Music is many different things. Art, a language, the key to interpreting the world, like clothes. Cozy Blake chooses to make it a place where to live, where to belong. Possibly his life journey. He left behind Tuscany and a degree in Literature and moved to Glasgow, a new city where to plant the seeds of a career as a musician, stomping between rock and blues. Monobi thought to follow his first steps into this new life adventure.
Fausto Fabbri, 24 years old born in Florence, where he studied Literature.
Now he’s living in Glasgow, where he’s following his father’s footsteps and tries his luck into the music industry.
So, tell me something about your history with music. When did you start playing the guitar?
I grew up surrounded by music, mainly English and American. My father is a professional musician and guitarist and introduced me to the great rock bands of the sixties and seventies. I started playing the guitar when I was twelve. I am mostly a taught guitarist even if I have always listened to my dad trying to catch all his rets”, and I still do that.
Having him always around playing at home is the best teacher I could ask for.
In my previous bands I used to play only the lead guitar, then I realised that my songs were made for my voice so, I decided to start my solo project as singer/artist.
Did you always want to be a musician or, initially, you chose different ways?
When I was young I wanted to become a great soccer player, like almost all the young lads: I have played football at a competitive level for twelve years.
Then I found out that trough music I could express parts of me that I couldn’t express in any other way. I often feel like this is an advantage and a weakness at the same time: in this sense, you are addicted to music and writing songs become a necessity, sometimes it seems the only way to communicate with the others.
Why did you choose to move to Glasgow? Do you feel a particular bond with this city or did it happen by chance?
My music background belongs to the UK, so I have always dreamed about playing my c here. I have always sung in English and, naturally, there is a strong connection between my music and this environment: this is the place to be.
I started singing my songs in London, then I moved to Scotland to proceed my music career and to continue my studies. After a couple of months playing in Edinburgh, I choose to live in Glasgow.
Here the music scene is dynamic and, even compared to other bigger cities, there are a lot of different gigs, venues, music styles.
I was also fascinated by the fact that many famous artists, such as Mark Knopfler, Bruce, AC/DC, Donovan, Al Stewart, Jim Diamond, Franz Ferdinand, Paolo Nutini come from Glasgow. I think it is not a coincidence.
For me playing here is a pleasure because people can understand what I “say” and I “play”…
Do you believe that abroad is easier to live on music compared to Italy?
Getting money from music is never easy, especially if you play your songs. However, here there are more possibilities to get into the music industry, and being a musician is considered a real job.
Italy is like living in a bubble, and it is even clearer when you live abroad. If you want to try to get into the business, you are forced to play specific genres that I don’t like, and I don’t consider as good music.
Which are your future projects? Would you like to remain in Scotland or would you like to come back home?
I decided to throw myself headlong into the music, and I want to live where my efforts can be paid off. For the moment, this place is Glasgow. I have a lot of ideas that I would like to develop, many songs that I think deserve to be heard.
My short-terms projects are the release of my first album and touring with a band to promote it.
Which are the musical influences that are more significant for your artistic and personal development?
My primary influence is the sixties and seventies rock, but I do listen to different genres, from Blues to Grunge, from Jazz to Brit Pop. I catch elements from all the music I listen to, most of the times is a subconscious activity.
I think it is impossible to make a list, but if I have to say, three names, I’d say Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher and John Lennon. Rory represented a pivotal moment in my life cause listening to him I decided I wanted to play the guitar seriously. Jimi Hendrix was a real music genius, he always sounds new to me, and it gives me goosebumps like the first listen. Regarding guitar style, they are my greatest influence, and I admire how they conveyed in their songs virtuoso guitars style with great composition skills. This is a constant challenge for me.
John Lennon’s voice is simply my favourite, and I consider him the best songwriter ever. He was able to create melodies with an incredible spontaneity; his songs are great in their apparent simplicity…he is my primary model when I write my own stuff. However, I have to mention David Bowie, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Cream, Rolling Stones, Genesis that, for different reasons, really changed me on a personal and artistic level. I owe them a lot.
I’m curious about your stage name: why Cozy Blake?
It’s a secret !!! (laugh)
Obviously, I chose that because it sounded good to me. I can tell you that it is a companion of music and poetry, two artistic worlds that means much to me…