1. Hello! Who are you, where are you from and all that good stuff.
Hello, my name is Stephanos Constandinou, i’m 23 years old, from Cyprus and currently living in Edinburgh. In my free time I’m studying chemical engineering, instead of music, puzzling most of the people around me.
2. Tell us a bit about the music you make.
Mostly looping covers up to this point… with a violin… an electric violin. I’m using a multi-effects pedal to produce various sounds and mimic instruments and combine them accordingly with the use of a looper to play or cover a specific song. Something that I’m against when performing is the use of backing tracks, so i’m always live-recording everything from scratch on the looper. This can be limiting when I’m trying to cover certain songs, but it’s mostly challenging, requiring extra thought on how to layer everything in a logical and possible order.
I’d like to think of myself as an alternative violinist, that I’m doing something unique. There aren’t many people using a loop pedal, and even fewer violinists using one, yet most of them usually stick with dance music or easy to loop songs. I’m mostly into rock-oriented music and that’s what drives me and distinguishes my style of playing from anyone that I’ve come across up to now.
I also have an alternative-rock band back home called “Ντόθ” (Doth) with a couple of friends. We’re mostly playing covers but we always end up mixing them up or reforming them in ways even we wouldn’t imagine, producing surprisingly good results. There are also a few original songs, though unfortunately there isn’t much content available online yet. You can check out our Facebook Page.
3. When did you start and what made you want to start making music?
My father started teaching me how to play the violin at the age of six but by sixteen I started experimenting a bit, asking myself “why can’t I play the music/songs I listen to? why should I stick just with all the classical stuff?” and no disrespect, but that’s not what I was really drawn to. So I started training my ears to the point I could play/jam along with almost everything my ears would pick up and eventually being able to recreate the songs that I love. Needless to say, what pushed me the most was listening to Apocalyptica and especially their version of “Nothing Else Matters”, that’s where everything started for me.
At some point I convinced myself to get an electric violin, thinking I would escape all the microphone related problems to amplify it, yet it wasn’t enough. Turns out it couldn’t produce a nice violin sound, by itself at least, so I ended up getting a multi-effects pedal in order to achieve just that.
4. Stage or studio?
Since I’m mostly jamming and performing around the bars and open mics of Edinburgh, I’d say stage. There aren’t many things that beat the feeling of performing in front of an audience willing to listen to you, be it 2 people or 102, either going solo or accompanying others.
5. What gear do you use to make your tunes?
As funny as it might sound to some, I have a Fender FV-3 electric violin. Very trusty and I hardly ever had any trouble with it. That’s connected to a Boss ME-25 multi-effects pedal, initially purchased in order to help me produce a nice, natural-like violin sound, but eventually it became the core of my setup. It helps me produce guitar-like sounds and even drum beats. I am currently transitioning from the ME-25 to the ME-80 but there is still some work to be done on that. Finishing off with the latest bit of my setup is the Boss RC-30 looping pedal, which helps me build up layer to layer the songs that I’m performing.
6. And what is your choice bit of gear and why?
I’ll have to say it’s both the violin and the multi-effects pedal. They go together for me, they’re like my signature in my style of playing.
7. Where can we check out your tunes?
There is a recently made Facebook Page of my project, which is regularly updated with gigs and video content, here:
Red Dog Music Sunday Spotlight is your chance to get your music in front of the world, and our chance to discover some great new sounds. If you want to be featured in this weekly column, you can get all the details here.
Red Dog Music is the UK’s friendliest musical instrument and pro-audio dealer. Between our 5000 square foot Edinburgh shop filled with an incredible range of products, a spectacular shop in Leeds, and a London showroom in Clapham specialising in high-end instruments, dj and pro-audio, Red Dog Music has you covered from north to south and from performance to playback.