My Mixtape: Nico Casal

Monday, January 14, 2019 - 14:28

Ahead of his performance at Southbank Centre in March 2019, piano player and composer Nico Casal shares with us a collection of music he’s enjoyed listening to that he think encapsulates his key musical influences.

‘Thanks to my parents, I started to practise classical piano when I was eight at my local music school. I was lucky enough to have good teachers, so music was easy and fun. Spending a big part of my time growing up listening to, and performing, classical repertoire made me appreciate and love composers such as Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Brahms and Shostakovich, and I feel each of these composers are always there, every time I compose a piece.

‘I discovered Keith Jarrett when I was a teenager; the way he improvises and understands music blew my mind completely. The very first thing I listened to was his Paris Concert, and I remember listening to this album over and over in the living room, very loudly on my dad's CD player. This album and Jarrett’s music were a big influence for me at that point, and continue to be. I saw him live last year in France and it was an amazing experience. 

‘I’m a big fan of artists like Bon Iver or Sufjan Stevens, probably because of their music personality and their way of telling stories, as shown in their respective albums For Emma, Forever Ago, and Carrie and Lowell. To me, both show just how well simplicity can work.

‘In 2011 I moved to London to study, and would live there for almost six years. London was very challenging and has changed me both personally and musically. I started listening to more electronic music - in my first month in the city I found myself at an Apparat gig at KOKO Camden and I was captivated. I've spent years listening to (and attending some amazing gigs from) John Hopkins, Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds, Rival consoles and The XX. 

‘When composing my first album, I think I tried to blend all of these influences, right across this musical universe, together into my own sound’.

 


 

Nico Casal performs his debut album Alone in Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room on Friday 29 March

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