Once the young Billy (aka “Fancy Pants” in School of Rock), Brian Falduto is all grown-up and coming into his own as a singer-songwriter. Falduto has been hard at work writing, performing, and recording in New York City and recently released his debut EP, Love One Another. The acoustic set is filled with Brian’s original, heartfelt lyrics that tell of personal experiences and situations with previous relationships, as well as delving into the current climate of the world (“Turn That Song Back On"). Recently, Falduto kindly took the time to answer some questions via email about his journey into songwriting, Love One Another, and more.
You've been performing since you were a child. How did you transition from actor to singer? And was music something that was always there or something that came later?
I've always been singing, yes. I started taking singing lessons when I was 11, I believe. I began singing in church choir when I was young. I then went on to do a lot of musical theatre, so acting & singing went hand-in-hand for quite some time and then the specific music focus was a recent thing. I was working in country music radio when I first picked up my guitar and started writing songs two years ago. Music was a big part of my daily life .. especially country music .. and I was going to a lot of concerts and working with a lot of artists and I became envious of those who I watched pursue dreams by creating art. So I decided to give it a go myself!
You penned all of the songs on the EP. Where do you draw from when writing?
I draw from personal experience, primarily. Most of the songs on the EP are break-up songs. I went through a tough one and it gave me a lot of material. The first song I ever wrote was "In My Mind." It's on the EP as a live studio session. That was about 2 years ago. So it's all fairly fresh to me still and I'm still experimenting with new lyrics, themes, melodies, etc. I recently wrote a song for my Grandma which is now easily my favorite song I've ever written and my most personal. As I develop as a person, experience things, and grow older, I imagine my songwriting will evolve too.
Being that your music mixes varied genres, who do you consider you musical influences?
I do love country music. And I'd say my music is country-influenced but not quite there. It crosses over into other genres for sure. I love so many artists so it's hard to pick an influence. I listen to a lot of oldies, a lot of ballads, a lot of story songs. Currently listening to the new Zac Brown Band album on repeat a lot. Also, Kacey Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, Rascal Flatts, Jo Dee Messina. Current favorite song is probably "Tin Man" by Miranda Lambert.
Why did you title the EP Love One Another?
Love One Another is the key lyric on the fourth track (and lead single) "Turn That Song Back On." I don't actually remember what I was going to initially call the EP .. but one day my friend Cara Bernstein, who sings with our band sometimes, put on Instagram a photo of the street art that you see on the cover and I pretty much instantly new that that is what we had to call the album. I messaged her immediately and begged her to let me steal it. I wrote "Turn That Song Back On" this past year in response to all the crazy, awful things happening in the world .. the political turmoil, the terror .. a lot of it has made me feel really grateful to live in a place like New York City where love & acceptance of individuality are so commonplace. A place where "Love One Another" can be chalked onto the sidewalk so nonchalantly for people to see as they go about their daily grind. Those words mean a lot to me. They rise above hatred in such a graceful way because they offer such a simple solution. I love singing this message on this song and it felt like a great vibe to push the EP out with.
Absolutely, it's such a simple, positive message.
Can you choose between either "Just A Phase" or "I Saw A Ghost" and tell the story behind the song?
Sure! "Just a Phase" is probably one of my favorite tunes I've written. It comes from a very vulnerable place but it has a nice punch at the end that justifies my feelings as valid. After my break-up, what I was seeing and hearing made me feel like my ex was getting on with his life way faster than seemed possible if what we had was real. He actually started dating a girl not too long after his relationship with me ended. It's obviously a very complicated situation to explain in full detail but I felt like so much of what we had had been dismissed way too easily by him and this song is a response to that.
Where can people catch you performing live?
All the time! We have a show at Arlene's Grocery this Tuesday 8/29 at 7:30PM. Come check us out or visit www.brianfalduto.com for additional show dates.
What's ahead for you professionally?
I've started jamming with some new musicians in the hopes of getting my songs to a bigger, more developed state in addition to other stuff I've written and am writing. We will continue gigging and hopefully start another recording process down the line. Current goals involve getting some live performance sessions released this Fall as well as a lyric video for "Turn That Song Back On." I'm also busy developing an entertainment program for the elderly at the moment, a career path inspired by my biggest fan, my Grandma. She has recently become unable to make it out to shows so we bring the shows to her and I want to start doing that more often on a larger scale for a neglected but wonderful community of senior citizens. Also been auditioning so stay tuned for updates there!
Sounds busy and exciting!
Finally, is there one recent release you cannot stop listening to and suggest people check out?
Oo, I think I answered this a little early but I'll add a current fave: "Love Is Stronger" by Jason Crabb. It's another tune, much like "Turn That Song Back On" that pitches love as the answer when times get hard. A message I am obviously behind 100%.
For more information visit his official website
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Purchase Love One Another HERE