Music Producer/Creative Gio Bertuccelli Returns to Hollywood with a Broader Skillset…and a Truth to Share

Gio at work in his personal studio

Giorgio Bertuccelli is a multidimensional creative and passionate music producer who was born in Colombia, where local rhythms seeped into his system. He then grew up in Viareggio in Tuscany, the region where Puccini was born, and was inspired by his artistic father Raul who created magical “carnival” floats. Afterwards, “Gio” came of age in New Orleans helping his father create gorgeous Mardi Gras floats, while being immersed in the blues, polyrythyms and fusion of New Orleans, which he calls one of the “world’s most musical cities.”

Back as a kid in Colombia, watching his father create and produce floats, insatiably curious Gio naturally gravitated to creating and producing events himself, like play bull fights, with him as the matador of course, or mini-Olympics for the neighborhood children.

Gio and composer Michael Skloff, an award-winning collaboration, at 1999 ASCAP Awards
Today, Gio and Michael lifelong brothers

But it was Gio’s move to Los Angeles in 1990, and his “love of understanding technology” that opened all of his doors to Hollywood. Ensconced in the City of Angels, he successfully worked alongside award-winning composer Michael Skloff on various Hollywood projects like television’s #1 show , along with and , among others. Gio also co-founded his own record label, Electric Monkey, which brought critical praise and a Grammy nomination. And, with his ingrained love of percussive beats, he learned how to successfully create “groove beds” to put on top of orchestra productions, doing that for pop icon Barry Manilow and for the NBA’s halftime show.

During that period, which he calls “my big run,” he successfully combined his artistic roots with an intimate technical knowledge of music sequencing through computers and synths, along with an ongoing flair to produce all sorts of musical events:

So what does someone with such a diverse creative and technical resume as Gio, now do for an encore after returning from a time-out from the entertainment industry?

Gio first explains his partnership with composer Michael Skloff:

“I had an amazing 12-year collaboration with Michael, and we’ll always be brothers. He’s a highly trained, very gifted songwriter and piano player. I came from the street, self-taught, improvising on the spot. And, while I had the technical production experience, I learned so much from him — the discipline it takes to write a song, to work through a melody then do an actual arrangement around it. We had complimentary skills, and got along like peas in a pod. He also introduced me to all sorts of people who helped further my career. Whenever I worked with Michael, something else greater happened. It’s similar to what happened with my family moving to New Orleans. What propelled me for success in LA was my foundation in the culture of music of New Orleans. I wasn’t trained officially as a musician and I didn’t go to music school. But I did go to the Big Easy. It was a greater gift!”

Now returning to the industry, Gio feels he has an even greater gift to offer, along with his diverse cultural heritage and business and technical skills, suggesting, “Ever since I was kid, I was hanging with our father and being immersed in his love for the craft and art of carnival float-making in his production shops. And I learned to love producing, and creating things from scratch. Whether it’s an idea, an event, a piece of music or film, I’m excited to make new things happen.”

Gio back in Hollywood with renewed energy and now being true to self

But his return involves a gift to himself — coming out as trans, as he enthuses:

“The transgender issue is all over the news — like Caitlyn Jenner and the Wachowskis (Lana and Lily) — so, I’m now out to everybody, to let it be professionally known, that I’m not hiding anything. If you’re a creative, and you’re hiding part of yourself, then it’s difficult to be totally free to create. If there’s a big part of your experience you’re trying to hide, your work is always going to be hampered. And, now where I want to move forward is using all these things I’ve learned at a high level in Hollywood — not only technically, but also my sensibility as a person, who is coming out as trans. So I want to do things that have a message, with a meaning. I want to work with people who want to change things and not just make money — even though money is a great tool — and work as a creative producer. I’d love to work with emerging artists or even large companies on multimedia experience.”

Part of finding his new voice means leaning on his technical roots, again. Gio, who is finishing a personal composer studio, loves to visit music equipment trade shows like NAMM, suggesting, “We are living in golden age of synth technology” and he loves to see new synths and instruments at trade shows, adding:

“You can experiment and screw up beautifully now with inexpensive high tech gear that works really professionally, And I was at the beginning of that in the 1980s. Everyone can sound professional pretty cheaply, then it’s about attuning your ear. Personally, the best way to get the job done as an engineer or sound designer is to always be aware of new technology advances — add that into the soup — and keep your ears open.”

But, he’s also now discovered the wonders of inexpensive video technology:

“In the mid-2000s digital cameras began evolving — similar to revolutionary changes with the MIDI synths — and you could buy a small DLSR camera and shoot amazing quality videos or movies, So the parallel excited my curiosity. After 15–20 years in the music industry at a high level, I needed something to inspire me to rebuild my life again. I bought a DLSR camera and did some commercials and a little indie movie. It inspired me to learn to edit with Final Cut. There are now so many platforms for content. And, I can pick up the threads and infiltrate back into the industry through a new lens.”

Young Gio at his first paying gig in New Orleans circa 1986–7

Today, iconic Mardi Gras artist Raul’s float-building Studio 3 is run by Gio’s brother, Jonathan. So, the family legacy continues on now for over 40 years. And, Gio looks to his late father for the way forward, with his spirit telling his son to “make the mistakes, learn and just do it!” And, that’s exactly what Gio’s return means:

“This is the life of somebody who’s an artist, a father with two grown children, and also somebody who is trans — I no longer have to hide anything. In fact, we trans are fathers, children, daughters, sons, friends, cousins, uncles, nephews, it’s who we are. The truer we are, the better we are. The art of making art is no different than the art of living.”

Award-winning journalist-author-blogger for Playboy, TO Star, Movie Entertainment, HuffPost, Hello Canada & my novel REJEX (Pulp Hero Press) is on Amazon.

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