Camera Soul Interview – Making me S.M.I.L.E (part 1)

Interviews Music
Camera Soul Live at Multiculturita Jazz Fest - July 15 0214 - Maria Dancing

Camera Soul Live at Multiculturita Jazz Fest – July 15 0214 – Maria Dancing

As I sip  my Merlot on a nice Sunday morning listening to Camera Soul. I imagine the vineyards in Italy and reminisce the days of old with my grandfather playing Count BasieNatalie Cole, and others. I S.M.I.L.E. to the authorship, the musical contributions, and harmonizing of  Camera Soul! Camera Soul helps to release the retentiveness of the days trials and tribulations. As the smooth melodies create elegant tapestries, with the caramel lyrics which blends perfectly with the musical chocolate. I introduce to you Piero Lombardo Kathryn Ballard Shut. Camera Soul! S.M.I.L.E. Some Make It Look Easy!

Kathryn Ballard Shut: “On our previous effort, Not For Ordinary People, I wrote the lyrics to the title track.  The song takes the listener through the childhood and eventually the adulthood of a person who always loved to study and play music, and if that meant being involved with different people or events from his or her peers, that was just fine.  The lyrics talk about “breaking free from the mob” — to follow your own path — and it’s pretty auto-biographical.  As a former “band geek” and music producer today, there’s a lot of me in those lyrics.  It surprised me how many people call that track one of their favorites.”
Camera Soul Composer-Author Kathryn Shut WHERE ARE YOU FROM? WHAT DO YOU DO?
Piero Lombardo:  I am from Bari, Italy, and I am the co-founder, leader, and composer for Camera Soul.
Kathryn Ballard Shut:  I am American and was born in Oklahoma, raised in Kansas City, Missouri, and currently live in Denver, Colorado.  Together with Piero and Pippo Lombardo, I am a co-composer and author of lyrics for Camera Soul, as well as the band’s international press agent.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION?

Piero Lombardo:  The possibility to create something new and always endeavoring to write the perfect song — which doesn’t exist! (laughs)
Kathryn Ballard Shut:  Prior to working with the Brothers Lombardo, I had always wanted to do more songwriting, but the level at which they work challenges, inspires, and pushes me to the heights where I want to go.  What’s great about music is that you have the opportunity to touch listeners in a positive way all around the world, and you also have the chance to work with amazingly talented people so that you can also grow.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS?

Piero Lombardo: 40 years!
Kathryn Ballard Shut: I have studied music and been a musician for 34 years, but only seriously songwriting with Piero and Pippo Lombardo since 2012.  I also started writing short stories when I was about 11 and have honed my authoring skills over the years, but I still have a lot to learn all around.
  
Camera Soul - Piero Lombardo - Serena Brancale - Pippo Lombardo - 1

Camera Soul – Piero Lombardo – Serena Brancale – Pippo Lombardo –

WHAT ROLE DOES THE ARTIST HAVE IN SOCIETY?

Piero Lombardo: The artist’s role is to better human sensibilities.
Kathryn Ballard Shut:  I would agree with Piero; the arts exist to elevate our experience as people, and without them, not only is the world a boring place, but also a more dangerous and barbaric one.  The arts, and music in particular, take us out of the everyday and send us to new emotional and sometimes even spiritual places.
PROFESSIONALLY, WHAT’S YOUR GOALS?
Piero:  We hit the #2 spot on the UK Soul Chart in October 2013 with Not For Ordinary People, our second album, and just behind the legendary Earth, Wind, and Fire.
Kathryn: That event only told us that we were on the right track!  That album spent 15 weeks on the Top 30, so it really boosted our confidence in what we were doing, and only inspired us to work harder for #1 next time.   Ultimately, we want to create the best music possible — and maybe pick up a Grammy Award one of these years.  Why not?   That would help immensely to make Camera Soul a household name among jazz-funkand soul fans.  Until then, we’ll continue to enter various songwriting and promotional contests to keep the momentum going.  No matter what we do, we refuse to compromise on making outstanding music first.
 IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
Piero: I am self-taught, so I would go back and study music a little better.
Kathryn: Piero, should teach how he has learned his craft in music schools around the world.  His sense of harmonics — chord changes — is phenomenal, and after many years, bears a hallmark of joy tinged with just a bit of sadness.  I love it.  If I could go back, I might have started songwriting earlier in life and sharpened it over the years — certainly not have waited until I was in my 40s.
 
DESCRIBE A REAL-LIFE SITUATION THAT INSPIRED YOU?
Piero:  The prevailing situations related to love and dreams, I am afraid that I’m one of the few romantics still in circulation.

Kathryn:  On our previous effort, Not For Ordinary People, I wrote the lyrics to the title track.  The song takes the listener through the childhood and eventually the adulthood of a person who always loved to study and play music, and if that meant being involved with different people or events from his or her peers, that was just fine.  The lyrics talk about “breaking free from the mob” — to follow your own path — and it’s pretty auto-biographical.  As a former “band geek” and music producer today, there’s a lot of me in those lyrics.  It surprised me how many people call that track one of their favorites.                               

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