To coincide with the release of his new single End Of The Ride, Mick Dimitri talks to Contact Music about the new track as well as Brexit inspired hostility towards him and his still surreal experience of opening for Ed Sheran at the San Siro stadium. The twenty year old Italian singer-songwriter has been likened to Shawn Mendes, but has his own style that he is now hoping to share with a wider audiance. Dimitri has an "eclectic" EP due out in March called Take My Hand about which he explains, “the songs deal with loss or the fear of loss, and they all coexist within the same melancholic universe.” The four track release which features Mick's latest single also includes the title track, Take My Hand as well as two others, Oh My Friend and Every Story. Here's what Mick has to say about his music and his inspirations. Dimitri, Photo credit, ABOF. 

1) For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?

A friend of mine coined the term “Melancholic Pop” which I like a lot. As a songwriter, I love playing with contradictions, so I tend to pair music that is very upbeat with darker lyrics. End of the Ride is like that: on the surface, it sounds like a cool, catchy pop song, but when you pay close attention to the lyrics, you find that it’s not. It actually talks about a guy who is afraid his girlfriend might commit suicide.

2) What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?

Well, being a foreigner is somewhat of a handicap. I’m not trying to victimize myself because the music business is hard on anybody, but I’m pretty sure that if I were born in the UK, things would’ve been a bit easier. Plus, not to get political, but Brexit brought a climate of institutional hostility towards foreigners, which is certainly no fun.

3) How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?

In some sense, I think it’s easier to win the lottery than making a name for yourself in this business. People are afraid to acknowledge the importance of luck, but it plays such a role in our lives. I reckon that’s why so many musicians are nuts. It’s not the kind of life choice you’d make if you were remotely sane!

4) How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?

Creative control is perhaps the most important thing to me. I write and produce all my music, and I couldn’t do it differently. Sure, sometimes it’s fun to collaborate, but I genuinely believe that art is ultimately a solitary endeavor. So the fewer interferences from other people, the better it is.

5) Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?

Inspiration is a form of intuition, so its rules are not very straightforward. It can come from anywhere: sometimes it’s things that you saw, people you’ve met, and other times you get inspired by art. I think the trick is to be open and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

6) If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?

Probably Ed Sheeran. I know it sounds a bit crazy to say, but he’s the best songwriter in the world, and he’s always been very generous to me. I think it would be a lot of fun to work with him!

7) Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.

Well, the story of how I met Ed is pretty surreal. I met him in July 2018, waiting tables for him, and for some reason, we clicked. Fast forward to June 2019, and I opened for him at the San Siro Stadium. Everything happened so fast that I still have to pinch myself once in a while to make sure it's real.

8) Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?

I’m afraid this might sound banal, but my biggest aspiration is to write something great. If I could write a Let it Be or a Purple Rain before my death, I’d die as a happy man.

9) Where do you hope to be this time next year?

Lately, it’s become so hard to predict the future that I’ve given up trying. Let me say this though: I would consider it a win if this time next year we’ve defeated Covid and are back playing live shows.

10) What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?

Music. Music. Music.