Alumni Profile: Vitto Di Vaio

Raised between Italy, France, the UK, and the US, Vitto Di Vaio has been living in New England for the last five years. He has performed as a vocalist and guitarist, and currently supports the artists and music he loves in an event production role at weekly electronic night “Make It New” for the past year and a half.

This fall Vitto will be studying in Valencia, Spain earning his Masters in Music Production, Technology, and Innovation at Berklee College of Music.

How did you find about MMMMaven and the programs we offer?
I was an attendee at Make It New in my early months in Boston. It was the one night a week I really looked forward to and I knew that it was affiliated with MMMMaven. I was curious about DJing, so through the night I found out about the classes and then signed up for one, DJ 101.

Had you ever DJ’ed before coming to MMMMaven?
Never, no.

Had you ever done any music production before studying at MMMMaven?
A little bit. In college, I learned how to use Logic in a computer music class. It was just a semester, so I didn’t get very good. I was always kind of a performer either through theater or music. I sing and play guitar, but production was lost on me in college. I wasn’t very good at it. I got a little older and I was in a job that required me to be pretty analytically intensive, so it taught me how to use computers a little better and handle that. So, then DJing kind of came naturally from there.

How has your music and music production progressed since graduating from MMMMaven?
I’m on a different wavelength now. Since I started, DJing, it kind of taught me how to mix, how to think about putting songs together and what patches make sense. Then, through Make It New, I was literally listening to music every week, the best artists week on week. I was also Shazaming like crazy, listening to a ton of music at home that made my taste better – my music taste was terrible in college.

So, listening to better music helped me to become a better musician.

That’s what you get here. Through MMMMaven I continued on with eventually the production program. I took production with Damian Silva and Damian’s just been my hero. We bonded and share music. He’s given me the best advice that I can get on what gear to buy too. I owe everything to MMMMaven’s production program mostly.

How did you start getting involved with Make It New?
MMMMaven put out a Facebook message asking for help. They were like, “Does someone want to volunteer for Make It New?” I saw it and I was like, “Ahhhh” so I commented and then I got a message the next day that said lets meet up and talk. Shortly after, I started at Make It New. That was, like, a year and a half ago.

How has working at Make It New and watching those DJ’s perform influenced your music?
I was literally listening to music every week, the best artists week on week, which helped me to become a better musician. I was not listening to the best music in high school, progressively better in college. Once I got out I really started to get a better sense of my musical taste.

Listening to the people that Alex books for Make It New week after week was just hugely formative.

It definitely gave me an electronic bend that I didn’t have before. From there, it’s kind of progressed beyond the beat making sphere to more ambient experimental stuff. The people that come through Make It New are kind of at the forefront of good musical taste.

You’ve lived all over – Italy, France, UK, and the US. How has the music scene differed in each country? Did you ever find it challenging to adapt? How has your geographical location influenced your music if at all?
I wouldn’t be able to tell you if the music scene differed because I was too young to really experience the club scene. Although attending high school in Milan, I was going to a lot of terrible clubs with my friends. From what I know, Europe is a very dense continent in terms of music talent, but there’s so much good music here as well. Not just New York but Boston as well. It’s accessible and allowed me to get to this point. I think it can be prohibitive in other places. I really came of age here. My location has definitely influenced my music – my support network is here, and so there’s no better place to grow and develop as an artist. Having everyone that matters to you in one place, getting advice.

You’re getting your masters at Berklee in Valencia, Spain this fall – Can you explain why you chose to get your masters? Why this program? What do you hope to get out of the program?
I was in the production class with Damien and eventually came to the topic of what opportunities there were to pursue music production on a graduate level. He said that one of the most prestigious programs, that a lot of the Make It New faculty are involved in, is the Berklee Masters program in Valencia, Spain.

It’s incredible that one of the best programs in the world also has a bunch of MMMMaven alums and former MMMMaven professors.

What do you hope to get out of the program?
My glass is empty going in. I don’t know where I am going to end up. I would like to come out with technical and marketable skills and would love to be able to work with other artists as an audio engineer as well as a producer. I want to further my own art and release something as a performing artist. I would love to learn how to program music in the most basic ways, whether that’s in regard to 360 audio or how to VJ. The goal is to make a full-length studio album, hopefully with collaborators and maybe with an associated live set.

What do you hope to have accomplished in your musical career 5 years from now?
I would love to be making money, which is the hard part. That’s part of the appeal that the program has for me.

I would love to be able to work as a salaried employee at a music software company or a hardware manufacturer; like Ableton, Roland, or iZotope.

So, I would want to continue my work as a musician at all costs, but to be a hirable person with real skills that people need to make the cool products that I’ve been exposed to, and even making for the last couple of years. Making that stuff is really fun too, but actually designing it from scratch is a whole other thing.

 

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Student Profile: Jose, Juliana, and Mike

We had a check in this week from Jose this week! It is such a cool thing when old students check in with us and let us know how they are doing!
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“I just wanted to send you a brief note about the lastest developments of our group of Mmmmaven alumni from the DJ 101+102 classes. After our graduation in June 2015, Juliana Chalsen (Jayana), Mike David (MFD) and myself (Brian Drey) have kept tightly in touch and worked our ways to the Boston musical scene.

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Juliana has kept working on her classical music teaching, while at the same time DJing and maintaining a monthly podcast of mixes called Miles per Hour. Mike on his end has made strong ties with several DJ collectives from the Boston and Providence areas, and has played in several underground events all over the interstate area.

And for myself, as a still in school student, have managed to make a solid reputation in on-campus college and grad parties, as well as individual gigs at the Liberty Hotel, Berlin clubs and most recently Burning Man.

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But above all, I wanted to let you know that we have been working together a lot as well as a DJ group, as a result of the friendship we started at Mmmmaven. This has resulted in the establishment of Flight617, a monthly night at Good Life, with the help and reference of Damien, which next January will celebrate its first anniversary. The three of us have consistently played as residents at these nights, covering for a guest DJ every week. The latest iteration of this night is here

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And on top of that, we are very happy to have achieved as well one of our DJ dreams: playing together at the House of Blues Boston! It was in the framework of a Harvard Halloween Party, and let me tell you… it was a blast, we had the time of our lives!

All of this to say that Mmmmaven has meant a lot for us, that we wouldn’t have reached these goals without the mentorship of the school, and that we hope you help many more students achieve higher musical goals, the way we are starting to do

 

Cheers!

JL

Want to know more about the DJ Program at MMMMAVEN? Drop us a line below and get a free introductory DJ lesson.

Mmmmaven Alumni Rubix DJs at FORM Arcosanti

Rubix the DJ
Right before our week long festival, Together, kicked off on Sunday May 15th, FORM Arcosanti was in full swing over in Central Arizona, complete with a Mmmmaven alumnus behind the decks. Yep, one of our former students, the fantastic DJ Rubix, got a chance to show off his stuff to festival attendees and performers at a pool party event Sunday afternoon, and even got a mention in the THUMP review of the festival.

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As THUMP explains in their feature, the festival aims to change festival culture by creating a more intimate and fulfilling experience for attendees and artists alike. The idea was inspired by Hundred Waters’ experiences with touring the world playing at festivals, and is achieved in part by careful curation of both the talent and the attendees.

Hundred Waters’ focus on careful curation even extends to the festival’s audience. Attendance at the festival is free, but would-be festival-goers have to fill out an application for admission

For the attendees, that means they must fill out an application and be accepted, in order to tailor crowds to people of the right mindset. While it may sound restrictive, this is the first year that this policy has resulted in any major culling of applicants, and on top of that those selected get completely free admission. A small number of “patron” status tickets were sold, with an array of VIP perks for those willing to shell out the cash.

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On the talent side, the festival boasts a pretty diverse lineup of artists. As THUMP reports:

Drawing on the band’s network of musician and label-owner friends, the festival’s lineup, while diverse, seemed to nonetheless prioritize artists who fit a specific tone, favoring combined electronic and acoustic elements, strong melodies, and moderate experimentation.

While DJ Rubix wasn’t featured on the main lineup, he got a chance to perform at one of several surprise events and art installations. He also got an up close and personal look at some of the performances, getting to dap up headliner Skrillex a couple times during his Friday night set.

A great opportunity for a young DJ to show off his stuff and get noticed! You can find DJ Rubix on Facebook, Soundcloud, and Twitter, make sure to show some love for a young Boston artist!

Want to follow in Rubix’s footsteps? Make sure to check out our DJ program! Contact us to sign up for a free lesson!

Join Ferris Lists Us as 42 Places to Learn Something New

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Thanks to Join Ferris, a start-up looking to turn people onto things to do in Boston, we’ve been listed as one of 42 places to “learn something new in Boston.”

Boston might be known as a college town that draws some of the brightest students in the country, but there’s also plenty of incredible classes offered by small businesses.

We’re building a complete guide to the best places to learn something new in Boston, that aren’t major universities. From cultivating your culinary creativity to learning to work with clay, metal, and 3D printers, this list is sure to have something for everyone.

Alongside cool places like Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and Artisan’s Asylum, and our pals at Brooklyn Boulders, JoinFerris has your options for learning something FUN in your spare time.

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But PS: We’re the most fun!