Raised between the East and West coasts, American singer-songwriter and actor Dante Palminteri matured his musical styling at an early age. He was inspired by John Mayer’s poetic mastery of the human psyche and Ed Sheeran’s genre-defying melodies. An early sufferer of anxiety and dyslexia, Dante found solace in the last place one would expect: written word. Dreaming up lyrics on young heartbreak and defying the status quo, he pursued a career in songwriting, eventually strumming his way into Berklee College of Music. Lyrics about teenage angst and high school crushes soon evolved into complex compilations on unrequited love, soulmates lost and found, and the growing pains of adulthood. Dante released his debut EP 'From Me to You,' in January 2018. To closeout 2018, he released 'Beautiful,' a playful day-dreamy track inspired by the every-day awareness of being in a relationship. The 23-year-old crooner crafts a refreshing twist on the age-old love story as a millennial searching for his better half in a digital world. In a bold move, he’s bared it all on stages across the Tri-State area from Feinstein’s 54Below and Arlene’s Grocery, to Rockwood Music Hall and Bethlehem Musikfest.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
Since I was in elementary school, I suffered from dyslexia and struggled to focus on schoolwork. I discovered music as an outlet for my anxiety and quickly fell for John Mayer's vulnerability and honesty in his lyrics. Fast forward a few years and I found myself majoring in songwriting at Berklee College of Music. Some people find it ironic given my struggle with dyslexia, but somehow with songwriting I'm able to find the right words.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
I wouldn't call this crazy so much as I would random. One of my first gigs as a high school-aged singer- songwriter was in a Bed Bath & Beyond parking lot promoting a sandwich festival. There was a guy on stage with my band dressed in a Batman costume handing out sandwich coupons. The sound system was powered by a lawnmower-like generator that we had to keep kicking mid-set to keep it running.
What has been the high point of your music path?
It may sound cliché, but the first time I heard a fan sing my lyrics back to me from the audience. It was the chorus to a track off my debut EP, called "All I Need."
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I have no expectations when I start to write. I hole-up in my studio and play my guitar or keyboard until something hits me ... or doesn't. Some days I start with a chord progression as my foundation, while other days I find the lyrics first. Most of the time it feels like controlled chaos.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I miss meeting people who create for the sake of creating. Sometimes it feels like people in the industry have a hidden agenda; there's always something to sign, or somebody to be paid. I really try to connect with people - other songwriters, producers, and creators - who want to get together for the sake of the music, no strings attached.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
Hands-down John Mayer. I've learned everything I know from practicing and learning his music by heart.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
I'm lucky, I've been gigging with the same band for a while now, so they all know the music from the inside out. Whenever I have a new song, we get together and they jump on board within a couple of minutes. Working alongside really talented musicians makes the job a lot easier, and I learn new skills from them along the way.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
My next single "Miles Apart," was one of my bigger challenges as a songwriter because I wrote it in an unconventional way for me. Rather than picking up my guitar, I started drafting an entire demo in Logic, and it took time for me to feel inspired while working on the computer. My goal for this year is to improve my production chops!
What's coming up in the future?
I'm releasing my single "Miles Apart" on March 15th and filming a music video to follow at the end of the month. I'm planning a bigger two-part project for this year, but I can't share too much as it's still in pre-production. I'm always gigging around the Tri-State area and looking to book some shows out West and down South. I'm playing one of NYC's most iconic venues, The Cutting Room, on March 21st in celebration of the new single dropping.
Tell us where fans can access your music?
I always encourage fans to keep up on my socials, which are all on my website too. I post a lot of updates on Instagram and link out to my most recent music in my bio: @dantepalminteri"
And here's my youtube channel.