Songwriter // Musician // Producer // Remixer // DJ // Director // Record Collector // Marketing Maven // Brand Builder // Strategic Planner // Web Warrior // Social Media Enthusiast // Business Owner // Entrepreneur // International Man Of Mystery
For an outside observer, it seems clear that Vinny Vero’s career as a songwriter, producer, DJ and record executive was somehow predestined. As a child he was seduced and intrigued by the magical sounds that emanated from the AM radio in his parents’ ’68 Buick, and so the first of innumerable visits to the record store was the next logical step. The first singles he bought were “Waterloo” by ABBA, “California Dreaming” by The Mamas And The Papas and “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” by The Temptations, all of which shaped the foundation of his musical tastes and developed his lifelong love affair with melody. They were also the first cornerstones in an extensive and ever-growing collection of CDs and vinyl which spans the entire Rock n’ Roll era and includes everything from the obvious to the obscure. This musical energy source continues to provide the soundtrack to his past, present and future.
But Vinny’s passionate relationship with music didn’t stop at amassing a record collection. Where others contented themselves with grooving to the latest hit records, Vinny grew ever more fascinated by how those records actually sounded, as well as how the inner workings of the music business machinery operated. No episode of “American Bandstand” went unwatched, while in the early years of MTV there was an almost symbiotic relationship between Vinny and his television. Add to that a near obsession with Billboard magazine and its all-important chart statistics, it was fairly obvious which direction his life would take and what the future would hold.
Like any ambitious young man, Vinny decided to start his career at ground level. Studying as a classically trained concert clarinetist, he went on to attend New York University, developing not only his performance skills, but also his talent for scoring and arranging, and – not least importantly – his mastery of the art of writing pop songs. Eventually, his involvement in NYU’s music business and technology program led to stints at various top studios around Manhattan. At college, Vinny also began his passionate involvement with entertainment law, the marketing of contemporary music and the psychology of the music consumer. This knowledge prepared him for the next phase of his career and continues to make him a valuable commodity in the music industry.
The first stop in his professional development came in the late 80s in the form of two years at Z100 (WHTZ FM) in New York City, one of the biggest top 40 radio stations in the US. It was here that Vinny learned the art of music programming and promotion. Working with labels, retailers, artists and managers gave him the tools which would swiftly build the foundation of his music career and begin to sharpen his business acumen. This opportunity also put him in front of many label executives who instantly recognized and encouraged Vinny’s deep passion for pop music.
In 1990, the new decade launched Vinny into a career as a marketing and A&R executive which began at EMI Records where he worked with multi-platinum international acts like Boy George, Go West, Sinéad O’Connor, Robert Palmer, Pet Shop Boys, Roxette, Jon Secada and Queensrÿche among others. He also became one of the creative pioneers behind the then burgeoning compilation market and was one of the developers of the US launch of the legendary Now That’s What I Call Music brand. Additionally, Vinny jumped at the opportunity to run his own dance label under the EMI umbrella. Brilliant!, which developed out of the successful compilation series of the same name, registered several number one singles including classic tracks from Judy Cheeks, Blondie, Cut ‘N’ Move and more.
Following his post at EMI, Vinny vigorously pursued his production and songwriting career. He has seen his production abilities lent to the Grammy-nominated hit “To Step Aside” by Pet Shop Boys and the worldwide smash single “In The Springtime Of His Voodoo” by Tori Amos. He also co-wrote and produced six songs for Billie Ray Martin on “18 Carat Garbage”, the follow-up to her debut album which included the international hit “Your Loving Arms”. Other artists given his production treatment include Ace Of Base, Bananarama, Blondie, Bryan Ferry, Frazier Chorus, Frida (from ABBA), Rozalla, Deep Forest and Shara Nelson among others.
Ever challenging himself further, Vinny’s entrepreneurial side saw him start his own independent record label in 1998, the appropriately named Finetune Recordings. The label saw the signing, development and success of new material by Boy George, Black Box and Billie Ray Martin. In fact, the label went from strength to strength with its biggest success having come from New York native Caprice with her smash hit “There Goes Your Heart” which became a radio staple in many major metro markets across the US.
Naturally, the live stage has also beckoned over the years, including Vinny’s participation as musical director of “Divas Unplugged”, the long running artist showcase for Billboard’s Dance Music Summit. The world’s leading “divas” took to the stage where they performed live with his hand-picked backing band. Artists included M People, Eve Gallagher, Judy Cheeks, Joi Cardwell, Kristine W, Jimmy Somerville, Crystal Waters, Martha Wash and others with music arranged by Vinny who refrained from throwing any diva tantrums despite having to fulfill his assignments on short order!
Over the last decade, Vinny has been asked to pen hit songs for a variety of international acts and has been rewarded with several top ten albums and singles around the globe. Artists he has written for include Paula Abdul, Peter Andre, Marc Anthony, B3, Toni Braxton, Jim Brickman, Yvonne Catterfeld, Judy Cheeks, Five, Gabriel Forss, Jonas Hedqvist, Whitney Houston, Billie Ray Martin, Tania Moran, N’Sync, Paulini, React, Vanessa S, Jon Secada, Donna Summer, Tina Turner and China’s biggest superstar, Wei Wei.
In 2004, Vinny was tapped by Time Life for his marketing expertise and knowledge of popular music. During his seven year tenure, he produced a successful run of million selling box sets and television programs. They were hosted by legendary performers including Air Supply, Peabo Bryson, Roger Daltrey, KC And The Sunshine Band, Huey Lewis, Kenny Rogers and Vanessa Williams. He produced tracks and directed longform videos for Bret Michaels, Jim Brickman and The Manhattan Transfer.
Currently, Vinny is celebrating his 25th anniversary in the entertainment business. His parallel careers as a producer and DJ are in their ascendancy and recently, has produced remixes for a wide variety of artists including Pet Shop Boys, Bright Light Bright Light, The Brand New Heavies, Saint Etienne, Gravitonas, David McAlmont, Kim Wilde, Limahl, The Soup Dragons and The Knievels featuring UK soul sensation, Lulu with many more projects on deck ready to be reworked and reswizzled by his deft hand. This year, Vinny released his first single, “Be Free With Your Love”, which he produced in collaboration with super Swedish DJs Drop Out Orchestra.
As a respected international DJ, Vinny is renowned for his signature euphoric vocal house style. He continues to play at major events for thousands of clubgoers in cities around the world including New York, San Francisco, London, Sydney and Stockholm. With his ears attuned to the catchiest melodies and his heart aimed straight at the dancefloor, Vinny enthralls audiences by making every night a musical celebration and fills people’s lives with a glorious torrent of tunes.