Welcome to the newest edition of our Artist Spotlight feature! On this edition, we bring you Singer-Songwriter, Antonio Larosa hailing from Burnary, British Columbia. Fresh off the heels of releasing his debut album Steadfast, Larosa spoke with us about his intriguing musical journey and provided some mind-boggling insight of how his musical inspirations have shaped him into the extremely skilled musician he is today.

What is the story of Antonio Larosa? How would you describe your music?

I am a 25-year-old singer-songwriter from Burnaby, British Columbia. I started playing acoustic guitar and singing at around 10 years old. Never thought much of it, but I did always feel gifted in entertaining and story telling. I grew up listening to mostly Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. My mom used to always play their records and I would really enjoy it. When I started taking guitar lessons my teacher introduced me to Johnny Cash and I really got hooked on him. I would play around community events and talents shows with acoustic guitar doing my best Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash impersonations. I made a medley of songs from both artists and it got me playing lots all over town. I also went The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and studied acting for semester. That’s where I started my song writing, mostly fooling around and gaining confidence in myself. When I got back home from New York I primarily played electric guitar. I really started getting into blues and musicians like Eric Clapton. I started getting very serious about playing the guitar and enrolled into University for Jazz guitar, which was one of the best learning experiences of my life.

Capilano University gave me the tools and understanding of what it takes to be a working musician. Its hard for me to put a label on my music, but I would definitely say the Elvis and Johnny Cash influence never left. I think you can hear it in my music as well as the rock and blues I was so impacted by. It’s hard to put my music in a category because of the diverse range of music I listen to and am inspired by. That’s one of the things I love about music. It can be a crazy melting pot of different sounds and flavours.

Photo Credit: Celeste Hutchinson

Who are your musical influences?

I’m definitely influenced by the Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley rockabilly sound. I also really love Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. I have listened to many of their recordings, especially Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club – amazing record. I listen to a lot of Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, Allman Brother’s Band, and BB King. I’m also really inspired by newer artists like Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Mac Demarco and John Mayer.

What do you want your listeners to take with them after listening to your music?

I want my listeners to feel inspired by my music and to be able to relate to the songs I write. I would say that’s the main goal. I’m especially impacted when a song’s lyric hits home with what I am feeling or past experiences I have had. I feel that the best kind of music is sincere and authentic.

What projects are you currently working on?

Right now I’m trying to play live as much as possible, whether it be original gigs or cover gigs. They are almost two different things, but every time you get on stage and preform you learn something about yourself. I’m also in a Latin crossover group called Bailamos. I’m heading on tour with them this fall and we’ll be performing all over North, South, and Central America. Its a great show and its tons of fun. I recorded a PBS special with them and it aired all over North America. I continue to write tunes everyday for my next release, whenever that will be. It’s a lot of fun writing new music and continuing to develop my sound. I don’t plan on stopping.

If you want to hear more from this talented artist, purchase Steadfast on iTunes and catch all the latest news on Antonio Larosa on his Official website.

Photo Credit: Jon Roy

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