Despite his 21st century trappings, California-based musician/artist Vincent Minor is a product of a bygone age.
In an exclusive interview with London Fuse, the artist talks alter egos, his beginnings as a young Hollywood talent and his debut EP, Born In The Wrong Era.
WHAT’S OLD IS NEW
Born In The Wrong Era is a new sound built on old foundations. Minor highlights his nostalgia for a different time in pop music history, while offering something new for listeners. He said listening to a range of music made in the 1930s-80s has heavily influenced his contemporary songwriting.
“[The album] started to form years ago in my head when a friend of mine said that he felt he was born in the wrong era… that everything was too modern for him,” Minor said. “He said, ‘I wonder if I would be successful if I was born in another era.’ That stuck with me through the years.”
WHO NEEDS THE MEDIA?
Minor takes DIY to the next level in promoting his craft, skipping the conventional bio for an interview with himself. Meanwhile, fellow musicians may be kicking themselves for not thinking of it first.
“I wanted to do a self-explanatory thing of who I am and make it a little more fun than just reading ‘Born on this day.'” Minor (AKA Michael Mangia) said.
Minor gets right to the point in his self-orchestrated Q&A round, covering all the interesting bits and bites of his musical career.
What is most striking about his self-interview is Mangia’s seeming unease with his own musical identity in this day and age. Mangia chose to “recreate [his] vision as an artist,” taking on a new name in the process. Vincent Minor was born from a dream involving his grandfather Vincenzo and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor.
“I just got to a point when I felt like my name wasn’t fitting what my vision was anymore,” Mangia said. “It was sort of a rebirth as an artist to come out with a new name and a new sound.”
While he may think it unfortunate, Minor was born in this era in Hollywood, CA. That environment nurtured his acting talent, starring in commercials and television shows under his actor father’s influence. Minor met met his future vocal coach – the mother of alt-rock minstrel Beck – during an audition.
His beginnings in acting no doubt contributed to his current theatrical flare. The cover of Born In The Wrong Era features Vincent Minor dressed sharply in a white shirt, black pants and bright red bow-tie, sitting among a handful of vintage theatre props. A birdcage, marble horse head, candelabra and a typewriter are part of the menagerie. Minor said he wanted to bring a theatrical feeling to it… a way to communicate the different eras through props.
Without skipping a beat after the EP release, Vincent Minor was back in the studio polishing up his full-length release, much of which was recorded in the same session as Born In… He plans to follow the release with a national tour, though as of right now, Minor will continue to reflect on the past with high hopes for the future.
“I’m just waiting for that time machine to be built,” he said.
So which era would he choose to live in if he could?
“The 30s or 40s,” he said. “It was just really classy. There’s something about that era that I think will never be repeated in history.”
-Author Rachel Weldon