IN CONVERSATION WITH OF SHADOWS AND LIGHTS WITH HIS NEW “UNIVERSAL THING”

Of Shadows And Lights (OSAL) is the stage name of Angelo Pitone, singer-songwriter and producer, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Music, who began making music in 2018. Today he presents his latest single entitled ‘Universal Thing‘, taken from the upcoming album ‘Almost Prophetic Visions And Thoughts’. The text is an invitation to preserve our planet Earth, through intense words and an engaging rhythm that will make you want to move and dance! The groove of the song recalls rock bands like Muse, Nothing Bue Thieves, Led Zeppelin, Alkaline Trio, Oasis, and As Tall As Lions. “Universal Thing” was written, produced and mixed by Angelo, and mastered by Giovanni Versari (Muse, Nie Cester, Calibro35, Negramaro). OSAL offers us contemporary music, indie pop and punk rock, creating an explosive and attractive mix!


YMX: Hey OF SHADOWS AND LIGHTS, how is it going? some of our readers might not be familiar with your project, how would describe yourself, in a few words?

OF SHADOWS AND LIGHTS: Of Shadows And Lights (shortened OSAL) is a project born in 2018 during my studies at the University of the West of Scotland, where I graduated BA Commercial Music with a distinction award. It’s based on a triplet made of music and lyrics that tell the story of good and evil and who we are as human beings, supported by photography that emphasizes the content. Suppose I have to label the music I write. In that case, I put it in a music genre that touches the shores of classic rock, indie rock, power pop, and alternative rock, even though I like a lot to blend different styles to create something original that represents myself. This project has a band name, but OSAL is just me, so call me Angelo.

YMX: Your current work is the result of a long journey; What first drew you to making music?

OF SHADOWS AND LIGHTS: Can I say that music was flowing in my veins since my mother was pregnant by me? It’s such a fun thing because my mother told me that when I was a child, about 2 or 3 y.o., I used to hit the little table of the walker with my thumbs in time to the music. This is why I’m a fanatic of drums and all the things that turn around this fantastic instrument!! Of course, yes, the music I write today results from a long journey made of piano studies at the Conservatory, advanced singing lessons such as the Estill Voice Craft by Elisa Turlà. And again, music production, miking techniques, arrangements, advanced songwriting techniques learned at the UWS, advanced production/mixing techniques from Chris Lord Alge, Vance Powell, Michael Brauer, Andrew Scheps, Greg Wells, masterclasses with giants of the music business like Giovanni Versari (Muse, Nic Cester, Calibro 35, Negramaro), Tommaso Colliva (Muse, Calibro 35), and Marc Urselli (U2) and so on. I wrote my first song on the piano when I was 11, and I still haven’t finished it (it must be perfect), but meantime, I have written hundreds of songs and ideas to be completed that is enough for an entire music career. Those ideas are in part in my head and in my backup hard drives on the other side. In general, I think the most important thing of all is the passion and love for what you do. Without passion, love and support, I wouldn’t be who I am, and I wouldn’t know everything I learned in these years. It may seem behavior a bit snobby (which I’m not), but I like to think I’m a good handyman. I had to adapt to the most disparate situations that forced me to work alone most of the time. I know that’s not such a good thing because it becomes hard to exchange opinions with another person or a team. The risk is to lose the focus on what and how you’re doing and where you’re going. Fortunately, I’ve found a balance in my management of everything. At least for now, I have to settle for that. Anyway, I’m proud of it because on 21st January 2021 will be released my debut album ‘Almost Prophetic Visions And Thoughts’ and it would be awesome if it would get heard by many people.

YMX: What would be your dream collaboration?

OF SHADOWS AND LIGHTS: This is a tough question! There are lots of bands and solo artists I would like (someday) to work with. Staying in the dream world, I would like to duet with Muse or Nothing But Thieves. They’re the most inspiring artists for me at the moment. I chose them because I like the energy, their unique sound, the courage they have to put themselves back in the game, remaining themselves and in step with the times. I literally fell in love with NBT’s music when I saw them during the gig they did in Rome in 2015 as an opening act for Muse. It would be exciting to do an acoustic duet with Brian May from Queen and sing ‘Is This The World We Created?’, ‘Love of My Life’ just to cite some (in 2005 I won a prize as a Best Live Vocal Performance – on that occasion, I sang ‘Somebody To Love’ in the original key). It’s time to get my feet back on the ground, or I’ll fly away!

YMX: You recently released “UNIVERSAL THING“. Can you tell us how that project came about?

OF SHADOWS AND LIGHTS: ‘Universal Thing’ is my latest single I released on 21st December 2020. It anticipates the release of my debut album ‘Almost Prophetic Visions And Thoughts’. Anyway, there’s a story behind ‘Universal Thing’: I wrote that song in the spring of 2019 when all media and TV talked about climate changes and Greta Thunberg’s manifesto. The images of a white bear without strength and energy shocked mae terribly. It was unrecognizable due to effects brought by climate change and lack of food. This image is still etched in my mind, and that’s what drove me to write it. There is a straightforward concept: I did not write this song only because of the bear’s images. I thought of our irresponsible daily behaviors and what we’re leaving to our future generations. It’s about a world without a future if we don’t change our habits. For example, it would be wonderful if the whole world adopted the Icelandic model concerning renewable resources. To create a zero-impact world and clean the air we breathe, they turn CO2 into rocks! So it means no more pollution! Concerning the habits I was talking about before, this is why there’s such a deep connection between ‘Universal Thing’ (https://artist.landr.com/music/672985643550) and ‘Unaware Passenger’ (https://artist.landr.com/music/672985599529). Listen to the songs and look at their artwork, and you’ll discover a link between them. Here is the story I was talked about in the beginning: the connection created by music, lyrics, and photography that emphasizes the content. I used the same concept in a larger view for the album. I focused not on standalone tracks, but I tried to create a link between all ten songs as if they were a speech. In todays times, the music industry has focused on single tracks, but I firmly believe that an album can still represent an artist’s work in the best way. This is why I suggest to listen to the album in its entirety and draw some conclusion. The best part of this musical journey is that each one of you will have a different thought based on your own personal life experiences. I wrote the whole album during the first lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has utterly upended ordinary living’s most fundamental principles.

YMX: What inspires your songwriting work?

OF SHADOWS AND LIGHTS: Generally speaking, I like to start from rhythm parts such as drum grooves or bass riffs. When the basis is strong and solid, I work with guitars, synth, strings, piano parts. It could sound a bit strange, but lately, I let myself be guided by sensations. When I have an idea, I usually record it on my phone or with a mic if my production system is on. Sometimes I work on that idea, sometimes not, because I hate any forcing during my creative process. If the idea is good, I model it like clay; if not, I throw it in the bin. I learned not to get attached to ideas that don’t work. By doing so, I am free to think of something different and save time and energy. Take into consideration that I’m describing a process that requires days or weeks in a few words. I also wrote a complete song in less than an hour: music, structure, lyrics, and all the arrangements. It depends on how you’re involved in the process and how you like the topic you’re talking about. Things like that happened to me only a couple of times. I felt like a genius when it happened, but I’m an ordinary person like others. On that occasion, the song itself told me who, when, where, how, and what I had to do. It’s awe-inspiring because you can’t decide anything at all. You have to let the river flows… Period.

YMX: We are all missing live music at the moment. Once on the other side, which music venue would you choose for your first gig?

OF SHADOWS AND LIGHTS: These crazy times have changed everything. First of all, I wish to complete the band, meeting and involving the right people and musicians. I’m still looking for somebody who believes in this project and in the music I write. All my efforts in this direction have been vain until now. It’s the price to pay when you’re managing everything for yourself. It’s a long story. I don’t want to bore our reader friends. As a rising artist, every venue is suitable if it’s full of existing and potential fans. I don’t have great pretenses at the moment. I just want to create my band. Once completed, I think the rest will arrive for itself with hard work, patience, and perseverance. Rome wasn’t built in one day, and beautiful things need time and care to grow.

YMX: What’s your band strategy in terms of music promotion? Direct-2-fans or via the “big dogs”?

OF SHADOWS AND LIGHTS: Well, I think it’s a fusion of the two. In the real-world, modern artists have to know well how the music industry works above all. If the same artist knows all the fundamentals about music production, promotion, and stuff like that, it can be definitely an added value that gives you the keys to independence. A little bit of luck and the right people complete the circle. I’m active on my socials; I do my best to create exciting content with graphics, playlists, radio shows, or special events like the “release anniversaries”. For now, I feel like a digital rocker (I’m really a rocker, though), but when the band is ready, we will have fun a lot! I hope as soon as possible.

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?

OF SHADOWS AND LIGHTS: I’ll be releasing my debut album ‘Almost Prophetic Visions And Thoughts’ on 21st January 2021, within a few days, and I can’t wait to share it with the world. I would like to thank: Maestro Giuseppe Bolognini, who played all the guitars, my friend Claudio Giraudo as co-author for the song ‘Awakening’ and his guitar solo, and Michele “The Third Eye” Sassanelli on photography. The album bears the signature of Giovanni Versari, known for his works with Muse, Nic Cester, Calibro 35, Ministri, and Negramaro. I’m very honored and glad to have worked with each one of them. It means a lot to me. Happy listening, and I hope you like it!