“I absolutely love the spontaneity of radio along with the responsibility to put our listeners in a good mood, no matter what,” explains Barrucco, the son of a Canadian mother and an Italian father from Campobasso.
Hailing from a family with an artistic streak - his older brother Joe is a Juno-nominated producer and sound engineer and his sister is a theatre performer - the Dorval native seemed destined for a career in entertainment.
“I tried my hands at everything, including a career in hockey, but radio was a natural fit,” he says. “When I picked up the mic for the first time at 14, I knew what I wanted to do. I feel very lucky that my job consists of doing something I love every day.”
Perseverance and dedication saw Barrucco advance through various positions in radio including music show director, talk show host and promo producer. At 24, he became the youngest program director in the history of K103, Kahnawake’s community radio station. In 2010, his show on Virgin Radio 96 was the city’s top rated afternoon show. In addition to overcoming a slew of obstacles, Barrucco admits that he’s especially proud of the prominent presence of Italians in the media, and that he’s grateful for the community’s unwavering support.
“Growing up, it seemed like Frank Cavallarro was the only Italian in mainstream media, but fast-forward 10 years later and you have so many well-known media personalities who happen to be Italian. It’s definitely something to be proud of.”
Barrucco revealed that the inspiration for his radio DJ name came from the 1992 film My Cousin Vinny. “Ironically, it happens to be my mom’s favourite movie. Now, practically all my friends call me Cousin Vinny. Even my mom introduces me to her friends as Cousin Vinny!”
With such a friendly name, it’s no wonder that the radio host exudes down-to-earthness and candor that connect him to listeners. Tuning in to Drivetime with Cousin Vinny is like checking in with a charismatic friend who always proves to be good company on your journey home from work.