Producer and sound engineer Matilde Davoli has just released her new single ‘Il Coraggio di Provare’, the video of which was a cinematic triumph. The single is a precursor to her upcoming album Home, which will drop on the 5th of November via Loyal To Your Dreams.
With a sound that draws parallels to that of Feist, Air and Zero 7, she is an established personality in the Italian independent music scene has worked alongside several international artists.
We caught up with her for the inside scoop on her new album, creative influences, and favorite career memory:
Describe your sound for us. What do you want people to feel when they hear your music?
Shaping the sound is part of my writing process, especially as a sound engineer and producer. It is a continuous research of atmospheres and ways to amaze the listener and keep the attention high. I try to push people into a limbo made of smoky sensations, to let their imagination run.
‘Il Coraggio di Provare’ is the only Italian song that you’ve written for the LP as well as in your career. Tell us about some of the challenges you faced while putting it together.
It’s been a very natural process. At some point, my friend Gigi sent over this short music loop because we wanted to write something together. As soon as I listened to it I thought of Lucio Battisti (a very important Italian songwriter from the 60-70s). Italian felt like the perfect match to that music. As any first time it hasn’t been easy to write, and I have to admit it makes me very nervous, almost like feeling naked.
Which 3 artists have influenced you the most growing up?
I grew up listening to a lot of classical music and jazz, two genres that helped me to conceive and interpret “pop music” in a particular way… and I have to thank my father for that.
Certainly, my main references over the years have been Stereolab, Air, Broken Social Scene. However, I also have to mention the magic world of the 60s and 70s soundtracks.
How did you discover your particular sound?
There wasn’t a precise moment of discovery. I just think of music as a space where “sound” must have a very strong personality.
My background as a listener that I’ve built over the years is the most important thing I have, and thanks to that I could develop a musical identity over time. The records I’ve listened to a million times were my guiding light in the night
What are the most important pieces of equipment to you?
The very handsome Juno 106. I wouldn’t have known how to live and write without it in the last few years. Can’t imagine my life without it now.
Music for the individual or the masses – which do you want to create?
Music is very personal to me, so I have a very intimate approach to it. I like to make and listen to music that can give me deep emotions, that strikes straight to the heart.
I grew up in the alternative music scene and hope to always stand out from the commercial crowd, regardless of whether this cuts some “target” out.
Do you have a favourite memory of your career so far?
Well, that’d be my performance at the Primavera Sound 2016 in Barcelona. I think I’ve never felt such a strong emotion. Those days were beautiful as well as the people I had around me: my label and musicians, all the people under the stage singing with me every song.
It still seems like a dream… or maybe it was :).
If you could work with, or perform alongside any artist living or past, who would it be?
Well, It’s a huge question! I mentioned Stereolab before, and surely they have been and will always be my Beatles!
I am also a huge fan of Feist, an extraordinary musician and a breathtaking voice, for me the most beautiful in the world.
Finally, since we’re speaking about impossible things, I would also mention Miles Davis, a music superhero.
What kind of message are you trying to send with your music?
I focus my attention on emotions, so I almost never talk about the specific events as much, but rather about the feelings attached to them. Everybody has emotions to connect to – sadness, anger, love, hope… we need to understand them, tame them, sometimes fix them in our hearts and minds to better understand ourselves and others.
Which is your favourite track on your upcoming LP – what shouldn’t fans sleep on and why?
Ha, not easy to say! Let’s put it in this way, “Devotion” is the track I enjoyed the most in the making. All the production was very stimulating and funny. I love the drum beat and the jazzy evolution during the song. Not to mention the studio session with Emanuele Coluccia on the saxophone which is incredible!
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I’m preparing the live set and I will hopefully take the record around this winter and next summer. And a word to Mr COVID: move out of our way!
Image credit: Charlie Davoli