Introducing the AMAZING Coury Palermo
Recently Nettwerk sat down with one of our new artists, Coury Palermo, to get some insight on his career, his music and his vision for how he sees the world through the lens of both. To say it quickly: Coury makes music for people who love music. He marries a well turned phrase with a melody that seems to fit like a glove and does what artists do: create something that hints at just a little bit of magic around the corner. On this, his first label release, we hear his truly unique critique of the world around him and we are reminded that music is simply more than something that plays in the background, it is something that adds to who we are as people.
Tell me a little about yourself, how old you are, how you got into the music biz to begin with?
"I began writing early - around 11 - picked up my mom's 76 epiphone classic sunburst at 13 and here we are. I knew I wanted to sing from a very early age but never thought I would be a writer until my late teens. I began singing/arranging background vocals when I was 15 - from the first session, I was hooked. There is still nothing like singing/arranging parts - it's like Christmas morning - the excitement never gets old. There is my "nerd" card - proudly in hand ;)"
Where are you living right now? I read on your blog you were having a bit of an inner battle thinking about relocating to a new city..tell me a bit about that..how does a place affect your creativity?
"I currently live in Nashville, TN & love it. When people hear "Nashville", most think country music and low-brow southern stereotypes - but there's so much more.
There's an amazing indie scene of musicians, DJ's and songwriters that really feed me creatively. I've not written here like I typically write abroad. Being that it's "home", I have the luxury of writing with songwriters/producers that I've built relationships with. I'm lucky. My favorite artists are the people I share my life with - which I would have to say is my greatest influence. Every part of that experience, from the grand to the uncomfortable is crucial to how I communicate.
I agonized over the prospect of moving to NY this past fall. The energy is completely intoxicating - I love it . Like with every new and unfamiliar space, there is the "honeymoon" experience. Though that taste has not left, when I considered the option of leaving the community I have here in Nashville, there was only one decision - stay. Who knows - maybe one day I'll make the jump. For now I'm exactly where I'm suppose to be. "
You've been writing a lot of great songs. Besides for yourself, do you have a favorite genre/type of artist to write for?
"I would have to say I'm drawn to the melancholy. Anyone who can to break my heart with words and a great melody is a "favorite." Being comfortable in your skin is key (which is a daily commitment :). I have no interest in writing a song if it doesn't speak to the things we find difficult to say."
How does the songwriting process happen for you? Where do you draw your inspiration?
"I begin most of my songs in the car - iphone set to memo - wailing away some awkward melody while speeding down the road. I'm sure it's quite amusing to watch - I have no shame :)
From there I usually sit down with my acoustic and pluck out a rough arrangement.
As far as inspiration - everything from conversations with friends to movie dialog has worked it's way into my songs. Where ever I am in life is very apparent in my lyrics."
I've heard some of your covers, Here Comes The Rain Again and Another Day In Paradise... how do you approach making a cover? What attracted you to those songs? You seem to like the New Wave sound...
"My goal with any cover is always to remain somewhat true to the "classic" nature of the original. I think covering a song is a great honor. So many times "artists" completely disregard the brilliance that made them cover the song to begin with. I really try to approach the production/feel of each song from the lyric. The songs on "boxsideoutV.I" are again, melancholy. They weren't my favorite songs by these artists - more the ones I felt I could communicate correctly. There's nothing worse than singing a song simply because it's your favorite - just because you can doesn't mean you should :) I was drawn to the desperation found in these songs. With "HCTRA" & "No Ordinary Love", there is a darker side - an obsession - the unhealthy place we can easily go when love doesn't play out the way we intended."
Tell me more about what projects your currently working on, and are you collaborating with anyone?
"The main focus is my first solo album or albums I should say. I wrote for over a year and a half for the project and I'm extremely excited about the way in which we've decided to release the material. Some were written in L.A., some in NY and some on my living room floor. With these songs, I really wanted to communicate my experiences and not just "sing them". For the first time I allowed myself to document the moment. Love them or hate them - they are exactly what I wanted them to be.
I've always been drawn to a simple song built on harmonies and organic instrumentation but equally, I love electronic, beat driven songs that have a restrained energy. When we sat down to put together the album there wasn't a cohesive record (stylistically). During the writing process, I had the opportunity to work with a very eclectic mix of producers (Chris Brush, Ian Pai/Mike Cheever, Morgan Page, Jeremy Bose) so when it came time to pick songs, we had two very different batches. One leaned more towards the electronic and the other was organic, moody - something you could turn off the lights to. In my mind, not using material because of production style was not an option - luckily "the powers that be" agreed.
Currently I'm wrapping up 2 EP's - the first will be an upbeat pop collection set for summer 2011 and the second will be a more mellow, singer-songwriter set for fall. I've tentatively titled the collections, "the broken way we love: side A & B". I would love to do a special addition vinyl that paired both. It's about the story for me - you can't have one without the other."
"I've collaborated with several artists & DJ's recently and much of that material will see the light of day at some point next year.
Earlier this year I began writing with Jennifer Paige ("Crush") and from those sessions we formed a duo called "The Fury". We are currently in the studio working on our debut.
One project I'm particularly excited about is a new artist that I wrote and produced for recently. Pricilla Coffey. Easily one of my favorite vocalist - simply brilliant. Her EP will be out independently in early '11."
Coury you are still really young, but you've had your fair share of experiences in this business. What would you say is the most important thing you've learned first about yourself, and then about the industry?
"Be willing to accept advice but know who you are & don't let anyone make you into their interpretation of you. All we have in this life is what makes us different - find it and kick and scream until someone sees it. This business is cruel. If you're not a fighter, go home. "
Who is your favorite artist at the moment?? Any song on repeat on your playlist?
"You would ask me that ;) I'm really all over the place. I've been obsessed with a new band called "Lonesome Animals" - devastating. My current playlist consists of Brandon Flowers new solo album, Little Dragon, Eric Hassle, and the latest Robyn record."