Interview: Fil Bo Riva

Italian singer-songwriter Fil Bo Riva unveils a wonderfully surreal cinematic video to accompany his song Different But One – taken from his new album Beautiful Sadness.

A moody, melancholic introduction of simple intertwining melodies soon expands into an epic indie anthem, with moments of euphoria contrasted with contemplative tenderness.

Having just completed a European tour to promote his album, Fil Bo Riva (Filippo Bonamici) spoke to me about his love of The Beatles, working with Marie Schuller to bring his song to life on screen and what he’s got planned for the rest of the year…

Hey Filippo! Can you tell me about how you first started making music?

I first started doing music when I was around ten years old. My neighbours were big Beatles fans and we started simply trying to be like them. I picked up a guitar, they picked up other instruments and we started making music out of our own interest.

Congratulations on your new single Different But One. What’s the song about?

It’s hard to explain what songs are about… for example, some songs are created around a title. Josie, my girl, had the title Different But One, and so I used the title and wrote a whole story around it. It was mainly based around those three words.

You’ve released a beautiful music video / short film for the single, directed by Marie Schuller. Why did you decide to create something more cinematic?

I was looking for a video maker who simply understood what I tried to visualise. It wasn’t really my interest to make it look cinematic, but I found out that’s the style that I like. The song helped us make it look even more cinematic, because it’s a long song. Marie [Schuller] did a very, very good job by writing the whole storyline and developing our ideas.

You released your debut album Beautiful Sadness earlier this year. What’s your favourite track from the record?

My favourite track on the album is L’impossibile, because it’s the very first song that I wrote in Italian. It started off as a very, very simple demo which we produced, and somehow interestingly for us, tried to put together different words and different eras of music production. The song just turned out to be what it is now.

Who are your biggest musical influences?

My biggest musical influence is The Beatles. There’s a lot of other bands, but I usually just say them, because there’s so many others. They’re the reason that I started music, so you couldn’t get a bigger influence than that.

I see you just performed a headline show at Oslo in London. How was that? Have you got more live dates coming up?

Yes, we performed at Oslo last month and it was beautiful; beautiful to see the venue grow and more people come. For now, the tour is over but we’re going to play summer festivals, so catch us there.

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

What’s the best advice? Well, that’s a good question to be honest!

I’ve been thinking about it for a bit and actually, I’ve never really been given good advice. I mean, I learnt a lot doing it by myself and I never really talked to anybody to give me much guidance. So my advice would be, talk to more people so you can get that advice!

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