FM premiere. Charlie Risso’s ‘Alive’ live session

"I have a deep admiration for Lynch's work, which seamlessly aligns with the mysterious, naturalistic contexts that I adore"
22 February 2024
Photo by Pierluigi DeRubertis

Musical Evolution, Emotional Renewal, and Cinematic Impact

In a revealing conversation, Charlie Risso discusses the evolution leading to her third album, Alive. She delves into her refined musical style, storytelling, and personal growth, highlighting Alive as a significant milestone in her career.

Originating from Genoa and influenced by her experiences in Milan and London, Risso’s eclectic background imbues her music with a unique blend of melancholy and the ability to transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries.

Alive (Live Session). Recorded by Mattia Cominotto at Greenfog Studio. Shot by Lorenzo Santagada & Alex Fragalà.

Risso opens up about the themes of isolation and longing in the single Alive, sharing the personal stories that inspired the track. She also discusses her bilingual songwriting approach, melding the emotional depths of two languages for wider appeal. She credits part of ‘Alive’s’ distinct sound and ambiance to David Lynch’s atmospheric influence, adding a layer of intrigue to the album. Collaborations with artists like Hugo Race and Roberto Dellera, among others, significantly contribute to the album’s rich and varied sound.

Furthermore, Risso talks about the cinematic influences that shape her music, particularly evident in Alive. As the album approaches pre-order status, she shares her hope for it to cultivate empathy and connection among listeners. Alive showcases a blend of genres, demonstrating Risso’s development and versatility as an artist. Looking forward, she is enthusiastic about exploring new creative avenues and touring, with a particular interest in performing in England.

Discover more about Charlie Risso’s artistic evolution, the creation of Alive, and her future ambitions in the full interview.

Growing up and being heavily influenced by the Twin Peaks era, particularly its distinctive soundscapes, David Lynch’s aesthetic has profoundly shaped the sound and themes of my album

Charlie, Alive marks your third studio album. How do you feel your sound and artistic vision have evolved since your debut?

With Alive being my third studio album, I feel a significant evolution in both my sound and artistic vision since my debut. With each album, I’ve aimed to explore new musical territories while staying true to my roots. Alive represents a culmination of experiences and growth, both personally and musically. My sound has evolved to incorporate a more diverse range of influences, blending elements of folk, dream pop, blues, and beyond. Additionally, I’ve honed my skills in sound engineering and pre-production, utilizing tools like Logic and GarageBand to refine the sonic textures and arrangements that has allowed me to clearly define the artistic direction of each individual track.

Artistically, I think I’ve delved deeper into storytelling and emotional expression, allowing me to create music that resonates with listeners on a deeper level. Overall, Alive reflects a journey of exploration, experimentation, and evolution, and I’m incredibly proud of the artistic growth it represents.

Photo by Pierluigi DeRubertis

The lead single “Alive” touches on themes of loneliness and longing. Can you share the personal inspiration behind this track?

During the creation of Alive, I was navigating a challenging period where I felt disconnected from my deepest emotions. It was as if I had lost touch with a part of myself. However, through the encounter with a mysterious and enigmatic presence, I found a resurgence. This individual sparked feelings within me that I thought were dormant, reigniting sensations I believed to be depleted within myself.

Your music is noted for its international appeal, thanks in part to your bilingual songwriting. How do you balance these two linguistic worlds in your creative process?

In my creative process, I find that balancing these two linguistic worlds is quite liberating. English, in particular, evokes a nearly ancestral sensation for me, which somehow allows me to express myself more freely compared to my native language. This psychological dynamic enables me to navigate between both languages seamlessly, leveraging the nuances of each to convey my emotions and ideas effectively in my music.

The album Alive draws influence from David Lynch’s work. Can you elaborate on how his aesthetic has shaped the sound or themes of your album?

Growing up and being heavily influenced by the Twin Peaks era, particularly its distinctive soundscapes, David Lynch’s aesthetic has profoundly shaped the sound and themes of my album Alive. I have a deep admiration for Lynch’s work, which seamlessly aligns with the mysterious, naturalistic contexts that I adore. His ability to evoke a sense of eerie beauty and intrigue through his sonic range has directly influenced the atmosphere of my album, infusing it, I guess with a haunting allure that resonates throughout each track.

Collaborations seem to play a significant role in your music. Could you tell us more about working with Hugo Race and other contributors on this album?

Working with collaborators like Hugo Race, Roberto Dellera, and the violinist HER has been incredibly enriching for me. Each individual brings a unique perspective and skill set to the table, improving the depth and richness of the music. I’m humbled by the opportunity to collaborate with such talented artists, and their contributions have truly elevated the album to new heights. I feel truly grateful.

Your music has been featured in film productions before. How do cinematic elements influence your music, especially in tracks like Alive?

I would say that It usually comes kind of naturally to me to write in a cinematic manner, and this naturally influences my music, especially in tracks like Alive.The storytelling aspect of cinema naturally seeps into my compositions, defining their mood and atmosphere. I really believe that cinematic elements invite listeners to really feel the music deeply and get into the vibe.

With the album available for pre-order, what message do you hope listeners take away from Alive when they finally hear it in its entirety?

I hope listeners will vibe with it and feel something real when they finally give Alive a full listen. Plus, I really hope it will help spark some empathy in folks too.

The album features a mix of folk-soul-blues and singer-songwriter tunes. How do you find the balance between these genres, and what challenges does this fusion present?

It’s true, the album blends various sonic influences ranging from folk to even dream pop… I believe the balance is found through the development of one’s own roots while striving to create a cohesive sound characterized by touches of synthesizers, piano, and distinctive guitar tones, all tied together by the common denominator of my voice and its expressive mode.

Looking ahead, how do you see your music evolving in the future, and are there any new directions you’re eager to explore?

As with past albums, there’s never been a concrete plan in place for how my music will evolve in the future. It’s this open-ended approach that makes it feel like a constant psychological exercise. I’m eager to continue exploring new directions spontaneously, allowing inspiration to guide me and embracing whatever creative paths unfold along the way.

What do you have lined up for the remainder of this year?

This year, the main goal is to take Alive on tour, and I’m really hoping to make it to England as well. The booking and label teams are currently working on it, and I’m hopeful to have a detailed schedule very soon.


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