I believe that music should be a balanced form of art plus science and some of the best musicians in the world understand this basic principle. There are a large majority of people who don’t understand the intricate process, work, dedication and years of learning, practice and expenses that it takes a seasoned musician to make or publish a recording. The best complement a musician can get is when someone purchases their record, which in my opinion is better than any crowdfunding site nowadays. You rarely see doctors, lawyers or seasoned actors working for free and musicians should not be any different. I don’t oppose giving a track for free here and there, especially when it comes to remixes, but we have to also make a living.
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
45trona Ut: As the saying goes, “all roads lead to Rome” in my opinion there are many steps a person can take. However, I think that the first step relies in the content, which is key. A very well written or performed composition can cut through the fog and make a great artist stand out from the rest. The second step should be doing the hard work like researching and personally contacting local stations, without incessantly bothering people at work. The third step in my opinion is persistence and determination, you would be surprised how many people prefer to give up too soon rather than choosing the hard work route.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
45trona Ut: Of course! I am not perfect and I am neither a machine. Being human is what makes live performances a beautiful thing, only recordings are perfect to a certain extend. In the classical world we train and practice so that we can achieve a certain level of perfection and the same goes with live deejaying. However, a performer can be susceptible to weather and mood changes, personal issues, electrical problems during sets etc.. I think the most important thing is not how flawless a performance can get, but instead conveying the intent of the music and learn how to keep going by not sacrificing the music for a few missed notes.
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
45trona Ut: I do constantly tour and I have had lots of interesting things happen to me, especially while travelling. I just recently recorded a classical album by a virtually unknown composer to the general public who was an equivalent of Paganini for the cello during the 1800’s. Alfredo Piatti (born in Bergamo, Italy) wrote 12 Caprices for Solo Cello which I recorded with the sole purpose of creating awareness for this particular composer and pieces to the general public. Among several awards, the recording received a 2015 Hollywood Music In Media Awards nomination. While attending the awards ceremony at the red carpet event a couple of months ago, I noticed that right behind me was a group of five Italians and I turned around to talk to them. It turns out that every single one of those nominated Italians came from the town of Bergamo, the same town where the Piatti lived and died, what are the odds?. Among the nominated artist included new-age artist Andrea Tonoli and film music producer Andrea Fascheris. We became very good friends afterwards. Although this wasn’t part of a performance tour I really think this was one of the most interesting and surreal music experiences that I’ve had.
Exposed Vocals: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
45trona Ut: I gather inspiration from a lot of things but mostly personal parts of my life and past experiences. My songwriting process varies according to the song but it usually begins with harmony and bass first.
Exposed Vocals: Do you have a band website? What online platforms do you use to share your music?
45trona Ut: Most people in the classical music world know me as Carmine Miranda, and anybody who is interested in learning a bit about me can visit www.carminemiranda.com. As 45trona Ut in the electronic world anyone is welcomed to follow me on:
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/45tronaut and soundcloud.com/rlu-records
Exposed Vocals: What are some really embarrassing songs that we might find on your mp3 player?
45trona Ut: To be honest, I think that music is meant to be enjoyed so I listen to a wide variety of genres and styles anywhere from J.S. Bach to Earth Wind and Fire.
Exposed Vocals: If you were given half a million dollars and a year off, what would you do? How would you spend it?
45trona Ut: Since as an indie artist, resources are always hard to find, I would save a big chunk and then use a portion to keep making records. As tacky as it may sound, I really can’t go a day without music, I really wouldn’t take a year off, otherwise I would go insane. Music is the only thing that keeps me centered.
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
45trona Ut: Oh boy! I’m always making upgrades every year and I have a bunch of stuff that would take up a big list. At the core of everything I swear by FL Studio my pair of JBL LSR 305 monitors and my Sony MDR 7506 and V6 headphones.
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
45trona Utt: I always find that my social media sites have always been the most effective. After all I write music for my followers and people to enjoy. Of course, live concerts are also great and my favorite way to connect with fans.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
45trona Utt: Too many to say since I’m influenced by a lot of great artists. However, I yet have to meet a Nu-disco producer of my generation who wasn’t influenced one way of another by Daft Punk. Those guys really know what they are doing and both are excellent musicians of the highest caliber, so I would have to pick them in modern times anywhere in the world.
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
45trona Ut: I have been working on some recent projects, some of them I can’t say at the moment. I will be releasing my full third album “With Love From” on February 24, 2016. I recommend visiting www.rlurecords.com and www.carminemiranda.com for any recent news or upcoming projects and performances.
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
45trona Ut: I would probably be dead or living under a bridge somewhere. Music is the only thing I know how to do.
Exposed Vocals: Do you remember buying your first album? Who was it? What was going through your head?
45trona Ut: I can’t recall the first album I ever bout but I exactly remember the first record I ever listened, which I think is more important in a musician’s development. When I was five year old my father played me an LP of “Mr. Roboto” by STYX. The whole experience was very overwhelming, it felt very otherworldly and a bit frightening especially in the intro of the song with the synths, vocoder and chorus. A lot of my vocoder influence and fascination comes from this childhood experience.
Exposed Vocals: How do you juggle the rest of your responsibilities while trying to stay ahead in your music life?
45trona Ut: It is very difficult, but I always do my very best to balance things out, especially with the missus. “I drive her crazy” (the inspiration behind my latest single) all the time with all the music stuff but she has been incredibly patient and supportive of me.
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in 2016?
45trona Ut: Lots of cool and surprising collaborations and hopefully a good year. Follow me to find any updates.