These days, you might be finding it difficult to smile. The world is suffering greatly and it’s not always easy to have hope in dark times. We need to be reminded that the sun still comes up every morning, there are still good people in the world and it’s okay to lean on somebody. Songs can be a gateway into a positive mood and drag you out of that cold damp cave in your mind. With the necessary halt to social gatherings, we’ve all had to become our own advocates for entertainment. For some, it’s video games, movies and a new exercise regimen… and for me it’s been a newfound interest in ping pong, but for a large majority – it’s been music, with the volume set to 10. We need escapism more than ever, so music turned up to 10, helps to curve your mood when it’s soothing, melodious and soulful. – especially from an artist that wants to help people rise to the challenge together.
Armando is an outstanding and extraordinary artist with a voice you could pick out of a packed hockey arena! It’s a little raspy, a little crackly and soft as butter but the message is as big as king kong. Armando stands 6’2” and has played hockey most of his life, so you really don’t expect this golden voice to come out of a man, that is just as comfortable onstage, as he is flattening someone up against the glass in a hockey game. He attributes the discipline of a long hockey career to his musical drive and dedication. This artist has gained International popularity and has earned over 15,000,000 YouTube views and over 20,000,000 accumulative Spotify streams. With the release of Who Stole Your Smile, those numbers are about to shatter the ceiling.
Armando’s talents, persistence, tenacity and professionalism has taken him to Monaco during the F1 to perform at Nikki Beach as well as opening for the likes of Offset from Migo, Loud Luxury and DJ Pauly D. Armando co-wrote and was a featured artist on DJ Antoine’s “EL Paradiso, followed by co-writing the official world cup song for the Swiss National Soccer team Ole Ole by DJ Antoine Ft. Karl Wolf & Fito Blanko. Next, he collaborated and was a featured artist on DJ Antoine’s last single Symphony, which landed a #3 spot on MTV Italia and #32 most played song on Z103.5 top songs of 2019 in Toronto and Southern Ontario. Armando has solidified his seat at the table.
Armando wrote and performs Who Stole Your Smile with sincere hope it helps you reflect on those that have passed and the belief that we will again, find our smile. Who Stole Your Smile video and track is now out now on all platforms. You can listen to it by clicking on the links.
Watch “Who Stole Your Smile”
One of Armando’s best friends is Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames and hockey was definitely going to come up during our chat, but we kept the majority of our discussion to music.
HNM “With an active hockey career, when did the music career start?”
ARMANDO “I was always musically inclined and in elementary school, I was always auditioning for plays or wanted to be in the band. I went to an all-boys high school because they had a hockey team and was only 1 of 3 boys in the choir. I’ve always had a musical inclination but hockey always took precedent. I played hockey from the age of 4 to 29, I played division 1 hockey in the US, Junior A hockey, I’ve played pro in Europe but with the music – I didn’t take it seriously until later in life and thank god I did, it’s my path right now.”
HNM “I love your new song, Who Stole Your Smile. Your voice is very unique and I couldn’t think of another artist to compare it to.”
ARMANDO “That was my first acoustic track, I went back to my roots. I got my chance in the dance scene but I settled things down and tried something acoustic and something honest. A lot of people are going through a lot, so I wanted to be simple, humble, honest and sincere. A lot of people responded to it and I hope all of Canada can hear it. It’s a beautiful song and I think it speaks to the times. I didn’t realize it at the time but it’s the only song in history, called ‘Who Stole Your Smile’. There’s a lot of people we call ‘club-chasing’ that go on Instagram and just promote but I just want to be in the studio to put out a good song that people can relate to – I just care about making good music.”
Armando wanted to put the word out to all filmmakers and TV execs that might be looking for new music for their films/network series… his latest track Who Stole Your Heart is available for sync/licensing opportunities. I’ve attached his contact info at the end of this article if you need a great track to accent the theme of a film/story. It’s a soulful song that reminds us to persevere.
HNM “Your career has taken you to Monaco during the F1 to perform at Nikki Beach as well as opening for the likes of “Offset from Migos, “Loud Luxury” and “DJ Pauly D. How long ago was that? And how did it happen?”
ARMANDO “Everything happened in the last three years and a friend of mine invited me to the F1 in Monaco and he set up an opportunity for me to perform a song that is still popular in Italy and Europe, called El Paradiso with DJ Antoine. At the time, I had a song on the radio in Canada called Symphony, also with DJ Antoine. They invited me up to perform as the opening act – as an International vocal singer/songwriter.”
HNM “What would tell other young artists coming up, about recognizing an opportunity?”
ARMANDO “You need to put your ego aside and pounce on every opportunity. In order for me to get my first crack at mainstream, I had emailed DJ Antoine for 2 years. 84 messages later, he replied back to me. Imagine if I’d stopped at the 5th message or the 55th – I make it a point to hit up at least 20-50 people a day to say, hey this is me. There’s a lot of talent out there but its about being resilient and knocking on doors. No means yes in this industry and there’s a fine line in being a pain in the ass and believing in yourself. Adversity, not taking anything for granted and never giving up.”
HNM “Have you had any naysayers in your life?”
ARMANDO “I had that a lot in hockey, playing Junior A hockey – you’re too big, you’re too slow and you’ll never make it. I also heard it when I got my hockey scholarship, ‘you’ll never get a scholarship’, I got a scholarship in upstate New York and it paid for my MBA. They said I’d never go pro, I went pro… they also said I’d never become a singer and now I’m making a living at what I love, releasing a song a month.”
HNM “Where did you record this track?”
ARMANDO “I recorded it at the Orange Lounge Studio in downtown Toronto. The owner is a great guy, Darren and my vocal/sound engineer there was Spencer. I recorded it in 2 sessions – first the guitar and then the vocals.”
HNM “What inspired this song?”
ARMANDO “Tragically, a friend of mine passed away from lyme disease. Her daughter had posted a sad face with no caption on Instagram a few weeks later. I wrote in sincerity, who stole your smile? When that happened, an epiphany went off and I went to my piano room. I started strumming those 4 chords and wrote the song in less than an hour. It was one of those times when the heavens opened up and it came down to me. I recorded it on my phone and left it for a year. It wasn’t until my buddy Anthony heard it and told me I should go record it, he said – that’s the one. I went into the studio and recorded the song, it really relates to the present situation.”
HNM “You’ve had some really great International success. Do you sing in other languages?”
ARMANDO “My mom and dad are Italian from the southern part of Italy called Calabria. I’m Italian-Canadian and do sing in Italian, some of the new stuff will be English/Italian but all my International success has been in English with DJ Antoine. We have the 2 songs, El Paradiso and Symphony that did really well in 2018. In addition, I also co-wrote the World Cup song by DJ Antoine called Ole Ole. People hear you on the radio and think that it’s easy and you’re lucky but it’s one of the hardest things that takes a lifetime. It’s important to know people but you need to have talent and your sound has to be right for the time – there’s a lot of factors. I really believe, if you’re good at what you do and you really want to do it, then nothing can stop you and I’m living proof. I realize now, that all the discipline I learned in hockey has really helped me out.”
HNM “What does your music represent to the listener?”
ARMANDO “It’s usually emotionally driven and when people listen to it, I want them to be happy, to be inspired. I also have a sense of optimism and euphoria but I also sing from the heart and sometimes from a place of despair. If love didn’t work out, there’s always hope. I want my music to touch people, to be inspirational and to encourage people – it’s all real life and I believe in myself and my craft.”
HNM “When you perform in Europe, is it ever in another language?”
ARMANDO “When I sing in Europe, I usually join DJ Antoine on tour and perform my songs with him in English, live on stage. There could be anywhere from 5-10,000 people – we were in Croatia one time and later travelled to Italy and then Germany. We performed in a square in front of 10,000 people and everyone knew the words, they were singing it. If you can imagine 10,000 people jumping to your song; it’s definitely something I’ll never forget.”
HNM “How badly do you miss performing live?”
ARMANDO “I miss it a lot, it’s a big part for me. It’s coming, it’s around the corner and we’ll get it back.”
HNM “What’s the most extreme activity you’ve tried?
ARMANDO “Well, I flew a plane once. When I was 18 my girlfriend’s grandfather had an airport north of Toronto called Edenvale Airport. I had gone up with one of the instructors, when he asked me if I wanted to try it. It was a twin prop plane but it was pretty cool. I also went parasailing in Mexico and when I was playing hockey in France, I skied off a cliff in the Swiss Alps with a parachute.”
HNM “What’s next for you Armando?”
ARMANDO “I’m dropping another single on Feb. 26. It’s an EDM, electronic dance music song/big festival song. Then, on March 19th I’m dropping my next single called Addicts, which is already playing on the radio here in Toronto on FM C103. They premiered it a few days ago and it did really well, so hopefully they pick it up. After that, I have a big remix coming up of an oldie that’s going to do very well in Europe. From there, I have 10 more songs ready to go, I just need to see what fits. I want to put out a song a month and see what the world thinks.”
Armando hasn’t lost a step in his game and goes after his music success much like an opponent on the ice – rushing power with phenomenal results!
If you’d like to inquire about Armando’s music or want to help support a rising Canadian artist, then please follow the links below.