Luke Das, Wednesday 08 August 2012
Business partners Jamie Giarraputo and Dave Weller recline on patio chairs outside their recording studio Venti Venti.
While they take intermittent sips at chilled drinks and adjust their designer sunglasses they are both proud to tell me all about their joint venture in Ewell. ‘The name means 20:20 in Italian. We thought it had a nice ring to it,’ explains Jamie. ‘My dad is Sicilian, so I have Italian roots and Dave does too. We wanted a name that represented our heritage. Venti Venti has a large grand feel to it so we ran with it.’
Their combined creative skill set places the pair at a unique juncture in the music industry. When I ask Dave to articulate what he thinks Venti Venti represents he offers, ‘We make things look good and we make things sound good. That is on our website and that is pretty much what we try to do. We only produce high quality stuff that we are proud to put out. We have very high expectations.’
During the summer of 2009 Jamie and Dave took their first bold steps to bring their business plans to life. ‘We have a common ground, which would be our girlfriends are sisters. Years ago, we were at a family party and got drunk over a bottle of whiskey. We came up with the idea of doing something creative as a business,’ says Dave. ‘Then there was another family party where we drank more whiskey and also some rum. When we got home that night we registered the business name and even came up with the logo. We woke up in the morning with massive hangovers and new company!’
Jamie has been around the music industry since the age of 15. Gigging the London circuit and working in recording studios has given him invaluable insight. ‘If you play in a band you may not realise what goes on behind the glass. But working on the other side of the glass I have a better appreciation of how to make things sound good,’ he tells me. ‘I like to play around with analogue and digital techniques. And I like to layer all the sounds to achieve a bigger, fuller finish.’
As a musician Jamie’s personal influences include The Beatles, The Clash, The Who and Counting Crows. However, as a producer he has an admiration for many genres of music. ‘We record a wide range of artists at Venti Venti. There were lots of rappers to start with. I have worked with plenty of acoustic acts and bands too,’ he shares. Friends of T&L, The Colliers Wood International Ukulele Orchestra were also one of his clients. ‘We had about fifteen of their ukulele players in here. They were all playing at once recording a track for Christmas!’
At school, Dave naturally excelled at art and graphic design. He studied engineering at college and it was developing an interest in programming that brought him to web design. Like Jamie, his inspirations span many areas. ‘I try to keep my finger on the pulse and read all the relevant magazines. I like to keep up with everything from fashion to web design,’ he says. ‘There is an Italian artist called Pino who I love. He has got a great way of capturing real life through his painting and sketches. My approach to web design is minimalistic, smart and I am passionate about attention to all the small details.’