Authentic craft

Arsun Sorrenti: the upcoming musician writing romance songs in his self-built studio
By Clementine Zawadzki | Music | 15 August 2018
Photography Ben Taylor
Grooming Emily Schubert.
Set design Leah pipes Meltzer.

Arsun Sorrenti is currently building his own music studio in New York packed out exclusively with gear either from the 60s or replicas from the decade. A bit of calm in the chaos of city living, the space facilitates the young musician’s romantic, nostalgia-tinged sound.

With an ear for melody and an eye for detail, playing an array of instruments from the age of ten has been part and parcel of a creative upbringing. Despite the visually-driven influence of his father – iconic director and photographer Mario Sorrenti, Arsun never felt into that side of things so much, it was always music that drew him in.

Snippets of his work captured on Instagram showcase his acoustic work and that with his band – multifaceted, simplistic, and embodying real artistic confidence. There’s little online about Arsun, but his is a space to watch and listen carefully to. His forthcoming three-track EP Send Her My Way echoes tales of love and relationships, and teases what to expect from his pending debut album.

sweater by Eckhaus Latta; sneakers by Dior Homme; jacket and trousers Arsun’s own

Clementine Zawadzki: How has growing up in a creative household and industry shaped you?
Arsun Sorrenti: While I never really paid that much attention to visual art growing up, which is the main creative mode in my household, my father and grandfather play guitar and love music which helped prompt an interest in it for me. I’ve taken a few modeling jobs in recent years to fund an analog recording studio that I am building. I don’t particularly enjoy modeling, but I was blessed with connections that allow it to be somewhat lucrative. It lets me raise the money to do the things I love, for that I am very grateful.

CZ: Do you have a particular memory of a song or a moment when you first made a connection with music?
AS: There is a couple, but the song that made me want to start singing and writing songs was the original Satellite of Love by The Velvet Underground. My biggest influences are The Rolling Stones, The Velvet Underground, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Bob Dylan. I love Led Zeppelin but I’ve never really wanted to make music like them. I love music from the 50s, 60s and early 70s.

CZ: And you play a lot of instruments.
AS: I started playing cello first, and then I began playing guitar around the age of thirteen. Guitar is definitely my favourite, but I’m also learning piano and attempting to learn drums as well.

CZ: Do you have a lot of songs ready to choose from for your debut EP?
AS: I write a bunch of songs and little ideas, but most of them get thrown away. Usually when I write one that I like I try to incorporate it in something. As for the EP, it’s finished, I’m just in the process of releasing it.

“Everything will go to tape, and all the gear in the studio is either from the 60s or clones of things that were made in the 60s.”

Thank you everyone for coming to see us play last night!

A post shared by ARSUN (@arsunx) on

CZ: You’re building your own recording studio, how’s that going?
AS: It’s going well, I have nearly all the equipment and I have the space, it’s just about putting it all together now. It’s an analog studio; so working on the computer is a secondary thing that can be used if we choose to do so. Everything will go to tape, and all the gear in the studio is either from the 60s or clones of things that were made in the 60s.

CZ: What do you love about analog?
AS: Well in the end it’s not all about just recording to tape: it’s about the microphones, the pre-amps, the space, the compressors, the musicians, the producer and many other factors. I just made sure to spend a long time doing my research and collaborating with the right people. Basically gathering all of the appropriate components to achieve exactly the sound that I want. Tape is just the appropriate route for one of those components. The most important thing in the end is whom you are working with, the people I’ve been putting this together with are exceptional talents. 

CZ: Tell us about your band – how did you all meet?
AS: I met Henry and Max in high school. Henry’s been writing with me and helping me make the songs the whole way through. Max has recently joined the band as our live bassist. My drummer Steve was brought in by Henry and my keyboardist is named Oliver, who began as our producer and then very quickly became a close friend and started playing keyboard on everything, so we just added him.

CZ: What’s your writing process like?
AS: I sit at home and play guitar and wait until a song hits me. Eventually one does, then I bring it to Henry and he tells me if it sounds too much like something else or if there’s a part that isn’t very good. Then he’ll usually write a bass part and a lead guitar part over it. After it’s gone through Henry we’ll bring it to the band and they’ll add their parts and ideas as well. Oliver will usually help with the feel and the speed and getting everyone to play in the right way.

sweater by Stella McCartney; trousers by Eckhaus Latta

CZ: What can you tell us about your EP?
AS: It’s titled Send Her My Way, after one of the tracks included on the EP, which is the ballad of the EP. It’s about a man who is reminiscing about a lost love to a stranger. The EP’s main theme is love and relationships, I didn’t really plan for it to be that way, but that is how it ended up. 

CZ: What are you listening to at the moment?
AS: I’ve been listening to a lot of Chuck Berry the past few weeks.

CZ: How many live gigs have you played so far?
AS: I’ve played around five or so with this band. I’ve found that it’s really fun and I want to do it as much as possible. Finding the gigs are harder than playing them.

shirt by Louis Vuitton

Follow Arsun Sorrenti on Instagram.

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