Paul Sforza


Press


Interview for Headline Artist Feature, PopVulture Magazine, Dec. 2013

popVLTR: You’ve been making moves in New York, how’d you get into music? Paul Sforza: I started piano lessons at age 7 and performed in choir and in some musicals in high school. During high school I starting learning guitar, playing right-handed even though I’m a lefty– I never switched back. I fronted a bunch of different rock cover bands throughout college, and it was during that time that I started writing my first songs. After graduating, I began to take music more seriously as a career.

popVLTR: Congrats on ‘My Love is Your Love’, who are some of your influences? PS: Lately I find myself trying to listen to a wide variety of music. But certainly my biggest influences are the classic singer/songwriters of the 70s & 80s. I think that there are certain artists and albums that I listened to so much during my formative years that they’ve become a part of my musical DNA. Billy Joel would probably be the first one that comes to mind, but I’d also include Paul Simon, James Taylor, Sting, Stevie Wonder, and of course The Beatles. I think you can hear a little bit of Hall & Oates in ‘My Love is Your Love’.

popVLTR: What are some of your proudest moments in music? PS: I’m proud of having worked as a performing artist and having put together working bands in two vibrant music scenes (Atlanta & New York). This has allowed me to work with and get to know so many cool & talented people. I’m proud of releasing two albums independently with an amazing producer, Scott Patton (Musical Director, Sugarland), who really helped me develop my sound and allowed me to work with some incredible musicians. Several of my songs have received recognition in international song contests & have been licensed for use in retail outlets around the country. Back in Atlanta, my band was once chosen as a ‘Reader’s Choice’ best band so that was also pretty cool!

popVLTR: What cool stuff is on the horizon for Paul Sforza? PS: I’m excited about my new band. Right now I’m trying to continue to expand my local following and then hopefully branch out into some regional touring. Since recording the Destination EP earlier in the year, I’ve written a bunch of new songs. I’m looking forward to working them into the shows and doing another record before long. I’ve seen so many friends that have had success with fan-funding so I’m consider pursuing this route for the third album. We’ll also be producing a video for “Making a Garden Grow” this fall and I’m looking forward to our ”end of year’ show in NYC which is always our most successful show of the year.

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“It wouldn’t be surprising to someday find his music on mainstream rock and pop stations. His Lifelines CD is impeccably crafted and unapologetically commercial, while songs such as “Over and Over” are simply stunning.”

– Roni Sarig, Creative Loafing

 

“Lifelines is like fine wine, it’s sweet when you like it sweet, warm when you need warming up, and indulgent when you need to be indulged.  Fact is, like fine wine, it’s timeless.  It’s the kind of music you want playing in your car’s CD player when you pick your new girlfriend up for your date on Friday night.  If that don’t get her to come back to your apartment then you never stood a chance anyway…”

– Billy Jones, Idle Hands Magazine

 

“The intro reminds me of Paul Simon. Man, I love the Hammond. This is a great vocal performance, fantastic songwriting, vocal phrasing and the instrumentation is almost perfect. The drummer is probably one of the best I’ve heard on this site. Background vocals and overall arrangement is world class. The song just kept getting better and better as it went on. It kind of sounded like Steve Winwood near the end of the song. There are very tasteful guitar fills to support the vocals-it’s obvious these musicians know when not to play. The producer is great.”

– Review of “Just Can’t Stay” by Roy Elkins, founder of Broadjam

 

“…reminiscent of Eric Clapton, Elton John, The Beatles, Queen… [a] wide array of musical influences and tight musicianship…””You Don’t Have to Hide Your Feelings” is a delicate but strong and solid display of musicianship, talent and production that serves as a prime example of the commercial product that [he] can deliver…

– Gian Fiero, TheMusesMuse.com

 

“Local songwriter/band leader Paul Sforza begins his debut album, Lifelines, with ‘Over and Over,’ an irresistible slice of piano-driven ’70’s AOR pop-soul…”

– Roni Sarig, Creative Loafing

 

“Highly textured singer/songwriter stuff… Paul’s voice has plenty of emotion and a great range. The music ranges from a rocky tune to jazzy stuff to a ballad flavored, slow jazz/blues tune… it’s all done with [an] earnest sound and lyrics. Kind of like a male Sade… an excellent recording, super quality, very marketable stuff that should be on the radio any minute now… catch him before he hits the big time.”

– Ear Plugs for Atlanta, DegeneratePress.com

 

“…Paul Sforza has that clean and crisp vocal quality that is very hard to find… the drums have a tight jazz feel, the keyboards shine on every song, the background vocals are right on the money, saxophones bleed in and out with finesse, the bass guitar holds it all together with smooth transitions, Paul’s vocals are clean, and the guitar work has a just right jazz touch… style and grace… [a] sweet and strategic display of mood and music…”

– Chris Horton, Southern Local Area Bands

 

“You had me at hello.” The 3 song EP from this New York born, turned Atlanta based singer/songwriter/guitarist/ pianist draws you in instantly.

The first song (“Just Can’t Stay”) begins with a rhythmic shuffle followed by a crisp unobtrusive guitar. Then add the warm timbre of Sforza’s voice and gently fade in the organ. The sound is immediately intriguing and misleading. You get the sense that you’re about to listen to one of those songs perfectly suited for scented candles and light rain. And you’d be as wrong as I was The piece evolves into a very groovy energetic rocker tinged with jazz.

I tried to figure out why listening to Sforza’s EP felt comfortable and familiar. Did the sound remind me of Bruce Hornsby or Steve Winwood? Then the epiphany. Sforza is reminiscent of my own sentiments and moods. He speaks of places we’ve all been to one degree or another.

Favorite track: “One Way”(track #3) It just makes you feel. You’ll understand that assessment when you hear the song. Until then you’ll just have to trust me.

Favorite line: “If a friend is a lover and a lover’s a friend why isn’t anyone together when the story ends” (from “Just Can’t Stay” — track #1)

Paul is one of those songwriters that has the ability to etch a string of images in your subconscious. If you close your eyes and listen, you can almost see a music video version of his songs. His debut album is due to be released soon and the line forms to the left. Behind me.”

– Karsten Durand, AtlantaMusicScene.com

 

“Paul Sforza’s debut album, Lifelines, boasts a rich soulfulness grounded in Sforza’s smooth bluesy vocals and lyrics inspired by his own life experiences… a collection of 11 originals with a polished groove…”

– Amy McDaniel, Creative Loafing