This week we're showcasing Alessandro Caruccio, local DJ and civil engineer who's dipping his toe in event production. See his full interview below and watch our stories all day for his Summer Fridays takeover!
How do you contribute to Art Island?
I was actually just introduced to the Art Island team this summer! I helped with building and transporting the Spindrifter in preparation for its maiden voyage in July. As a civil engineer, aspiring architect, and up-and-coming DJ, it was the perfect opportunity to get involved. And it was great getting connected to such a creatively-minded and ambitious organization. Following that experience, I’ve been eager to get involved with the Art Island community in other ways. Fortunately, I just got invited to DJ the event coming up tonight, Sparkle Pony Soirée! I plan to continue contributing in a similar capacity moving forward, be it through handywork, music, or anything else!
Favorite Art Island event you’ve been to and why?
As a newbie to Art Island, I’ve sadly yet to attend many events. But the ones I have attended, I’ve had an amazing time! My favorite event (and I may be a bit biased…) would have to be the Spindrifter maiden voyage! Although we encountered many obstacles during its construction, transport, and assembly, I was truly impressed at the team’s tenacity, ingenuity, and optimism throughout the whole project. And boy, what a way to celebrate! Once it was fully assembled, floating on Ladybird Lake, it was an amazing feeling to finally stretch out, relax on the deck, and admire what we had built together! There’s no better feeling than seeing hard work pay off.
What’s keeping you busy work-wise this summer?
So, by day, I work as a civil engineer at an engineering/architecture firm based in Round Rock. And, as you can imagine, that has kept me quite busy this summer! My work is primarily focused on land development and, without getting too technical, it involves drafting construction plans for projects of all types, from residential to commercial to industrial. Recently, I’ve been working on construction plans for several veterinary clinics that will soon be constructed in the Austin metropolitan area. If you have a pet, keep an eye out!
What’s keeping you busy outside of work this summer?
Outside of work where all the fun stuff happens! Since I can remember, I’ve always been passionate about music. In high school, I hosted my own radio show and even created a blog for my very small but dedicated fanbase. In college, I was a part of several acappella groups (yes, I can sing!). Through it all, a favorite hobby of mine was curating playlists, be it for a road trip or party. And it’s been so exciting to see all of that manifest itself these days as my sole passion project! Since becoming a DJ, my nights have been filled with discovering new music, curating mixes, and planning events in the community. It’s been a lot of extra work on top of my day job, but it’s been so exciting playing gigs and seeing the Austin community groove out!
What are your creative goals heading into fall?
After this summer ends, I will continue playing some gigs around Austin, but my creative goal is to focus on music production. As of now, I have not produced any music and, after having been to so many concerts this year, I’m feeling very inspired to create my own tracks. It’s a very, very steep learning curve to learn music production software but, to pivot from a passion project to a career in music, very necessary. Stay tuned, I’m hoping to release my first track by summer of next year!
What’s your ideal summer Friday night in Austin look like?
My ideal Friday night… boy, oh boy. Honestly, lately, I’ve been staying in quite a bit and doing board game and wine nights with friends on the weekends. But, if I had to speak to my ideal night out, it would definitely be grabbing some late-night bites and hitting an after-hours concert. My go-to spots in Austin right now are definitely Higher Ground or The Oven. I’ve really enjoyed getting to see how different artists approach mixing and market themselves. Those two spots have been very influential in helping me to develop my own mixing style and branding strategy this year.
Your favorite place to cool down this year?
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, no doubt! If you don’t already know.. do yourself a favor and find out.
Favorite place for a work lunch in Austin?
Although I’ve never been there for an actual work lunch, Sammataro in East Austin! If you couldn’t tell from my name, I’m Italian, and Sammataro has to be the closest thing to authentic Italian pizza that I’ve found in all of Austin. Yes, you need to try it!
What’s an emerging trend in your industry that we should pay attention to?
As a newcomer to the music industry, I can’t speak to many emerging trends, at least not on a national or global scale. But, at on a local scale, I’ve been fascinated to see concerts evolve from just plain concerts into mini-festival-type productions, with artists, vendors, etc. To showcase music at an event is one thing, but to bring the whole community together for an event is a whole other thing! Before coming to Austin, I had never really seen that, but it warms my heart. And I was so inspired by this trend that I’m actually hosting my own mini-festival-type event at a local venue next week! It will be the first of many, and I’m excited to continue bringing the community together in that way.
What local community is doing great things and we should we support?
Recently, I’ve been attending a lot of events hosted by Vibe Vessel! They’re a local music organization that curates experience-based dance events focused on community, creativity, and inclusion. Personally, I love that their events always draw an eclectic but groovy crowd. And I love their slogan: “A vibe for everyone”. It’s also been a lot of fun attending their events and seeing them showcase up-and-coming artists, much like myself. And yes, before you ask, of course it is a goal of mine to a play a gig with them! Stay tuned!