Tatum Rushborn Giordano Rush, is a singer, Italian-Swiss-Californian producer and performer. He has recently published his for Undamento first album in Italian, Villa Tatum (produced by Ceri), in which a particular attention to imagery and iconography stands out. Also through the use of quotations and sudden appearances of unexpected characters. On contemporary music but with a retro afflatus, in the world that surrounds his (imaginary?) Great Gatsby villa of the Swiss lakes appear, as also reported in the presentation of the album, “the Bollywood version of Bob Sinclair, a photo of Tinto Brass together to the Gipsy Kings of the golden age, Frah Quintale a pirate captured by the Amazons, Nancy Deleuze queen of the abyss, a saint called Lulu, Pasolini on a boat with Gianluca Vacchi and Werner Herzog in bed with Carla Bruni”. We tried to let its director guide us more closely to the discovery of this world.
Is Tatum Rush Giordano or is he more a sort of character played by Giordano, a performance artist?
Tatum Rush it’s me, Giordano is a more boring and routine version of Tatum, but completely invented for tax reasons. I, Tatum, for example, am writing from a former grand hotel in Switzerland famous for being the home of the Beatles’ guru, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and I’m watching the sun emerge from behind snow-capped peaks plunging into a crystalline lake. I’m here to make a documentary, but whenever I have a spare minute I use it to jot down ideas for the lyrics of a song I’m working on.
What is Tatum Rush’s kaleidoscopic imagery made up of? What are his space-time coordinates?
I was instilled in me by my grandfather Angelo, “the last romantic”, the respect and pleasure in listening to pop music of the post-war period, that optimistic and sugary light-heartedness of Julio Iglesias, that eternal irony of Carosone and Totò, and many hours of Tele Iberia, which unfortunately no longer exists. So much for the basics. The path I traced, in the field of music, starts from a double CD compilation of Bossa Nova and ends in the most beautiful pop contemporary music. But of equal importance to me was a certain type of cinema: Salome by Carmelo Bene Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome by Kenneth Anger Caligula by Tinto Brass, a whole range of artists of visual and conceptual art from Duchamp to Gianni Motti, and a lot of literature from the European Gothic, from Susan Sontag’s essay on camp to perhaps my favorite, Thomas Pynchon.
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You had started singing in English, now a record in Italian. Why English, before, and why this change now?
English is a frivolous, carefree time when no one really listened to what I sang, I could write anything down and no one blinked an eye. I had to use a pashmina on my head in all the photos, videos and concerts to get some attention. Now it’s easier to ask for more attention to the text because Italian speakers are obsessed with the reproducibility of a text, they must be able to sing it at the top of their lungs from a balcony, otherwise it’s not music.
With Ceri, the producer of the disc, the relationship is long-lasting. Do you see Tatum Rush as a project always linked to him or do you not exclude that in the future it could become something different?
Ceri is a solid and precious piece that has been present in my project for several years. I am also a producer and several songs in my discography are unrelated to this collaboration, and more will be to come. We are a great match but we both have our own independent languages. In fact now she is concentrating a lot on her very good instrumental solo project, which really pushes a lot, while I am also working with other producers.
You are taking the record on tour: is the live dimension important for your project? What feedback have you received so far from the public?
The original composition of my concerts consists of Rich Richardsons, performer and art critic who dances with supernatural energy, Aisha Sparkles, performer, daughter of a billionaire but absent father, escaped from a Montreux plastic surgery clinic at eighteen years, Lulu, singer and DJ, my eternal muse, Luca Pepe, percussionist originally from Antibes, Côte d’Azur, Antonio Falanga, guitarist and exemplary person, and Jacopo Planet, an artist I respect deeply. The context usually dictates which of these knights and horsewomen to bring into play.
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With your slightly retro imagery, is there a contemporary Italian scene that you feel close to? For example, Undamento’s family? And in general what do you love to listen to? Who would you like to collaborate with?
I’m waiting for Spotify Italia to inaugurate the “A little retro” playlist, in the meantime I have to be content with being so in moments, and in other moments I dare to experiment with other very popular genres such as pop, trap, R&B, songwriting, world music and so on. The Undamento family has always been a comfort and a confirmation that genres are marginal concerns: it’s nice to have artists as diverse as Joan Thiele, Laila Al Habash, SPZ, Dutch Nazari, Irbis 37, Sicket, Ceri, Frah Quintale in the same room. I’d like to soon have two weeks to devote to co-writing an EP with Popa, one of my favorite Italian female artists.