Music will always be about growth for a songwriter. We grow as a person as we grow as a musician. Our new friend Dario Margeli is definitely growing as he offers up with new single and music video for “I’m That Kid.”
We caught up with the multi-talented artist for a chat about this growth and his new music, Enjoy the interview:
First off, what is it that draws you to create your music?
A lot of work goes into creating a recording that is finally released. First you have to have some idea of lyrics you want to talk about. Then you have to come up with an original melody. Then you have to find musicians to play on the song. You have to have many conversations with them. Then you have to produce the vocals. Find someone to mix and master the recording. On top of that you have to do an artwork and also a video. Going through this whole process and coming out alive with the final product energizes me. I sometimes ask myself why I bother given that in the past with other songs all that work after release was met with indifference and shut doors, just because I am not famous. The answer is that the excitement of putting all those pieces required to create a produced song is still greater than the disappointment of the rejections.
How would you describe the Dario Margeli sound?
In music, two separate things exist. One is the melody line that the singer sings. That is really the song. Then there are the arrangements. For example the same thing the singer sings can be played with folk or heavy metal arrangements.
Dario’s sound has to do with original work on the vocal melody line. That is where the true identity is. As for arrangements, that is up to the musicians I work with and can change from release to release.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?
One thing are the artists one listens to and like, another is true influence. I mean, for example, I may like disco music from the 1970s by Alec R. Costandinos. But that music was made with a 50 piece orchestra of violins. I don’t have those resources. So even though I liked it, I cannot say it is in my music too.
There are some artists that I do think have helped me work with melody, for example Joni Mitchell. People get surprised, thinking my music doesn’t sound like hers. But the point is that I looked at how she puts together lyrics and melody lines. Now she could have the arrangements played by jazz-fusion musicians, while I prefer other types of musicians for the arrangements.
I also liked Nile Rodgers and Chic for learning about songwriting.
How does a song come together for you? What is your songwriting process?
I have been working on better accepting life and that means working on my emotions. I read books and articles by spiritual leaders and Buddhist teachers that help me be more present. At times some of the lessons they teach is so exciting that I want to put it into a song. I imagine what the main statement of that lesson would be and how it could be the chorus of the song.
Separately I improvise on the guitar or keyboards with melodies until I have a bunch of exciting and never heard before melodic lines.
Then in the third step I throw the lyrics to the melodies and vice versa and adjust one or the other until something interesting comes out that has both music and lyrics.
Tell us about your newest single “I’m That Kid”.
I have a picture I took as a child from my childhood home. When I remember the moment I took that photo, I recall I was happy and optimistic. Now as an adult every morning I look at that picture and hope to connect with that feeling.
That is what prompted me to write the song. It is not my most important song, but it is the song I have the most fun singing, because it connects me with that happy childhood moment.
“I’m That Kid” on Spotify:
The production brings back some retro styles too. How did you put all that together?
The musical arrangements were assigned to a musician who surprised me with the electronic approach. Even I was surprised since the demo was very different. It is hard to find good musicians and it is often a hit and miss process. There have been times I have approached a musician and have been disappointed either by their deliver or by their lack of respect or professionalism. With the song I’m That Kid, I took a chance approaching a keyboard player I had never heard of before and prayed for the best. When the final recording arrived, I was jumping up and down amazed at the wonderful synth work he had done.
The video is quite cool as well. Tell us about the making of that.
Making videos without a budget is a big challenge. When you don’t have the money, then at least you must have an idea. I film myself singing in my apartment. That is the best approach because I can repeat the filming if I forget the lyrics. Usually when you are doing the music video, the song is so new that you can’t remember the lyrics. I like travelling too. When I travel I film the places I visit and often those video files from the trips are just sitting on my hard drive. So I put them to use in my music videos. I make a combination of my singing with footage from my trips, which in the case of I’m That Kid video was a trip to Western Greece.
Music video from Dario Margeli on YouTube:
What is next for Dario Margeli?
Each time I release a new song I have to go through the torture of writing letters to journalists asking them to give coverage to the song. When I get no response I tell myself, this is it! I’m not going to do another song ever again. I want an audience! But hey, six months later my subconscious tricks me into getting started with a new song. All this while keeping a day job.