The vastly talented Italian product Giuseppe Ottaviani hit a pretty large milestone as we end the month of September. September 30th marked the release of Ottaviani’s third studio album, Alma, which fans have been eagerly awaiting for months now. Widely regarded as one of the most talented artist’s in the Trance scene, Alma sees Giuseppe Ottaviani deliver a musical journey that is both complex and diverse, dropping collabs with huge talents such as Paul van Dyk, Eric Lumiere, and Jenifer Rene. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to discuss Alma with Giuseppe Ottaviani ahead of its release in our latest Artist Profile, so sit back, throw the album on, and see what really inspired Giuseppe and the album, Alma.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, we know you must be pretty busy with the album release and such, how long has this album been in the making?
It’s been just a bit over two years since the first demo has been written. I didn’t really start making full tracks for the album but was simply making demos with a piano and some strings. Once I had all my ideas ready I started to get in touch with the singers/songwriters and then the demos turned into a full production taking the shape it is now. It’s been a nice journey.
‘Alma’ means soul in Spanish, correct? How did you settle on that for an album title?
Yes ‘Alma’ from Spanish translates to ‘Soul’ in English which makes absolute sense since I made this album from my soul. However, the real origin of the title comes from a different place.
The idea behind the album was to look back at when I was a little kid. When I was watching the world through children’s eyes and everything was just beautiful and super exciting, such a great feeling which has been marked by music at every stage of my childhood. Getting inspired by watching my two children now, I wanted to bring that child’s feeling to my actual age.
The title is the amalgamation of the first two letters of my children’s names Alessandro & Matteto (AlMa) and it’s dedicated to them.
How would you describe the evolution in your sound since the release of your second album?
Well that’s not really easy to explain, I suppose it’s just a different time with different inspirations and new sounds. Making an album, it’s a journey that takes time to collect all the different experiences through the making process. I always like to move around and try different things and as you see there are few very different things on this one. I don’t like to repeat myself but I also don’t like to be too different, so every time I make something different but within the limits of my signature sound.
Working in the same studio with the same gear also helps me to keep my sound intact but with that extra spice that comes from a new dress. In fact, changing your dress doesn’t change who you are but it makes you look different and fresh every time. I try to do the same with my music.
The album sees you kind of step outside your comfort zone with a more diverse style that we can all appreciate. What were some of the major inspirations behind the album?
For me the tracks that really stand out in diversity are those two called ‘Slow Emotion’. They were born just as a “DJ tool” for my new Live 2.0 shows, but turned to be a highlight of the show. Thus I decide to include them in the album.
Also the other track called ‘Primavera’ it’s quite different. When I made the demo the original tempo was 90 bpm and after almost a year, when I decided to make a full track, I didn’t want to change the tempo and feeling of the melody so I approached the track in a different way and made some sort of chillstep production. That’s one of my favorite to be honest.
‘Alma’ boasts a pretty stellar list of studio partners, what was it like getting back in the studio with Paul van Dyk?
Unfortunately there was no chance to sit together in studio with anyone of my album partners. With all the busy schedules we all have it’s quite hard to make it happen especially when you have to work on 15 tracks at the same time. Paul’s accident didn’t help as well so we just worked through the internet file sharing. Technology is beautiful, let’s use it.
It’s been already a long term relationship with Paul as we’ve been collaborating since the early days, but it’s an honor for me now to have him on board on my own album.
On that same note, Eric Lumiere is one of the most underrated vocalists out there in my opinion, can you tell us a little bit about how the collaboration with him came to be?
Well I’ve got to know Eric when he was working with Filo & Peri back in the day and fell in love with his voice. I reached out to him years later for a collaboration on my previous album, ‘Magenta’, and really found a great artist and a beautiful person. Loved working with him and we just wanted to keep going together. So obviously I wanted him again on my new album.
Giuseppe Ottaviani Live 2.0 launched earlier this year, what have the performances and reactions been regarding that thus far? What kind of equipment do you set up for your live rig?
The live 2.0 setup is so inspiring and really helps me to create new ideas and music on the road. It’s that flexible that I found myself performing for almost 3 hours without getting tired of it. This wouldn’t be possible with my previous setup. People love to see what I do but above all love to hear what I do and it’s just so much fun for me. I know it’s not like carrying a couple of USB sticks, but it’s worth the hassle.
Check out this short video to see what kind of equipment Ottaviani uses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98tFgQqJRNQ
The live stuff certainly gives you a little bit more freedom and creativity when performing, do you prefer it to say, a standard DJ set?
Yes, I definitely love the way I perform more than anything else. DJing isn’t challenging for me but sometimes I have to do it because there’s no other way to perform on a certain place, like a boat. Though I don’t use CD players but just my laptop so I can at least drop in some stems or samples and make the set more interesting.
We appreciate you taking the time to sit down with us, and so I’ve got one last question. Any big plans for the rest of 2016? Some New Year’s Eve festivities, perhaps?
Rest of the year looks great and I’ll be touring with ALMA starting this October. But I’ll be also quite busy with my partner in crime Solarstone for our PureNRG project and talking about NYE we’ll do a big show in Toronto.
Get the album HERE!
01. Brightheart (with Christian Burns)
03. Firefly (with Kyler England)
04. Loneliest Night (featuring Tricia McTeague)
05. On The Way You Go (featuring Tim Hilberts)
08. Miracle (with Paul van Dyk featuring Sue McLaren)
09. Burn Bright (with Eric Lumiere)
12. Wait Till You Miss Me (featuring Sue McLaren)
13. Slow Emotion
14. Slow Emotion 2
15. Home (with Jennifer Rene)