Swiss pop-soul singer Thierry Condor has one of the smoothest voices in music today. A throwback to the days when classic singers like Michael McDonald ruled the airwaves, Thierry has established himself as a global artist whose newest album, “So Close,” is a masterpiece of musical art. Here he offers sound advice on making a living from music.
Please tell us who or what sparked your interest in becoming a musician?
I think it was music. (laughs) No, really! Music has surrounded me as far (back) as I can remember. My family was full of musicians so, there was always music going on in the house; people singing and playing (instruments). Growing up in an Italian home it felt natural to sing, even at work. I remember in the 60’s when I would walk by some construction areas, which were dominated by Italian workers, it felt like being at an open karaoke show. There were people singing everywhere. I guess my Latin heart showed me the path to all the great love songs out there?
You have toured some over the years. What has been your most memorable experience of them all?
To be honest, I’ve never toured a big deal but, I can say that in the 80’s & 90’s – before the smartphones and YouTube – the crowd was really “there” at the gigs; and not just “present”.
Your new album, So Close, is a great release that features some pretty successful people. How long did it take to record this album and tell us about the experience?
It’s the second album that follows the same idea of having a collection of songs from the 70’s/80’s and revitalizing the special West Coast sound of that time. It was a great collaboration between record label, producer, songwriter and musicians; all of whom have a special affinity for this type of music. I am blessed to have my great friend Urs Wiesendanger (Songwriter/Musician/Producer), who gave the essential shape to the album. We even used keyboards, drum machines that were used then (1980’s).
We started with a list of 40 songs or so, and the selection process took place during the whole recording time over 3 months. We then dropped and exchanged songs at the last minute until we had the final set that felt right. Some originals were also included; one of them, “Love Will Rise and Fall,” which is a song that Urs wrote during the 80’s at age 16, we discovered on an old tape. Back then, this song was produced in a way that was inspired by the 17 album from the band Chicago; recording the lead vocal on two tracks and blending them together. Finally, having the privilege and luck to have on board some of the finest artists/songwriters like Tom Scott, Jeff Lorber, John Robinson, and Tom Snow to name a few, makes the record a real pearl.
Your a husband and father of four. How do you juggle being a touring recording artist and a family man?
I even have a job as an engineer so, that gives me the possibility to enjoy family and being a studio musician. Recording can take place anywhere these days so you don’t need to rent the fancy studios. Everything can be produced “in the box”. I can take my gear with me everywhere I go and record in a hotel room while I am on a business trip.
You have seen the music business change over the past decades. What has been the greatest lesson you have learned about the changes the internet has created in relation to making a living from music?
The internet is a great platform to reach out to fellow musicians, and your audience. Your artwork though, is just an expensive give away these days. If you have to live on music, you had better get on stage and perform your (music) live.