New singer Angelo brings a trendy hybrid of electronic pop to our fair shores from New York. His music has a wide range of influences, from legends such as Michael Jackson and Nina Simone to more contemporary artists such as Robyn, Goldfrapp and Hurts. With electro-pop being well and truly cemented in the charts as a genre to stick around this year, he’s come at a great time. Where many female artists like the Saturdays and Pixie Lott are using dance influences to score big hits, Angelo could be the next big thing leading the scene for the boys.
‘There is a renaissance in New York club scene,’ Angelo tells me, as we meet in an east London hotel and I try to concentrate on the interview instead of his Tom Ford looks. He adds that the likes of New York’s famous Eastern Bloc club have had a big impact on his style. ‘[New York has] such an eclectic crowd, with music which is a mash-up of Eighties hits and more contemporary songs.’ This influence is immediately apparent in Angelo’s music. His powerful vocals over a high-energy dance track make it the perfect music to dance to, reminding me of early Boy George and Annie Lennox tracks. The emotion behind his soulful voice can only be compared to a heartfelt relationship break-down on MDMA.
Angelo has a air of cool and calm about him and it’s clear that performing in his blood. With an ancestry in jazz music and opera singing, he’s also developed a deep love of the blues, which can be heard in the soulful lyrics of his music. His new track, ‘Hands Down’, pays homage to NYC’s East Village, an area whose diverse crowd has clearly given him a great deal of inspiration.[pullquote_right]‘It Gets Better’ is not an obligation – it’s a responsibility.[/pullquote_right]‘There is always the odd celebrity like Alan Cummings and Marc Jacobs who you’re running into [at Eastern Bloc], but the best thing about it is how you can dump all those people in one room and it works.’ Similarly, Angelo’s music brings an eclectic blend: a ménage-a-trois of bitter-sweet harmonies, dirty dance beats and his charming good looks make for a killer combination.
When Angelo isn’t sipping martinis or working out at the gym, he’s also a secret culture nerd with a passion for history, ‘I’m always dragging my friends to go see things, just because I read it in a book’. He adds, though, that trashier delights – like Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey – is a guilty pleasure: ‘I just can’t believe people live in that state of reality. I’m fascinated and horrified.’
The ‘It Gets Better’ project is also something Angelo feels strongly about and has been involved in, in the US. ‘It’s not an obligation, it’s a responsibility. If you’re anyone who has any sort of a voice, or feel like you have a message to contribute, you should do it. We’ve all been in that position and risen above it. You owe it to other people to pass it one. We live in a digital age where some people search online for information and need to see these positive messages.’
So what’s next for Angelo? The workaholic is already starting to plan his next single and a few other interesting projects he’s keeping under his hat for now. This won’t be the last we hear of him, that’s for sure.
Watch Angelo’s It Gets Better message:
Listen to Angelo’s single ‘Hands Down’: