Antonio Rullez (Exclusive Interview!)

           Antonio Rullez – is an Australian native whom is a very accomplished singer/songwriter, actor, recording artist, and dancer (a serious threat as an entertainer!). Antonio caught "The Beat's!" attention from his amazing vocals and unique songs penned by him. We know that this Aussie artist is on his way to be a global sensation and is on the rise as we speak. Being on the constant pulse of what we as listeners are looking for has made Antonio keep a step ahead with his fresh sounds and collaborations. A huge hit for Antonio is the song, "Are You Leaving?" – a house/latin smash that he did with Marcus Knight and Fred Leduc – along with his EP entitled "Come Fly".  On this EP, Antonio has the pop/dance singles, "Mi Casa", "Come and Fly This Mountain" and his new single, co-written with Fred Leduc, the pop/latin version of "Are You Leaving?"

           Antonio, firstly I want to say how greatly I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to do this exclusive interview with me for “Let The Beat Hit You!” It is also fantastic to note that you are officially part of our “Artist in Residence” for 2016.

·         You have had a recent huge momentum from your first single, “Mi Casa” on your current EP, entitled “Come Fly.” This has to be very rewarding and a whirlwind for you. What are your thoughts as to why the single along with the EP resonates so well? 

    Being one of my favourite original tracks, I was thrilled that “Mi Casa” was my first single through Strawberry Hills Records and the first one from my “Come Fly” EP.  “Mi Casa” has an infectious pop/latin feel and furthermore, I’d had the storyboard for the music video in my head for a long time and was so excited about doing the video and afterwards, that the finished product came out well.  I think the “Come Fly” EP resonates well due to the variety of styles and tempos emanating from its heart-felt tracks, from Pop to Latin, Dance, RnB and even a touch of Rock. 

·         Often it is stated; “it is all in the timing of things, between the right song, sound, artist, arrangement, commercial appeal, do you agree with this? Do you think that your appeal is possibly you having a great knack to know what the listener is looking for and being ahead of it? I believe this statement is true though for your case it is also the know-how, your instincts, your vocal talents, music writing, and who you are collaborating within the studio is all very important.

This statement definitely rings true in respect of the music and acting industries and in many ways, the entertainment industry as a whole.  In terms of my music and approach, I’ve often listened to and enjoyed music in various genres and then, in the studio and songwriting and/or recording sessions, simply allowed ideas to flow through me, perhaps with an instinct or intuition, to some extent, to know what the current and/or future listener might be looking for in terms of production and in relation to the message and feel stemming from the lyrics, melody and chords of the song.

·          I love your first single and EP along with your second single, “Come Fly This Mountain” and your new single, “Are You Leaving?” What is your process as to what made it onto the EP and what is the best material for a single?

The process of selecting material for the EP was one, essentially, of looking at my best and most well-produced tracks thus far, as well as the best combination of songs that would tell the story of me as an artist and a person.  Choosing the singles was then a matter of which tracks might best suit radio, which songs would really speak to and engage listeners, and which tracks were at the core of the EP’s message and style.

·         The music collaboration with Marcus Knight, Fred Leduc and yourself is very successful, how did this all come about? 

Well, I’ve known Marcus and Fred for many years through the music industry and had collaborated on songs with each of them on a number of occasions.  I originally composed “Are You Leaving?” with Fred Leduc, who produced the original version of the track, which we were both very happy with.  Then one night years later, after one of Marcus’ DJ sessions, I had a chat with Marcus in the coffee shop across the road from the venue about the possibility of releasing a house version of “Are You Leaving?”  We both loved the idea and so Marcus produced a wonderful house version of “Are You Leaving?” featuring my vocals and the fantastic guitar work of Fred Leduc!

·         It is so essential to keep both your vocals in the best condition along with yourself mentally/physically, how do you address all of these areas? 

It involves trying to maintain a real balance between singing practise, as well as rest and vocal maintenance and also keeping fit physically and taking some time out to enliven but also rest, the mind, emotions and spirit.

·         Speaking of keeping yourself in the best condition, what is a must when touring to have before hitting the stage?

It is important to stay well-hydrated (mostly with water), and often to drink and gargle a little aloe vera juice and/or pineapple juice before going on stage.

·         What is one thing that you must have in your house? You must have one item perhaps in the kitchen that you cannot do without.

The one item I must have in the house is plenty of Lemon and Ginger tea, which I drink daily (sometimes more than once) in order to keep my voice in excellent condition.  Moreover, also for the voice and general well-being, it is very important for me to have Manuka Honey and Aloe Vera juice at home.

·         Do you have any projects in the making that we can look forward to in the music album arena? 

I am looking to write and collaborate on more music in the near future, with the intention of working towards an album release at some stage.

·         I am getting tired just thinking of the whirlwind of a year you already have and it is only the beginning of 2016! What are some other projects musically, theatrically, acting on your horizon? 

It has been a truly wonderful start to 2016!  In relation to my “Come Fly” EP, I plan to continue promoting and performing songs from the EP, as well as explore and co-produce different versions of one or more of the tracks.  Moreover, I’d like further to perform in film and television.

·         Is there something that you have as of yet conquered in your career that you still have as a “must?”

I would very much love to perform in a leading or supporting role in at least one Broadway or off-Broadway production.

·         Walk us through a typical day in the life of Antonio, what are some things you do to stay tip top shape both physically, mentally, and vocally for your work?

I will often stretch, pray and meditate to start the day.  Sometimes, I will even go for a run and do some resistance training as well (chin-ups, sit-ups, push-ups etc).  Often, I will do particular vocal exercises and sing songs for enjoyment and/or practice at least once a day.  Moreover, I take a number of dance classes each week (mostly tap at the moment).  Going over and practising lines for theatre productions also takes up a fair portion of my day at times, as well as teaching singing and acting.

·         I am sure you have people you admire, whom are a couple and why?

I think the couple I admire the most is my parents, because of who they are as people, as well as their continuous support over the years of me personally and my music and performing.

·         After getting into the recording industry, what was the first “Aha moment” that truly provided the moment you knew you were doing the right path for yourself? Was it perhaps a recording session, writing a particular song or live performance?

My first “Aha moment” was after my first recording and songwriting session with my now long-time friend and fellow musician/producer, John Von Ahlen, at which time we composed the first song I’d ever penned, called “When We Fly”.  I so loved that session, both in terms of the writing and recording process itself, and also with respect to the expressing of my emotions through song.  I knew during and after that session that the “artist” arena was the one for me.

·         Walk us through the evolution of your music career and the path you took since embarking on it? 

After that first co-writing session, I wrote and recorded a lot more with John Von Ahlen over a number of years, and collaborated with many other Melbourne- and USA-based producers.  Many of my original tracks were mixed and mastered in the USA and I would often perform originals and covers at various venues around Australia and, at times, abroad.  In the last few years, I have enlarged my focus to include a great deal of involvement in theatre and film, both as an actor and director.  Indeed, I had the privilege of being able to compose most of the music for an original musical about the lives of St Francis and St Clare, entitled “Man of Assisi”, which premiered on stage in 2013, and for which I was also the musical director, principal choreographer and one of the lead actors.

·         What is the best way to describe your music?

My music is very much Pop-based, but often infused with elements of Latin, RnB, Dance, Soul, Rock and even Classical, at times.

·         Do you have as a vision for you and your music?

My vision is that my music would be heard by people in most or all nations of the world and that it would inspire them to believe that they can be all that God created them to be.  As part of this, I would love to perform live in many countries, as well as act, sing and dance in film and theater productions around the globe. 

·         Is there anyone you would love to collaborate with musically? I can think of some great singers that would be vocally perfection with you and I am sure you do.

For many years, I’ve wanted to collaborate with Kelly Clarkson, as I love her songs and she is a phenomenal singer, both technically and in the way she conveys the emotion of a song.  In particular, I love the combinations she uses and explores when she sings with respect to her “light” and “dark” vocal tones.  For similar reasons, I would also love to collaborate with Jessie J, Usher, Ariana Grande and Josh Groban.

·         Acting and Music are both a powerful tool, what does it mean to you as an artist?

Acting and music are certainly magnificent mediums through which to portray life, love, tragedy and many associated elements.  I think it’s so important for me as an artist to try to further explore the sort of impact that acting and music can have on others and oneself.

·         What made you get into the music industry?

I remember having one of those special moments when I was about 13 years old, whilst listening to RnB artists I adored such as Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, thinking that this would be the industry that I would want to work in and enjoy as a big part of my life.  It all then developed and grew from there.

·         What was your first gig?

When I was 15 years old, shortly after having recorded my first demo CD, singing “Truly” by Lionel Richie at the wedding of a close family friend.

·         Are there any cover tracks that you would love to sing and why?

There are many cover tracks that I have sung and loved to sing over the years, including “The Prayer” by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “Back At One” by Brian McKnight and “You Stay With Me” by Ricky Martin.  I would also love to sing covers such as “Flashlight” by Jessie J and “One Moment in Time” by Whitney Houston as they are also tremendously inspirational, beautiful and potentially life-changing songs.

·         When people listen to and/or watch Antonio Rullez, what do you want them to remember about you as a singer/actor?

That I give my all in all aspects of my performing and that I endeavor to portray the sentiments and emotions of the song, character and/or scene in the best and most compelling way possible.

·         How would you want someone to describe an Antonio Rullez concert when seeing you live to others?

Engaging, vibrant, “edge-of-your seat” at times, relaxed at times and overall, displaying a rainbow of emotions.

·         Is there a dream venue that you would truly love to perform at and why?

Madison Square Garden, not only because it is a famous venue, but also is in a city in which I would love to perform, and I think the atmosphere there would be truly magnificent!

·         Finally, what is one word that would be best to describe you?


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