13 Sep Meet The Artist: Paolo Argento
One of our newest additions to the Melodie artist roster, we chatted with Paolo Argento about his journey so far, his approach to music composition, and his inspirations.
Paolo Argento is an Italian Music Producer specialising in TV / Film music. Over a decade ago, Paolo discovered a deep passion for Electronic music and in short order made a name for himself as a DJ across Italy, captivating audiences with his sets and productions of Bass House. With more than 20 releases under his belt across labels such as Black Tribe Records, Knock, Dejavoo Records, and Venice Music, Paolo’s certainly made waves across the Italian dance music scene.
In 2017, Paolo moved to London to study music production and enhance his skills as a composer and producer. The passion and creativity of the London scene moved Paolo deeply. His compositions took on new dimensions and directions, and he found he was drawn towards crafting music for Film and TV.
Now residing in Amsterdam, today Paolo specialises in creating trailer cues and tension beds with a musical palette encompassing the intricate moods of investigation, intrigue and dark introspection.
Melodie: Paolo, welcome to the Melodie fold! Let’s start at the beginning of your musical journey. What drew you to Electronic music – was it “all about the bass”?
Thank you for your interest in my works. Well, I wouldn’t say it was all about the bass!! I actually started my path as a DJ. At 15 I decided that I wanted to become a superstar DJ 🙂 Every Saturday night, I used to listen to the leading Dance/Electronic music radio station in Italy. I really enjoyed hearing the live DJ sets from around the country and while pretending to sleep, I started to dream of a future as a DJ with a huge crowd dancing and enjoying my performance.
You’ve lived in Italy, the UK and The Netherlands to name a few places on the map! How do local cultures and surroundings inspire your music?
I come from Italy but I had dreamt about London since I can remember. In 2017 I decided to move to there to raise my skills as a DJ and to get inspired by the city and I think it was the best decision of my life. It literally changed my way of being an artist, because of the sounds and the music I could dive into, and the amazing people around me. I always say, the city actually made me discover myself. I had some big opportunities over there like DJ sets at Ministry Of Sound, Club Aquarium, Trafik. However, as amazing as that was I didn’t feel the explosion of feelings that I always imagined I’d feel once I made it to great clubs like that. But then London pushed me towards production, which was something that I only used to experiment with. For sure, London made me much darker in terms of mood and music taste but at the same time gave me the chance to be a bit more confident with electronic synths.
Nowadays I live in The Netherlands, a different mood of course, but the magic and the feelings around the cities with those canals is the same. For me, the place where you live is one of the most important things to be inspired by. Because even hanging out at the grocery store can sometimes inspire you in the most unexpected of ways.
What do you enjoy most about being a composer?
What I enjoy the most about being a composer is the way I can imagine a situation, a place, or whatever it is, and build the features I want through music. I can reach people without the need to talk.
Another aspect that I really love is the support I can give to the pictures through the nuances of sound. When somebody chooses my music to support their work, well, that fulfilment and satisfaction is priceless.
What, in your view, could be considered the essential element that gives music the ability to evoke emotional responses in listeners?
If you’re sad (or happy, angry, excited), you can take advantage of the feeling and capture it by composing music. There are some feelings which are really difficult to explain but you can express them through your music and when your feelings are TRUE, everybody else can feel it too.
What’s your DAW/production set up like?
I am one of those who prefer not to have a lot of controllers and machines. When I started composing music a long time ago, I just used an old computer and a MIDI keyboard… that’s it! My first DAW was FL Studio and I was so happy to have the chance to realise my ideas with that. Later I tried a few controllers and other hardware tools but I tended not to use them. I love working in my own way and the only priority for me is being comfortable.
Nowadays my setup is very simple and consists of a Mac Mini M1 with Logic Pro X and my super handy MIDI keyboard from Native Instruments (the Komplete Kontrol M32). With regards to software, plug-ins and virtual instruments: I use Spitfire Audio, Native Instruments, Kontakt, Project Sam, DecentSampler, some fantastic default plug-ins by Logic Pro X like Alchemy, Massive and more.
Tell us about what you’ve got cooking up for the remainder of the year?
I’ve got some interesting projects to be completed before the end of the year; my third tension album which is my specialty. I plan to release at least 3 tension albums every year. I also have a couple of releases with a few super talented singers, and a completely new experience which will let me dive into the children’s music field. Although I love composing dark, tension, action, epic and trailer music, I’d like to widen my horizons, that’s why I’m always searching for inspiration and new experiences.
What’s your favourite track in the Melodie library and why?
My favourite track in the Melodie Music library is “Buried” by Jamie Arredondo. That’s absolutely fantastic! I love this dark and sombre mood which builds in some dangerous and almost creepy atmosphere. I can definitely see somebody in danger if I close my eyes… goosebumps!!
What types of content or stories come to mind when you’re creating your music?
I try to keep myself inspired by what’s around me, but when it comes to tension, crime and ‘dark music’, one of my favourite tricks is reading a book to get me in the mood. Reading a book in the same genre to which I’m looking to compose music is really helpful. I found also that it’s helpful to add details and nuances from what I’m reading in the text to the track. Again, this allows me to remain honest with my feelings, because in that specific moment I’m in the same mood and in the same situation as what I just read in the book.
Thank you so much for giving me the chance to tell my story!