Life would have turned out quite differently for Louis Amanti had the jazz singer's first career choice worked out.
“I started playing baseball with my grandpa when I was 3, and apparently I could hit the ball,” he laughs. “I played toward high school. I was scouted by the Tampa Bay Rays, and the University of San Francisco was interested in me, but I got myself a little injury on my right finger. I recovered and pretty much, music just found me.”
From throwing curveballs to recording in the studio, that fateful incident is what allowed Amanti to discover his true calling. Though the 24-year-old has spent most of his life on the field, music has always been a major influence in his life.
“My father is a musician and plays jazz, but the people I really give the credit to is my grandparents,” he beams. “I was raised by them, and they loved Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis... the list goes on. My great-grandmother from my mother's side – which were the grandparents I was raised with – she was a soprano and an incredible singer. I think I got it from her.”
Regardless of the root of his talent, Amanti's voice speaks for itself. Born and raised in Miami of Cuban and Italian descent, el cantante – who struck internet gold thanks to his 2014 YouTube cover of Nat King Cole's “L.O.V.E.,” which has reached more than a million views – was recently signed to one of Rudy Pérez's record labels, Bullseye Productions.
While his voice – which sounds eerily similar to Michael Bublé's – is definitely his selling point, being signed by one of Latin music's most prominent producers wouldn't have happened without his work ethic and musical philosophy.
“Being successful is not making money – it's doing it right,” he points out. “At the end of the day, we're all following the master, Frank [Sinatra]. It's about having a certain respect toward the lyric. If he didn’t feel the song or understand what it was about, he didn’t touch it. If there is one thing you can be sure about, it's if you hear me sing a song, it's because I feel it.”
Although Amanti never had a lifetime of formal music training, he made it his sole priority once he found the art.
“I played baseball for 18 years, but once my baseball career was finished, I wanted to get into music,” he recalls. “I started taking vocal classes. I always had an idea of what I wanted to study, which was the standards of jazz. I want to sing because I love it and because I feel there needs to be more people keeping that music alive.”
And that is exactly what Amanti hopes to fulfill with his music. The singer is currently working on his debut album. Set to drop later this year, he promises the full-length production will have “a little bit of everything.”
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“There will be classic standards, original songs, and songs you wouldn’t think you'd ever listen to as a Sinatra standard,” the crooner says. “I think a lot of people are going to be surprised, because this record is being done with a lot of quality and a lot of love.”
Amanti's true measure of success, though, is by the crowd's ability to relate to his music.
“A singer is the one who transmits what the guys in the band are playing so that the audience can understand what's going on,” he explains. “My job is to always bring love, hope, and joy to people. I’m really blessed all of this has happened to me. There are so many great singers out there, and it's just unbelievable. I'm humbled.”
Keep up with Louis Amanti at louisamanti.com.