Interview with Tumulto

Tumulto is back with a Remixes EP for his debut single “Concrete Talk”, a collaboration with Rome based DJ and musician Lady Maru.
The EP will be digitally released on the 24th of November through Love Motel Recordings on all major digital retailers and streaming platforms.
We asked him some questions about his music and his last work

Hello Tumulto could you tell us a bit about yourself, your personality and your background and where do you come from?

I was born in Sicily. After finishing high-school I moved to Rome, where I studied cinema and started organizing queer parties; there I took the first steps as a DJ. Five years ago I came to Berlin, where I found a job as editor of independent films, and where I finally began to work on my own music.

What inspires your music and which artists and genrse have been the most influential to you and why?

I remember as a child that I spent hours listening to classical music at my grandfather’s place. My mum, who graduated at the conservatory, taught me to play the piano when I was five or six, but unfortunately I didn’t continue. I listened to all sorts of music in my life, and each genre and artist/band contributed to my personal development. I could start dropping names here, but it would be too much. There are two I’d like to mention, though, and those are Bowie and Prince. I truly love the both of them for many reasons; it wasn’t just about the music, but also about breaking boundaries. I recently made a cover of the Lovesexy-cut “I Wish U Heaven”, which you can find on my Soundcloud page. When I’m composing my songs, I like to explore sounds. At one point the synths suggest you patterns, and then my intuition does the rest. One thing for sure: many tracks on my debut album will be reminiscent of ‘80s synthpop.

You’re now back with a Remixes EP for your debut single “Concrete Talk”, a collaboration with Rome based DJ and musician Lady Maru. How do you start the collaboratione with her?

I met Maru while I was living in Rome. She’s very well established as a Techno DJ, and she has a wide cultural background in terms of music, all the way from Motown to No Wave. She’s part of three active bands at the moment: Trouble Vs Glue, Cascao & Lady Maru and Le Truc Und Die Maschine. Back then I contacted her to co-operate at some events and that’s how we became friends. After moving to Berlin we stayed in touch, so when my demo’s reached a decent state of development I made her listen to some tracks. Then she proposed me “Concrete Talk”, a song she previously composed on her own, because she felt it would better suit a male voice. Maru comes to play in Berlin pretty often but you can say that “Concrete Talk” is born in a not so romantic environment of email exchanges and Skype conversations, haha.

The bundle includes the extended version of the original song, plus four remixes by aMinus, Bolmer and Sergio Wow. Tell us about these collaborations were born
I got to know Sergio in Rome a while ago. He was there to deejay and I knew him because of a previous project he was involved with, The Magicakes. Since then we kept in touch, which is not so difficult as he visits Berlin for DJ gigs on a regular basis. He just started a cool new project called “Lindustria”, that I highly recommend to keep an eye on.

Funny enough, I met aMinus in Rome as well! He did a live gig for “Fake”, a cool party that used to run at Fanfulla 101, but I got to know him properly in Berlin as we were both deejay-ing at Barbie Deinhoff’s. I already liked his music, but truly made up my mind to work with him after a mutual friend, Timo from Bleedingblackwood, made me listen to an aMinus-Remix for one of his songs (yet unpublished).

Last but not least, I know Bolmer from the web, and he’s such a warm, loving, talented artist. A while ago the both of us remixed a song for Belisma (a project by Georgia Lee and Natasha Giordano). I was pleasantly suprised by his version, so I kept him in mind since then.

What are the lyrics of the song and what was the idea behind your latest video for the track?

The song is about finding peace within yourself, far away from the stress of modern society wherein you feel like a stranger. The video takes the subject and the creative surrealism of the lyrics, builds a story around it and somehow expands it. I’m wearing panda make-up to represent a species that struggles to fit into a ‘normal’ world. In the video I’m somehow lost, wandering through Berlin streets with as only companion my little dog. But throughout the video I stumble into these rather peculiar individuals, and in the end I manage to create my own place in the world.

Since your first appearance as a man walking around Rome in mini skirt with your dog, what has changed in you and how do you think the queer world has changed around you?

You’re talking about the “Take The Street” project, aren’t you? Well, that was kind of a turning point on a personal level. Since then I found more and more motivation within myself, to pursue what is really important to me. Lately, I’m struggling with the label “queer” a bit, as I think it’s way too often misused and exploited for commercial purposes. It became a marketing brand to sell a cool, alternative fragrance. On the bright side, I think by over-exposing the term, more people will question the real idea behind it. So at least there is a higher common knowledge about it.

How moving to Berlin has affected your work? How do you describe the alternative scene in the capital of Germany comparing it with the italian one?

I left a piece of my heart in Sicily, and another part in Rome. Nevertheless, moving to Berlin was inevitable. As an expat in Rome, I went through pretty rough times on many levels while studying there.
When I left, there was an interesting underground scene with many talented people involved, but I guess the weight of economical pressure created a rather unpleasant athmosphere. I believe that initiating chances and building bridges are essential parts to make a scene grow, and when people become territorial things only gets more complicated. Thankfully, that was not always the case and I often I think about the wonderful people I was involved with.

Berlin, on the other hand, feels much more free. Gentrification is heavily changing the face of the city, but there’s still so much interesting going on. Also, people are willing to collaborate in many different fields.
Night life is a driving force, and there’s plenty of variety, especially when it comes to queer clubbing. Speaking of which, aside from Berghain and the historical SchwuZ, there are many, highly succesful queer parties managed by Italians, such as ‘Buttons’ or ‘Cocktail D’Amore’. My absolute favorite, though, has to be ‘Gegen’, where you can sometimes see me as a DJ too. By the way, if you wanna find out more about Berlin’s clubbing scene, check out  the book “Tanz Berlin”, written by Francesco Macarone Palmieri (aka Warbear).

What are you looking forward to next year? What are your plans for the future?

As already mentioned, I’m currently working on my debut album. It’s been a long process, but I’m planning to release it possibly upcoming spring. I will drop a new single before, somewhere this winter.
There’s a new song with Lady Maru scheduled, and we even might work on some new tracks eventually.
I recently produced a song for Bleedingblackwood, and I am also working on a remix for one of his songs.

The last question: where the name “Tumulto” comes from?
It’s always good to keep some stuff about you a mystery, isn’t it?


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