URI physics student a force in music industry
Shelbey Bidell, 401-874-5190
KINGSTON, R.I. – April 2, 2014 – Next year, University of Rhode Island junior Bianca Sperduti will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in physics, but she’s already making a name for herself – in the music industry.
Sperduti, a solo vocalist for URI’s Big Jazz Band and former snare drummer for the URI Drumline, recently sang and appeared alongside platinum recording artist Waka Flocka Flame and Canadian hip-hop artist Peter Jackson in the music video, “Havana,” and she also helped write the lyrics to the song.
In this Q&A, we asked Sperduti to tell us more about her new music video, her experiences in the industry, and how she balances life as a URI student and a singer-songwriter.
URI: How long have you been singing and songwriting?
Bianca Sperduti :I started singing solos at my church and writing music at age 11. However, the songs I wrote in 6th grade sounded like what girls would write in their diaries (except they rhymed)! Hopefully I've improved since then!
URI: How did you get involved in the music industry?
Bianca : I sang everywhere. My passion is to encourage people through music, so I knew I had to perform any chance I got. Starting off as a drummer, I had already gotten used to performing! Also, my voice coach always told me that, "performing once is like having 100 lessons." I sing for the homeless, small art galleries, my little brother's baseball games, and I’m always surprised by the people I meet at those places. You never know who is going to be in the audience, whether it be two homeless men or tens of thousands of people at Gillette Stadium. Every song, every place, and every chance matters.
URI: You recently wrote and sang the song "Havana," and appeared in a music video featuring platinum artist, Waka Flocka Flame. How did you get involved in that opportunity, and what was the experience like?
Bianca : Five years ago, the producer of "Havana," Ryan, was sitting in the audience watching the American Idol Experience at Disney. I was one of the finalists on stage performing. I ended up winning the Golden Ticket, but that was not why God put me up on that stage.
Ryan messaged me saying congratulations, so I thanked him and we had a conversation. He produced beats and I sang, so music became our medium. A year passed, and we not only talked about music, but everything in life. He ended up being there for me during my toughest times in high school.
Two years later, Ryan flew down from Toronto to visit, and my family and I showed him around Newport, Boston (our subway ended up DERAILING - no big deal), the beach, and he saw me perform with my band (involuntarily), all in one week! A couple more years passed, and Ryan asked me to write the chorus to a song that he produced for [Canadian hip-hop artist] Peter Jackson. At first, I didn’t believe him.
Now, " Havana" is out on iTunes and the music video has been released. Five years ago, I won the ticket, but more importantly, an amazing friend. Like I said before, you never know who is in the audience. I told my mom that I picked the wrong day to try out because I was competing against former Canadian Idol finalists and actresses from London, but that day could not have been more perfect!
Watch Waka Flocka Flame and Peter Jackson’s music video, “Havana,” featuring URI student Bianca Sperduti: http://vimeo.com/89417617
URI: Have you written or sang any other songs? If so, where can people go to hear more of your music?
Bianca : I have been writing music for quite some time now, and ever since I worked on "Havana" I have been blessed with opportunities. I am still learning about who I am as an artist, so my EP will be released when it's ready. Right now, I have so much fun singing covers on YouTube once a month! My family and friends are so supportive and they enjoy them, so I continue staying connected with everyone through YouTube, but I update my Twitter and Facebook page the most! You can also download all of my covers for free on my SoundCloud:
URI: What made you decide to pursue a degree in physics at URI?
Bianca : I love meteorology. I want to research and share the weather with you on your TV screen every day! However, when I interned at a news channel, I received unexpected responses from the crew: "You're still here, Bianca?", "TV channels are suffering because the Internet is taking over! Follow your dreams!", "Bianca, go sing! We want you to sing!" I was trying to intern for my future career, and the newscaster was encouraging me to change course. I've also thought about teaching high school physics!
URI: How do you balance life as a student and a singer-songwriter?
Bianca : Balancing the two is hard. Being a junior, I only have one more year before I get my bachelor’s of science in physics. I am trying to stick it out, but honestly, it is not easy! I do physics during the week, and dedicate my weekends to music. My social life is almost non-existent, except for when I'm studying with my friends or performing. The support is overwhelming, though, and I am too blessed to be stressed. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue my passion along with school. I played snare drum on the URI Drumline for two years, and now I write music for artists all over the world, perform at so many cool places, and have been singing as the solo vocalist for URI's Big Jazz Band (we will be performing at the Newport Jazz Festival on August 1, 2014). The balance is a struggle, but with God it is possible!
URI: What do you hope to be doing after graduation? Pursue a career in a physics-related field, something with music, or both?
Bianca : Definitely both. After I graduate, I would like to work on my music full time for a year before going to graduate school for meteorology. Encouraging teens and my peers through music is one of my passions. God gave me a strong aspiration to connect with the people who feel hopeless. We all have been through or will go through painful experiences, and music can be used as medicine. That is my ultimate motive. Passions are not in you to simply talk about. Passions are made in you so that you can go out and do something with intensity, excitement and dedication.
Follow Bianca Sperduti on Facebook (‘Bianca Sings’) or Twitter (@bee_sings). Download her song covers for free at:https://soundcloud.com/biancasingsmusic Photos courtesy of Bianca Sperduti.