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BIO

Kiol is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer class ’97.

His music is a sunshine-soaked joy. Breezy melodies, life-affirming lyrics and a sense of adventure define instantly addictive songs which sound at once familiar and fresh.

Discovered while still in high-school in Turin and signed to leading live agency ITB in his teens, Kiol has already toured Europe for years, performing over 200 gigs and supporting artists including Jack Savoretti, Joan Baez, Sons Of The East, Patti Smith, Placebo, Natalie Imbruglia, Tom Speight and many others.

His debut EP, I Come As I Am, released on Warner Music Benelux in 2017, spawned the million-plus streaming hits Broken Up Again and Wrinkless, which soundtracked a Fiat 500 ad. A longtime Paolo Nutini fan, in 2018, Kiol collaborated with Nutini’s producer Dani Castelar on his second single Hard Things and worked in London in 2019 with producer Dimitri Tikovoi (Placebo, Blondie) on the songs Mallow and No Peace.

His latter release “Techno Drug Store” marks a sonic leap on for Kiol. His folk-rock influences of old – Nutini, Mumford & Sons and Ben Howard – still surface in his catchy choruses and use of acoustic guitar, but self-produced using Logic, the new songs are more electronic, with hip hop drums, dashes of disco and lashings of playful pop.

Kiol is back on track with his new song Make It Happen. “Make It Happen came out at one go when I was isolating with my girlfriend in my seaside house during the pandemic. It talks about how beautiful this experience has been. We had time to reflect about what really matters in life and how to make all of our dreams come true”.

Out 8th October.

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MAKE IT HAPPEN – THE REVIEW

Get ready to be enchanted by Kiol. The 24 years old Italian’s DIY Single, Make It Happen, is a “sunshine-soaked joy. Breezy melodies, life-affirming lyrics and a sense of adventure define instantly addictive songs which sound at once familiar and fresh” (Verrico, 2020).

Kiol started playing the drums when he was five and from that moment on he never stopped playing music. He managed to play in many bands from Punk to Nu Metal and he won some band contests organized by his high school in Turin. In these bands, he wasn’t just playing the drums but he always helped with the song-writing; that’s how he started writing songs.

“Expelled from school, he was sent to a summer camp in Mallow in Ireland aged 17, where he worked in a computer shop to help him learn English and, missing his drums, took up acoustic guitar. Every night, he’d hang out in a park with local teens, who begged him to bring along his guitar and sing his newly-learnt covers of Paolo Nutini and Ben Howard hits. There, to his bemusement, he was called Ceol. Only back in Italy did he look up Ceol, discovering it meant ‘music’ in Gaelic and, tweaked, it became his stage name” (Verrico, 2020).

In his new work Make It Happen, Kiol wanted to break free from intense post-production, experimentations, complex arrangements and concepts by releasing a Single that sounds as simple and intimate as the lyrics. He wanted to “go back at the time where I haven’t got anything but a guitar and lots of ideas” says Kiol.

Since Covid came, Kiol refugeed at the seaside with his girlfriend, and the place, the atmosphere “catapulted me in bubble of love, over the weather like I’ve never been before”. That’s how Kiol wrote this love song. “Waking up with the waves crashing and the sunlight on your baby face” was everything he needed to pick up his acoustic guitar and to write these tunes. “Writing has never been so easy” says Kiol, “after years spent on Logic I was getting bored of writing, because I was being more a producer rather than a songwriter. Having a wonderful love story and living at the seaside inspired me a lot, and I think that this song is just 30 minutes late-night jam recorded with my phone”. Basically, he just needed to listen back to his voice memos, adjusting the lyrics a bit and the song was done.

For the arrangements side of it, he initially wanted to do a guitar and voice tune. “Right after the writing process I felt like this song should have sounded like the voice memos, as simple as possible. One night I was jamming with my keyboard and I started playing the melody I sing during the chorus. I understood that the piano was needed for each instrumental break.” Inspired by albums such as X by Ed Sheeran, Bruises by Lewis Capaldi, The Wild Hunt by The Tallest Man On Earth, Kiol managed to perfectly recreate the mood and the attitude of these great albums.

When he and his friend Pietro Giay started producing the song on Logic, they thought that the acoustic set up found in these albums would have been the perfect world to let Make It Happen breathe, and that’s what they did. They set up a little home studio in Kiol’s living room and they recorded the song “just using acoustic, classical and slide guitars, keyboard, ukulele and mandolin, most of them with really old strings that we didn’t change…”.

From his past releases to this new Single, Kiol managed to create a world full of positivity and reflection about life, love, joy, and loneliness that everyone deserves to be aware of.

Few weeks ago, we managed to have a chat with Kiol.

Hello Kiol! We just have a few questions for you. First things first, how do you write a song?

Hello everyone! Well, there is not just one process, but I do always start singing some “na na na” while playing my guitar. For this song I have to admit that writing has never been so easy. Because I was living an amazing atmosphere and I was surrounded by love. So, for each song I just needed to report the reality I was living, without adding anything more. Talking about music, I was tired of producing beats on Logic, so I just played my favorite Pop standards (C and G, Am F C and G) using the capo to reach the tonality that best fitted to my voice. I wasn’t overthinking, I wasn’t “writing”, I was just playing my love.

Music from the heart. We like it. But tell us about your home studio. Do you think that everyone can set up a studio in a living room and come out with such great sounding songs?

Hell yeah! The only limit is your imagination. I had the worst recording room ever, me and my friend Pietro just used some mattresses to avoid recording the sound reflections coming from the walls but I really did it the simplest way possible. One thing I can suggest to everyone who wants to set up a home studio is that you don’t need expensive monitors or luxurious audio interface. You just need to rent or buy good mics, good preamps… but the most important thing is playing. Learn how to play your instrument, learn how to sing into a microphone and how to perform your song. This way, even if you record your songs with the cheapest tools ever, you will have songs full of emotion, which is the only thing a song needs.

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Phyllis Belezos

phyllis@itb.co.uk

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