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A Canadian boy who grew up in Grand Bend, Ontario, Greg Gallello played piano as a child, and started helping out as the organist at his church. As a teenager, he started learning other instruments like the guitar, alto saxophone, drums, and harmonicas to broaden his horizons. He didn’t start taking music seriously until his early 20’s. He explains, “I started writing songs in my head, but something was missing”. He began to play local coffee shops, and bars, going through what he calls “the typical post-highschool lifestyle.” “I wasn’t interested in anything I was doing other than music, and I loved the wide-openness of my life.”
As his name grew in and around the area, the pieces began to fall into place for Greg. Entering a citywide singer-songwriter competition “London’s Got Talent” in London, Greg won, which earned him some much needed cash and professional studio recording time. Shortly after in 2007, Greg’s friends and family convinced him to try out for Season 5 of “Idol”, earning him his golden ticket and making it to the top 40 with fellow Canadian artists such as Carly Rae Jepsen.
After his experiences on Idol, Greg took back to the studio, this time with long time friend Rob Mckercher @ Dig Production Studios, which allowed Greg the freedom to self-produce “Time to Start Living”, as well as the space to experiment while making it. He reflects, “There was a lot of trial and error that went into the album. The songwriting is far more detailed and real, and that was reflected in how I recorded”. This album was broken up and recorded into two emotionally separate recording sessions. “I needed to feel exactly what I felt back when I sang them for the very first time” he says.
Learning how to re-enact moments of his life and portray it the same way while in the studio was the most difficult part for Greg, because every original song written for this album was an exact moment in his life, transforming his feelings and emotions right on the spot into a song (most times it was even while he was onstage surrounded by an audience just full of energy).
“People always ask me what comes first, the music or the lyrics? It’s actually both at the same time. It’s a one shot deal, when I’m in a moment, I take all the heightened emotions within myself right then and there, I don’t waste time with pencil and paper, I just start singing lyrics that are inside my head, transforming it from just an idea into audible lyrics out loud, and emotions from the heart, straight into soulful melodies. In these moments surrounding this album, you don’t have time to write it down, when you feel it, you just play what you feel & sing it out loud” Greg says.
All of the songs on the new album “Time to Start Living” are genuine and serve a purpose, not just to his own personal life, but to anyone who has ever woken up in the morning and wondered, what am I doing here, where am I going, and how am I going to get there, all while still having to just do what you need to get by. It’s your life, and life’s short, so don’t waste another minute of it, and start living!
Today Greg spends his time honing his live shows playing both acoustic solo shows and with the same band since the age of 15. “There’s a lot of off the cuff stuff that happens on stage these days, and travelling all the time while singing about what I believe in is something I’ve always wanted.” Greg Gallello is playing his songs precisely the way he’s always wanted, and creating a fully realized album that is the culmination of where he’s been and where he’s going, and that directly reflects the depth and quality of his songs. Greg believes that life is too short, and it’s real, and it’s now or never, and that’s why it’s “Time to Start Living”.
I was born on March 14th, 1990 in London Ontario; the first of three sons. My dad was a high school music teacher and my mom a librarian. When I was 3 years old my father taped a Kleenex box to the end of a stick, and as soon I was able to hold that under my chin, he handed me a real violin. I had private lessons at least once a week, and I practiced for hours every day until I knew I had accomplished something new. Between the ages of 8 and 13, I attended a Suzuki Violin school every Saturday morning, and spent my summers at music camps from Montreal to Kincardine. This helped me win trophies in the London Kiwanis Music Festival and the Canadian Music Competition.In high school I took up the guitar, bass, and drums. I was known as the “Violin Kid” but… it just didn’t seem cool to play the violin! I really wanted to play guitar and start a garage band. After high school I moved to Port Franks, got a job at a bar, learned to skateboard, and just enjoyed the simple beach life; lots of singing and playing my guitar.
I moved to Grand Bend when I was 24 years old and this town became my inspiration. As soon as I moved here I knew that I wanted to become a part of this music scene. I could remember going to the Kincardine lighthouse on Saturday nights as a kid, and we would watch a bagpiper play to the sunset. So I thought that the Grand Bend pier, at sunset, would be the perfect setting to showcase my music! It became a great routine for me. Until, one day I was running late for the sunset and decided to ride my skateboard to save time. When I was turning onto the strip someone yelled at me from their car window: “PLAY ME A TUNE”!…so I did. People started clapping and cheering and the support I felt was out of this world. That’s how I became the skateboarding fiddler.
This will be my 3rd summer living in Grand Bend and when I’m not skateboarding around town playing fiddle, I play regular gigs at local bars. I’ve incorporated a loop station pedal into my solo act so that I can record and playback my guitar, bass, and violin live on stage; basically creating a full band accompaniment for myself. Once the loop is created I can sing over the music while showing off my modern electric violin melodies, creating a fun and exciting performance!!!