Gina Cutillo Won’t Give Up On The Music

The little girl confidently faced her audience as she launched into her favorite Madonna tunes, belting them out with wild abandon. Her audience watched raptly—of course, they could do nothing else, being comprised of stuffed animals, but to the young performer, it was a harbinger of things to come.

For Gina Cutillo, there was never any real question of which road to take. Making her mark on the Long Island original music scene for years, this singer-songwriter made her way onto the music charts with her breakthrough hit single, “Keep On.” Debuting at No. 34 on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 Indicator Chart, the song has propelled Cutillo to levels of excitement that can only be attained through realizing a lifelong dream. “Keep On” also reached No. 1 on the NMW Indie chart and No. 41 on the Mediabase Top 40 Activator Chart. To borrow a phrase from Phil Collins, Cutillo has been waiting for this moment all her life.

Despite an increasingly busy touring and recording schedule (not to mention the duties of motherhood to her 4-year-old son), Cutillo found the time to chat with the Pulse about the remarkable events unfolding in her life.

What’s the story behind the new single? How is it being marketed?
I started recording my album and then releasing the singles as I was recording them, because we live in a kind of singles-based environment now; the digital world. I’m glad I did (that) because each single has led me to something bigger or newer.

The first time I listened to “Keep On” I got this image of Annie Lennox in the back of my head. Did you ever listen to Eurythmics?
Oh, yeah! When I was a young girl, I loved Annie Lennox and thought she was fantastic. She’s not someone who I think is influencing me now. I don’t know, I mean, who knows? When you write, I think your brain just holds in so much stuff and it comes in all different ways. A few years ago, we were going to do a Eurythmics cover!

“Keep On” is an extremely radio-friendly track. Is it self-penned or did you collaborate?
I did it myself! I write most of my stuff myself. It’s funny; every song I’ve released from this album has gotten me to somebody else (who helped to advance my career). I can’t wait for the whole thing to come out. There are a lot of great tracks.

What’s so mightily impressive to me is that you are one of a handful of Long Island artists I covered in the past who it seems has never stopped.
What does that mean? I have a 4-year-old son. I was at the point where I said to myself: “Artists have babies!” [laughs] So I did, and everybody was like, “Oh! That means you’re giving up music?” Where does this mentality come from? How do I ever give up music? It’s who I am. Me giving up music is like me quitting Gina Cutillo. How would I quit Gina Cutillo? That’s who I am!

Have the music genes been passed down to your son?
He’s so musical! He says, “No, Mommy! You don’t sing—I’m singing! (I tell him) “We don’t have room for two divas in this house, Cole!”

For the full conversation, please visit Island Zone Update.

roy abrams

roy abrams

Currently living in Kings Park with his wife and stepson, Roy Abrams is an educator, musician, and writer. He created and hosted the popular Island Zone radio show in the late '90s and was a contributor to Crosby, Stills, Nash (and sometimes Young), the authorized biography (Gopher Publishers, 2002).