ARTIST NAME: Colourshop
SONG TITLE: Katherine
ALBUM TITLE: Katherine
RELEASE DATE: 28/05/0219
Colourshop is a singer-songwriter one-man band. Italian-born, London-based Alfredo Salvati moved his first steps in the music world at the age of 10. He took his chances ten years ago when he moved from Rome hills to London.
Drawing on influences from the folky harmonies of Neil Young to the honest storytelling of Tracy Chapman, and mixing these with cinematic pedal effects, Colourshop is creating a sound that blends masterfully gentle guitar, melody, and rhyme into a soundtrack of poignant millennial longing.
In 2014, his song “You & Me” has been pitched and aired by Mark Forrest on BBC Introducing.
Colourshop has recently released his last single “Katherine”. The song has been recorded at Aclam Records (Barcelona) with Jason Boshoff (Lisa Hannigan, Bastille, Josh Groban).
Overall Colourshop has overcome 3 million streams only on the Spotify platform. Colourshop is set to release a collection of new singles throughout 2019.
In March 2019, he took part in the Kronplatz Ski Music Festival supporting Tom Walker European tour and he is set to tour California in the summer playing more than 17 dates.
Tell us what your fans are saying about your music.
My fans really appreciate the honesty and concreteness of my songwriting. My songs talk about real-life experiences and I always try to offer interesting views about the world we live in. The topics are never trivial, so I often receive messages from my fans expressing how much they relate to the same situations. They follow my socials and they are always very responsive when I publish new material.
Tell us the factors you consider in choosing a song as your favorite.
I like songs that make me think, songs that give me an emotional kick. In such a fast-paced world, it’s good to have something to lean on for five minutes and stop thinking about anything else. Those are usually the songs that I tend to listen to over and over, but sometimes, depending on the mood, I don’t mind a lighter and more carefree tune, as long as it has a nice groove.
Tell us the names of producers you will collaborate with if you have the chance.
I would like to work with Dani Castelar, Paolo Nutini’s producer of Caustic Love. I really love the vibes of his latest album and the way the songs are arranged.
The sound is vintage and modern at the same time, the kind of things I like. I also love the sound of Danger Mouse on Michael Kiwanuka’s debut album: Cold Little Hearts is a masterpiece!
Tell us the names of the songwriters you will collaborate with if you have the chance.
Damien Rice is one of my all-time favorite artists! I would love to work with him! He is so raw and real, his music was a real inspiration for me.
I also love John Mayer; he is so eclectic in his style. He started with pop-rock, then blues, country and so many other musical influences in his songs!
I respect him much because he had the courage to pursue his music career independently of what the public might think of his new material and direction. He is also a tremendous guitar player and I would absolutely love to play some music with him!
Tell us your favorite TV show and state your reason.
I don’t watch much TV; I actually don’t have a TV at home since I moved to the UK, ten years ago. I do enjoy from time to time some good show though. The last one I liked a lot was ‘Narcos.’ The actors were really good and, despite some adaptations, it gives you a good insight into what happened at that time in Colombia and in general in South America. It is a kind of documentary but with some good stories in it. I loved the soundtrack from Rodrigo Amarante – Tuyo, which I covered some time ago. There is a video of it on YouTube.
I have not jumped on the Game Of Thrones hype, for some reason the fantasy theme doesn’t appeal to me so much but I enjoyed Black Mirror, from Netflix: great food for thought about our society and social media.
Tell us your best mood to create a song.
I discovered that I am the most productive when I travel. Somehow getting out of the daily routine helps me to condensate my feelings and thoughts to write new material.
I am like a sponge that gets soaked and finally can release its content at the right time. That is why I am always taking with me my ‘guitalele’ (a mix between ukulele and guitar) wherever I go. The peak of a mountain, a beach, or a quiet balcony in a remote town in Andalusia could offer a great time for creating a new song.
Tell us your interpretation of fame or success.
The thing I like the most when I think about fame or success is the idea that thousands and thousands of people in front of you would sing your songs out loud.
It must be an amazing feeling because it means the message you were trying to convey through your lyrics and music arrived deep down in the soul of so many people. Everyone would relate to the song in a different, personal way and so your song is not yours anymore, it belongs to everyone: that is absolutely beautiful for me!
The other aspect I like about success is the fact you would spend much time traveling to so many places around the world, meeting new people, learning new things and knowing new cultures: all this without the hassle of thinking about the logistics, focusing only on your artistic side.
Tell us the names of artists you will collaborate with if you have the chance.
One thing I would like to do is to write a song for a female singer. Just because I think that the same song has a completely different vibe when a female sings it.
One of my favorite artists I would like to collaborate with, in that sense is Norah Jones.
I absolutely love her style: very simple and direct but also sophisticated and elegant, great voice and amazing piano playing.
Tell us about your experience performing on stage for the first time or recording in the studio for the first time.
My first time on stage was during my school years, I was learning classical guitar and I was about 10.
I still remember the composition: ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon.’ It was a French traditional folk song and I was so excited and scared! Since then I could never live without that adrenaline rush of performing in front of an audience.
I started recording in my home studio with very rudimentary equipment so the first time I went to a real studio I was literally overwhelmed by all those lights and buttons; it was too much for me!
I remember listening to my own voice back from the speakers for the first time and it was kind of shocking! You are never happy with the result as you have your own voice sound in your head. Let alone the struggle with the tempo, it all sounds good when performing live but when you listen back to what you did, you see so many imperfections!
Tell us how you approach songwriting.
Some people find songwriting an easy process, for me, it is quite the opposite. I need to be in a certain state of mind, in a quiet place, and with no distractions around. I would usually spend time playing guitar or piano to find a good melody and rhythm. Only then, I write lyrics that match the mood of the song and sing it along.
I am using my phone to record little portions of the song not to forget them and then I move on to the next part.
It could take sometimes months to consolidate the whole song; it’s kind of a cathartic process for me.
Once the song is ready, I record it properly on my computer and listen to it over and over, asking opinions from my friends and the producers I work with. Finally, I start working out where/how to record it in a real studio.
Tell us your opinion on blending genres or experimenting with sound.
I am not too obsessed with creating something nobody has ever heard of. Originality for the sake of it is pointless, in my opinion, if it’s not accompanied by a message to be delivered with it.
Music is a language and a medium to communicate, hence to do something nobody can understand just for the sake of it doesn’t make sense to me.
Although I love to find new sounds and styles using different instruments and tools to add elements that would surprise the listener, like when I used my ‘charango’ ( a South American string instrument I bought in Argentina ) on my single Let me show you how.
In general, I would like to work more with other artists to explore new directions and sounds: it is on my To-Do list.
Tell us how you deal with rejection.
Rejection is an integral part of a musician’s career. We all have to deal with it and over the years I learned how to take advantage of rejections.
Instead of being sad about it, I use it as a motivation to work harder and to get better at what I do. I think this is the best way to cope with something that will always be there.
Elaborate on what compels you to sing.
I cannot really imagine myself without singing or playing music. It is part of my soul since I was a little kid.
Sometimes through singing I realize things about me, about life, I find the answers that I was looking for or simply I relax and I feel good after it.
I also have to say that sometimes rehearsing for a show could be hard at the end of a busy day and I need to find the strength to do it, but once I start it all comes naturally.
Tell us the comparison between digital recording and analog recording.
Unfortunately, I did not have a chance yet to try analog recording. I would love to listen to my music on a tape! If I think about the sound of a Studer tape recorder I get goosebumps!
I have to say on the other hand that A/D converters these days reached an incredible quality and the sound is so sharp that I cannot complain too much! The main difference to me is that warm feeling you get when listening to analog recorded music or analog supports, that is why I am exploring the possibility to print some vinyl for my next albums.
Tell us how you record your vocals.
In terms of microphone and preamp, it really depends on the song and vibes I want to give to the recording.
When I record the vocals I usually stand in a dark empty room and before starting I meditate and free my mind up. I found out I can only connect with the song’s mood when my mind is empty.
At home, I use an AKG 414 with an API preamp replica.
Tell us the software you used mostly for recording.
I used to record with Cubase or Logic. In the last couple of years, I am mostly using Reaper: a simple open-source, free software available online, mostly because it is very simple to use and it allows me to focus on the performance rather than on the “buttons”. I usually record only demos at home and leave the more fine-grain production details to the producer I work with.
I found out that working on recording software is a full-time job that requires a lot of studies so I decided to leave it to the professionals.
Discuss the selling of CDs and the selling of digital files through digital stores.
I have to say that if it wasn’t for platforms like Spotify I would have not had the chance to be heard in so many places by so many people. I reached over 3.5 million streams on Spotify only from all over the world. I find this absolutely incredible! Back in the days, you could only achieve this by having a label distributing your CDs in physical stores, which was highly unlikely to happen.
I still like the physical support through the object itself is, in fact, a complementary side of the music contained in it.
The paper, the packaging, the photographs, everything contributes to deliver the experience. I still print a number of limited copies of my releases, transforming the CD to a collection piece for my biggest fans to own (and for myself to look at as personal achievement. : )
Indeed it is difficult these days to sell CDs since many high-fi systems and PCs do not carry any more CD players, unfortunately, vinyl could be a good alternative although more expensive to print.
In terms of revenues, I agree with some that say that these digital platforms give little to the artists but, let us be honest if they weren’t there we would not get any money at all!
Elaborate on the song.
‘Katherine’ is a song written on a warm night of July in Biarritz, France – The story of a relationship in the span of a night. The lovers look out for each other in the mysterious alleys of the French city, the seduction game symbolized by the chess moves, and the final resolution of the morning light that represents a new beginning for both the lovers.
I was always fascinated by odd rhythm so I started writing this song in 5/4. This is quite an unusual time signature for a pop tune but it surely contributes to the intriguing atmosphere of the song.
Elaborate on your artist name and the title of the album.
My artist name, Colourshop, derives from the inspiration that London gave me soon after I arrived in the city.
Its multiculturalism was and is a constant source of inspiration for me!
Imagine a spice shop, full of colors and flavors: these are my songs or how I imagined them, each one different from the other, and each one representing a different color I wanted to show to the listeners.