Luca Fogale, Making musical connections

Luca Fogale, by Lindsey Blane

by KERRY DOOLE

Luca Fogale is a Vancouver-based singer/songwriter who is now making a real mark with his introspective and gently melodic folk-rooted material. His music has earned over 13 million streams, thanks in part to exposure on major TV series such as Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS: Los Angeles and Station 19.

Fogale is readying the release of his second album, and he is in the middle of a North American tour supporting Dermot Kennedy, a popular Irish artist. “The tour has been fantastic,” Fogale explains. “To play to rooms as big as 3,900 people in Denver is pretty surreal. I have been playing solo, on both piano and guitar, and Dermot and his team have been so welcoming.”

Now his focus is on his upcoming record, one he produced himself in both Montreal and Vancouver. The first advanced single from the record is “Half Saved,” a tune Fogale describes as “the most openly vulnerable song I have written about my time in the Catholic faith as I was growing up.”

“This is 10 years after I decided to leave the church, and I’m now at a point where I can be a little more objective about how I felt,” says Fogale. “The song is very open, and people have resonated with it more than any other of my songs, saying, ‘Yes, I’ve been through exactly the same thing.’”

This is the kind of emotional bond Fogale seeks to forge as a songwriter. “With my music, there is not a lot of sensationalism behind it. It’s all relatively quiet and introspective, and that makes for a different career trajectory where things hopefully happen over a long period of time.”

“It keeps building, based on listeners who feel connected to you. This is definitely not pop music, and I don’t see those big breaks in my future. It seems like the path I’ve been on—just putting out songs and touring and trying to make long lasting connections with listeners—seems to be the one that best suits me.”

His own work elicits comparison to legendary English folk artist Nick Drake, but Fogale has diverse musical tastes. “I was in high school bands that played a lot of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton,” he recalls. He currently co-writes songs with pop, R&B and folk artists. “In my opinion it doesn’t really matter what genre you write in. You take the language of the artist and make that into something.”

Fogale is a second-generation Italian-Canadian.“Both my parents are from small towns in Veneto. My dad’s side of the family is almost entirely there, so we spent a lot of time in that area. It’s my favourite place in the world. I have been trying to find a way to get back there on a tour, and it looks like that may happen within a year, which is fantastic.”

Fogale’s parents encouraged him and his two siblings to take piano lessons early on, but he admits, “I didn’t enjoy that very much. I picked up a friend’s electric guitar one day and then started to appreciate the guitar heroes like Hendrix and Clapton. Eventually I found folk music and I bought an acoustic guitar.”

“After that, I didn’t want to do anything else but play and write. I dropped out of school to pursue music, though to a traditional Italian family that didn’t make a lot of sense!” He has no regrets about his career path, stressing, “I am just grateful to have been able to make a living at this.”