Email Interview from the Better Art Bureau – Michael Vincent Quattro
Q: How do you hope to inspire others through your work or creativity?
A: I wish to inspire people through the messages I deliver in my songs. Sometimes the simple words chosen can trigger different interpretations from others. A thought provoking lyric, for example, can of course do just that, provoke thoughts.
In saying that, I offer to give a more personal example from a most recent song I wrote titled “Save Our World”. In this song I try to connect spiritually. I think it is first and foremost the answer to getting through this particular time in our lives. I believe it is the foundation of working together and so I desire to inspire others with this message of hope and prayer. As said in the song, “The life we all knew will be forever changed but with faith and new heroes hope is unchanged”. And then of course, the main theme of the song reflected in the chorus is “Say a little prayer to save our world so we can shine the light. Say a little prayer to save our world so we can make it right”.
I am hoping that throughout all my repertoire of material that there are inspirational messages. It is in fact my primary reason for composing.
Q: Looking back, what is the first form of creative inspiration you remember?
A: This is an easy one for me to remember and there are multiple layers of circumstances. The inspiration was through my first ever composition I wrote with piano, a song written in one day in early November when I was fourteen years old. The creativity was sparked by the Christmas season. As a child Christmas was always my favorite part of the year and to this day it still is. The tile of the song is “A Christmas Gift of Love”. The lyrics were written with the anticipation of Christmas as seen through the eyes of a child.
In retrospect my music journey began when I started taking accordion lessons with the persuasion of my parents. Subsequently as a gift from my parents I also owned a double manual Farfisa keyboard (organ and piano) in order to be equipped to join an evolving neighbourhood rock band. That same year in late September because of my sister’s aspirations to learn how play piano, my parents bought her an upright Heintzman. Well, two things happened from that point on. Regardless of my sister’s willingness to learn piano, she had just begun teacher’s college at Toronto University. This understandably gave her very little time to pursue piano studies. The other aspect was that as soon as there was an acoustic piano in the house, I began playing it and have never stopped since. Therefore, even if she had any time available, I selfishly was sitting on that piano bench right after school, after dinner, and virtually all evening long day after day, excluding the time I played sports with my childhood friends. My sister eventually graduated and became a wonderful school teacher years later. I on the other hand became a singer/songwriter and wrote may first song “A Christmas Gift of Love” within weeks of the piano’s arrival in our home. As I was writing the song I had a vision of including children to sing the chorus along with me. I also envisioned recording the song one day with the proceeds going to children’s charities such as the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, Million Dollar Smiles and Savehaven Project For Community Living. And so just over two years ago, that vision, that dream has come true. I recorded and released “A Christmas Gift of Love” in the studio with other musicians in late November 2018. I have received air play throughout all of Canada during the festive season for the past two years and I am looking forward to sharing it year after year.
Q: How have your stayed creative throughout quarantine?
A: I have stayed creative by simply writing, writing and writing new songs. I have played piano more than ever and have had a chance to also learn and play a few of my favorite artists’ songs. Specifically, I have been able to use this time that we are all experiencing as an inspiration to write a song entitled “Save Our World”. The song depicts engaging spiritually as a means to persevere with people working together to get through this unprecedented challenge while reflecting on the effect it is having on everyone, every where in the world today.
Q: What do you miss the most about life before quarantine?
A: What I miss most about life before quarantine is socializing in person. Firstly, getting together with family and friends. In extension to that would be engaging with people in all walks of life. Pertaining to my lifestyle this would include attending music acts/concerts and potentially performing. This encompasses networking, establishing other contacts, meeting people and developing new friendships.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
A: If there is one fault of mine when I was younger in my music career it would be not releasing any and all material I have ever had ready for any form of distribution. Looking back, I feel I hesitated too much to release songs that were ready to be heard publicly. What caused this? I often thought too much of first impressions and so overthinking what would be the next best step forward was a dilemma for me. Although I have never had a problem with lack of new material or as they say writer’s block, with new compositions coming along so quickly, I always thought my latest work was my best. This all led to procrastination. Therefore, my advice to my younger self is simply to learn to let go more and more because tomorrow is another day for writing a hit song….LOL!