Canyon News Calls Arcoleo ‘Singing Sensation’

UNITED STATES—If you’re a fan of acoustic music, or an addict to song covers, you might already know about Drew Arcoleo from his various tributes to popular singers including Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me,” Jason Mraz’s  “I Won’t Give Up” and Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Wanna B e.” Despite his musical talent, what has been recognized as his ‘claim to fame’ is an iPhone recorded video of Arcoleo strumming on his guitar, as golden retriever, Bailey, bobs her head along in a video that went viral called “Golden loves Guitar.”

Canyon News interviewed 21-year-old Drew Arcoleo, who is finishing his final year at theUniversity of Connecticut, about his musical interests, influence, and background. Arcoleo has a humble view of rise to fame saying, “I don’t yet see myself as a ‘popular’ musician. At this point, I am more of a ‘local celebrity’… [playing shows at] Martha’s Vineyard, MA this past summer, as well as here at UConn. YouTube has helped me expand my fan base with 7,000 subscriptions and 12 million views. I am very grateful for what YouTube has done for me, and I urge all upcoming artists to utilize this medium of free exposure. Since I picked up the guitar and started singing, it has been the most relevant and intriguing aspect of my life. Music is where I find my passion. Where I feel like I can excel, be myself, and just lay into life.”

Arcoleo said, “Growing up, I was always intrigued by the combination of instruments coming together to form a song; I especially was attracted to the sound of the guitar. My father had always owned guitars while I was growing up and they were always laying around the house, although this was only a hobby rather [than] a passion for him. When I was 10 years old I finally picked up my dad’s Fender Stratocaster and began to strum some blues with him.” [He credits] his father for not only putting the guitar in his hands, but being his role model as well. He continues “When I first started playing guitar, it didn’t sound how I wanted, [but I] didn’t stop until it did, and for this reason, [I haven’t] put it down since the day I picked it up. That’s how I developed as a guitar player, continuing to practice until I achieved what sounded beautiful to my ears (and this didn’t happen overnight!). Some guitar players that influenced my playing at first were Slash, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Zakk Wylde, Angus Young, Dimebag Darrel, and Eric Clapton of course.”

Continuing with the idols that influenced his musical talents, Arcoleo says, “I grew up on rock n’ roll – blues; anything from Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Alive in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Police, to name a few. [During] the past 4 years of my life, I have transformed into more of a vocalist than guitar player, as it turns out my voice is my stronger suit. The guitar is what helped me discover my vocal ability – by strumming guitar and singing over it. Since developing my vocal ability with no professional instruction, I have found a unique style that my audience really enjoys and connects with. As a singer, I have been listening more to pop, rock, soul, and blues. I have been most recently influenced musically by, and sound comparable to, Jason Mraz, Justin Timberlake, Gavin DeGraw, and Allen Stone. My “all-time favorite” singers are Michael Jackson, Freddy Mercury, Robert Plant, Stevie Wonder and Layne Staley. The past year I have been most into R&B/Soul/Funk (i.e. – Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Aretha Franklin).”

Seeming like quite the talented young adult, not just a great singer and guitarist, He also is attending college with a dual- purpose: “[Being a] senior at the University of Connecticutmajoring in Economics with a Minor in Music, [I will be] graduating this spring 2014. Although this past winter, I auditioned and was admitted into Berklee College of Music in Boston for voice, I decided to stay with UConn through. I believe that being aware of the business and economics of the music industry is equally as important as knowing the music itself. In other words, you need to be more than just an amazing player to make it in the music industry.”

Speaking of his future goals in the music industry, Arcoleo gave us a glimpse into what might be waiting for him in the future. “Upon graduation from UConn I plan on making the cross-country move to Los Angeles, CA where I will develop my talents as a performer, songwriter, and producer in addition to growing my current relationships with music industry professionals – as well as finding new ones. Being a performer and songwriter full-time is something I have yet to do in my life; I can’t express how excited I am to give my music the full undivided attention it deserves. I work with a producer named Jimmy McGorman ( who is currently touring (playing guitar) for “The Voice” (Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope,) owns a studio in Burbank, CA called Purple Tongue Studios, and is also the musical director for Avril Lavigne and Weezer. I have done two songs with McGorman and they are available for purchase on iTunes. I plan on cutting a debut full-length record after I graduate as well as a couple professional music videos with Video Producer and Digital Manager Kurt Kendzian ( Perhaps after releasing my debut record, a tour can be scheduled!”


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