It’s 4.30pm and the sun is up high in Southern Italy as I head backstage, passing through screaming fans who have been camping since the early morning. Rising stars The Kolors are still on stage finishing the soundcheck of one of the last dates of their first ever tour.
The Milan based band – who won the Italian TV music competition Amici – has been topping the charts for the past four months with their debut album Out and has recently been nominated for Best Italian Act at the 2015 EMAs.
The electro-pop band introduces its music as “a mixture of sounds from bands of the 80s like The Smiths, The Cure and Depeche Mode with a touch of more contemporary music such as Kanye West, Rihanna and Sia” .
When your life changes within a few months, it’s not always easy to adjust to a new pace and fully take in what’s going on. “Between flights to catch almost every day, lots of shows and different hotels every night, I find it hard to focus on what is really happening to us” starts Stash, the lead singer, who is still trying to adjust to life on the road. “When we get a few days off, we can see that this has become our life now and it’s not just a dream anymore. We couldn’t be happier about it.”
The band formed of Stash Fiordispino (lead vocalist and guitarist), Daniele Mona (synth player) and Alex Fiordispino (drummer) was founded back in 2010.
“We had been trying to break through for the past five years. We played almost every night in small clubs in Milan, had the chance to open for a few big artists like Paolo Nutini and Hurts when they brought their tour to Italy but we were losing our faith. We almost started believing that we were never going to do more than that,” admits the singer.
The call they got from the talent show Amici in January of this year turned their life around. Funnily enough, the night before they received the call they had decided to buy a one way ticket to London to start fresh.
Of course, after having tried so hard to break through for so long, it is certainly a relief to see such good response from the public.
“On the days off in between shows, we feel like skydivers in the moment their parachutes open and they know they are almost certain going to land safely. The most amazing feeling is to know that the next day we have a sold out date on our own headlining tour. It’s like landing on your feet.”
Although they do not take their success for granted, they do feel ready to try and export their music abroad. England is on top of their list at the moment, but in the meantime, they’ve also filmed the video for their new single “Why Don’t You Love Me?” in Berlin to give it a more international vibe.
Stash tells me that they often pop by in London to keep themselves up to the date with the current British music scene, as that’s where they have always drawn the inspiration for their own music from.
Finding a few songs they had written years ago, writing a couple of new ones and using a song called Great Escape written by American songwriter Kevin Griffins and British artist Callum Burrows (aka Saint Raymond), they worked really hard to finish their first record on time and to make sure that it would 100 percent represent who they are. A massive challenge since the talent show they were in gave them just 20 days to make it. The album had to be out on the market a month before the finale.
“The rhythm we had to keep was insane. While recording the album we also had to prepare ourselves for the weekly episodes that aired on Saturdays. We wanted to give our best on the show but also have an album we would still be proud of in a few years time,” Stash continues. “For a perfectionist like me, to make this happen, I had to work days and nights but I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
The lead singer, who writes and composes all of the songs, is the mastermind of the band but the album was still definitely a teamwork. While Alex took care of the drumming parts, Daniele acted as an external set of eyes, bringing back the focus every time they needed it. “I take care of everything from the beginning so after working intensely on something, some ideas may overlap and it’s easy to kind of lose the focus. Daniele is the one who scolds me like ‘What the fuck are you doing now, Stash? Don’t dwell on it, it sounded much better earlier!’” which seemed to work pretty well as the album is now triple platinum.
The trio then confides me that there are some plans in the making for them to actually fly to the UK but that’s all they are allowed to say about it at the moment. “We are currently working on something that will take us to London sooner than we’d expected. We will finally come here as something more than just tourists,” they say, smiling.
I have one final question before I leave them to get ready for the show. When I ask them where they see themselves in ten years, their answer surprises me. “LA or maybe, Sydney!” yells Alex and Stash agrees. “I used to skate when I was a kid and I was so impressed by the half-pipes they have in Sydney. I have been dreaming of them since forever.”
What about the band? “Wherever Stash wants to go, we’ll follow him. Otherwise, who’s gonna sing? Certainly not me!” Daniele laughs off.
The Kolors appear humble yet very determined.They know what they want and they are ready to do whatever it takes to fulfill their dreams. Wishing them all the best, we hope to see them around London very soon.
Words by Giovanna Paglino