Steve Compagno is a local artist who combines his passion for music with his love for causes and helping those in need, we started first by asking him about what makes him tick and what are his roots:
I was born with music in my heart and mind. My first song was a Eurovision song in 2009. Then in 2010, I wrote a charity song with top local artists, Here I Am followed in 2011 and in 2012, I embarked on an ambitious project for l-Istrina. My big break came in 2013, when the producer Conrad Dimech contacted me to collaborate on a song. I was unsure but I immediately liked him and we hit it off immediately. We had barely sat down when Conrad struck a few chords on his guitar and I sang verses of a song, now known as You. This guy believed in my abilities and in my music and we worked very hard for quite a few months. In August 2013, we launched the music video which was an instant hit.
Do you write, direct or produce your music videos? How important are they in the context of fitting in with a particular song?
I do a bit of everything actually. I write lyrics and the melody line for a song but my producer works on the instrumentation. He’s a genius, whatever he does in the studio is amazing. In the music video, I think about the song’s theme, an original story line and share my views with the camera guy. I like to direct but again, I’m not into the technical stuff – the editor can edit the video as long as I love the end result.
You seems like a very romantic song, do you derive your musical inspiration from romantic love?
You’is not a romantic song. The tune is, but the message is clear and universal: It’s a ‘Thank you’ to the ones who make your life a bit easier. Actually, the origin was a moment of appreciation. In my opinion, You is a good song because of its simplicity and because people can easily relate to the song.
Stay – In Aid of l-Istrina, 2012’ was a collaborative piece between local artists, how did it feel to use your music in aid of such a well-known and valid cause?
I had always wanted to do more than simply donating money to fund raising events. I will never forget when Toby and I walked into the President’s Palace and we had an unexpected visitor watch a sample of the music video – H.E President Emeritus George Abela. He watched it, asked a few questions, patted me on the back and said “Go for it – you have my blessing. Thank you for what you’re doing.” I just couldn’t believe it.
Here I am is an inspirational song which you wrote for another cause ‘Amigos’ in 2012, as is The Promise, do you write your music with the intention of sending a positive social message?
Music brings people together. It gives emotion to words and can deliver a message better than a poem or an article. The Promise and Here I am were a promise that I had made myself to help people in need through music. I received more than I gave through these songs ; the experience itself was out of this world. I look forward to writing another one soon.
I’m missing you was written after a tragedy, was writing and eventually recording this song cathartic for you?
This song was one of the first songs that I had written. I wrote this song because I felt that people who lose a loved one have no other words to say to their loved ones after they have gone except: “I miss you”. And the song is quite simple in its lyrics but the message is delivered. It was my first experience of losing two young friends and it really changed my life perspective.
Do you consider yourself a spiritual person, and how important is spirituality to you?
I do actually. I think you have to be, in order to be able to write music . Each song is an emotion and it expresses feelings in the highest form possible – the spiritual. So, I do think I fall under the spiritual category. The most important thing for an artist is to be sensitive to the message and to make sure that the drive behind recording a song is not to be popular but to be the deliverer of a particular thought and emotion.
Steve, is there anything else you wish our readers to know about your music and your message?
My intention is to let people relate to my music at any point in their lives. I don’t intend to become rich or famous through music. I just have a passion for what I do. I want young people to believe in themselves and to discover a world which is much more vivid and real than the virtual and technological one that we were born in.
For now, I will definitely not be trying again for the Eurovision – but I am open to new experiences. I am currently working on five songs and their music videos will be out sometime in summer, so I look forward to sharing those songs with those who fell in love with the song, You’and with my other work. What I can say is that they should expect something a little different than what they’ve heard up till now…