AJ Summers is an Italian singer/songwriter living in America. After appearing on The Voice of Italy, lasting all the way up until the semi-finals, AJ has now moved to America and signed with a major label company. Originally scheduled to release in 2020, His first major project has been postponed until the summer or early fall of 2021.
AJ has built quite the following of fans during the age of COVID by creating amazing visual and creative content, posting to his Youtube Channel and Instagram. Not only does he post his music on those pages, but he uploads other fun things like "Try Not To Laugh" and "Italians Try..." type videos. AJ Summers is an artist that branches out beyond music to reach across all corners of the globe and is entertaining for everyone.
We wanted to chat with AJ Summers about what it is like being an Italian living in America and being so far from home, as well as get a little more insight on what he has planned for his career in the near future. Check it out below.
FITT: What led to you deciding to become an artist?
AJ: That is a great question, and to be honest I don't know if I can fully explain it. I remember being very young, around 10 or 11 years old, and just watching music videos all day wishing I could be on television too. It was definitely the beginning of a big passion of mine. I started feeling a little voice in my head telling me that I could do it too and all of a sudden it sparked the idea of going on YouTube to sing covers of songs that I liked at the time. Then I remember I was in middle school when I started writing my own lyrics to some of the songs I was doing a cover for, lyrics that right now would make me feel quite embarrassed, but at the time I thought they were very cool. The support of my family and friends also helped me dive deeper into this passion, and discover how much I really loved it, and still do. That's something that I will forever be grateful for.
FITT: Tell us what it's like being Italian living in America. What do you enjoy about being here and what do you think of the music scene? Do you wish to go home soon?
AJ: Being Italian and living in America is exciting! I have met so many amazing people from all over the world, discovered so many new sides of myself by living so far from my country, and I really got to experience the american culture in depth. Since I moved here I haven't met many Italians, my circle is mainly made up of American people, so building all these new relationships kind of made me feel like a part of me had died and I started a new life from scratch. I live in Los Angeles and I really love the respect and focus that the arts and entertainment industry in general get here, in Italy it is generally hard to establish yourself in the entertainment industry, or just simply to get people to treat you seriously when you say that you are a "singer", but here things are really different. Italian food in the States on the other hand is... interesting... I do wish to go home very soon, due to Covid-19 and the Travel Ban I haven't been able to go home since the pandemic started, and this is the longest I have been away from home, I really wasn't ready to deal with this issue (like everybody of course), and in 2020 I really went through some dark times because of it, my family and my roots are very important for me. Hopefully in the near future something is going to change.
FITT: What's the plan for more music in the future? Can we expect something soon?
AJ: Absolutely! Last summer I released a single called "On My Mind" exclusively on my Instagram. It was my way of getting out of that dark time I was in due to Covid, where I felt creatively stuck and not inspired, and it did very well in terms of views and engagement! I also started uploading more videos on my Youtube Channel and started a funny little segment on there. But my plans for 2020 were very different, I was supposed to come out with a totally different project, with a lot of support behind it, but of course due to the pandemic everything got postponed. I can't say much about it yet, but there are really big things in the works and I have a feeling something is going to come out very soon!
FITT: Have you ever considered mixing both English and Italian lyrics/influences in your music?
AJ: Yes! I actually have been talking about it with my team at the studio recently, I have recorded a few tracks where I experimented with some Italian verses, and it was very well received from my team. I also have posted some remixes/covers on my Instagram where I have played with mixing some Italian verses with English, it was fun and it allows me to connect to both of my biggest groups of people who follow my journey.
FITT: You were once on The Voice of Italy. Tell us what that was like.
AJ: It was an amazing experience. Looking back now I have so many memories, so many emotions that I felt at the time; before and after walking on that big stage during the live show episodes, the preparation, the confessionals, the famous guests behind the scenes and watching it on television with my friends and family... It was a crazy adventure. Of course it being a television show there were some things I wasn't fully prepared for at the time, I was so ready for anything regarding the music aspect but not so aware about the big part that television plays in that experience, and its dynamics. Sometimes it was hard for me to really let go and say what I felt, because I know that they could've edited anything I said however they wanted, and therefore I could've been easily misunderstood. It is definitely an interesting and beautiful experience but you have to be careful on how you voice your opinions in front of the camera. You are there mainly to do television, the music comes second.
FITT: Do you write all your music yourself or is there a team of people collaborating on one cohesive track?
AJ: I'd say 85% of the music I worked on I've always written it myself, but recently I have been collaborating with other artists and we wrote together lyrics for some of the upcoming material. I enjoy both processes, I like writing my own lyrics but it's also very fascinating to see what can happen when two artists on the same wavelength step into the studio and work together. I have always thought that having an open mind can lead you to the most amazing experiences in life!
AJ Summers' story is truly an inspiring one. He has been reaching out and trying new things, all while being away from his home country and his family. You can listen to his current single, "My Type" on Spotify and connect with him social media below.