October 5, 2021

Backstage at the Egyptian: Sal Valentinetti

KAMAL: How did you get into music; What attracted you to the crooner style of music?

SAL: When I was very young I would be dropped off at my Grandma’s House She would always have on WHLI which was a oldies station playing music from the crooner era. I loved it and use to sing in the shower which drove my parents nuts. I was in the school band playing the baritone and my mother signed me up for music lessons. When the teacher came for the lesson he asked what I wanted to play for him. I started to sing Mack the Knife and the teacher told me that I can sign and seemed utterly shocked. It kinda started from there.

K: How was it auditioning for American Idol; How did that experience change you?

S: With Idol I tried to be someone I wasn’t (like a big shot). I learned that the angle I went with was detrimental lol. So when AGT called I decided that this time, I would just be me and it worked. I was a bit more carefree and with getting the golden buzzer from Heidi Klum and winning over Simon (Not a easy task) I knew that what I was doing was working. Both played a big role for me. With Idol, I learned what not to be, With AGT, I learned that being you will get you much further in life. I wouldn’t change either experience.

K: What are your favorite shows to play?

S: I loved all of it. But nothing beats a live performance in a venue and it’s where I’m most comfortable.

K: What is your go-to song to perform?

S: Anything upbeat. Mack the knife, Fly me to the moon, And so on

K: How does performing pre-COVID differ from “post”-COVID?

S: The dreaded COVID. Not a easy one to explain. We are in some turbulent times with division and it affects all artists today. Smaller crowds because of fear, Seeing venues struggle to sell tickets, And so on. We kinda knew back in the winter with where we were heading for the foreseeable future and it’s something we all have to deal with. In a nutshell, control the things you can, And manage the things you can not.

K: What is one thing you learned during quarantine that you still do today?

S: Lol stay away from the news and enjoy the moments more and reflect on how lucky we truly are today.