Today we are going to share the exclusive interview of Chris Ruggiero, in which You will get to know a lot of things about him and his music. So, without wasting the time let’s get started.
Read Chris Ruggiero’s Interview
Q: How did you come into the music industry?
A: It was definitely a baptism by fire. A friend of mine who knew I liked vintage rock and roll, suggested I send in a video audition for a concert that was going to take place in New Jersey. I made a video and sent it in. A few days later, I got a call from a gentleman who said he saw my audition video and he wanted me to sing at the concert. I don’t know if he didn’t mention it, or he mentioned it and I missed it; but I don’t recall him telling me it was anything other than a concert. When I got to the venue on the day of the show, I saw a lot of big rock and roll stars there like Jay & the Americans and the Drifters. And there were cameras… a lot of cameras. Well, as it turns out, they were filming a PBS special and I was going to be starring in one of the segments. It was my first time ever on stage with a band and it was filmed for a national TV special. It was crazy! I think I sang pretty well but I look back on it, and if I had known, I would have thought more about what I was going to do on stage, other than sing. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know what I was going to sing until I got there!
Q: Who was your inspiration for music?
A: My grandfather. I was about 12 years old at the time – and I know this is probably tough for a lot of musicians and singers to imagine – but I hadn’t really even noticed music before then, so I was a late bloomer, musically. Well, my grandfather had a CD playing in his car by a group called Larry Chance & the Earls. They had some big hits in the early 60s – the biggest one was “Remember Then,” which I think everybody knows because of the intro – “Remem-mem remem-mem-member…” Anyway, the song that was playing was called “The Streets of the Bronx” and I just fell in love with the sound. I said “What is THAT?!” My grandfather explained that he used to sing on the street corners with a singing group in the Bronx and the Earls were the big stars from that neighborhood. He told me that it was called “Doo Wopp” music and when I got home, I went on my computer and downloaded every Doo Wopp song I could find. Even though the majority of what I do today is more mainstream, Doo Wopp does have a very broad appeal and I still incorporate a lot of it into my show.
Q: Say something about your musical journey?
A: Over the past few months I’ve been connecting with people who have followed me on Facebook. If you visit my Facebook page, you’ll notice that every day, there’s a conversation going on between me and fans who have the same interest in music as I do, and who like what I’m doing with the songs they love. This was so natural for me and I fell in love with the whole world of social media interaction because I love making new friends and I feel like my circle of friends has grown so much. A lot of the people I meet on Facebook and at concerts have become family to me. There’s no such thing as having too many friends, and I try making more each day!
Q: Who helped you most in your journey?
A: Without a doubt I wouldn’t be singing if it weren’t for my manager. When I first came into the music business I was only 18 years old and knew absolutely NOTHING about the business. Over the past year, my manager has encouraged me, taught me, and has taken me under his wing. I trust him and the decisions he makes for me with all my heart and I’m so thankful for his dedication and hard work every day.
Q: Who gave you pieces of advice?
A: Over the past few years I’ve gotten advice from a lot of people in the music business. Singers such as Bill Medley (Righteous Brothers), Bobby Rydell, Larry Chance (The Earls) and so many more. They’ve all expressed to me their love for music and the “do’s and dont’s” of the music business. On another level, I count one of my favorite singers, Clint Holmes as a mentor. He’s won every award from “Casino Entertainer of the Year” to “Best Singer,” and in my book, he’s one of the finest showmen in the world. I’m so fortunate to have had some guidance from people as trustworthy as them in the business and I’ll show my gratitude to them forever.
Q: What do you do nowadays?
A: Lately I’ve been working on a lot of new songs and crafting my stage show. Even more recently I’ve launched my Patreon account, which is a fanbase where people can sign up for a very small monthly fee. This allows people to see new music I’m working on, singing videos, travel pictures, inside close ups on what I’m working on at the moment, the chance to purchase tickets for concerts before the general public and even a little inspirational video from me every day, and so much more.
Q: Let us know something about your future projects
A: I’ve just released 2 CDs. The first CD is called “Time Was” and that is a collection of songs that everyone knows, and, especially for fans of 50s and 60s rock and roll, these songs are all pretty much as you remember them. So, if you love “Volare” or you love “Unchained Melody” and you’re something of a purist, I’m singing those songs as you remember them and it’s all harmless – they sound a lot like the original hit records sounded but with new orchestrations and with my voice singing them. However, I wanted to kind of “close” that chapter in my recording career – even though it’s pretty early on in my career – I wanted to close the chapter where I’m simply covering another artist’s song. I wanted to be done with the covering and the mimicking. I think it’s a natural place to start a career, but it was time for me to move on. So, on the second CD in the set, I wanted for people to hear MY voice. It’s called “I Am Chris Ruggiero.” And I wanted to tell the stories that these lyricists wrote, not just copy the original record. I wanted to take a song like “One” by Three Dog Night and instead of singing it the way Chuck Negron sang it – which was amazing of course – I wanted to tell the story that Harry Nillson wrote when he wrote the lyric, “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.” I know what it feels like to be lonely so when I sing the song, you’ll hear me telling my story of being lonely. And my hope is that when people hear the album, or hear me do these songs in concert they’ll say “I heard that song a hundred times but I feel like I just heard it for the first time” or “I always heard the song but now I really GET IT.” We did all new arrangements on “Run to Me,” the Bee Gees song, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “Anyone Who Had a Heart, “My Cherie Amour,” and a bunch more. So that’s the second CD in the set. And that’s the one that keeps me up at night and gives me goosebumps. We used some of the best musicians on the planet. I’m very excited about the way that album came out and the statement that I think it makes.
Q: What is your message to your fans?
A: The message I try to relay to my fans is that they are timeless. Many of them are over 50 and, I suppose because this music makes them look back to their youth, they begin to identify more with their age than who they are inside. I try to convey the message, in my shows and on social media, that no matter what age you are, you’re never too old to enjoy your life as you would if you didn’t know how old you are. I like to take my audience back in time with timeless songs – songs they may have seen in movies, TV shows, songs that were a hit in more than just one generation, etc. My goal is that, by the end of my show, I will have transported my audience to a different time and another place. Maybe it was their first kiss, or even their wedding day. I love my fans and I want them to enjoy the music they love forever, and it’s my pleasure to keep it alive for them!
Q: Any message for new artists?
A: My message to new artists would be to follow your dreams. It takes a lot of time, blood sweat and tears to become a singer but if you want to make a difference in someone’s life and you love singing, then DO IT. That can’t be done without dedication and a manager who truly believes in you and who you are as a person. Your fans have to love you for you. You’re not always going to have the best voice and the best outfit but if you show the world you’re worth hearing then you’ll absolutely be heard and make an impact.
You can buy his latest latest releases by clicking here.