Aleandro Spiteri Monsigneur | ‘Too much perfectionism takes its toll’

At just 19, the Red Electrick keyboardist has already embarked on a side solo project, writing his own neoclassical pieces with a pop, quasi-electronic edge. He has played in festivals in Poland and Germany along with other performances in Cyprus and California, USA

Aleandro Spiteri Monsigneur
Aleandro Spiteri Monsigneur

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Calculate how long it’s left until it’s night time so that I can sleep again.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Pretend you’re purposely trying to fail. That should free you up to be great.

What do you never leave the house without?

My glasses and man purse (let’s not call it a ‘murse’ shall we?)

Pick three words that describe yourself

A searcher, introspective, overly-empathetic.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Making music my full-time job and area of study at 17 was something I never thought I’d be capable of. Pushing myself to start liking and eating my mum’s kawlata was also pretty epic in my books.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Discussing my life’s deepest problems and anguishes with my cats and pretending they’re hearing me out.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you should understand how little hope you have of changing others. So expect no more of anyone than you yourself can deliver.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My synths. Being a musician is essentially a vicious cycle of earning money and choosing which new gear to splash it out on.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

I wish I discovered music earlier. I started out when I was around 11, but ever since my first lesson I was ‘too conscious’ of it, adamant on practicing for hours and making it as a musician.

Who’s your inspiration?

There’s a lot of people I meet everyday who inspire me with just a few words they say or a thought they share.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Intimidation when working with musicians who more often than not are double my age. Too much perfectionism in me, which, coupled up with mild inferiority complex, takes its toll. Eventually, you learn that in order to cope you need to praise yourself at least as often as you disparage.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

Probably feeling miserable about not being a musician.

Do you believe in God?

Which one?

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Galileo Galilei. I’d be curious to ask him about the emotional burden of being the only right guy in the world.

What’s your worst habit?

Biting my lips when I’m pensive and chapping them up.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

My confidence levels rank 17 on a scale of 1-10 when I’m drunk. That’s all I’m going to say.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Ivan from Red Electrick. People say we look alike and I think we’ve spent enough time together for him to learn my mannerisms.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Too much certainty about oneself and one’s opinions. No matter how right you think you are, you might be wrong.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Golden Slumbers by The Beatles and Beethoven’s Pastorale Sonata in D Major.

What is your most treasured material possession?

Probably my turtlenecks. I’m a sucker for them during winter.

What is your earliest memory?

Did I just think about this question for a solid 15 minutes only to remain answerless?

When did you last cry?

I did tear up during the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic. Loneliness can be devastating, and despite the many people Mercury had surrounding him, I think he suffered a chronic loneliness which he never figured out.

Who would you most like to meet?

Jacob Collier is a pianist and arranger I’d love to meet. He brings out the music nerd in me with all his harmonic wizardry and it’d be so cool to get discussing music with him.

What’s your favourite food?

Anything fish related will get me raising my eyebrows.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?
John Mayer. Him and his ironic humour.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

The Baroque period, somewhere around the late 1600s. Art was revered so much for its own sake back then, with functionality and convenience playing a much smaller role in its creation.

What book are you reading right now?

‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’ by Mark Manson. Classic self-help tips in a commercial and brutally honest way.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

With Malta’s current traffic situation, I have to opt for teleportation.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Apply eye-drops to myself without freaking out.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

A lot of Philip Glass and Tigran Hamasyan.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Anything to which I can air-guitar or air-drums. I also like to reserve that time to listen some top 40 mainstream stuff and analyse what’s going on lately in the production world.

Tell Us...

Which musical artists inspire you?

It’s a whole concoction of artists who I deem to be honest, innovative and honestly anyone writing music which can make me point at myself and say “what’s in there?”. Good music escapes categories, genres and styles. If it’s good, it’s good. There’s the obvious influence of the neoclassical, minimal artists like Ólafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, Sigur Rós, Peter Broderick and more. But I also listen to a whole lot of jazz, classical, pop music – just about anything. My Spotify playlists can go from Bach to Miley Cyrus in a second.

What is one thing you want to accomplish in 2019?

Red Electrick has big plans for 2019, including an album. For my solo work, I’m also working towards an album. The feedback I got for ‘A Song About Loss’ was really beyond my expectations, and I’ve discovered that there’s a genuine affinity towards instrumental music by the people out there. It’s motivated me to work towards an album like nothing has ever done before. The compositions are ready in their majority, but that’s only the first step to getting a finished, solid album. There’s no real timeline on it; I want to take all the time I need to get small and personal with my instrument and really let out the noise in my head.