Shattering the image of the eccentric misconstrued genius by the grand piano, Fabio D’Andrea is a young, vivacious Composer whose tender manipulation of each piano key makes his music as pleasurable to watch, as it is to listen to. His skilful ability to flawlessly radiate timeless classics, (from Beethoven to Debussey), colourfully experiment with different genres and produce his own unique compositions, illustrates his versatility.
Bringing classical music into 2012, he has utilised his talent to produce music for film scores, TV and soundtracks, all whilst performing with and for the likes of Pharell, Richard Branson and Kanye West. Although an established composer, producer and concert pianist, Fabio is an intelligent, unassuming man with a magnetic personality, whose passion is unmistakable and enthusiasm to connect with the younger generation, infectious. So with the release of his long awaited album, ‘Reflections,’ Flavour could not wait to catch up with him.
I’m from Peterborough, but originally I’m half English and half Italian. I had a little classical training when I was young, toured with a Peterborough cathedral choir when I was ten, but I have been doing music all my life. I joined some other orchestras playing double bass, but was also quite involved in Pop projects as well. I have classical traditional world alongside the urban side and whilst it was inevitable I would always stay within the musical world, my influences stem from both. Sometimes I like being in the studio composing strong heavy dance tracks, other times I want to do something chilled and orchestral.
Artistic wise, you seem to have many strings to your bow, we’ve heard you also have a strong passion for dance?
Yes, I played the piano for ballet classes. My friend has a ballet school in Notting Hill and I used to help with the young kids who wanted more to be pirates than ballet dancers (laughs). I have always been into dance and talked about that in some depth in a recent interview with Classic FM. A lot of my friends are very successful in the dance world, mostly in the Hip-hop/Contemporary Street Dance arena. For my album, I wanted to create a set of twelve music videos culminating urban dance with classical music and release one a week. We have already put two online on You Tube. Teneisha Bonner (who starred in Street Dance the movie and in the West End show, ‘Some like it Hip Hop’), is in the first video. I like the idea of using music to break barriers and visually it was fun to have a mixture of dancers from different backgrounds, representing the fact that London is so cosmopolitan and universal. Sometimes we tend to label genres wrongly, but now I think more people accept that music is music and can be enjoyed or performed by anybody from any country or any background.
How would you describe the genre of your music?
As a composer today, I don’t think we are limited to one set genre of music. Whilst I trained classically, I like the freedom of being versatile and have also produced music that falls within the Latin, Jazz, Indie and pure pop genres. There is such beauty in experimenting and submersing yourself in different genres!
Do you think your music will connect with the younger generation?
This is definitely something I want to do. Classical music tends to be more timeless, whilst commercial is very much about what is current. I think Classical music can touch people in a different way and is scientifically proven to calm people and assist with healing. It’s a shame that we don’t promote it to younger generations. Instrumental music subconsciously touches your emotions and can open up your intelligence, because of the structure and the complex way it is brought together. I want to make my music accessible and have young people listen and enjoy it. I would like to do what artists like Jamie Cullen and Michael Buble have done for certain genres, to make them popular. People’s tastes are pretty eclectic and we all have obscure tracks in our music collection; which proves we are open to embracing something different.
What can your listeners/fans expect from your new album ‘Reflections?’
It’s just me on the piano! There are six incredibly famous pieces, but not necessarily pieces that people would know the names of. The first piece, ‘Gymnopedie’, is intriguingly titled because whilst the average person may not recognise it by name, they would by the melody. It has been turned into numerous chill-out tracks, appeared on the Ministry of Sound album, but amazingly, the piece is actually 150 years old. Then, there is the piece called ‘Clair de Lune’ which was used in the Twilight film. I wanted to create that awareness, but also present six of my own pieces. My vision was to produce something that was relaxing, perhaps have in the background or just use in your own personal space.
What has been your most rewarding experience to date?
I have been very fortunate and blessed that I have had so many and cannot pinpoint one as they have all been different but amazing. I’m very adventurous and always looking to do new things and enjoy different experiences. I get asked to go to different countries for different performances, over the past few months I have been to Hong Kong, Beijing, Moscow and the Cannes Film festival. This month I’ll be performing in Italy and in October I’ll be going to a festival in Sri Lanka.
If there was one thing you could have more of, what would it be?
I would love to have more time to make more music. I remember a friend saying that he wished he could have 36 hours in the day, leaving everyone else with 24. I think one of the problems as a composer/producer today is that as well as the music, you have everything else to look after. The business side, the meetings and other projects can take up a lot of time, but I’d like to have the time to dedicate solely to doing the music.
Who would you like to give a private concert?
It would have to be a mass group of people who have never heard of me. It would be nice to share my music with people who are not familiar, that’s always great as I like to see people’s reactions. I think that the first time you hear something it leaves a lasting memory and will never be captured again.
2012 has been an extremely busy year for you, what other future plans do you have?
I’m already working on some new music. I have also written and produced an album for a big Gospel choir in London. We have been working on mixing different genres, so it’s quite contemporary. I have some exciting projects coming up after Christmas in the Stage and Dance world and will definitely be going back to the Cannes for the film festival next year.
You can find Fabio online at www.fabiodandrea.com or tweet on twitter@FabioDandrea
To get a sneak peek at some of his music videos on Facebook @Fabio DandreaMusic