By Faith Rackoff
Photos by Wayne Herrschaft
For every artist, there is a moment that confirms: This is what I want to do. For Centereach native Gina Cutillo, that moment came in 2004 when she performed onstage with Prince in front of a packed house at the Continental Arena in New Jersey.
Cutillo remembers, “It took care of any doubt as to what I wanted. It solidified it.”
Following the recent release of her sophomore disc, From Here To Desire, Cutillo is getting closer to the optimum level of success. The multi-talented musician and songwriter describes the album as “a collection of songs that deal with some aspect of a relationship between people, whether it be love or friendship. It’s an album about passion and relationships.”
Real life tends to be the inspiration for many of Cutillo’s songs.
“I get inspired by situations in my personal life,” she admits,
“but I write in a way so other people can relate to them. I try not
to tell too much about the songs, this way people can read into it themselves.
“This is my outlet. Some people write literature. I write music,” proclaims the artist earnestly.
It is important to her to offer a sign of optimism in her lyrics.
“I tend to write with some sort of hopefulness," Cutillo said. "No matter what the content of the song I try to turn it around and make sure it has an energetic feel.”
Although she's considered a solo artist, Cutillo has had the same band for the past two years. They are a talented group of musicians whose connection with her creates a strong chemistry that is very appealing and productive – so much so that when they went into the studio to record a four-song demo, they kept going
Laughing, Cutillo explains: “It was a funny thing. My band and I started by recording four songs, it really wasn’t meant to be an album. It was just supposed to be a demo to get us out there. We were working with the producers from BetaMax and we just loved the outcome, so we kept going back in to do more and more. The whole album came almost by accident.”For the Love of C…, Cutillo’s first disc released in 2004 was self-produced. This time, she decided to work with producers David Caggiano and Sean French of BetaMax Studios in Glen Cove for the follow-up. As the sexy brunette recalls, “They totally understood where I was at. They pushed me to change up the way I sing melodically. On the first album I produced myself, and while I did well with it, this time around they took it to a whole other level, which was really cool. They were like, ‘you write really good lyrics but we just want to push you vocally. We want you to find the different voices that you have.’ It was pretty tough at times. There were a lot of hours in the studio. But I knew we were doing the right thing.”
Performing with her band at some of the largest venues on Long Island such
as Mulcahy’s and The Crazy Donkey as well as appearances on local legs
of the Vans Warped Tour has given Cutillo as certain sense of accomplishment.
On Wednesday, July 18, she will perform a free concert at the Jones Beach
Bandshell at 8pm.
“Having hundreds to thousands of people jumping up and down to my music is incredible," Cutillo said. "I just want to reach out and touch people. I want everyone to relate to me. I’m a normal person, just like everyone else. I think it’s important for people to realize that we all experience good and bad things in life and we can get through it.”
Both of Gina Cutillo’s albums are available at CDBaby.com. For more information on the artist, go to ginacutillo.com or myspace.com/ginacutillo.