Share your life story with us.
I was born in a small northern Italian city (Novara) to a Sicilian father and a Dutch mother who fell in love at first sight during a casual visit to the Trevi Fountain in Rome, straight out of a scene of one of those classic Italian movies of the sixties. Brought up in the love and attraction along with the incomprehension of two diverse cultures totally opposite in nature, I learned to coexist in this family microcosm with the similar approach in which today’s post-modern world deals with globalization.
My maternal grandfather Louis Noiret was a famous musician artist/ singer and author as well as editor of a vast amount of popular Dutch songs that are still to this day interpreted, played and listened to in the local scene. From him, I acquired my artistic name along with the passion for music, songwriting, and performing. After winning several children singing contest award and having consolidated my first musical experiences as did other similar kids my age (music school, high school band, youth musical exhibitions) I signed my first record contract in the 80s as a solo vocalist with ATLAS DELTA in Milan.
Following this, I relocated to Amsterdam where I lived for some years and recorded as songwriter/singer and producer for the Dutch record company DURECO Benelux and also TELESTAR forming the artistic duo Alex and Joe along with the Italian drummer/percussionist Joe Damiani. The meeting with this exceptional musician apart from marking the birth of a beautiful friendship and artistic collaboration served to awaken in me the attraction towards percussion especially in regards to the tuned instruments such as the marimba and the vibraphone.
By experimenting with these sounds and inserting them in our pop dance songs during this period, I slowly discovered the fascinating sonority that these instruments could create and this brought me to produce along with Joe a concept album (WORLD OF PERCUSSION), under the artistic name of CENTRAL STATION. This album was composed and executed with only voice and percussion. With the passing of the years the duo broke up and each member went on to pursue solo careers. I have continued my experimentation by applying these instruments within a pop context.
As a kid, I was not attracted so much by classical music only with the exception of a very brief period. In fact, the first musical styles that I was passionate about revolved around swing, rock & roll, and UK Rock. Following that my musical taste shifted from Rock to all kind of black music (soul, R&B, funk) but the use of classical percussion made me take a re-evaluate classical, contemporary and jazz music. So I reapplied towards studying music at the conservatory and this provided the stimulus to contribute with other musicians who derived from these styles and not only, producing a new concept album which got its name from the title of the first track called LOSING BUTTERFLIES under the name Noiret & the Flowers.
Today I live in a beautiful country house which we have restored in the Novarese countryside. Here I have learned to love the flowers and plants by way of cultivating and understanding their variety. I have created my own life dimension in which I have learned to adjust and adapt my work, efforts, and responsibilities towards my own persona with its rhythms and timing and not the other way around. In this moment I am currently rewriting and reinterpreting songs that I have produced in the past experimental versions opening them towards current collaborations with musicians and producers of diverse musical genre-mixing the tuned percussion sonority with other instruments and not limiting them to any specific musical style.
I wish to continue making music and hope that life and the sharing with those that love me and want to be close to it will inspire and teach me new paths.
Share your press release.
After releasing my earliest songs back in the 80s with some of the most famous European independent labels (DURECO-BENELUX, TELSTAR, MERAK MUSIC, and ATLAS-DELTA), and producing two experimental albums featuring only voice and percussions, I launch my new single Out of Sight, a pop-dance version of the song included in my recent full-length ‘Losing Butterflies’. New version features not only melodic percussions like marimba and vibraphone, performed by myself, but also a variety of electronic sounds provided by keyboards player/arranger Vinicio Crivelletto. Other musicians involved in the sessions were Chris Airoldi on drums, Berget Lewis, and Sara Jane on backing vocals. The song was recorded by Giorgio Andreoli at Arecibo Studios and by Philip Bagenal, who did also the mixing session assisted by George Murphy, at Eastcote Studios, London.
Like Ed Sheeran did in his 2017’s big hit Shape of you, I put the spotlight on marimba, as trademark of my song, using it not only as a sample, but playing it live during the recording sessions, while singing. By the time I composed my two last records, melodic percussions are the basis on which I develop my songs; this new version of Out of sight is meant to reach a bigger amount of mainstream listeners than the experimental version recorded in the past. Todays’ sounds are conceived merging different musical genres and trends: rock meets funk, folk meets soul, dance meets melodic-pop. My musical background comes from several experiences, ranging from rock to soul, from swingin’ jazz to dance music, even from world/ethnic to classical music.
As a long-time Italian agent for well-known musical instruments manufacturer Adams Percussion, I felt so much in love with the instruments I was distributing that I decided to enroll myself in a regular percussion course at the Classical Conservatory, developing my playing technique and working on a way to introduce melodic percussions in the pop music genre.
The lyrics of Out of Sight were inspired by the perennially popular theme of modern human being anguish and insecurity, first explored in the classic 1930’s movie ‘Modern Times’, directed and starred by iconic Charlie Chaplin. I believe this is still, and more than ever, a problem for today’s man’s life. Stress, fears and self-destruction seem an almost inevitable consequence of life in a society that tends to see all people as one big demographic group, exploiting them for the purpose of making more money, while ignoring their legitimate desire for self-determination and expression.
Out of Sight is a prelude to a new full-length, to be released during the year; catchy songs will amalgamate modern electronic moods with the soft, seductive sounds of the acoustic melodic percussions, creating a new musical departure that will have its own and very personal identity.
List the names of those that have assisted you so far in your music career and use this opportunity to thank them.
I think that the list would be long but if I have to mention a few of them I have to thank first of all my grandfather Louis Noiret. From him I inherited the passion for music, song writing and performing; then my mother who supported me always during my musical career since I was a kid and especially in the moments of delusion. Of course I have to thank Milvia, my woman, who always believed in me as an artist and shared with me the same way of thinking and living which I think is creative and self-determined somehow.
Musically speaking I must thank all my friends who are musicians and that stimulated me in finding new ways of expressing myself. Joe Damiani for example who’s a brilliant drummer, percussionist, and composer, Vinicio Crivelletto who made also the keyboards arrangements of my latest songs, Chris Airoldi, my drummer, all percussionists from the classical and jazz world that I met during the last years as representative of Adams musical instruments, like Jan Pustjens, Ruud Wiener, Emmanuel Sejournè, Leigh Stevens, Mike Manieri, David Friedmann, Filippo Lattanzi, Riccardo Balbinutti, and of course all my teachers at the Conservatory of Novara. All these percussionists have stimulated me for becoming a percussionist by myself and for sharing with me the love for melodic percussion instruments.
Without being in contact with them I’d never had the opportunity to be fascinated by instruments like marimba and vibraphone which now are my basic instruments for making music and for playing while singing the songs. Last but not least thanks must be to the “Komitato” as we name it. It’s a kind of committee made from very close friends and relatives who loves me and my music and that since last year are taking care of my music career.
Narrate your experience while recording in the studio or while touring.
As son of an Italian father and Dutch mother I must say that I don’t feel having much roots in any special country. I mean Italy is now the country where I live and it’s a beautiful country to live in, but as beautiful as many others and so I must say that I could feel at home everywhere where there’s an open-minded society and where there’s still freedom and tolerance. If I have to say that, where I really belong is “the stage”. I mean the smell of the empty theatre during the rehearsals, the warmth coming out of the public during a performance, that dark subtle haze across the ribalta, those are my roots and the possible elements of my homesickness.
Due to family matters, I had to stop for some years making gigs or tours, but I hope to start touring again in the summertime. I remind mostly one of the earliest tours in south Italy because I’ve never laughed so much in my life. I remember sometimes we were rolling on the floor for too much laughing about the crazy situations we were living with the band there. It was really like living in a movie.
The recording studio instead was and still is for me a normal working place where an artist may develop, create and find his own expression and produce his own work and style… I’ve been always fascinated by the record process: micing, instruments, mixing etc. So working in a lot of studios from the early 80s till now like the Soundpush Studios where so many famous artists recorded their albums, like The Police and Simply Red, and the Dureco Studios in Holland up to the Metropolis Studio and Eastcote Studio in London and in so other many Professional and project studios in Italy and round Europe, now I must say I would like to have my own recording studio. So I’m intending to rebuild what was previously a cowshed and hay-loft near my house farm where I live and there I would like to invite other record producers to work together and produce my new songs. In fact, I would like to concentrate more and more just on the performance and leave the record production to others who may have and bring new fresh inspirations.
Go into detail about your songwriting process.
As a singer first than being composer or author I must say that my songs are always coming out from brief melody with some simple words that are making the first cell of the refrain. Sometimes it may come out a ref from an electric bass line, or coming out from playing the bass marimba, or just from pure imagination. It’s rare that one song of mine suddenly can come out entire.
Brief us on what you have on the way for your fans out there.
I’m finishing new songs to complete the tracklist of my new LP which I expect to publish during second half of 2018. In the meantime I’m rehearsing for future gigs (I’m setting dates for the Summer) and working on a couple of ideas to show all the facets of my art.
Tell us what you are doing to increase your fan base.
I’m committing to reach the biggest audience possible with my music, working with well-known promoters/aggregators based in the UK, involving radios, networks and magazines. I’m also improving my presence on social networks and developing agreements with companies for mutual promotion. In the next future I hope to have more and more interaction with fans, and arrange meet-and-greets and gigs.
Tell us that point in time that you just feel like giving up on your music career.
Never! Even if I had my delusions as probably a lot of musicians and people in the show business, I must say that I’ve never thought to give up music and my music career, because I’m just a singer and performer. Later I became a songwriter and musician/producer and I had my experiences and my studies. That means I can stop if I wish (but why do I have to do so?) writing or producing music but not singing and performing simply I can’t stop being what I am and what I was. I believe that a great part of what a human being is; was already there at the moment when he was conceived.
I think I have the same genes as my grandfather and I had also the fortune to discover it being on a stage, for the first time when I was about 6 years old. Sometimes not everyone is lucky to realize it. The fact of having success, notoriety, and make more or less money out of it is another matter. I pay my bills not from making music so far but that doesn’t mean that I have to stop being what I am and making music. As representative of percussion instruments I’m doing pretty well and I put everywhere I’m working a part of me as performer. Obviously, I feel myself at best being creative on stage and in the studio, and if there’s the possibility, ok, great, if not you keep working on it, but as I said before, this has nothing to do with notoriety and money because it’s a matter of “to be” and not “to have”.
Go into detail on how you make your instrumentation or melody.
It’s strange but somehow I have to thank for not having had a big success when I was young because if I had it probably I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet the world of percussion and to become a melodic percussionist. To pay my bills at that time I had to open another door that life put me in front of. That was the business opportunity to become Adams representative for the Italian market and as I decided to open that door, I had in my house some demo models of marimba and vibraphone. I began to play them imitating my clients looking at their technique. After a while I began to take private lessons and finally I was enrolled to follow the regular course of classical percussion at the Conservatory.
Now marimba and vibraphone are the basic instruments that I use to accompany my melodies and they are providing me that particular sound and inspiration for my music. They have a certain evocative effect on me that I have to develop in a commercial way so that I can bring it and transmit it to the public just in a simple way, as musicians did in the past with other instruments like piano and electronic instruments. I mean that it’s difficult for a musician enchanted from a musical instrument not being too experimental or too much in the forefront.
But this is actually what I would like to bring in the music market somehow. In the past there were just a few singer-songwriters who accompanied themselves with those instruments; I can remember only Lionel Hampton and Roy Ayers. I would like to become one of those and try to follow and develop this way of performing and create music.
Tell us your complete understanding of music licensing.
I think I have some understanding about music licensing as my grandfather was a publisher and as I was since the 80s registered as author at the author/composers/publisher Dutch society BUMA/STEMRA. I know of course about the diverse rights of mechanic reproduction, author rights of publication in airplay, live performing and, recording royalties in physical and digital distribution in Europe. I know that there are some differences in performing rights between UK and Europe, especially regarding the taking parts of executions of freelancer musicians. But also in Europe now the authors’ societies are becoming to make some changes.
Tell us the best way to get in touch with you on social media.
Give us the links to your various stores.
Tell us your favorite genre of music.
As I was involved in several music genres from swinging jazz to dance music, from ethnic music to classical, and from rock to soul, I must say that I still like several music styles. I don’t like metal rock, punk, heavy techno-house music, and some indie music from the ‘90s. I like almost all black-music as funk, soul, R&B (Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire etc.) and their influences in pop and rock. My favorite bands as a kid were The Beatles and The Police, but I loved Frank Sinatra’s interpretations of the classic jazz standards of the ‘40s /’50s, as well as a lot of female jazz singers. Later I discovered the poetry of progressive rock music of the ’70 (Genesis, Yes, and many others). Speaking about the new generation, I like several new interpreters: John Legend, Charlie Puth, Ed Sheeran, Rag’n’Bone Man, Kaleo. I mean, I like all kinds of music that are able to transmit a kind of warmth, energetic, positive feeling, or that carry a message of peace, love, introspection and poetry.
Tell us the subject matter of most of your songs.
The subject is actually what I like to find in other musicians and interpreters I listen to on the media or live in concert. Or it’s an experience that I or a friend of mine have had during the day life, a positive message that can help me and my audience to understand better life, nature and their secrets. It doesn’t matter for me from where I can get an inspiration for a subject ‘because the important thing is that music is a language and a way to express something spiritual that comes through the vehicle of the artist to the public. So I’m trying to be always aware of it when I’m writing or singing my songs.
Tell us all we need to know about this song.
As I now believe more than ever, anguish and insecurity are big problems for man’s life today; stress, fears, and self-destruction seem almost inevitable consequences of living in a society that tends to see all people as one big demographic group, exploiting them for the purpose of making more money, while ignoring their legitimate desire for self-determination and expression.
So by this song, I invite myself and my fans to be aware not to be controlled or manipulated by the system we’re living in. As far as we, in our single lives, do respect the others and their rights and way of living; we have to take care of our personal needs that are different one from the other. Each one of us has his own personality, nature and single talent and therefore we have the right and duty to develop and follow them and not ignore them just for being a cog-wheel of this big making-money machine.
Tell us what you think about digital distribution and streaming.
It’s just another way of distributing and publishing music. It might be an opportunity for artists to be more involved and active in spreading their own music and making it alongside a social presence. But obviously a musical career needs a lot of things as first good music, or a good musical proposal and project. In second place you need to work together with the right persons who might support you as an artist, like managers, producers, sponsors, press releases, DJs with radio airplay, television etc. Last but not least you must take advantage of all the feedbacks that can help you in developing your music in the right way.
Tell us various ways that artists can boost their revenue.
As an independent artist, I think that actually, the best way to earn money for a musician is by playing concerts. Selling records is a big business only for the artists you see on the charts, the others have to put together gigs, merchandising sales, and paid appearances. Trained musicians may try other ways, like teaching or signing endorsements.
Tell us your thought on self-training and going to an educational institution to study music.
The study of music is a fundamental part of an artist’s life, as it is acting. I’m talking about acting because it’s an important part of the performance, especially for a front man/woman. It depends on how you’re building your career. You might have no need to study and take lessons if you are very much talented and don’t have much ambition or have a lot of supports from other musicians. Obviously talking about just a career of a singer.
But if you are a musician, a singer-songwriter, or just a singer who doesn’t want to hang on fortune and wants to establish himself as a remarkable artist in front of a demanding audience, which is common today with all kind of high-end products of stars from the past and the present and with so much concurrence in today’s music market, then I think that to build your reputation, now more than ever, it’s really necessary to have the most information and practice from a professional study to develop your talent and art.
About self-training: this is something you could not avoid even if you are the most talented artist in the world.
You have to go out performing in front of a public as much as you can and the same thing is applicable to recording sessions that allow you to hear your mistakes and make all kind of corrections to develop your own music style.
Go on at length on what it takes to write a hit song.
If I knew the secret recipe for a perfect hit song, I would be on top of the charts. Seriously, there are many things that concur to make a good hit: simple but non-trivial lyrics, catchy music, inspiration, stylistic consistency, knowledge of your target. Not easy to find the perfect mix.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
Noiret. Comes from my grandfather’s artist name: Louis Noiret.