David Cirino ’04 is a singer, songwriter, rapper, producer and engineer. His latest accomplishments include releasing a mixtape, Dragon Theory, and partnering with a licensing company, Aperture Music, who was able to get his song national airplay on NBC’s hit sitcom, Up All Night. Cirino recently paid a visit to campus to see how things have changed and to reflect back on his experiences at Montclair State University. Cirino’s major was Business Administration with a concentration in Info Systems. While that may seem to be a stretch from his current career in the music industry, Cirino actually relates the two and credits his time here to much of his success.
When asked how his experience at Montclair State influenced his career, Cirino does not hesitate to make a connection between his major and his career. “I didn’t realize how it shaped me until after I was done. Knowing so much about computers helped me build my studio. I didn’t hire anybody else to come in.” In terms of being an entrepreneur, Cirino says, “I feel like I am in the beginning stages of entrepreneurship. I never consider myself an entrepreneur. I stumbled into it.”
Cirino always had a passion for music, but when it came time for college, he chose a more “practical route”. “I wanted to major in music, but my parents said no. Business was a logical choice… I was always good with computers. I’m happy my parents had me major in business.” While not directly involved with any music programs on campus, Cirino wrote many songs after class on a keyboard in his room, calling it a “stress reliever”. “I learned who I was. Montclair is where I really found myself, where my creativity came out as an artist. I’m very grateful and thankful for Montclair. I got a lot of confidence here.” Cirino says that coming from a small town with about 300 kids, he felt very shy when he came to college.
Cirino also mentions specific faculty members who inspired him during his time at Montclair State. According to Cirino, his former marketing professor, Dr. Ralph DiPietro, opened his mind. He also says that “he was very funny and spoke his mind. I will never forget that.” Another influential faculty member was Dr. Peterson, his advisor, of whom he speaks very highly of. He also remembers a finance class and says that “the class and the professor’s positive outlook” are what made him think “maybe I could do this.” Cirino says this professor is also one of the reasons that he took an interest in the stock market.
Cirino knows that his success is also due in part to his faith and hard work. He believes in taking risks, and shares this advice, “In life, a lot of people get stuck in the system. When you’re young, you have time to take the risks. If you have a dream, you have to pursue it 100%. Give it time. When I say time, I mean at least one year."
To check out Dave's work, visit his website: www.davecirino.com.