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Interview with Charlie Risso
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I have always been singing since the days at school while I loved singing in the choir. Then my house was filled with music since both of my parents were great listeners of different music genres. So it just came really naturally. Music is my life.
Even though music has always accompanied me throughout my existence, I was also very attracted by arts. So I actually frequented the school of art in my hometown and afterwards I started to work as a painter of interiors.
But after quite a few years Music prevailed and I am currently dedicating all my life to it even if I do not hide that I don't know what will be in the distant future and I wouldn't mind dedicating myself to causes related to the defense of the environment.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love walking in nature with my dogs and traveling. Being able to meet new people and learn from exchanges. See new places and be inspired by the journey itself.
How long have you been making music?
I believe I started around my fifteens when I use to record my very first songs on a recorder I had with a double tape system of recordings and during those years I joined a local band playing shows in my hometown.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I was born in Genoa Italy and I lived there until my eighteen years old then I moved to Milan to study graphic design but I always kept playing whenever possible with the band I used to have in Genoa.
Then at the age of twenty, I moved to London to study and work. The music scene was amazing in the early 2000 and I believe that much of the inspiration came during those beautiful years. I also started to play the guitar during those years and to write some of the songs you can hear in my very first album “Ruins of Memories” (2016).
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
We’ll until now I would say the Goa Boa Festival in Genoa because it was my very first time on such a big stage…and it has been simply amazing. I also remember another incredible stage during the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. But on that occasion, I was joining a band called Red Wine and I was singing a couple of songs with them. The festival was simply amazing, the lineup was just a dream. There were artists such as Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant, and Elvis Costello. Something also I will never forget.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
There are several here in Italy and obviously, there are many more abroad like La Maroquinerie in Paris, The Roundhouse in London, the Paradiso in Amsterdam, and many more[…]
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I would love to share the stage with Sharon Van Etten, with Weyes Blood, the Smile, Nick Cave, Still Corners, and many more…
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
In my case, it is definitely to start pretty early no matter what. I grew up in a family where despite the real love my mother and father had for music it wasn’t really considered a real option as a real job, especially on my dad’s side and I was a bit influenced by that and maybe I wasn’t too determined at the time.
It is just an impulse that came forcefully later…and I responded.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Ruins of Memories because it’s my first song ever written and it’s about my family from when my parents separated and the sense of emptiness that all this left in me. The Light is also a song that I am really fond of too. It’s a song about the afterlife and renewal and this is a real process, metaphorically speaking, that happened to me.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Dark from the album “Tornado” it is definitely one of my favorites together with Into the Forest from my latest EP “The Light”.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I guess the up and downs everyone has throughout their lives. I am very emotional and so I tend to be touched by events and things happening around me as well. I consider myself a good observer and I see and feel the people around me I empathize with them and this leads me to write.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
You may consider me a bit naïve but I am dreaming of a beautiful and harmonious environment. I am deeply fascinated by nature and the forces of both sides. Good and bad.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
There is a brand new record coming up next year with beautiful collaborations with superb musicians such as Hugo Race, the renowned violinist H.E.R. and Roberto Dellera from Afterhours band. I feel it’s going to be a beautiful year. Fingers crossed.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?