Over the past year or so, I’ve been searching to find what makes RELAUX different. This has led to countless comparisons between other music blogs. I’ve realized that it’s not about what makes RELAUX different it’s what makes RELAUX authentic. Authenticity comes from doing your own thing, regardless of what others are doing.
And then it hit me.
Since its inception three years ago, RELAUX has been about storytelling. In every great story there is hero and a journey. The playlists that we’ve released have been the landscapes for your journeys, inviting you to step in and experience the emotions of the mix. Storytelling is timeless and we want RELAUX to be too. It’s not just about one song, genre, or person; it’s about many songs, genres, and people; woven together to uplift the universe with vibration.
We’re happy to announce a new chapter in the project: VIBE.QUEST. This is the way for emerging artists to share their own stories, through sound.
Our first storyteller on the set is Stefano Fagnani otherwise known as Stèv. As a multi-instrumentalist and producer from Italy, Stèv explores the different sides between instrumental and electronic. He makes music that mixes live musical instruments with soundscapes and tweaked effect to create vibrating moods that dance around all genres.
We had a chance to ask Stèv a few questions so he could give us his perspective.
What’s your story?
I was born and raised in a small but beautiful city on the east side of Italy, named Ancona. Thanks to my smart parents I learned how to understand and enjoy life and grew up happily. I discovered music thanks to my mother, who is a truly passionate and active listener, when she shared with me all her collection of vinyls and tapes. Also, she used to study classical guitar when she was young and I tried to learn something from her. I did nothing interesting until the beginning of the middle school, when I started playing keyboard due to a musical class, and the same year I discovered music production softwares. The following year I started breakdancing and soon became involved in the local Hip-Hop scene, which is from where I got my deepest artistic roots. I bought my first pair of turntables, but after few time I started to not feel comfortable in producing “pure” Hip-Hop beats and DJing with funky breakbeats, so my head moved to more emotional and melodic horizons. Thanks to my oldest cousin, who got a really wide musical knowledge, I came in contact with Bonobo’s first album “Animal Magic” and my mind completely opened up. From there, I realized my passion for instruments and harmonies and started to develop my skills on them: I picked up bass guitar first, then took some guitar and musical theory lessons and moved from my small keyboard to the piano. While growing up and improving my instrumental and production skills, I discovered my love for listening and discovering sounds, catching and manipulate them, and started to to some field recordings. After the end of the high school I decided to study as Sound Engineer to consolidate all my technical knowledges in a professional way and so I did it. I’m currently going on learning new things and discovering musical instruments as a self-taught musician.
What inspires your sound?
Almost everything, but I can certainly say that nature, people and travels are my main sources of inspiration. I feel like through music I’m giving back in my own way the emotions I receive.
What inspired this mix? Does it tell a story? What emotions/thoughts/memories does it evoke in you?
Not a story actually, just music that means something to me in a way or in another. I think that it expresses a lot my personality because I’m always floating between daydreams and real life, pure creativity and logic, emotional tunes and cool fresh beats. I believe that you have to dream in the right way to allow your dreams to be more near to coming true: I walk with the head in the sky but I want to keep my feet on the ground.
How do you go about creating both your inspiration and your sound?
Inspiration and music come in a really spontaneous way. The more I free the mind, the more I can recall inspiring things in my mind and let them move into musical ideas. Then, after that the core of the tune is there, everything follows naturally.
[pullquote align=”left” background=”on”]Almost everything, but I can certainly say that nature, people and travels are my main sources of inspiration. I feel like through music I’m giving back in my own way the emotions I receive.[/pullquote]
Do you feel drawn towards the styles of any other artists?
I think that my music is a really personal thing, but there are artists who helped me to understand my direction in the beginning (Bonobo, Nujabes, Emancipator, Four Tet, DJ Krush…)
What is your favorite quote?
I don’t have just one, I’m sorry. There are many of them, but the first that came to my mind right now is:
“Every path is the right path. Everything could be anything else. And it would have just as much meaning.” Nemo Nobody, from Mr. Nobody, which is currently my favourite movie.
If you could play your music in any physical location around the world where would it be?
Probably on the top of the Roppongi Hills tower in Tokyo. Or over the Niagara falls.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I really don’t know. I hope to be a professional musician, touring the world playing live shows and coming back home to make new music inspired by my travels. I’ve always wished I could make music to travel and travel to make music.
What are your thoughts on the present / future influence of electronic music?
This is a great time for electronic music. However, I think there are some artists who are moving this scene in a too commercial direction, giving the most of the people a not-correct image of what electronic music actually is. Don’t know how to say about the future. I hope everything in the electronic field will move in the right way for both cultural research and dance floor oriented beats.
Where do you see yourself in that future?
Hopefully playing live shows both in theatres and clubs.
I noticed you’re from Italy, but you’ve got an album out with Loci Records…any upcoming tours or collaborations planned in the U.S./World?
I’d really really love to perform to the beautiful and amazing festivals in the U.S. (Lighting In A Bottle, Electric Forest, Warakusa, etc…), it’s kind of a dream for me. Nothing is planned now, unfortunately, but I hope we’ll be able to do something like this in the near future. I’m currently working on an album which will hopefully feature some collaborations but I can’t reveal more about it now. Also, I’m coming back to Japan for a month this May and maybe I’ll be able to play some little live shows there.
Is there anything you feel compelled to say right now?
Just want to thank you for having me and everybody who is constantly supporting my music.
Thanks a lot for everything, follow me for more updates.