Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. Recently, we caught up with Valerio Lysander find out more about him (this interview was taken on 8th November but was delayed in being posted due to waiting for the launch of the new website).
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I am from a city near Rome, Italy and I basically was born into music. My parents were singers and musicians (flute for my mum, saxophone for my father) and they were part of the local marching band and a few bands. It took me a while to start playing myself but their influence was definitely stuck in me.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
I started with Spice Girls when I was around 8 (oops!), but let's say that I really started understanding music with Alanis Morissette's MTV Unplugged, that my brother made me listen to when I was around 12. In addition to her, my muses were Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, L'Aura, Chris Garneau. I was also influenced by the works of Beethoven, Vivaldi, George Byron, Allen Ginsberg and Francis Scott Fitzgerald.
Now my biggest influence is Sufjan Stevens, I started properly listening to his music last year and there is nothing else that satisfies me more than him at the moment. Actually if anyone has some suggestion, that'd be very much welcomed, I can't move on from him!
How would you describe your sound?
My music is baroque pop, basically pop songs influenced by classical music. In terms of lyrics, I write with honesty, looking at the different feelings and phases we encounter through life.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
My latest single was called Cotton, which I released last February. A big musical influence for it was Chris Garneau, from whom I absorbed the delicacy of sound. When I wrote it I was going though a moment in life in which I couldn't define myself properly, feeling constrained by too many interests and labels. The song is a realisation that we are still ourselves even if we change and our personalities have many different aspects.
My next single will come out on 16th November and it's called I'm Screwed. It's a song about realising that sometimes we have crushes on people we don't really know just to escape our own solitude. The influence behind it comes from the traditional music of Rome called "stornello" a very trivial and funny musical form.
What’s your local music scene like?
I live in London, so I must say it's pretty amazing. At the beginning it's very hard to get into the right circuit, there's so much competition! But after a while I started to know my ways, and now I just love it. This is the place to be.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I'm recording my next album, which is hopefully going to be released in 2018. Three singles from it are already out (Ryan, Cotton, I'm Screwed).
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Ooooh definitely. I'd love a collaboration with Regina Spektor, that'd be a dream come true.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Many! One fun fact is that when playing with my band, we have never had a full band rehearsal. London is such a busy city, so it's very difficult to put six people in the same room (there me, a cellist, a violinist, a bassist, a drummer, and backing vocalists). We usually have a few rehearsals in which different members of the band are present, but the full experience only happens live on stage! It's always exciting to see what happens!
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
My hair goal is Alanis Morissette in the Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie.
Also, I'm quite happy because I try to learn from to all the griefs I encounter and I suggest people do the same. :o)
You can find out more about Valerio at his website or via Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, Spotify, Twitter or YouTube.