We had the good fortune of connecting with Santino Campanelli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Santino, how do you think about risk?
My entire career has been nothing but taking risks. Forgoing a traditional education and college experience, diving straight in to music, operating my own business to pay for my living and career expenses all along the way. Even diving head first in to directing and producing my first feature film “Bully” with little to no experience shooting a narrative. Honestly, most moves made within the entertainment industry are a calculated risk… but nothing exciting that’s come my way has been the result of complacency or playing it safe… the greatest achievements and experiences of my life and career have all been a direct result of saying “F**k it!” and taking a chance.. whether it was onn myself, on others, on an opportunity, or hell.. just on a whim. Growth and progress rarely happen in one’s comfort zone, so I make a conscious effort to avoid mine at all costs.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been very lucky to be able to play in a lot of different sandboxes as an artist and an entrepreneur… I rarely shy away from an opportunity to try something new, as long as it sounds fun and interesting, I’m always up for the challenge. Living life this way has afforded me so many amazing opportunities and experiences… In music, by starting my own projects and taking the reigns on our management, I’ve had the good fortune of sharing stages with awesome acts like Papa Roach, Machine Gun Kelly, Motley Crue, Redman, Buckcherry, Paramore, and so many others, both as the lead singer of hard rock band Scarlet Carson and as a solo hip hop artist (Santino The Misfit). From music, I found a second love in film by experimenting and shooting my own music videos. Getting proficient at this lead to me to the incredible experience of directing and producing my first feature film along with my father Joe Campanelli. It’s a scrappy little coming-of-age comedy called “Bully” starring Tucker Albrizzi, Danny Trejo, Ron Canada, and Vincent Pastore that dropped on New Years Eve 2019. We won multiple awards at festivals, and even premiered at the world famous Chinese Theater in Los Angeles at Dances With Films where we took home the Industry Choice Award. It has been a major highlight of my career and an awesome experience to share with my pops. Even during quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic, I didn’t want to stagnate or play it safe so I started a politcally influenced hip hop duo with my good friend and fellow artist Dayne The Great called “Failure Made Monsters”. We’ve released new music, videos, and together we’ve also hosted a weekly live cast called “FM Monsters” where we interview other creatives and friends every Friday at 6pm PST. It’s been an absolute blast and way to keep us connected to our fans and friends, instead of just letting the boredom of isolation slowly suffocate us both. And finally, as a business owner of my umbrella company “Mainstream Misfits” that encompasses all of these projects, as well as others including an entry in to beauty and skincare, a clothing line, and more. Chasing these new opportunities outside of my comfort zones has helped me to expand revenue sources, introduced me to new creatives I can work with on numerous projects, taught me more about other industries helping to inform my decisions across all of my projects, and has just been a fun experience all in all. What do I want the world to know about me? I often stress and worry that I’m going to make a mistake or do something wrong, or that I’m out of my depth and bit off way more than I can possibly chew… but then I go and do it anyway! I surround myself with positive and talented people, I push through my own insecurities and external judgements, and I just go and do the best I can while being good to those around me. As a result, I have fun, I work hard, I make new memories with awesome people, I make money, and like Frank… I do it all my way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Pre-quarantine… for breakfast its all about Hugos in WeHo, for lunch Mendocino Farms sandwiches are top notch, for dinner there’s no shortage of amazing places all around LA… but a hidden gem favorite of ours is 10e in DTLA which is big sharable plates of Lebanese & Armenian dishes as well as Beauty & Essex in Hollywood, some of the best food in LA. As for drinks, and its always about the drinks… a forever favorite spot of mine will be Velvet Margarita in Hollywood. Honorable mentions would also be The Misfit in Santa Monica, Culver Hotel in Culver City, & District DTLA for drinks and grub. For live music, you can’t go wrong on the sunset strip, it is absolute legend. And as a filmmaker I’d be remiss if I didnt mention my favorite theaters… for epic blockbusters the IMAX at the Chinese Theater has no equal, but for smaller more intimate films I love the Alamo Drafthouse. Otherwise… LA is filled with so many great places! We regularly walk the promenade in Santa Monica or the Glendale Americana, hikes at Runyon Canyon, the Griffith Observatory offers unparalleled views of LA, and The Getty is an absolute must for any fans of museums. I love LA.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many amazing people deserve recognition for helping me be where I am today…. my family, my wife, the talented artists and creatives I get to work with every day. No one gets anywhere alone in this business! Cherish and nurture your healthy relationships, both in life and in business.
Other: www.Twitch.TV/SantinoTheMisfit www.FMMonsters.com www.BULLY.movie