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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.

Listen up on Spotify. See more on IG.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

Rome-based Byron Blue Rose refuses to fall for this game again on, ‘Nelly II’

Releasing his 3rd single that takes us to a distressed place in his life that needs to be expressed, Byron Blue Rose wonders why his former lover sticks around and keeps on trying to control him in this sick game on, ‘Nelly II‘.

Byron Blue Rose is a Rome, Italy-based indie blues solo singer-songwriter who performs with many earnest sentiments and reflects the depressed world in its purest form.

Just another depressed artist? Kinda, but good as hell.” ~ Byron Blue Rose

With a raw feel that takes you to the edge of this mountain that is about to crumble and carry him down to the sharp rocks below, Byron Blue Rose has heard the wicked words and wants no part of what he is currently witnessing right now. His heart is cold and he wants this all to be a distant memory, so that he may start fresh and find a kind new lover with pure intentions.

Nelly II‘ from Rome, Italy-based indie blues solo singer-songwriter Byron Blue Rose is the kind of breakup anthem that takes you back to a place where stress reigned when the picture should have been just been packed with love and romance. He sings to us with real emotions and you feel the frustration, at being used and taken for granted by someone who he trusted once.

Sometimes the world can be so harsh, even if you deserve the opposite.

Check out this new single on Spotify and see more vibes on his IG page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

A Higher Place: Fantastic Italian EDM music producer Federico Procopio has us on the path to true elation with ‘Genesis’

Taken off his latest three-track EP, Federico Procopio helps us return to the welcoming roots of all things good and pure with his brand new instrumentally-charged release named ‘Genesis‘.

Federico Procopio is a Rome, Italy-based indie solo electronic artist. He makes a blissful blend of sensually-awakened vibrations which captures your entire imagination, helping you to overcome any self-doubt and tiring anxiousness.

Coming from a jazz education, expanded by arrangement and audio engineering studies, he finally came to the interest in composition and electronic music.” ~ Federico Procopio

On a supremely atmospheric nine-minute hair-lifting escapade into the inviting cloud-covered blue skies above, you feel a sense of exciting exhilaration transform each part of your delighted body. He has that rare ability to take your fragile mind to a happy place, where you may only feel a sense of calming exultation of the highest order.

Soundscapes and visualscapes inspired by the idea of returning to the core of things.” ~ Federico Procopio

Genesis‘ from the Rome, Italy-based indie electronic artist Federico Procopio, is a heart stirring song that washes off any toxic sewage in your life. Made with a bass-thumping flow and featuring a mystic background, this is a song for the movies if there ever was one.

With a translucent experience the whole way through, you might feel like you are floating away into a new world with so many exciting possibilities.

Hear this new single on Spotify and check out the IG music page for more.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Class Personified: Italy’s Lorenzo Carulli makes his magnificent skills look ‘Easy Peasy’

Taken off his brand new eight-track album called ‘Present Past‘, Lorenzo Carulli entertains us tremendously with his signature style, that shows the world that if you have that elusive belief, things can actually be ‘Easy Peasy‘.

Lorenzo Carulli is an engaging classical pianist and composer from Lecce, who is now based Rome in Italy. He makes that rare and magnificent type of music, which gives your back shivers of delight all over your fragile spine, his world class skill level eases your mind from a torrid world and into the fields of joy.

You feel his spectacular style blending from classical to his originals, he is a master at work and clearly marvels at the chance to show the world what all those years of practicing for hours a day, have done to his flawless technique. His fingers seem to roam free and his hands are at one with the piano, their souls connected as you feel so much soul-healing from this quality performance.

Easy Peasy’ from the brilliant Rome-based pianist and composer Lorenzo Carulli, is an entertaining effort that shows you how much fun he has whilst doing what he truly loves. He takes us on a journey that makes you smile, has you bewildered by his incredible skills, and brings you to a happy place where it counts deep within.

Stream this new single on Spotify and follow the story on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Feel So Free: Young Manchester-based RnB singer RAYRAY is ready to move on to greener pastures on 2nd single ‘Tell Me’

After the quick success of her debut single ‘8‘, RAYRAY returns with a breathtaking new single called ‘Tell Me‘.

The soulful RAYRAY is a fast-emerging Manchester, UK-based, Congolese-origin and Rome, Italy-born RnB/neo-soul singer-songwriter, who elegantly tells us true stories about love and performs from the heart, with every line sung from life experiences.

You feel her relief through the curious speakers, she was in love but is now happy that its all over as they can’t take your kindness any longer. She has survived the manipulative relationship and has grown stronger – perhaps a bit wearier than before – but still willing to love if its a kind person, not a selfish one.

Her voice is still young and raw, as she finds her true sound you can hear her quality rising to the top. Her crisply textured RnB vocals are such a lovely listen through the mellow beat, that compliments her vibrant voice just right.

Tell Me‘ from the effortless Manchester-based RAYRAY, is a terrific new single that has you lost in her voice, as you close your eyes and let her elegance guide you to a much better place than before you turned her on. Feeling free and expressing yourself properly, is the only way to truly be happy after all.

Stream this new single on Spotify and check out her growing IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

This is who I am: Linda aka Sand is simply remarkable on genre-bending gem ‘Naked’

Inspired by her fascinating world travels and working out who she really is, Linda aka Sand shows us her true soul to heartwarming delight on ‘Naked‘.

Linda Gambino is Linda aka Sand, a multi-skilled Rome, Italy-born, Berklee College of Music Boston graduate, indie soul/funk/jazz singer-songwriter, who has made a recent move to usually-thriving London in England.

She makes that genuine soundscape that is classy cool, who fills you up gently with hope and life throughout dusting away inner doubt and growing disillusionment in the world. This is a woman who is ready and sings so gloriously.

Produced by Italian composer Enrico Solazzo, this is a beat that fills you to the core and brilliantly reaches your soul as you marvel at the whole production. The song is so cinematic, the story of a woman who has made it through all those winding roads and avoided the tempting nature of this wild world.

Naked‘ from exceptional Italian musician Linda aka Sand, is that real moment you feel only once in your life. She projects the feeling that means you are ready for whatever challenges come your way, as your armor is so strong and absolutely priceless. This is who you really are.

Stream this stunning single here on Spotify and see her story on FB.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

The Circle Of Life

It might seem like an odd choice to cover a Led Zeppelin song from the bands second biggest selling album of all time, but rendered back into a minimal bar-room blues solo affair it does remind us of just how much that iconic band made a name for themselves by, if not plagiarising the old blues masters, at least channeling them. And this song in particular is very much based on a traditional gospel song already a favourite of folk revivalists and New York coffee-shop troubadours.

Vic Richardson renders a faithful and authentic pre-electric sound which echoes with the ghosts of a by gone age and returns the song to its rightful home through stripping it back to its bare necessities and letting space, anticipation and emotion do the rest. Sometimes you don’t need to bring much to the musical table, a song with this much history and tradition already drips with resonance and atmosphere, all you have to do is give it the freedom to take flight.

“Paper” – Catherine’s Room’s Latest Electronic Dream Pop Track

Catherine’s Room, an experimental music group from Rome, is a band with a sound that is smooth and relaxing yet also strong and in constant motion. Their latest track “Paper” presents their very own dream pop sound through a track which keeps developing through to the end, with constant additions to the instrumental texture as well as a vocal chorus melody that is as clear and clean, somewhat reminiscent of the undistorted reflection on a clear and still sea. Featuring simple phrase shapes and a minimalistic approach to melody creation the song still manages to evolve and develop through to the final notes.

“Paper” starts off with electronic organ carpets that set up the relaxing and atmosphere which develops into a dreamlike sensation as the beat kicks in and the vocal melody starts developing the first verse. Right as the chorus emerges, the vocal melody stands out even more, with long luscious notes accompanied by a build featuring soft string, creating a cinematic sound that it image evoking and delicate. Later on in the song, the entry of the electric guitar shakes things up and the image becomes slightly distorted while the melody remains clear and crisp. Catherine’s Room have a unique artistic vision and know how to craft sound in a truly effective way that is capable of communicating emotion and evoking images. Check it out!

-Sarah Marie Bugeja