EXCLUSIVE: Michael Cimino Talks “Cigarettes and Incense,” “Love, Victor” Soundtrack and More

Featured Photo Credit: Shane Steele, Photo Credit in Article: Will Heffernan

If you watched the hit Hulu show, Love, Victor, then you most likely know the lead, Michael Cimino. After the first two seasons being such a success, Cimino has started his music career. So far, he’s released three songs, each song showing his emotions and vulnerability. His most recent song, “Cigarettes and Incense,” might be his best vocals yet, showing off his belting and capability of runs. We chatted with Cimino about his new single and much more!

Photo credit: Will Heffernan

When did you first realize you wanted to get into music as a career? 

So music was actually my first passion ever! Some of my earliest memories that I could remember has been telling my parents that I wanted to be a “rockstar”.

Photo credit: Will Heffernan

Do you find that they compliment each other in a way? 

I definitely think that music and acting go hand in hand but they also tend to different parts of my artistry. 

Photo credit: Will Heffernan

Music being an important part of Love, Victor and it resonating emotionally with each scene. Are there any artists on the soundtrack that you’d want to collaborate with?

It would be such a cool experience to not only act but to make music for any project that I am part of. Obviously Leland has been paving the way for the Love Victor soundtrack and he’s been smashing it to work with someone has talented as himself would be an honor.

Photo credit: Will Heffernan

What was the first instrument you learned to play? What was the first full song you played on it?

So the first instrument I ever played was actually the piano when I was like… 6 or 7? And I think the first song I ever learned was lightly rowing it was the bane of my childhood existence.

Photo credit: Will Heffernan

Since releasing 3 songs, do you find each time you go to start writing a song, it’s easier to get your thoughts down on paper when writing the music?

I feel like theres eps and flows. Not every song is going to be a banger that your happy with. Sometimes you really have to fight to articulate the emotions you are trying to put on the page. But, sometimes it just flows and you make a song in a few hours. Trust the process and embrace the heart ache that is creating music.

Photo credit: Will Heffernan

Your most recent single, “Cigarettes and Incense,” sounds as if it’s your most personal song yet. What was writing/creating that song like for you?

Cigarettes and Incense, much like my other songs, just started by my friends and I sitting around the piano and just seeing what happened. I feel like this song hand so many incredible hands push it along and breath life into it that I couldn’t be more grateful for.

Photo credit: Will Heffernan

Who are some of your musical inspirations in life?

The list of people that inspire me musically is immense. But, to keep the list short. Bruno Mars, Bruno Major, Mac Ayres, Rex Orange county, and of course my personal friends, Nate Huff, Finn Matthews, and Ray Goren. Seeing such incredible talent right in front of you is more inspiring than you could possibly imagine. My friends make being incredible feel like not such a daunting task. Without them I honestly don’t know where I’d be. 

Photo credit: Will Heffernan

If you could set up a fan in a setting for them to listen to your 3 songs you have out, what setting would that be?

OOOOH Maybe a cool Jazz bar with moody lighting. OR A MUSIC FESTIVAL. Maybe in nature?! I don’t know the possibilities are endless HAHA.

Photo credit: Will Heffernan

What’s one quote you’ve heard in life that you’d want to ECHO out to fans?

Embrace your struggle as an artist. For example, I have always had a hard time articulating my emotions into words not only creatively but personally as well. I always thought that was my weakness and that I needed to change that. But, now I try to embrace my differences as an artist. 

Stream “Cigarettes and Incense” by Michael Cimino now!

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