The Sweet Melodic Life of an Expat
Getting to Know Derek Mattucchio
Italian-American multi-instrumentalist and DJ Derek James Mattucchio is a Boston native
who has made a name for himself performing on stage in Florence behind the DJ booth and hosting the city’s biggest Trivia night. A natural vocalist and percussionist, Derek grew up listening to his older brother’s music, mainly classic rock bands such as Pink Floyd, Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne. He then adopted a more alternative, indie rock persona style, having taught himself how to play guitar. The majority of the songs Derek plays in his shows are originals and indie rock covers such as those by bands like Iron and Wine, Band of Horses, The Avett Brothers and the Lumineers. Derek also produces and records his own music. His DJ sets tend to be a bit heavier, incorporating rock, dubstep, electronic and hip hop.
When asked how he would describe his life in Florence with just one word, Derek hesitated for a moment before blurting out the words “well, it’s challenging, but at the same time is extremely fascinating and also very satisfying.” Mattucchio believes that Florence has the potential for a great music scene, but you must first look for “diamonds in the rough.” He says that depending on where you look in the city, you may find something really special. “In some spots, the [music] could be naturally amateur, but others are full of incredibly talented singer/songwriters,” he says. “My goal is to bring together musicians from all walks of life to perform together and communicate on stage, regardless of what language they speak. I want to encourage people to take the stage.”
Derek explains that the population of musicians in Florence is in a constant state of flux, largely because of the comings and goings of the thousands of tourists and study abroad students that visit every year. He also recognizes the need for someone like himself to sometimes have to be the one to pull some of the more hesitant talent into the foreground to perform. “If I’m present and I’m aware that you are a musician, you have no choice,” he laughs. “I will make you perform.”
When asked what it was about Florence that he loved and why he decided to make a “challenging” life for himself in this city, he answers without hesitation. “The food, the scenery, the art and the intimacy,” he responds. “It’s my kind of city.”You can find Derek playing live or animating clubs almost any night of the week in the clubs of the city. He has a resident gig at S U P E R F O X every Wednesday from 10-1AM. Also, stay tuned and keep watch for his long awaited KICKSTARTER campaign (some time in Feb.), and find him on facebook at Derek James Mattuchio.