GOING into the weekend…
I am featuring a couple of great new artists with plenty of ambition and energy. Filo Vals tells me about his new single, Just Guessin’, and how it differs from his popular song, Mr. World. I ask whether there is more material coming; what we can expect in terms of gigs – which artists inspired his progression and sound.
Vals looks back at good musical memories and ahead to the remainder of this year; how he spends time away from music; which new artists we need to look out for; being compared to the likes of Paolo Nutini – ending with a song by the great man himself.
Hi, Filo. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi! I’m very good, thank you! This week has been very tiring. There’s a lot going on - but I really love what I do so I can’t complain really.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a singer-songwriter and I’m from Rome. I moved to the U.K. when I was eighteen and I’m currently living in London as well as working on my new album (that will come out very soon!).
Just Guessin’ is your new song. Tell me about its origination and story…
Just Guessin’ is a song I wrote one year ago when I was into a girl I used to see at the time. The song is really about those feelings you have when you start seeing someone you like. I wanted to try to express that kind of insecurity you have - as you don’t know what you can tell or ask but, at the same time, you literally want to feel free to be yourself with that person.
How do you think it differs from a track like, say, Mr. World?
Well. The main difference between two tracks is that Mr. World is a song about personal thoughts sometimes combined with poetic images, while Just Guessin’ is (just) about personal feelings that I have actually lived.
Is there going to be an E.P. or album later this year?
We will have more singles coming out in the next few months - before launching the whole album later this year.
How did music come into your life? Is it true you first picked up a guitar aged six?
My father used to roughly play the guitar. He wrote a song about the Disney characters for me and my sister when we were little, and I was really fascinated by that instrument. So, yes, when I was six I decided I wanted to learn it!
I hear elements of Paolo Nutini and Bob Dylan in your sound. Which artists have influenced your music and direction?
First of all, thank you very much; I take that as a big compliment. The two artists you mentioned are two artists that I really love and that I have listened to for a long time, so I can’t deny those are the ones I’m inspired by.
I would also add, as influences, Bob Marley and Jack Johnson!
You have received support from the BBC and streaming sites. Is that kind of backing pivotal when it comes to pressing on and aiming high?!
Yes. Those events are big opportunities to reach a wider audience!
Do you have any gigs lined up? Where are you heading?
My next gig confirmed is 30th April at Nell’s Jazz and Blues. I am really excited and I can’t wait! Come along! Then, I’ll have another one at the Troubadour on 25th May.
How does it make you feel being on stage? Can you describe the feeling?!
Being on stage is great, especially when the crowd is warm. Sometimes, you feel so much adrenaline that, when you’re done, you can’t even remember how it was.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
I hope to share and play my music and reach as many people as I can.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
One of the strongest memories is from when I played at a festival in Italy in front of 15,000 people. The energy I felt was insane. The best live experience I’ve ever had.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
The only advice I would give to anyone is the advice I’m following myself: if you believe in what you’re doing and have a vision, fight to make it happen, no matter what.
IN THIS PHOTO: Jack Martini/PHOTO CREDIT: Flaminia Reposi
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Haha. I think I chill just like everyone else: laying on the sofa and watching movies. I love watching movies!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I suggest Pencil Full of Lead by Paolo Nutini. It always puts me in a great mood!
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