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London, 2021

During this interview, I change seats, place myself in front of another artist and ask him the questions I wish people asked me. Today, I speak to the multi-talented Italian composer Christian Carlino who has just released L’essenza and takes the opportunity to talk about music and his creative activities. 


Christian, tell us a little bit about yourself?


My name is Christian Carlino aka DeLord and I am a creative, pianist and writer with a pop soul. Freedom of expression is part of my way of being and fits harmoniously with my passions. Someone called me an “elegant dreamer”. My melodies accompany a dance of notes that recalls dreams and embraces the world of emotions. But… simply I can say “I am a human being who explores life through emotions and music”.


What about L’essenza, your latest solo project?


It is a return to the origins and an inner search for what we really are. For a long time, I have pursued the illusion of having to construct an unreal image of myself in order to be accepted by the world. With this project I want to share the meaning of always being ourselves in every moment of our life, without letting others change us. There are parts of you that you keep hidden deep inside and you do not want to accept that they are really yours. We run away, we spend our time running away from ourselves more than we believe without even realising it. We are an infinite number of possibilities, it is up to us to grasp the path of awareness to reach our essence, letting go of judgments, assumptions, hearsay, fears of not being accepted and everything that we are not. It is only by letting go that you reach what you seek: I call it the essence. New directions and perceptions, no longer just illusions, infinite paths to take to discover our depths. The absolute. What is unexpected remains our best way; beyond our fears we undo the dances and move, we move these helpless bodies lying on dull hills locked in increasingly invisible golden cages. We transmute matter and become new beings. Let's dance, on the depths of our essence.


Tell us about some of the themes of the album, and how you approach transforming them in sounds. What ignited this wish and return to simplicity, introspection and intimacy in your works?


As a self-taught pianist I have always used a natural method to write music: sing the melodies and combine them into various pieces. As in my first album, I wanted to resume this approach by also combining a search for a path that could tell these last seven years of inner research that made me discover new parts of myself. For me this project means a return to myself. A search for melodies that can communicate the emotions I feel inside with the naturalness with which I approach life. I think this is one of my most intimate works, where I wanted to share a message of hope to all those who are looking for their place in the world. The world I am talking about in this project is our inner world that must be trained and loved every day, so that it manifests itself and can improve the world around us. In the main track of the album L’essenza, for example, I share an important thing my grandfathers shared with me during their life. This song is dedicated to my grandparents and their will to live. They always had a smile on their face and they taught me how important it is to always smile at life. Regardless of what happens to you. In the song “Listen” I share the importance of being yourself. Listen to yourself. We spend a lot of our life trying to imagine ourselves similar to others, to our idols or even to the models that society "presents" to us, while one of the simplest keys lies in learning to be ourselves. We move so far from what we are and then return to the starting point, our heart. “Anema e core” as you said in the review of the album, is a particular piece. Beauty is eternal if enclosed in the souls that we can perceive in the places, in the people, in the moments we live. In those places and in those streets of Naples, the sunset lights were the perfect setting in which to let words flow and turn them into notes...


How do you approach developing your own voice as a creator and composer?


I try to show myself for what I am without any filter. Today in the world of communication it is so simple to be able to create characters and false myths that I think it is essential to return to communicate in a natural, simple and direct way. I do not pursue compositional perfection, my approach is a language that can be simple and pop, in order to reach people's hearts through emotions. As a creative I love the use of monochromatic colours in my projects and impactful fonts. I love the use of storytelling to be able to share people's stories because each of us is unique.


Tell us about your creative process.


My creative process usually develops in two stages. The first phase consists in putting together the ideas that I record weekly with the voice in order to combine sounds and find the right mood. Once I have collected some material I wonder what I want to tell and share with the people who will listen to the music. In the second phase, the writing of the story begins. As if it were a book, I imagine a path that can give strength and meaning to a music without words like that of the piano. I also often draw the structures of the songs with the peaks, as I want the beginning and the end of the song to be. At this point the project is ready to be finalised, recorded and to shape the image.


You are a multi-creative; composer, performer, writer etc. Tell us about your different activities?


For many years I have kept these activities separate, especially on the web. Those who knew me for music did not know in the least that in life I was also a creative active in the field of marketing. For many years I have struggled with my separation of roles to the point where, starting a path of inner research, I did not understand that essentially this is part of me. Beauty lies precisely in being able to express everything I feel through my passions that I have turned into a job. In a country like Italy it is not easy to combine various activities, you are almost always seen as a person who does not know what he wants from life. Over time I have managed to balance the time to manage all the activities. This has led me to create projects freely and without constraints, pursuing my mission of being light for myself and for the world.


So after L’essenza what’s next?


After L’essenza I will release some singles taken from the album and revisited in an orchestral key. Also I am working on a meditation music album and a project that will be a clear change in my genre. I am also preparing some exhibitions that I will do with the VETA art project in 2022 together with an Italian foundation.


Thanks very much Christian. Last one for the road — one book, one album, one film —, tell us about your latest cultural pearls?


Very interesting question Doug. Right now I am reading several books on spirituality, I want to quote this book that is opening my mind In Search of the Miraculous by Pëtr Dem'janovič Uspenskij. As an album I would like to suggest this one by Radiohead that I love, OK Computer. As a film, on the other hand, I would recommend watching Interstellar at least a couple of times.


Bouncing on Christian’s words, Radiohead keeps popping up in this series of interviews, and for a very good reason; OK ComputerRead my review of L'essenza.

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