IT has been interesting discovering…
more about Luca Fogale and what makes him tick. The Canadian songwriter has been telling me about his latest track, What I Came Here For, and what it is all about. He talks about the music scene in British Columbia and whether any tour dates are confirmed – including a trip to the U.K.
Fogale explains his favourite albums and musical tastes; what advice he would give to new artists; if there is a musician out there we need to keep our eyes open for; when music came into his life – the songwriter ends the interview with an awesome song choice.
Hi, Luca. How are you? How has your week been?
Everything has been great lately, thanks! I hope the same for you.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Luca Fogale. I’m a singer-songwriter from Burnaby, British Columbia (Canada).
What I Came Here For is your latest song. I believe it was inspired by your grandmother. Can you tell me about that?
I wrote the song after hearing a story from my grandmother about surviving an air raid in her hometown in Italy during World War II. She told me that one of her family members was killed in the first few moments of the attack and so she and the rest of her family and friends (that she was with at the time) realized that there wasn’t anything that they could do to stay safe - so they just held onto each other and hoped that they would make it through alive.
I found a parallel to my own life inside of that story; that at certain moments in time it can feel as though the only thing one can do is stay close to the people that mean the most and stay patient and positive until things get better.
Is it a song that a lot of people react to and connect with?
It is! Playing the song at shows for the past few years, it always seems to be one that people in the audience resonate with.
I’ve spoken with people who have been through similarly traumatic experiences as my grandmother had; people who listen to it to help them fall asleep at night or wake up in the morning; people who decided to reconnect with a past partner after listening to it - and seemingly endless other reasons. It’s such a wonderful feeling to know that, if nothing else, I’ve written something that makes sense to someone.
Might we see more material coming down the line? What are you working on right now?
Absolutely. I’m currently in Montreal working on my second full-length album.
You are based in British Columbia, Canada. Is there a vibrant music scene there at the moment?
I think the British Columbia music scene has been getting better and better in the past few years, especially with an emergence of house concerts and multi-use-venue shows that have been becoming more and more popular because of a push-back against the more popular massive shows that happen when international touring artists come to town. When I was starting to enter the Vancouver scene six or seven years ago, it could be difficult to get people to shows unless they had already heard of your music and there still isn’t much of a culture around venues having a built-in audience. But, I think we’re moving in the right direction!
When did music come into your life? Was there an artist or album that lit the fuse?
Music has always been in my life since I started piano lessons when I was seven, but it never really held an important space for me until I found Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell’s music and realized how much power songwriting can hold. Once that happened, music became the thing that fills most of my time and thoughts, and it has been that way ever since.
Can we see you tour this year? What gigs do you have coming along?
Yes! We’re currently working on a tour for the fall and I can’t wait to get back on the road. The next gig I’ll be playing is at an incredible small festival in B.C. called Tiny Lights (Festival).
Might we see you in the U.K. at any point?
Hopefully, very soon! Touring the U.K. and Europe has been at the top of my list for a very long time…
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
I’m really excited to finish the album that I’m working on right now. I’ve been feeling more connected to music than ever and think that that sentiment is carrying through into these recordings.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
A lot of my favourite memories have come from touring Canada and getting to meet an endless amount of amazing people across this country that I love so much. If I had to pick a notable memory it would be of a conversation I had with a girl in New Brunswick who bought a guitar after hearing my album, Safety, and she had started writing songs in response to mine. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life.
Which three albums mean the most to you, would you say?
The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan
Hejira - Joni Mitchell
In Rainbows - Radiohead
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Tour and tour and tour…and when you’re not on the road, write music as honestly as possible. Both of those things are essential to connecting with someone who needs the specific music that you’re able to create and perform.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Not necessarily new but very new to me! - Perfume Genius. He’s got a new record called No Shape that I can’t stop listening to.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Haha. Music plays a lot of different roles for me, so I’m usually just playing or writing - but one other thing that I love to do very much is to cook.
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).
Sam Weber - The Heat
Follow Luca Fogale
PHOTO CREDIT: Nishi Shinjuku