INTERVIEW: Colourshop

Seductive guitar melodies and subdued percussion weave their way through the backstreets of France on a warm summer’s night; setting the scene for Colourshop’s latest single, Katherine.

The song’s accompanying music video depicts Colourshop (aka Italian-born London-based singer-songwriter Alfredo Salvati) wandering the dream-like landscape of Biarritz, crossing paths with a lover but never quite finding what he’s looking for.

I had a chat to Alfredo to learn more about his one-man band, why he decided to move to London from Rome and what’s coming up next for Colourshop…

Hey Alfredo! Can you tell me about your musical journey and how Colourshop was formed?

I made my first steps in the music world at the age of 10 when my father signed me up to the local music school. He thought the school would be a better place for me to sing out loud rather than his car. I started with guitar and piano classes, followed by singing classes the year after.

Colourshop was formed about eight years ago – originally formed of me and my brother, Diego. Since he moved to Spain four years ago, Colourshop has become a singer-songwriter one-man-band project… just me!

The name Colourshop derives from the inspiration that London gave me soon after I arrived to the city. It’s multiculturalism was, and still is, a constant source of inspiration for me!

Imagine a spice shop, full of colours and flavours: these are my songs, or how I imagined them, each one different from the other, each one representing a different colour I wanted to show to the listeners.

I love your new single Katherine. What was the inspiration behind the song and how was it recorded?

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 symbolised by 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 rhythms, so I started writing this song in 5/4. This is quite an unusual time signature for a pop tune but I think it contributes to the intriguing atmosphere of the song.

My girlfriend Katerina helped me much with the lyrics – the troubled relationship described in the song was kind of autobiographic – so I decided to name the song after her.

How are you finding the music scene in London compared to Rome?

I must say the London music scene is much more active. There are hundreds of bar where you can easily go and play in open mics, which is great for any new musician in town to make contacts and get some experience. I have never seen that in Rome.

Don’t get me wrong, Italian people love music, but live music is conceived more as entertainment than as a form of art, which means that is not easy for emerging singer-songwriters to find gigs and opportunities.

If you could tour with any band in the world, who would it be and why?

I would love to tour with John Mayer, he is one of my favourite artists. He is so eclectic: started with pop-rock, then blues, country and so many other influences in his music! I respect him because he had the courage to make his career choices regardless of what his fans would think of him, something you don’t see often these days in the music industry.

He is a great guitar player and I love his lyrics.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a musician?

Never give up, don’t get discouraged by rejection and always be sure you are proud of what you do.

What are your plans for the rest of 2019? Any live shows coming up?

I have a show in Ericeira, a cute little town next to Lisbon at the end of June and then I am off to California for a tour between July and August! I can’t wait, it’s going to be awesome!

I am also recording new material, so I plan to release at least another single during the autumn and a live album by the end of the year! A lot of things going on!

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