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Domenico Mimmo Capuano
An interview with the Italian composer/producer/musician


by Tina Hall
April 2011

Editor’s Note: Domenico’s native language is Italian; however, the interview was conducted in English. His choice of words and phrases were charming and honest, so much so that to share this experience of really meeting “MeeMo,” as he likes to be called, his answers are in the way he spoke them.

Domenico Mimmo Capuano is an Italian musician, composer, and producer who won three platinum record awards in the US, 14 gold records in the UK, and from various other countries. He collaborated with several international artists such as Toni Braxton, Kool and the Gang, S Club 7, and more. Previously, he studied at the G. Verdi Conservatory of Music in Turin, Italy. To date, Domenico’s work appears on 33 albums.

MaximumInk: Were you born and raised in Turin? How would you describe Italy to those of us who have never seen it?
Domenico Mimmo Capuano: First of all, Hello to all the person reading my interview, and I’ m sorry for my English. I was born in Italy in Turin, one of the most amazing city in Italy, the citizen of Turin was calling her “The Little Paris.” I love my country and also my city. Italy is the place where born the cultures, there was Rome Imperium, there is the Pope and Vatican. In Italy there is the sun and the snow. There are many awesome views: Tuscany with medieval Castile and Church, Venezia the city on the water, you know, I could stay here for hours to talk about my country, but Italy is the place where everything is possible, like USA, yes. I’m proud to be Italian.

MI: At what age did you first take an interest in music?
DMC: It’ s funny answer at this question. I begin young to sing before start to talk, and play during the dinner with the forks on the glasses. My parents were going crazy. I begin to play piano at five years old, and at ten I composed my first song.

MI: Can you tell us a little about the G. Verdi Conservatory? Do you think your training there was helpful in getting you to where you are in your career today?
DMC: In Italy it’s so hard enter in the conservatory. Not everybody can do that. [You] need a test. The conservatory G. Verdi, it’s amazing with the best concert hall in Europe. It’s little, but the acoustic, it’s perfect. You know, I study also in “Istituto Pareggiato dell Valle D’ Aosta.” In a little city in mountain one hour from Turin is a music conservatory connected with the G. Verdi in Turin. There I completed my study with the Double Bass. I’m sure my education help me in the composition and to understand the forms and the score. Often, I use the harmony theory to compose in particular for the orchestral parts.

MI: How does the music scene in the Italy differ most from the one here in the US?.
DMC: I think in Italy there is a close music business, maybe for the language, but also because our culture in Italy is really old school. In Italy, the people are not ready for new sounds and new waves. We are known in the world for “Volare” of Modugno and for Opera. Also, [we are known] for the Dance music, and we are known for other things, pizza and others. For this last reason, dance opportunity, I decided at 18 year old to begin this adventure in the discography. I love electro and synthesizer mixed with acoustic and orchestral sounds. In USA there is more open mind and fast thinking, not prejudiced, and ready for new ideas in all category. I love this thinking and for this reason I’m here.

MI: Do you still play the piano from time to time? What instrument did you learn to play first?
DMC:  I play piano like performer and for compose my songs. I begin with piano but I’m also Double Bass Player and Orchestra Conductor.

MI: Do you have any advice to offer those who might just be learning to play an instrument of any kind?
DMC: So, I think the piano is the best instrument for begin, and now with the new technology the piano and keyboards are in any platform and is usually to use those in any situation in the studio during the production. Piano is an instrument with key, and for this not required any technical training for start. Just push the key and it play. I think is the only one instrument where is possible that. In all the other you need some more training to start. Anyway any instrument, it’s difficult to play, seriously. So, the guitar is the perfect instrument for to go, example on the beach with the friends, is transportable. For these reason Piano [and] Guitar are the most popular instruments in the world.

MI: How does it feel to have three platinum awards in the US and 14 gold from various countries in the in and around Italy and the UK? Did you ever imagine you’d be able to say that?
DMC: I don’ t want sound arrogant with this answer. When I was teen, I was dream to do something, but now for me this is just a start point. Anyway I never thought to do that, and for me are not important the awards. Is important to straight ahead.

MI: How would you describe the sound of your music to those who have yet to hear it?
DMC:  My music is an mix of some things, electronic sounds and acoustic orchestra, soft atmosphere and hard moments, rich of melody and straight percussion. I have many reference from the classic to the new age.

MI: You recently visited with Billboard Charting singer/songwriter Ilona Europa and NARIP & Grammy nominated Artist Manager Jonathan Todd during your last trip to the US. How did that go? What do you like to do most when you are in the states?
DMC: First of all, I would like to say thanks to Ilona and Jonathan. They are very kind with me. I’ll keep in mind them in forever. Also, when I’ll take my first Grammy, it’s a gratitude. So, I would like to grow my music experience in the Pop Music and Soundtracks, and do many success here in USA. This is my “job” and I need to do that. I’ m pumped full of motivation.

MI: What are some of your hobbies?
DMC: My hobby is the music. If the music would be a work for me, maybe I would not be here. I’m joking. My hobby is to read philosophy and communication book. Also, I like Chinese martial arts but just for myself not for fight. Also, I have a lot passion in new technology, and the music needs that.

MI: Are there any little known facts about yourself you are at liberty to share with our readers?
DMC: Yes, I would like to say that, maybe a producer is famous when get a big success, but I think a good producer is when he can keep this in the time. Every time upgrading his techniques. In the last three years I made three albums, and all of this go in the Hit charts in Italy. Maybe I’ m lucky but this is an example; I never left my attention on my “job.”

MI: What would you say is the most memorable moment of your career so far?
DMC: So, in this moment I can’t say the best moment. Maybe there was some great moments. My Third Position in UK as a songwriter, when I read my name under the name of Gallagher (OASIS). Maybe my First and Second in Germany with two different singles. Anyway it’s beautiful than any moment could be great because I think I’ m lucky to be musician and to have the opportunity to do that.

MI: What projects are you working on at the moment?
DMC: In this moment, I’m working on two different ways. I’m composing a piano concerto for piano and orchestra. This is a track of contemporary music. I would like to hear it played by an real orchestra. Also, I’ m working on some new soundtracks, and as always, I continue to compose songs: new harmony and new melody. You can hear some of my newest work soon on at IlonaEuropaCreative.com.

MI: Anything to say in closing?
DMC: Just say bye and I love USA. Thank you. Ciao.

original interview here.