Simone Sello

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Simone Sello
Simone Sello 2011.jpg
Simone Sello
Background information
Born (1968-07-04) July 4, 1968 (age 50)
Rome, Italy
GenresPop, rock, experimental rock, R&B
Occupation(s)Guitarist, producer, songwriter, music journalist, arranger, composer, film composer
InstrumentsElectric guitar, electric bass, keyboards, vocals, violin, computer programming
Years active1987–present
LabelsDisney, EMI, Favored Nations, Island Def Jam, dPulse
Associated actsSanremo Festival Orchestra, Chicanery, Billy Sheehan, Aaron Carter, Disney, Hannah Montana, Vasco Rossi, Warren Cuccurullo

Simone Sello (born July 4, 1968) is an Italian born guitarist, music producer, composer, filmmaker and music journalist. He is known for his work with the Sanremo Festival Orchestra,[1] Chicanery, Billy Sheehan, Aaron Carter, Disney, Hannah Montana, Vasco Rossi, Amber Lily, and Warren Cuccurullo, both as a producer and guitarist; and as a journalist for the magazines Chitarre, Strumenti Musicali, Accordo and Ganzo. He is an owner of music production companies RedRum Productions, Session Recording and, with each company oriented towards a distinct clientele. RedRum Productions is geared towards contemporary music production for artists, film and TV; Session Recording mostly caters to projects outside the Los Angeles area, and aims to bring a simplified approach to professional music production to any user, over the web.

His musical upbringing is based on classical violin studies, as well as watching and hearing his father play guitar, but he never took a formal guitar lesson, in spite of his career as a guitar player. His influences include major classical and jazz composers and performers, (Bach, Ravel, Miles Davis, Weather Report), pop and rock acts (The Beatles, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Lucio Battisti), and experimental artists (Luciano Berio, Brian Eno, Terje Rypdal, Klaus Schulze).

Equally interested in performing, composing and producing music, Simone started getting hired to play guitar for recording sessions and live performances by artists in his hometown Rome when he was 17 years old, and eventually became known on a national level. While building a long list of musical collaborations, he started writing articles for magazines, thus achieving a different kind of exposure, still in the music field.

At the age of 29, he moved to Los Angeles to push his musician and journalist careers, by joining a big international scene.

Early professional career[edit]

After studying the violin, he started his professional career as a guitarist in Rome, recording the song The Fighter with his band Waterfall, for the compilation Metal Attack (RCA 1987). [2] Then, he got hired to play with Italian pop singers Renato Zero, Tullio De Piscopo, Nino Buonocore and Michele Zarrillo, and in several national TV shows. From 1994 to 1997 he joined the orchestra of the Sanremo Festival, where he had a chance to play with several international musicians, such as Ray Charles, George Benson, Pat Metheny, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Kenny G, Nek, and Laura Pausini. During that time, he also arranged the song Non Ci Sto which brought the singer Syria to win the Sanremo singing contest in the "new artists" category, in 1996.[3][4]

Music journalism[edit]

Meanwhile, he started writing articles on the music magazine Chitarre, based on analysis of rock, pop and jazz musicians.[5] Then occasionally on Strumenti Musicali and - recently - on the web magazines Accordo and Ganzo.[6] In Chitarre and Accordo, Simone Sello's articles have included interviews with, among other notable musicians, Steve Vai, Lee Ritenour, and Vasco Rossi.[7][8][9]

Encouraged by the appeal his early articles had to young musicians, he published two instructional books and DVDs: Tecniche e segreti della chitarra elettrica dalla A alla Z (1996) and La chitarra rock - il fraseggio e l`improvvisazione (1997).

Move to Los Angeles[edit]

In 1997 he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he kept pursuing his musician and journalist careers. Through a referral by guitar legend Steve Vai, he met the bass player Billy Sheehan, with whom he started a long collaboration. After playing and programming Billy Sheehan's first two solo records (Compression in 2001 - which features Steve Vai and drummer Terry Bozzio - and Cosmic Troubadour in 2005) he produced Billy`s third record, entitled Holy Cow (2009), which also includes guest appearances by Billy Gibbons, Paul Gilbert and Doug Pinnick.[10][11] Meanwhile, he had joined pop star Aaron Carter`s live band, with whom he appeared in several US TV shows, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Donnie & Marie; he also appears in the live DVD Aaron`s Party (2002) along with Aaron`s brother Nick Carter, from Backstreet Boys. In 2014, he plays guitars in Cristina Scuccia's debut album (also known as Suor Cristina or Sister Christina), along with other LA musicians, such as Vinnie Colaiuta and Tim Pierce.[12][13]


Through fellow producer Marco Marinangeli, he started a series of collaborations with Disney, including La Vida Mickey (2000), Disney Pop Dreamers (2002), Superstar Kidz Vol. 1 and 2 (2003–2004), Hannah Montana's Hits Remixed (2008), a series of Disney Mobile commercials for Japan featuring Hilary Duff, and a remix of the song Now Or Never from High School Musical 3.[14]

Warren Cuccurullo and Chicanery[edit]

After meeting guitarist Warren Cuccurullo (formerly with Frank Zappa, Missing Persons and Duran Duran), he produced the debut CD of surreal alternative rock band Chicanery (dPulse 2010) at RedRum Studios.[15][16] In the album Simone Sello also plays bass, guitar, violin and synths; other remarkable musicians include vocalist Neil Carlill and guest drummer Terry Bozzio. .[17] He also co-produced Warren's album Playing in Tongues (2009 Edel Records Europe - Zappa Records USA), and a concept album entitled N'Liten Up.

Vasco Rossi[edit]

In 2008 he started working with Italian rockstar Vasco Rossi, appearing in the videoclip for Il Mondo Che Vorrei (2008) and on the short documentary Quello che non si potrebbe (2008). He is listed as backing vocalist in the song Gioca Con Me, along with rock guitarist Slash. Then he collaborated to the CDTracks II - Inediti e rarità (2009), programming the hit song Sto Pensando A Te and playing lead guitar on Ho Fatto Un Sogno; in 2011, Vasco Rossi released a new studio album Vivere O Niente, which features Simone Sello on guitar, keyboards and programing on several tracks, and includes a song he co-wrote with Vasco and Saverio Principini, called Manifesto Futurista Della Nuova Umanità.[18] In 2013 Vasco Rossi released two more singles: in the first one, called L'uomo più semplice Simone Sello is credited as guitarist, keyboardist and programmer, and in the second, called Cambia-menti he is credited as guitarist and co-writer. In Vasco's 2014 album Sono innocente, he appears again as a co-writer, in Lo Vedi, and as a guitar player, in L'Ape Regina and Marta Piange Ancora.[19][20][21]

Amber Lily[edit]

In 2011 Simone wrote and produced Coming To Life the debut CD of young American pop singer Amber Lily, whose song I`m Into It, got used in the movie Christmas Cupid (2010), and participated in Disney`s Next Big Thing contest in 2010 with the songs "2 2 2 L 8 (too too too late)" and Next To You.


In 2004 Simone wrote part of the soundtrack of the movie The Youngest Guns, and in 2005 he scored a short movie called 4 and 1/4 with Alex Alessandroni Jr. With Saverio Principini, he co-scored the documentary Una su Tre (2011), and in 2012 he contributed to the soundtrack of the documentary Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp, directed by Jorge Hinojosa and produced by Ice-T.[22]

Songwriting and production[edit]

As SimoneX, he had the song Lines of Change licensed in the movie Two Lovers (2008) and with Mafia Bianca Llc he had the song I Am Changing, co-written with Steven E. Heinstein, used in the movie When in Rome (2010 Touchstone Pictures) and its CD soundtrack. Another one of their songs I Know I am Broken made it into the episode Where`s Kaylie in the TV series Make It or Break It (2009).


In 2018 Simone Sello made the experimental movie Organum Mathematicum, consisting of original videos and images assembled over a continuum of 6 electronic musical pieces. The project won an award at the 9th monthly season of the Cult Critic Movie Awards [23] and achieved a honorable mention award at the May 2018 edition of the Festigious Film Festival.[24]

Selected discography[edit]



Year Artist Album Label Involvement
1987 Waterfall Metal Attack RCA Album includes The Fighter by Waterfall.



Year Artist Album Label Involvement
2000 SimoneX Sample This Compression Records co-producer, programming, vocals, guitars, noises

As producer, composer, writer, programmer, sound engineer, arranger, performer on other artists' albums[edit]

Year Artist Album Label Involvement
1990 Kaoma Do Brasil Lambada guitar
1993 Lorella Cuccarini Voci guitar
1994 Michele Zarrillo Come Uomo Fra Gli Uomini Sony BMG guitar
1995 Lorella Cuccarini Voglia di Fare RTI Music guitar
Enrico Sognato Scambierei Le Figurine Con Chiunque guitar
Rottura Esorcismo Contro Satana E Gli Angeli Ribelli (12") guitar
1996 Michele Zarrillo L'Elefante E La Farfalla Sony BMG guitar
Syria Non Ci Sto Musicrama/Koch arranger, guitar
Neri Per Caso Strumenti Tristar guitar
1997 Syria L'Angelo Musicrama/Koch guitar
1998 Myriam Hernandez Todo El Amor Sony guitar
Albano Carrisi Il Nuovo Concerto guitar
Davide Pettirossi Grandi Spazi guitar
Cartoon Boyfriend Baby 2000 guitar, programming
Handel Blood mix EP producer
Marina Rei Anime Belle guitar
1999 Marina Rei Un Inverno Da Baciare guitar
Various Artists Baila Hbibi Vol. 1 Sony programming
2000 Neri Per Caso Angelo Blu EMI guitar
Cartoon Boyfriend Nipples Drool Records guitar, programming
Various Artists La Vida Mickey Disney guitar
Ru Paul Queer Duck dance remix ICEBOX producer
2001 Various Artists Mickey's Dance Party Disney guitar
Billy Sheehan Compression Favored Nations keyboards, programming
Billy Sheehan Caroline Zain Japan keyboards, programming
2002 Various Artists Pop Dreamers Disney guitar
Aaron Carter Aaron's Party live DVD Jive guitar
2003 Various Artists Superstar Kidz Vol. 1 Disney guitar
2004 Various Artists Superstar Kidz Vol. 2 Disney guitar
Billy Sheehan Cosmic Troubadour Favored Nations guitar, keyboards, programming
2005 Robbie Wyckoff Lose Control Compression guitar
2006 Snatam Kaur Anand Spirit Voyage guitar
Tre Lux A Strange Gathering Cleopatra guitar
Hannah Montana Hannah Montana 1 - Songs from the Hit TV series Disney guitar
2007 Sat Hari Singh Singh guitar
Various Artists Swashbuckling Sea Songs Disney guitar
Devil`s Slingshot Clinophobia Mri Associated engineer
Sat Kartar Listen Spirit Voyage guitar
Various Artists Cantemos El ABC Fisher-Price guitar, keyboards, programming, producer
Kaiulani Kimbrell Break Open CDBY guitar
Sat Hari Singh Servant Of The Earth guitar
Hannah Montana Hannah Montana 2 - Meet Miley Cyrus Disney guitar
2008 Amana Melomè Indigo Red Savana guitar
Vasco Rossi Il Mondo Che Vorrei guitar
Various Artists ABC Daytime Love Affair Buena Vista guitar
Snatam Kaur Joy Is Now Spirit Voyage guitar
Hannah Montana Hits Remixed Disney, EMI producer
2009 Warren Cuccurullo Playing In Tongues Edel, Zappa guitar, keyboards, programming, producer
Snatam Kaur Liberation`s Door Spirit Voyage guitar
Vasco Rossi Tracks Inediti e Rarità EMI guitar
Billy Sheehan Holy Cow Mascot Records guitar, keyboards, programming, producer
2010 Tiromancino L`Essenziale guitar
Snatam Kaur Sacred Chants Sounds True guitar
Chicanery Chicanery dPulse guitar, keyboards, violin, programming, producer
Mafia Bianca Llc I Am Changing Chime Entertainment guitar, keyboards, programming, engineer, producer
2011 Vasco Rossi Vivere O Niente EMI guitar, keyboards, programming, composer
Amber Lily Coming to Life Island Def Jam guitar, keyboards, programming, engineer, producer
2012 Various Artists Disney Jingle Bell Fun Walt Disney Records guitar, bass, arranger
2013 Vasco Rossi L`Uomo Più Semplice EMI guitar, keyboards
Vasco Rossi Cambia-menti Universal guitar, composer
2014 Vasco Rossi Sono Innocente Universal guitar, keyboards, composer
Maya Angelou Caged Bird Songs Smooch Records guitar, bass
Sister Cristina Sister Cristina Universal guitar
2016 Vasco Rossi Vascononstop Universal guitar, keyboards, programming, composer
Vasco Rossi Tutto in una Notte: Live Kom 2015 Universal composer
2017 Sons of Apollo Psychotic Symphony sound engineer
2018 Various Artists Guitare...Mon Amour Terre Sommerse guitar
2018 Ron Carter, Airto Moreira & Peter Erskine Sides of: Jazz Hugeous Mass Media guitar, composer




  • Sanremo Music Festival Rai 1 1994-1997 performer/arranger
  • Make It or Break It ABC Family TV series 2009 Season 1, Episode 9 Where's Kaylie? I Know I'm Broken producer/writer
  • Christmas Cupid TV movie 2010 I'm Into It writer


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-23. Retrieved 2014-12-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Livi, Gianluca. "Anni di Metallo - Oltre un decennio di Heavy Metal a Roma - Andrea Ciccomartino". (in Italian). Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  3. ^ "Festival di Sanremo del 1996" (in Italian). Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Credits, Simone Sello" The AllMusic Guide 5th entry
  5. ^ Marc Wells "Hollywood musicians express support for Detroit Symphony strikers" November 12, 2010 para. 4
  6. ^ "Authors" "Ganzo" 10th photo/bio from top of page
  7. ^ rivista Chitarre "Steve Vai parla del suo DVD live" "Chitarre" December 9, 2009 Italian language, video in Italian and English
  8. ^ redazione "Lee Ritenour parla di 6 String Theory - Chitarre ottobre 2010" "Chitarre" October 9, 2010 Italian language, video in Italian and English
  9. ^ Burats "Simone Sello racconta come si lavora con Vasco" "Chitarre" March 25, 2011 Italian language
  10. ^ "Reviews Billy Sheehan-Cosmic Troubador, and Billy Sheehan-Holy Cow Archived 2011-11-02 at the Wayback Machine "The News Archive DVDs" The International Institute of Bassists
  11. ^ Lisa Sharken "Billy Sheehan New Music, Old-School Basses" "Vintage Guitar Magazine" November 30, 2010 response to 11th question
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Credits, Simone Sello" The AllMusic Guide 12th, 15th, 18th, and 19th entries
  15. ^ Bill Cummings "90s Week: INTERVIEW: Delicatessen" Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine "god is in the tv" July 15, 2010 response to 12th question
  16. ^ Salvo Zuppardo " interviews Chicanery" "" response to 5th question
  17. ^ Andrew Greenaway "Interview with Chicanery Wines and Old, Old Questions" "The Idiot Bastard Son of T'Mershi Duween" April 23, 2010 response to 12th question
  18. ^ "Credits, Simone Sello" The AllMusic Guide 40th entry
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Iceberg Slim: A Portrait of a Pimp | 2013 Dallas International Film Festival". Retrieved 2017-06-05.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Festigious". Festigious. Retrieved 2018-06-12.

External links[edit]