NEW BOOTS ON: MUSICIAN MIKE ANNUZZIS’ LATEST RELEASE IS MAKING A FAST RISE IN CHARTERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
DJ: You have strong ties to Redwood City, don’t you?
MA: I was born and raised in Redwood City. My grandmother was the first in her building in Redwood City to own a house when it was just built almost 80 years ago. My parents settled here and raised our family. My father owned a business in Redwood City and my mother worked for the town of Redwood City for many years. I started playing guitar as a kid at St. Pius Elementary School in Redwood City.
DJ: What made you want to play an instrument?
MA: Around the age of 10, I started to take an interest in the guitar. My dad is an accordionist, so music was in my life from day one. I had a lot of encouragement to continue learning guitar from my elementary teachers, family and friends, and it quickly became my number one priority. I came home from school every day and just wanted to play guitar. I would put music on the radio or play albums and try to play the game. Later I studied music at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in guitar and music business. I’ve always been excited to explore as many instruments as possible. On my latest single, New Boots On, I play electric guitar, acoustic guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass guitar, banjo, drums and percussion, and electric organ. It’s fun and challenging for me, almost like putting a puzzle together, when I’m producing a song and thinking about how all the instruments have to fit together to blend in harmony.
DJ: How did you get interested in performing?
MA: If you’re a professional musician, there’s a natural progression you have to follow when playing in front of an audience. As a child I had a lot of support from my family, friends and teachers to get on stage and I am still encouraged by them to this day. I look at the audience and just want them all to be proud. It hasn’t always been easy for me to be vulnerable on stage in front of the public. I had to get over all my stage fright in a hurry because when you have to perform in front of a crowd of 3,000 people you just have to leave all insecurities behind and focus on the music and the work you came to do.
DJ: Where did you play?
MA: I played hundreds of shows a year during my career. I’ve toured the United States and even had a few international tour dates. I’ve played on big stages, concert halls and festivals, at many local restaurants and backyard parties. I have performed several times live on radio and television. Every show is a blessing. I opened major exhibits at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga. It is a very large stage and a beautiful concert hall. I remember the first time I stepped on that stage and saw my family and friends in the front row and heard my name being shouted by the audience. It was a moving experience for me because it’s such an important concert hall and having my closest family and friends cheering me on was magical.
DJ: How did you make your first recording?
MA: Just like performing live, recording music is a natural progression for a professional musician. I built a home studio with the help of my father, who was a general contractor. We set up everything I could want to make my music. It took a few years, but it also took me time to buy everything and figure out how to use all the equipment properly. I received generous gifts of instruments and microphones from my friends Richard and Becky which helped take my performances and recordings to another level. I play all the instruments on my recordings and I record everything from my home studio. I highly recommend polishing the final products in a large professional studio, as you simply cannot replicate this type of quality on a budget.
DJ: Where can we access your music?
MA: My music has been released on all major digital platforms, including iTunes and Spotify. I also created a YouTube channel theme where I showcase some of the places and areas where I perform because some of my family and friends can’t come to all the places I perform and I want that they live this adventure with me, no matter where they are in the world.
DJ: What would you say to those who are thinking of getting into music creation professionally?
MA: I encourage everyone to experience music on some level and a career in music is a rewarding and fulfilling path. There’s only one way to be successful as a musician and that’s to keep going, keep pushing, keep making great music, keep developing your craft, and keep sharing your music. with as many people as you can… Now comes the fun part!
Susan Cohn is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle and the American Theater Critics Association. She can be reached at [email protected]