Within eight years
of graduating, David Cirino ’04 went from business student to singer, songwriter,
rapper, music producer and engineer. While his latest accomplishments—releasing
a mixed tape titled Dragon Theory and getting one of his songs played on
NBC’s sitcom Up All Night—may seem a far cry from his information
systems degree, Cirino credits his success to his time at Montclair State. “I
didn’t realize how it shaped me until I was done. For instance, knowing so much
about computers helped me build my studio,” he says.
Early in life,
Cirino found his passion in music, but while in college his parents wanted him
to choose something more practical. “I wanted to major in music, but my parents
said ‘no.’ Business was a logical choice…I’m happy they had me do it.” In terms
of being an entrepreneur, “I feel like I am in the beginning stages. I stumbled
While not directly
involved with music programs on campus, Cirino spent his time after class writing
songs on a keyboard in his room. “Montclair is where I found myself, where my
creativity came out as an artist,” he says, adding that coming from a small
town, he felt shy when he arrived. “I got a lot of confidence there.”
recalls faculty members who inspired him during his time at Montclair State.
His former marketing professor, Ralph DiPietro, opened his mind. “He was very
funny and always spoke his mind. I will never forget that,” says Cirino, who
still comes back to campus for events. Richard Peterson, his former advisor, mentored
him and helped show him the way while at the University.
signed a contract with Muzak, Inc., a company that will get his songs
distributed as background music in retail chains and is excited at the
prospect. He has also partnered with a licensing company, Aperture Music, is
shopping around new singles for commercial placement and is working to put
together a DVD series similar to his YouTube tutorials on songwriting, production
and audio engineering.
Cirino says he also owes his success to his faith, hard work and a little risk-taking. “In life, a lot of people get stuck in the system,” he says. “When you’re young, you have time to take the risks. If you have a dream, you have to pursue it 100 percent. Give it time. And when I say ‘time,’ I mean at least one year.”