Introducing Adrian DiMatteo, A Positive, Inspirational Force In The Music Industry
In this highlight, we turn our attention to Adrian DiMatteo, an established, talented musician in the music industry. I asked Adrian a series of questions here is what we discussed:
Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended, etc.
I’m from inner city Rochester, NY. I went to the the School of the Arts for H.S. and studied creative writing and music. I attended the Eastman School of Music for my undergrad in Jazz Guitar Performance (’12). I grew up listening to my father and brother playing music in the attic, and was exposed to a lot of great music as a child. At the same time, a deep appreciation of reading was instilled in me, and I began to read classic literature, poetry and philosophy. We went camping as a family sometimes, and my brother was an Eagle Scout, so I also learned to respect nature, and loved to explore the parks of Upstate New York.
What inspired you to be an artist? Early experiences worth sharing?
My first calling to be a musician was inspired by Lisa Simpson’s saxophone solos at the beginning of every episode. I started to learn when I was in 3rd grade but used to get so light-headed that I gave up. When I was 11, I realized I wanted to play the guitar. A friend of my father became my first teacher, and I quickly devoted myself to it. Guitar came naturally, and by the age of 13 I was in the Eastman Community Music school studying jazz. My roots were in the blues, and when I was 16, I was a grand finalist in Guitar Center’s “King of the Blues” competition, which brought me to perform at the House of Blues in Chicago where I met BB King and John Mayer.
Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.
In college I found myself in a motivating yet daunting position, surrounded by extraordinary classical and jazz musicians. I felt insecure and inferior at times. I had so many influences, from blues and classic rock to hip hop and singer-songwriter genres that I had a hard time fitting into purist musical environments. It was difficult to be myself, and express myself fully since I didn’t always fit into the paradigm of the traditional genres I was emulating. Those four years were the most rewarding and in many ways the most difficult of my life. I developed self-discipline and willpower that I’m forever grateful for. I also learned to accept my weaknesses and play to my strengths. I no longer feel the need to be “the best” at anything. I’m much more focused on authentically expressing my unique aesthetic than being impressive technically, although I do make the continued effort to develop my technique further in order to unlock more ideas creatively.
What do you believe sets you apart from other artists?
Every human being has a unique spirit, from the center of who they are. In my case, I feel that my knowledge of poetry, philosophy, music theory, and sound healing combine in a special way through my music. Paired with my love of nature and compassion for all life, I am committed to making art that helps people connect with themselves, become free from suffering, and inspire them to share their own truth and pay it forward.
Do you have other interests or hobbies?
I spend a lot of time writing poetry, journaling, and studying the cosmologies and spirituality of indigenous cultures. I love to be with nature, in meditation, practicing yoga, and doodling.
Any projects you have out or or currently working on?
In late 2018 I released my debut, self-produced album of original songs entitled, “Everybody Knows the Blues.” It is available on all major platforms. I also created “Guitar Handbook”, an iOS app for learning inversions of 7th chords. Currently I am developing a video series for learning guitar, and have several albums/collaborations in the planning stages.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I see myself continuing to travel the world, performing original music, and studying the traditional music and cultures of tribal people and sound healers. I plan to release several more albums of original songs, sound healing, and to continue collaborating with many artists. I will also be offering robust resources for learning guitar, voice, music theory, and composition online, and leading workshops in cities around the world.
What advice can you give to aspiring artists/entertainers?
When I was younger, I had the (somewhat morbid) thought, what would I do if I lost an arm? Could I be happy making a living with anything but music? I realized that my happiness is not defined by what I do for money, or even how I express myself artistically. The search for truth and inner peace will free you. When you learn to be fully self-expressed for who you are, your unique beauty will shine through every thought, word, and action. Devote yourself entirely to being in harmony with yourself and others, in heart and mind, and the rest will come naturally. All of this requires discipline and an element of humility. Challenge yourself to transcend your limitations, see and hear things in a new way, be exposed to different perspectives/ideas, and do it all with love.
Is there a specific quote that resonates with you and your journey?
I love Nikola Tesla’s quote, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
These words from the Dhammapada often come to mind, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”
And a great teacher once told me, “The training to be peaceful is very stressful.”
How can we follow along in your journey? Social media?
I have a lot of music available on Bandcamp, Soundcloud and other major music distribution platforms. I am also active on Instagram (@adriandimatteo) and YouTube. Sign up for my newsletter and find links to all social media at: www.adriandimatteo.com