Elegant piano playing, intricate harmony, synth-sound wizardry, and overall mature musicianship: Aleandro Spiteri Monsigneur, a Maltese musician and session artist, has it all. You may know him as the keyboardist for the local award-winning band Red Electrick. But Aleandro is also involved in several others projects as a session musician, recording artist, and contributor.
Despite his young age of 18, he has performed abroad multiple times, including performances in large-scale events such as Jarocin Festival (Poland), Altstadt Festival (Germany), the Kourion Amphitheatre and other venues in Cyprus, and has also just returned from a month in Los Angeles, California with Red Electrick. In an interview with Eve, he talks about the importance of focusing on one thing and working with others to develop as an artist.
Eve: You’re a musician, session artist and composer. Which of these three you prefer most and why?
Aleandro Spiteri Monsigneur: I wish it was easy to choose which I prefer the most, because I genuinely enjoy doing all three of them! As a musician, I have the privilege of working with many different artists in the scene. Any artist feeds off other artists. I also compose music by myself, which I find to be a very different process – dialogue (or perhaps, a monologue) between you and yourself. Every step of writing alone becomes an adventure, an extreme risk, and only in that risk lies the true satisfaction and joy of producing something from nothing.
Eve: In addition to Red Electrick, you are also involved in several other projects as a session musician, recording artist, and contributor. Let us know more about all these involvements.
ASM: Being in a band like Red Electrick is such an immersive experience. It obviously transcends the idea of just being a band, and becomes a family of people on the same wavelength. Even in my free time, you’ll most likely find me thinking of song riffs or progressions for new music or ideas for existing, unreleased material. Besides this, I also work frequently with Railway Studios, where I record for artists working there, and often also help out in pre-production and arrangements.
Eve: Which of your foreign musical experiences was your favourite?
ASM: This has to be the easiest question: definitely Los Angeles, California, in January 2018. We lived there as a band for a month. You kind of get to live the life we typically see on Hollywood films and American TV shows. Moreover, we had the privilege of working with our producer there, meeting lots of amazing people involved in the entertainment industry, collaborating and networking and so much more. It’s just the place to be. Definitely won’t be our last time in the States!
Eve: Is it easy being so involved in the music industry at the young age of 18?
ASM: To start with, it’s never easy being in the music industry, irrelevant of your age. Much more work goes on behind the scenes than any musician likes to show; from practicing, to rehearsing, to meetings and planning, to recording, even simply thinking of what to do next in your career – the list is endless. When I started at the age of 16, which is when I had my first gig abroad, it used to be quite difficult. Most of my colleagues and people I’ve worked with are much older than me, so there was always some level of intimidation, but eventually it was something I adapted to.
Eve: At what point in your life did you realise you had a music talent and when did you start taking your talent seriously?
ASM: No one in the family was ever into music, so it still strikes me as weird that I chose this path. I initially used to do sports, but then I started piano lessons and started to commit myself more properly, and I realised I had to choose either one of the two. I prefer to strive for excellence in one discipline, rather than being mediocre in numerous ones, and that had definitely influenced my decision when it came to choosing between the two.
Eve: Is fashion an important part of your life?
ASM: Although I can’t say I’m a fan of the fashion industry or like to follow the latest fashion trends, I still think that what you wear and hence, your image, is important. It really goes hand in hand with how people view you, and ultimately how you view yourself.
Eve: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
ASM: Hmmm. It’s a question I think about a lot, I’ll admit, but most of the time I end up telling myself: “just don’t. Don’t try to see yourself in a few years’ time. Take it as it comes.” Sometimes we’re too concerned with being too perfect, or with making sure that our life has no pitfalls, that we end up forgetting that spontaneity has more often than not resulted in great things. Over-planning kills magic.