Fil (Berlin-based half-Italian, half-Irish 24 year old Filippo Bonamici) has just come off tour with Joan As Police Woman, following the release of his Radio 1-supported debut EP If You’re Right, It’s Alright, which has clocked nearly 3 million plays in just over 2 months. Fil will appear at next year’s Great Escape, having already =
Shares New Video for ‘Franzis’ – Watch
Debut EP If You’re Right, It’s Alright – Out Now
FIL BO RIVA. Three words, three cities. Rome, Dublin and Berlin.
Oil Bo Riva is sharing a new video for ‘Franzis’, the latest single to be lifted from his debut EP If You’re Right, It’s Alright (out now through PIAS). The video for the track- which follows the Radio 1 & Radio 2-supported debut single ‘Like Eye Did’ (with over 1 million streams to date) – arrives on the tail of a support slot for Fil Bo opening up for Joan As Police Woman and Benjamin Lazar Davis across their UK & European tour, and an appearance as part of The Great Escape’s ‘First Fifty’ series.
Speaking about the new, dancer-driven clip (directed by Ariane Døring), Fil says; “We only had half a day for the shooting since we were leaving the next day for our tour with Joan As Police Woman. It was a dirty one but it came out sexy and strange. The irony and the complicated simplicity even still confuse me. The dancers ruled it and that was it.”
Born and raised in Rome, the Italian music of the 1960s influenced his approach to melody, as did his early liking for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The four years he spent in a monks’ boarding school for boys in Ireland introduced him to a widely varied scene of international music. But it was his move to Berlin and an unhappy romance which catalysed his decision to give it a go as a serious musician, igniting the songwriting touch paper which had always been inside him, waiting for its moment. Amongst the multitude of singer-songwriters plying their trade today, the 24-year-old, has emulated his idols in searching for the only voice that matters – his own.
Your first sadness is the most beautiful time of all, the next most beautiful is the sadness which follows. The songs for Fil Bo Riva’s first EP emerged out of the latter, indeed “If You’re Right, It’s Alright” owes its creation to a “story about a woman”. So even if the world is not destined to end in an EP, in this case it did.
“The idea to become a musician had always been there in the back of my mind, but I was busy doing other things – working in kitchens or as a barkeeper in Munich, Madrid and Rome, studying industrial design in Berlin. That kind of thing. I’d played in various bands but never really had the belief that we could make it. Not to mention the ‘Music? You’ll end up on the street!’ warnings from my friends.” Ironically, it was the streets of Berlin which proved decisive in Fil’s further development. His time as a busker was a formative, thrilling experience, allowing him to road-test his music and benefit from direct, positive feedback. On the street, the street is all there is. In a house you might have nothing at all, not even the street.
It was in this phase of burgeoning self-assurance that he got to know Felix A. Remm and Robert Stephenson, two figures who would play an important role in his continuing development and would see to it that Fil Bo Riva made the leap from solo project to a collaboration of like-minded souls. Felix took the decidedly raw material and broadened its sonic scope whilst Robert Stephenson dragged Fil straight from the street into his studio to record the songs you can now enjoy on the EP. These rugged, powerful songs have lost none of their urgency but have gained many exciting touches, secreted in the arrangements. Floating between folk and soul, Fil Bo Riva merges beating melancholic songs with great dynamics.
“I can’t read music, I am completely self-taught. So I always begin, I have to begin, by asking what feeling, what emotion do I hope to convey? What do I want to say?” The freshness of the EP will in no way be compromised. “In the end, everything you experience teaches you something. And these lessons should be reflected in the work, otherwise you risk succumbing to stagnation”.
Credits for ‘Franzis’ video
Starring: Susanne Bredehöft, Jean Chaize and Filippo Bonamici
Director: Ariane Døring – fb.com/deuxjavu
Producer: Lucien Strauch
Cinematography: Younes Labdi, Jonas Straßburger
Edit: Thea Aae
Costumes: Isabelle Lange
Hair & Make Up: Philipp Turinske
Runner: Bennet Seuss
with: Emma Rünzel, Richard Gersch, Roswitha Dörendahl, Lisa-Marie Dahlke, Julia Jasinski, Felix Remm, Jasper Niebuhr, Till Ostendarp, Marcel Hoerler
“If You’re Right, It’s Alright” is now available here.
“If You’re Right, It’s Alright” tracklist:
Like Eye Did
11 Jan Eurosonic, Groningen Holland
12 Jan Eurosonic, Groningen Holland
14 Jan Sissikingkong, Dortmund Germany
15 Jan Theater Wohngemeinschaft, Cologne Germany
17 Jan Ponyhof, Frankfurt Germany
18 Jan Unter Deck, Munich Germany
19 Jan Soho Stage, Augsburg Germany
20 Jan MUZ Festival, Nuremberg Germany
21 Jan FM4 Geburtstagsfest, Wien Austria