How did you start Colourshop?
Colourshop was born roughly 7 years ago, when my brother and I moved to London from a little town south of Rome. We started playing concerts all around London. We played open mic nights and bars and busking in the streets to pay our bills. After a couple of years my brother moved to Ibiza (lucky him [laughs]) and I kept on performing and writing alone with the same stage name.The music I write derives from my life experiences and are a reflection about the world we live in and the way I interpret it. If we had to put a label on my style it would maybe be acoustic dream pop… but then again I’ve never been very good with labels.
Where does the name Colourshop originate from and why did you choose not to perform under your birth name?
Well, the impact that moving to London from our little town had on me and my brother was remarkable! The big, cosmopolitan city gave us a lot of inspiration and the songs we wrote reflected the diversity of the new environment we were living in. It’s that diversity that inspired the name Colourshop. Imagine a spice shop, full of colours and flavours: these were our songs or how we imagined them, each one different from the other, each one representing a different colour we wanted to show to the listener.
When did you come to the realisation that you had a passion for music and what did you do once you did?
When I was a little kid, I used to sing out loud cartoon songs in the car. My father spotted some potential in me and signed me up to the local music school, I think he also wanted me to practice with the proper facilities and not in his car [laughs]. One day he came home with a cheap Hungarian guitar and told me it was mine to play! I started learning classical and modern guitar first, then piano, singing and composing. From there I naturally progressed into writing and recording my own material and started performing in public. I still remember trying to record my favourite songs from the radio to an audio cassette to practice them! That makes me sound ancient [laughs].
Who are your main musical influences?
Italian singer-songwriters from the 70’s had a great influence on my style; Lucio Dalla, Francesco De Gregori, Lucio Battisti to name a few. My mum used to wake me up with some incredible music in the mornings like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Neil Young, The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Otis Redding, Deep Purple and yes, the Guns N’ Roses ballads. So much better than the alarm clock! Later on, I developed my taste for metal followed by jazz and modern singer-songwriters such as Damien Rice, Beck, Fiona Apple, Paolo Nutini, David Gray. and John Mayer above all.
You’ve had quite an extensive touring history, touring multiple countries across Europe. How did your experiences differ with each country you played?
I started playing in Italy and I have to say: it was fun, but performing in London is on another level! There is a plethora of talented artists to learn and take inspiration from. The highly competitive scene was the key factor that fostered me to learn new guitar and singing techniques.The audience has become very competent, which creates the need to create and perform at a very high level in order to gain their attention.
I found European gigs easier somehow: being a performing artist from London instilled curiosity, making it easier for the audience to receive my music. It’s remarkable how warm the response of the crowd can be; even in the smallest venues! I remember this time in Moscow when people were asking for autographs and taking photos with me!
Along with your impressive touring history, your streaming figures are also noteworthy, gaining over 2 million streams on Spotify alone. How does it feel to know that your music has been able to reach so many people?
Every time I look at the numbers, I feel so blessed! I still cannot believe that people in places as far away as Mexico are listening to my tracks! It is amazing how the digital revolution gives everyone the chance to have their music be heard. As we speak, I have just surpassed three million streams and I can’t wait to share my new music with all my fans!
That is incredible; congratulations! So what advice would you give to other musicians aiming to do the same thing?
The three main points I would say are always put your heart into your art, be authentic and true to yourself, and, finally, always be open to constructive criticism, it will only make you better at what you do.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to invest more time and resources into planning longer tours abroad and concerts, as I believe my music has a better impact on people when performed live rather than in recording. I am also planning on collaborating more with different artists and producers: exchanging ideas can lead to such great and unexpected results!
How do the singles compare to the tracks you have previously released?
I think that in the digital age, people need to be constantly engaged. That is why I plan to release my upcoming tracks as singles as opposed to an EP or album. A single gives me the chance to develop a story and create different mediums of content; images and videos for example for my audience to engage with, without it relating with the context of an album. My last single Let Me Show You How has been included in numerous playlists and has more than 25k streams on Spotify alone. The video has tolled more than 50k views on YouTube!
Have you got any special tricks up your sleeve for your California tour?
I am currently preparing a new, improved live set; thanks to my new loop station! I am hoping this will add to the audiences engagement with my set, as it allows me to create much larger and more textured sounds live!
Finally – what can our readers hear from you next?
My next single Katherine will be released on the 28th of May on all streaming platforms along with a music video shot in Biarritz, France. Stay tuned for that!