It’s not every day that you meet someone who is truly living their dream. It takes time to get there: you have to put in work, your passion has to come first and you have to be living with intention and with a purpose in all facets of what you do. For the most part, however, and for most people, the “other things” in life tend to take precedent. But, once in awhile, you get lucky. You meet someone who is so filled with passion, with excitement for what they do and is completely energized through their ability to be exactly who and what they want to be.
Our friend, co-worker and daily inspiration, Alessandro Gianferrara is exactly that person. He is the Manager of OQ Spitalfields by day and the guitarist and singer of the group, the Hacienda Band by night so needless to say, his days are pretty packed.
Ale is up to big things and coupled with his lofty goals, you won’t find him standing still for long. He is down to earth and approachable yet independent and totally self-affirmed. We had the opportunity to ask him about how he keeps a good work-play balance, the role music takes in his life and what keeps him feeling good.
OQ: Tell us about your side hustle? How and when did you get into music?
Alessandro: I am the youngest of 3 brothers and I come from a music-loving family. My dad was in a band in the 60’s and my brothers were going to gigs and playing records all the time. Each and every member of my family had their own favourite bands and artists and at 7, I decided to pick my own: Oasis. Melodies and big fat guitars. That’s what [my band and I] are all about.
OQ: Was there a point in your career when you knew you could make this dream a reality?
Alessandro: I formed ‘The Hacienda’ in 2003 when I was 16 and within 2 years we were touring Europe and getting press coverage even without being actually signed to a record label. In 2009 we had our first record deal that took us to big festivals where we sold out shows.
OQ: How do you balance a full-time job and a full-time side hustle?
Alessandro: Living in London you actually breathe music at every street corner so I don’t really have to escape my daily routine to be involved in music. We normally do a rehearsal in the evening at our own studio that it is close both to work and home.
OQ: Can you expand a bit on the ways in which OQ energizes you throughout your days to be a better performer?
Alessandro: Being part of the OQ family in such an artistic and music-driven area such as East London gives me the sense of total unification with my side projects. When I was younger, I had different jobs that made me feel as if I had two completely different lives. Being the manager at London Spitalfields gives me the opportunity to explore my passions and be valued for doing so.
OQ: If you could give your five-years-ago self any advice, what would it be?
Alessandro: There have been moments when [my band and I] were trying to change the way we do things to please a specific record label’s directions or to follow a certain scene but people would notice when they came to see us play that it just wasn’t our style. Five years ago, I would probably skip all those moments where I was trying to re-model my songwriting style too much and just keep doing it my way.
OQ: What is it about performing your music that keeps you lit up?
Alessandro: To me, performing has always been about writing songs that are meant to be played in front of an audience. When you see 30000 people dancing to a song that you wrote, you can’t come back. There’s no better feeling on this planet for me.
Thanks Ale, you're a true inspiration! Click HERE to shop this season's must-have frame the 'Ale'.