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Interview: Umberto Bravo guides us deep within his Sacred Sinner

With a pacifying attitude and fueling our fire with an insightful interview, Italian musician Umberto Bravo sat down with us recently to chat more about Sacred Sinner and much more.

Hello there Umberto Bravo. Thanks so much for your time and how are you doing today? Please let us know where you are based currently and what you love eating for dinner each night?

Umberto Bravo: Hi there! Thanks for having me! I am based in Rome now but my hometown is Naples. Oh, I am not a picky eater, really, but anyway I like to take care of myself and eat healthy food. Vegetables, mostly. Oh, and tons of pasta! Yes, I’m Italian…

Please tell us more about your new release called Sacred Sinner?

Umberto Bravo: Sacred Sinner was born from the need to talk about what is considered a burning theme, especially when you find yourself involved within a physical relationship with someone who cannot be in love or fall in love with you for various reasons. It made me question myself about the sense of religious guilt that pervades individuals in general, rather than only for what I experienced myself. It sounds like a love ballad but I would rather say that it is a song that talks about sex through love, because love is what I thought I was feeling. Yes, I said I thought.

What is your biggest achievement so far in your creative career?

Umberto Bravo: Making my own music, I guess. After almost 20 years of work as a vocalist in big events and as the frontman of tribute bands, the happiness that comes from writing, composing and arranging your own songs is indeed a big achievement. The icing on the cake will be releasing my first album, Melting Pop.

Melting Pop. Please give us more insight into your upcoming album?

Umberto Bravo: I will not go into detail, I want it to be a surprise. I hope I can put it out next May. I can only say that, apart from the collaboration with Luca Bizzi as far as the music production is concerned, there will be different versions of the singles I will be putting out from the album. Sacred Sinner, for example, has three different versions. One is the official one, the second is the one I am going to perform live due to its orchestral arrangement, and the third one will be out soon for Valentine’s day, as a gift to the lovers among my fans, wishing they could make love to it.

Luca Bizzi. What is your connection here to this talented soul who has worked with you in the past?

Umberto Bravo: He is a genius. When I think of him, one word comes to my mind: talent. Not only in making music or directing a video (he also directed the videos for my singles) but mainly for his creative ideas which perfectly match mine. The three versions of Sacred Sinner are the result of many months of working together and trying to dress up the lead melody with different tempos or sometimes even with a jazzy feel to it. I ended up choosing three of them that I thought could convey the sensual feeling you should get while listening best. At least, that was the intention behind it.

Why do you prefer to sing in English, rather than Italian?

Umberto Bravo: This is going to be a long answer, you have been warned! My parents used to have a cafè/ lounge bar inside of an amusement park in Naples. I spent all my teenage years there, otherwise, I would have grown up without seeing my parents most of the time. So, when I was about 7 or 8, I became obsessed with our jukebox and with the sounds that came out of it. Stevie Wonder, Elton John, The Police, Tom Jones, Aretha Franklin, and disco music were my first loves. Then my parents also decided to open a nightclub near a Nato Base where many American bands would come and play live, and that’s when I started to get really familiar with the English language. I still remember the smell of beer and the sound of their voices of those nights. It was a sort of Karaoke-night type of thing that was going on those nights. In the daytime, they would come to rehearse and that’s when I started to try and have conversations with them. I was obsessed with music and English phonetics. While I was still in middle school, I started to buy video cassettes of American films in their original language, in order to train my ear. After High school, I decided to go to college to get a degree in Foreign languages and literature, and so I did.

Finally, when you close your eyes and imagine your future, what do you visualize?

Umberto Bravo: Singing and playing my songs live to a small crowd while they’re sitting on cosy futons, creating an intimate setting, with lights down low. I don’t like playing in stadiums or big arenas, not anymore. Been there, done that. The acoustics in big venues is often terrible and I don’t actually love hearing screaming crowds while performing. Maybe that’s because I have been doing it a lot as a vocalist. It was fun for a while but then it became really tough and demanding, especially when you’ve had enough of singing other people’s songs and the screams are so loud that you can barely hear yourself, even through the in-ear monitors. So I definitely imagine my future to be relaxing, like in a music spa for the body, mind and soul.

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Interview by Llewelyn Screen