Alternative,Band,Composer,FIlm,London,Music,Singer Songwriter,Songwriter,Vocals

Blog interview: Attawalpa

Hello Luis how are you?

Hello Del – I’m very well thank you for getting in touch. This week I have been enjoying the London summer. Best time / place in the world to be right now.

Congratulations on the release of “Ignore The Pollution” how does it feel?

Thank you. A release always feels like a release to me; A release of pressure, sentiment, heavy feelings, love , breath. It also feels weird on release day, the internet is less immediate than it makes out to be so releasing music has taught me patience in letting go and given me faith in the flow of what’s next to come.  

What’s the story behind the song? 

The song started as a feeling. The feeling was projected onto my fingers and it then turned into a song. I wrote it while watching Hollywood actor interviews on YouTube at my mum and dads. It’s nice to have my brain distracted while my hands explore. Lyrically the song is about the desire of switching off from a loud world. Ignoring the pollution. ‘ I’m cracking up while I’m just cracking jokes’. I read Somewhere (possibly in a meme!) that people with trauma aren’t necessarily stronger they are just gifted with a great sense of humour’. 

The video features an ultra cute dog, and goes through various pictures and visuals… How was the concept developed for it?

It does! It’s Dillon the directors dog. Our dog Cornichon also features in it. He looks like a mix of a dragon and ant eater. Ingrid (our other dog) also featured in the vid for Peter Gabriel’s Dream. Pets are excellent collaborators. So I met the director Dillon Buss one evening in LA. We shared love for film, creating and music. The next day I sent him this song and mentioned it could be something we could work on in our immediate future. I had 5 days in LA so over the next two days Dillon just flowed and threw ideas at the wall with the concept of us having a good time while we made this and got to know each other more every shot / take / day. It was a great flow, very natural and collaborative in every way. Dillon also edited/ graded it all and added all the ‘D is for dog’ , ‘ V is for violence’ etc bits which really pulls it in to a honest streamlined place. I’m very proud of this one. 

Describe your sound in three words.

Groovy, charming and stretchy!

You are a Peruvian-British artist living in London, how did it all begin for you?

I moved around a lot as a kid. Peru, chile , south of England , London – I first got into  nirvana when I was around 13 and since then I wanted to scream and write songs. I was always surrounded by music as I have older siblings with good tastes and my parents have decent taste too. The older I get the more I wanna hone in on connection and making a great song. 

What did you listen to growing up?

Nirvana, Stax and Motown compilations. Otis Reading, Aretha Franklin, prince , Tom waits, Eminem, wu tang clan, Rza Hits, deftones, richard hell and the void oids, bob dylan, Vanessa paradis , Neil young, pulp fiction soundtrack, reservoir dogs soundtrack, natural born killers soundtrack. Blue, oasis , Gomez, supergrass, pulp. Anything I could get my hands on really. 

You co wrote with Mick Jagger in the past, what was that like?

I did! It was and still is surreal. 

What was the most valued lesson you learned from that?

To keep going. I’m never going to achieve peace through creating one thing. 

The song was also featured on the tv series vinyl with Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter, what was it like hearing your song on that?

It was cool! Gave me a feeling of ‘I can do this’ but that feeling didn’t really fully kick in till almost 10 years after the show aired. It gave me hope though and that’s priceless. 

You also released the album “Patterns” in 2021, with five songs recorded in lockdown, what was the easiest and most challenging part of that process?

Technically these songs were recorded before lockdown. I did make all the videos during lockdown though! Was a great way to pass the time and fill my mind. The easiest process was finding people who wanted to work with me. I think lockdown was a forced reflection and a good time to create. The hardest part and it still is the hardest part is putting the music out. I feel there’s no right way to do it (yet) I just have to do it. 

You’re also working on a soundtrack for a film “Catherine, Called Birdy” with your wife Lena Dunham, how’s it going? 

Really good! It’s complete and I’m so excited for the world to see/hear it. I worked on it with my co collaborator Matt Allchin. We brought in our band mates Henry Danowski (on drums) and Adam Sopp. We also worked with string arranger and cellist Haydn Wynn who’s wonderful (and we’d previously worked with him on Lena’s movie SharpStick which is out at the end of July) . And misty miller is the voice to Catherine called Birdy. Carter Burwell did the score and it all just sits really well together. 

COVID impacted the creative industry in a big way what kept you motivated?

Washing my hands! Haha. For me the music industry has always been a touch Spiky one to navigate in. You just have to find your sound/ voice / truth and it doesn’t really ever become easy just becomes simpler. 

The last couple of years have been a time to reflect what did you learn about yourself?

That I’m impatient  but I have something to say. 

Did you pick up any new skills?

Noticing when I disassociate. I also have become quite good at stretching. 

What are you listening to at the moment? 

Tyler the creator, Jonwayne, hand habits, Stark Reality, Big Thief, Aldous Harding, Kendrick Lamar, Ishmael Ensemble, Ye, Eugene Mcdaniels, Cubaafrobeat, Bill Callahan, Girma Hadgu, Marijata to name a bunch. 

What’s next for you?

Hmm immediate future wise – Attawalpa plays All Points East on august 28th, with spiritualised  aldous harding , the smile and nick cave. We are planning a warm up show before then too at old dispensary in Camberwell. Matt (Allchin) and I also made a score for Lena’s movie Sharp Stick which premieres in NYC at the end of July so will be out there enjoying that too. I’m also finishing an album atm and that will be ready when it’s ready! The title is ‘Presence’. 

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