Italian artist Doro Gjat recently sat down with Headliner for a chat about his illustrious career to date, creative processes, and performing at Italy’s picturesque No Borders Festival.
With his signature blend of pop and rap, Gjat has become something of an icon in the musical scene of his hometown in Carnia, Friuli, combining the region’s local dialect with both Italian and English. His career began with the band Carnicats, but for several years has been operating as a solo artist.
Recently, he delivered a show stopping performance alongside the likes of Skunk Anansie, LP, and Mika at the No Borders Festival, which has long been partnered with Italian pro audio specialist K-array. Having sponsored the event in previous years, K-array has now become a signature audio style of the event itself, and was the chosen audio system by the rental company and festival organiser for this year.
Here, Gjat opens up on musical beginnings, what the future holds, and more…
Tell us about your origins as an artist. When did music first enter your life?
I truly can't say exactly when. I remember my mom used to play a cassette tape with classical music to let me fall asleep. I was very little at the time, but I still remember the color of the tape and the sensations which the music gave to me. Then, always thanks to my parents, I got in touch with classical Italian songwriters from the ‘70s (I still love their music,). And finally, in my junior high years, I fell in love with hip hop. It's been like true love from the beginning and it's still going on nowadays. Since that moment, I've always thought that I'd become a rapper. Many years went by and, right now, I have three solo albums under my belt and I'm so proud of them. I never tried to jack anything from the artists I love, I've always tried to find my own formula instead. I'm a middle class guy from a small village in the Alps (Tolmezzo) and I can't rap about the street life, guns and drugs and women. That's why I developed my own way of being hip hop: telling stories about my environment through rap, writing rhymes about nature and about life and not about street criminals.
When did you first start writing your own music?
I had the needing to tell ‘our’ story: the story of a small community of youths living in an environment so far away from the big cities and the urban surroundings that permeate popular culture. I wanted to tell everyone about the short days, the long sunsets, the lonely nights that characterize life in places like this.
Talk us through your creative process?
I usually take my time when I write. I don't want anybody to bother me; that's why I prefer doing it at night, when the phone is silent, and the city doesn't make a sound. I let myself dive deep into the sound of a beat, a small arrangement or something and start putting thoughts on paper. After that, I call my squad in: Luca Moreale is the main producer of my music nowadays, together with my guitar player Sanchez. We start to put the structure of the song in motion, arrange parts and put everything together. And from that moment on, everything flows.