Vincenzo is an Italian musician based in Ireland. He is one of the artists who is going to perform on Feb 19th for the event organised by Babylon Radio. Prior to this event, we had a chance to have a chat with him about how he started out in music, his love for music and how music has now become a part of his life.

Bola: Just to get your name correctly, you are the only one that can pronounce it correctly. 

Vincenzo: You actually pronounced it very well. My name is Vincenzo. 

Bola: Okay, nice to meet you Vincenzo.  So what country are you from?

Vincenzo: I am Italian. I lived in Italy until I was 25. Then circumstances changed and I moved to Ireland where I joined my sister that was living here; that moved to Ireland just before me and since then, I’ve lived in this country. 

Bola: Okay, great. It’s interesting to know that you moved from Italy to Ireland. So how have you found living in Ireland and has it been difficult to adjust? How do you find settling here?

Vincenzo: Well.. Italy and Ireland have lots of things that are different as well as things that are in common. I believe what I found moving to Ireland had a big impact in my life. Because I’ve never lived anywhere else. From Italy, as I stayed all my life in Italy until I was 25 and then I embraced the chance to move to Ireland where I.. a lot of joy and inspiration to discover the new lifestyle that was offered to me.

Yeah. As I said; interesting, challenging because of the language that I spoke was just Italian, so I had to self-made myself with English, that’s why I’ve been practicing my English in a lot of pubs culturally saying that in Italy we would drink coffee espresso wraps, which is the moment where you connect with people, you go to the cafe, you have to get a quick espresso and you chat with people. 

I transferred that thought into Irish culture and to talk to people basically I have to do what they would do as normal and perhaps, it was going to the pub. Yeah, when I met a lot of people, eh. that was the beginning of… It escalated in a good way. And integrating in Dublin and Ireland as well. 

Bola: Okay, that’s interesting. Thank you for sharing. That’s true about Ireland anyway, you have to and that’s true about anywhere. Like you have to mix with people to… you know, understand how, you know, how they think and many of the things as well. 

Vincenzo: Absolutely. Yes. I would recommend and do actually recommend it to every person that comes to Ireland. To push themselves further and engage with Irish people. There’s a little sadness in me that is…when I arrived in Ireland, they were Irish today with the melting pot and the multicultural jam that we’ve created for us people from abroad… and the Irish line, Irish settlement disappearing nearly; I remember O’Connell street being full of Irish when I arrived. Today, it’s very hard to spot only Irish on O’Connell street.

Bola: Yeah, that’s interesting to know how Ireland has become very multicultural, no doubt about that. It’s something to learn from. So how do you find..Do you have your family here apart from your sister and how is it for them as well?

Vincenzo: Eh, my family, as I said, it’s just my sister. I do have 2 kids as well that are living in Ireland and probably this is what’s giving me the strength of staying here as the weather has a very big impact on me believing that I will stay here forever. So yes, my family is very firm point in saying that. You know, having a sister here and kids. Yes, it makes you feel deeply integrated. 

Bola: Yes, absolutely. Yes, thank you for sharing that Vincenzo. I heard you are interested in music. So what’s your relationship with music and you know the Italians as well love music and maybe some specific type of music? How can you explain your relationship, your love for music?

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Music in stories

Vincenzo: The relationship with music started when I was very young. I remember my brothers, my older brothers will take me clubbing with them for the treat. So when I was 12, 13, 14 they would take me clubbing and they were the time where I really enjoyed approaching that new world for me and dancing my sweat off.

So with the music, then, I grew up. But I’ve always been on this side of the music, the party, the clubbing until something switched into myself and I’ve approached to play music–Disco, electronic music, melody house and many other different types of music. That didn’t start long ago but that started only when the pandemic forced us to stay on our own. Living by myself, I had to find this new hobby.

I was surrounded by friends already in the field of the music industry where I used to participate in the events, seeing them playing and how interesting the music aspects of their lives were. So I’ve embraced it. I’ve got my first controller and it started to play a little bit like the English that I had to learn. I put myself into the music and I am enjoying it every time I’m able to turn on the machine and play music. 

Bola: Great. Thank you for sharing. I think you mentioned a musical instrument. So do you play a musical instrument and what do you play or can you play? 

Vincenzo: I don’t actually play instruments. What I play is electronic devices so that’s pretty easy as well compared to the previous aspect of ‘DJing’, when a DJ would have a big collection of vinyls and a lot of space. You wouldn’t need that much space for your collection of vinyls as today’s electronic and we can store music into a computer basically. 

Photo: @djvinzbalboa on Instagram

Bola: Yes, true. So the interview is rounding off now. I just wanted to ask about the Irish people love music and would you say music has brought you closer to them in that sense? 

Vincenzo: Yes. What I’ve loved; discovering was the music aspect into Irish culture. With them having music in parts of their life such as their folk and traditional music which I love, I love to see. When they gather up and play music. Sometimes I join the guys and look at them while they perform and again, this is into Irish culture. For me, it’s so inspirational. 

Bola: Great. Lovely. Thank you for sharing. What would you advise immigrants or especially Italians that are moving and would want to settle in other countries, especially Ireland, Italians moving to Ireland. What would you advise them on how to be successful, you know what you learned so far and how you’ve come out strong?

Vincenzo: What I would suggest to the Italians that want to move to Ireland is to embrace strong courage. I would let them know that Ireland is a safe place. Once you make your good connection. The settlement and the integration widens up in a way probably in other countries doesn’t happen as I found it helpful and beneficial and grateful for integrating, talking to the Irish people, talking to the local guys in knowing that the butcher is related to the guy that leaves around the corner and is the cousin of the other guy.

I mean the Irish family– Ireland is a small country but it is a huge family here and if you meet the right people you can be successful. You cannot be non-successful in Ireland and this is the right time to do it because we are following and we are part of this vibe into growing if you know what I mean. 

Bola: Yes, yes, I understand completely. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m sure like anybody that listens or that reads what you know about what you shared will definitely learn something one or two that would definitely impact them and thank you for your time Vincenzo. I hope I pronounce that again correctly. Thank you and thank you so much so till another time hopefully.

Vincenzo: Please, thanks a million.

Don’t forget to get your tickets for our Feb event!

Bola Akinola
Bola Akinola

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