Tell me a little bit about yourself, where are you from and where did your journey into music begin?
I’m from Turin, Italy, where I grew up and lived until two years ago, when I moved to
London. I’ve been a musician since I was very young. I started playing the drums at the
age of five and I fell in love with punk rock music. I managed to play in many bands when I was in high school and I was always involved in song-writing. When I was fifteen I started playing the acoustic guitar, to facilitate the composition of my band’s song. I remember that the more I played the guitar the more I discovered different genres of music, such as classic folk rock, such as Dylan and Young and new pop folk, such as Ben Howard and Mumford & Sons. When I was 16 I spent a summer in Ireland where I discovered that I wasn’t just able to play the guitar but my voice wasn’t too bad either. When I came back to Italy I had 5 brand new folkie songs and a stage name, Kiol. It has been given to me by some Irish friends of mine that after the summer we spent together they named me Ceol (pronounced Kiol) which means “music” in ancient Gaelic. That’s how I started my solo project and how I became a singer-songwriter.
If you had to sum up your style in three words, what would you say?
I always loved music in all its forms, and every time I discover a new artist I got inspire to write something different from what I’m used to. But if I had to sum up my style in three world I would say: guitar-driven alternative slacker-pop.
Where do you look for to find inspiration?
I believe in inspiration and I think it’s the fruit of genuine life experiences. But songwriting is an everyday exercise, the more you right the better you write. There are some times when you are full of things to say and you just need to grab your guitar and start playing. Other times it feels like you’re empty like a moonless sky and you’re just wasting your time, but it is never wasted indeed, it is a way to get better and better. Inspiration is everywhere, it lies in all the people you meet, the places you go, the things you do in your life. I’m used to write during the night ‘cause I feel like all my demons and wonders come to me to tell me the truth about my deepest thoughts and, of course, to smoke some of my weed (fuckers!!).
Tell us a little bit about your latest single, Lonely?
Lonely is about how important it is to enjoy our self-time. There are so many nights we feel the need to hang with people just not to stay alone. But when I grab my guitar, suddenly feel complete. I feel like I could stay by myself forever, writing songs and pretending to be on stage with my band. One night, I pictured myself with imaginary friends, they come over my house and we start to jam. I started playing and recording all the instruments I had in my room and that’s when the idea of the song came to my mind. That night, even if I just wanted not to be alone, thanks to music I ended up happy and with a new song I couldn’t stop listening to. You won’t never feel alone even if you are, if you let your passion drive you through the night. In these days of quarantine, I kinda see “Lonely” as my personal bible, to enjoy this strange period as much as I can, being creative with what I have at home and writing music all day long.
What makes it stand out from the rest of your singles?
I wrote it with a different mood from all the others. It is not pretentious, it does not need a full and soul voice to grab the listener. Lonely is the first song I wrote without caring about how my voice would sound. It is not a story with meaningful words, it is just a mood, the mood I want to have every time I feel alone.
Did you have any help with the recording and producing process?
I arranged all songs at home by myself, on my laptop. Then I went in studio with my
producer/guitarist and we figured out together all the sound we wanted to have. I would
have not produced the same song if it wasn’t for him. I was also helped by a keyboard
player to find the right sounds for the synths, I had the ideas but he managed to put them into colors and I was really impressed at the end of his recording session, he managed to capture the mood I was looking for.
What lies next for Kiol?
Hopefully some shows!! But as this coronavirus situation it is still going on I don’t know
when or where, but I can’t wait to bring my new songs live with the band. I have an Album named “Techno Drug Store” that will be released the 23rd of October. Lonely and Polly, my latest releases, are part of it, and three more singles will be out before the album’s release. The next one is called Joy and it will be out the 17th of July.
Are there any plans for any music videos?
I’m shooting home-made videos for all the songs from my upcoming album, and I’m really liking it. I had never done it by myself before, but since I was in lockdown and I needed a video for Lonely I gave it a try. I loved doing it and I will be shooting cheap and funny videos for all the singles I’ll release before the album. Still don’t know what Joy’s video will be about, in these days I’ll try something out and I’ll see.
Which artists are you currently listening to?
I have a serious addiction to Dope Lemon, it has been 2 years that they’re in my everyday playlists and they are still in it. I really like Kurt Vile as well and the last two albums by Mac Miller. Gorillaz, Paolo Nutini and Eels are in my everyday playlists too.
Where can we find out more about you?
Anything else you would like to tell us?
It is a difficult era for young artists who wanna span their music. It is hard to be seen in this broad ocean of new music and algorithms, so supporting independent music is the best way to allow cool and interesting niche bands to have their own followers and to bring their music live in front of the right people. Nowadays many artists succeed ‘cause they have the right tune that goes into playlist and make millions of streams, but what about the others? There is a lot of alternative pop bands who deserves much more attention, that do not make music that “works” but that you can feel and fall in love with. It is not just about the catchiness and the numbers, where is it gone the interest for music that can last throughout time? That is not just bound to disappear once the trend dies? Where are all the true musicians that write music to say something, to represent something? Rock’n’roll is dead, I got it, but there are incredible artists such as Dope Lemon or others that are representing something true, so let this truth stands out once again in the mainstream world! Go to concerts, support the bands you like, live for your music and good music will never die.
Some truly great words there. I’d like to say a massive thank you to Kiol for taking the time to answer my questions and wish him the best of luck for the future.