We had the good fortune of connecting with Marco Apicella and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marco, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risking, to me, is a synonym of living. Unless you live in a hole in the ground or on a desert planet, you are dealing with risk every time you make a decision in your life. People think of risk as something negative, and often tend to associate it with failure: “if what I’m about to do doesn’t go as planned I will fail”. But what we often don’t see when making assumptions like this, is that while we are “risking” to fail we are also “risking” to succeed. So what does risking actually mean? I think it means that we decided to do, to act. We decided to get out of our comfort zone and to take a chance in life. In my career, the hardest choices I had to make involved leaving friends, family and relationships behind, risking to lose what I had built with blood, sweat and tears. I was afraid of the unknown and I wasn’t sure of what expected me on the other side. At the same time, I knew I had no choice but have faith in myself and in the process, and to be open to the possibilities. So I learned to switch my focus from the goal and concentrate on the journey, allowing myself to experience new things, meet new friends, feel new feelings, and learn about myself, learning to treasure both the good and the bad and trying to be the best version of myself every day.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think my biggest strength is having a very varied background. Started out as a classical pianist, fell in love with Jazz in my late teenage years and was lucky enough to grow as a musician in a very international environment like that of the city of Rotterdam (Holland). I played with musicians from all over the world and absorbed elements their culture in my style. At the same time, I am influenced by Italian popular music which I also feel influences my compositions. I’m really excited about my upcoming album. I’ve been working on it for the past 6 months and I’m very happy to see it take shape and come to life. It will be my first album exclusively recorded on piano, and will feature original compositions as well as a couple arrangements of jazz classics and one Roman popular song. Getting where I am wasn’t exactly easy and to be honest, although I have come pretty far from where I started, I still feel I have to grow so much. I feel lucky though because I knew already, at a very young age, that music was going to be my life. Having clarity early on really really helped me feeling like I had a purpose, and that pushed me to overcome all the difficulties of becoming a full time musician nowadays.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’d start off by hiking to the Griffith’s Observatory and getting lost reading about science and the universe. Then we would drive to Highland Park to grab dinner at Joy, amazing Taiwanese restaurant. In the next days I would definitely want to bring my friend to some of the amazing parks around LA and in California so we would probably drive to Joshua Tree, spend the day and possibly the night, enjoying the crazy beautiful night sky in the desert. Next day we’d be headed to Sequoia, then all the way up to Yosemite, possibly stopping by Mammoth Lakes to ski/snowboard for a day. On the way back we’d drive down the coast and see Big Sur. If we still had time and energy, I would wanna go to San Diego which is possibly my favorite city in Cali.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe everything to my parents, for always encouraging me and giving me a chance to chase my dreams. Special thanks to my friend of a lifetime and extraordinary guitarist Simone Cesarini, teacher and inspiration. Although our lives took separate paths I know we are together in spirit, forever.