In Conversation with Old Fashioned Lover Boy ahead of upcoming single ‘I Pray’
Italian singer/songwriter Old Fashioned Lover Boy will be sharing the first single from his upcoming LP, ‘I Pray’ on 25 January 2019 via A Modest Proposal Records. Alessandro Panzeri, the man behind the music, released his first EP in 2014 and performed all over Italy, steadily growing a loyal following. With the release of his debut album, ‘Our Life Will Be Made of Simple Things’, he gained the attention of fans abroad in the UK and in USA as the lead single ‘Oh My Love’ was spreading across the world.
He has since shifted his acoustic guitar dominated sound to focus more on piano-driven melodies infused with RnB elements. Blending jazz, soul, folk, and funk, “I Pray” is a forgiving, tender track that offers a welcome, optimistic twist on issues such as self-care and coming to terms with your own happiness, before being able to open up to a potential romantic partner.
We caught up with him ahead of the release to chat about his inspirations and processes.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
Music has always been my way of escaping from reality, of confronting myself, with my fears, my anxieties, my unfulfilled desires. I have always approached writing songs as an instrument to feel good about myself. I practically hardly ever played other songs and I learned to play guitar directly trying to write my songs. For this reason, I do not consider myself a true musician but a person who uses music to his liking
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
First of all, I start with writing the songs – Chords and melodies of the voice – When I start to play a song a few times (on guitar or piano) an idea develops in my mind about how I would like it arranged and what kind of sound it should have. At that point is the time to run into the recording studio.
Does your material feature any collaborations?
The final result of the new songs created is the result of constant comparison with Marco Giudici (the producer) All the tracks have been completely played and arranged by us.
What’s on your current playlist?
Frank Ocean, Daniel Caesar, Rex Orange Country, Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear, Local Natives, Wild Nothing, Bon Iver, John Lennon
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
For a long time, I went on tour alone, this forced me to try to overcome my shyness and to have a more direct relationship with my audience. When you are alone on a stage it is as if you were naked, everyone watches you and it becomes essential to immediately break the distance and create empathy and exchange with the fans.
With this new album, I’d like to play a lot with my band and have the chance to move more on stage, maybe singing – without playing instruments – some songs
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
The new songs have a very different sound from the previous ones, we mixed the folk songwriting with so much soul and R&B music. We tried not to follow precise rules and put everything we liked into it, making attempts at attempts. It was a very long process. I think the end result is a very personal sound, which I am very proud of
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
A typical day in the studio passes with me watching Juju (Marco) loop the same song, or a part of it, manipulating effects or inserting/deleting samples until we are satisfied with the final sound.
Sometimes we have spent whole days on small details of songs, other times in a single day we arranged and recorded a whole song.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “This is what I want to do?”
Perhaps it has not yet arrived. To live I have to do other jobs, I can not live on music. Maybe because I’m too insecure about my music or maybe because I feel it is more precious to me than to others.
I hope that day will arrive soon.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
So far I’ve never been on stage without holding a guitar. On the next tour, I want to try it
Any emerging artists on your radar?
I’m completely crazy about an artist discovered on Spotify. Is name is M.T. Hadley. But he has not published any new songs form 2016 🙁
What gets your creative juices flowing?
I start playing randomly until I find something, a hook, which starts an inspiration. I do not write regularly, but when I dedicate myself I can be prolific
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
I collect guitars. Maton, Seagull, and Godin for an acoustic and semi-acoustic sound, Gibson Es 335 and Fender Telecaster Thinline for electric. I do not use many guitar effects (some reverb and chorus) and I write music with a Roland Juno-DI which I will play on tour.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
I’ve never worried about this. I’ve always tried to play the music I want, without worrying too much about the rest.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
8 songs and ( I hope ) a great live tour
Follow Old Fashioned Lover Boy