He’s wearing a light yellow sweater and cool round sunglasses, through which we can only get a glimpse of his determined and lively gaze. We have been so lucky to meet him on the island of Fuerteventura: you can easily tell that he’s in his element in such a surreal paradise. His name is Matteo, aka LaVia, and he’s a rap singer-songwriter born in 1996 in the suburbs of Milan. He went all-in on music and he is not going back.
Let’s give our readers a bit of background. What was your first approach to music?
I have been passionate about music since I can remember. When I was a kid, my father would make me listen to a lot of rap singers, such as 50cent, Eminem, Sean Paul, Rihanna. But I really approached it about 5 years ago with my best friend. It started as a game. Then, with time, writing down my own thoughts and singing them out loud became a necessity for me to express myself.
The first time we met, you told me that what you do can't only be labelled as rap music. It is a mix of different genres and moods, right?
Yeah, that’s right. I basically follow my creative flow, my way, in everything I do. The impulse and the urge to write come directly from the sound: if I feel a connection to it, the words come out naturally. Categorizing my music, sticking to only one genre would limit me a lot in my form of expression. I will leave it to the listeners or the experts to define what genre I do. It’s safe to say that I like to rap, but I’m working on new melodies and ways of singing every single day. In fact, in my next EP, which will be released soon, you will find a few different intriguing moods.
Your stage name was born almost randomly. But knowing what "LaVia" means for you, I don't think it happened entirely by accident. What do you think?
Yes, at the time I was taking my first steps in music and I didn’t have a stage name. During our many freestyle and jam sessions, my friends started calling me “la Via di Carlito” as the movie Carlito’s Way, which soon was abbreviated to “La Via”, the way. Since I started, I understood that my music is nothing more than the story of my experiences, my life and the path I am following. I think I found myself for the first time through music. My philosophy is: always stick to the natural, pure flow that is inside you, which many times we don’t listen to out of fear, settling for the easier way.
I hope my music helps people reflect, change and empathize with my situation, as they find themselves in my lyrics.
This might be a difficult question to answer to, but have you ever lost your way? And do you think we can all always go back to the right path or is there a point of no return, as it happens in Carlito's Way?
Actually, as of today, I am lost on my way, just like Carlito is in the movie. Doubts and insecurities sometimes make you feel lonely and lost, but I think that if you know in your heart what the right direction is for you, just keep on following it and good things will come your way. I choose to live my life with awareness and to express myself, my way, my vision though music.
“I’m leaving Milan and I'm not going back." These lyrics are from a song of yours, called "Lascio Milano", available on Spotify. Is this what you’re doing here in Fuerteventura?
Yes of course. I love to travel, as much as I love Milan and the place where I was born, Cesano Boscone. I left because I needed inspiration and this island is pure magic from that point of view: if you pay attention to it, the ocean listens to you and talks to you. I’m also here to shoot two new videoclips with Half Moon Pictures, to surf, to write new stuff, to live.
When are the EP and the new videoclips going to be released? And can you give us a small clue about what we'll find in them?
Unfortunately I’m not allowed to reveal the dates yet, because they have not been formalized, but we will communicate them on my social media pages when the right time comes.
I am working on this project with my team every day, relentlessly. I can tell you that this new single, which will be released shortly, will introduce you to my journey and my vision. So, keep an eye open for it and just follow the way.
During an interview, you stated that 2021 will be THE year for you. What do you expect from it?
I'm sure that 2021 will take us to new horizons, to uncharted territories. I have faith in the fact that my music will reach a bigger audience. I just want to keep up the good work and carry on with what I’m doing now and have been doing for years. In other words, I want to live my music and my life with serenity, awareness, love and joy.
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