Having released the first album #batequebate recently, D'Alva, a collaboration between Alex D'Alva Teixeira and Ben Monteiro, is one of the greatest sensations of Portuguese music nowadays. In the first interview of Paulino Spectacles blog, we talked with Alex D'Alva about music, inspirations and of course, his passion for Paulino Spectacles:
If you had to point five musical references, in which D'Alva were inspired, who would it be?
Questions like this are always the most difficult to answer, not only because we have very eclectic tastes, but also by not knowing where to start, but maybe the beggining is Michael Jackson, the perfect embodiment of Pop in all quadrants. Queen is probably the most epic rock band of all time and since I was a child that I can not remain indifferent to Freddie Mercury. Spice Girls is probably our favorite Pop band and now we hear it a lot. James Blake is my favourite musician/author and there is always plenty to learn from his unique way of making music. Finally Nirvana, for the honest songs and wild attitude on stage, all of our live performances are always to "give everything" and never less than that.
How your Brazilian and African heritage influence your music?
Interestingly me and Ben (Monteiro) have fathers from Africa and mothers born in Brazil, so it is difficult to dissociate these influences in our music. Africa is present on the swing and rhythm, something we pay much attention. Brazil may be more present in the way we write and sing the lyrics. Above all our debut album # batequebate is a warm record and whoever sees us live is always invited to take an active part in the party, and if there is something that Africans and Brazilians know how to do well is the art of celebrating.
How was your debut in NOS Alive? On what stages you would like to play?
Playing at NOS Alive was an unique experience for us because in addition to having been a double debut, we had never played in a festival of this size. On the 11th of July we were accompanied by Gospel Collective with NOS Clubbing tent full of people singing and dancing to our music. On the last day of the festival we played in the Raw bandstand in a format we nicknamed D'Alva Redux, something that we had never experienced before, and in the end we felt it worth taking all those risks on stage, in other words, a sense of accomplishment. I personally would love to play in festivals such as Primavera Sound or Paredes de Coura, but D'Alva are ready to take the fun anywhere you want to.
How do you define your personal style?
I was born in Luanda but with Brazilian nationality and grew up in Moita do Ribatejo, so my style is a reflection of the mix of all these cultures. I've always been surrounded by people very different from each other and I think that contributed greatly to acquire a very eclectic taste, not only in music but also in all that concerns me. The fact of having been born in the nineties and having internet access during preadolescence also gave me access to information and a distinct aesthetic. I really like different languages with different origins and how all these things can somehow make sense in one reference, and I think perhaps this is the best way I found to define my style.
What do you like the most in Pauline Spectacles glasses?
What caught my attention first was the design inspired by the vintage models, because I always liked old frames. After knowing that the glasses are handmade in a traditional way in Portugal and that each model has the name of a member of Paulino's family, I came to like it even more. Besides having a shape that favors my features, the glasses bridge is well structured and are made with the best materials on the market, making it a lightweight and comfortable frame. The fact of having strong lenses (and frames) is very important for someone like me, who likes extremely physical concerts, and this is why I not only love Paulino Spectacles, but also think they are the perfect glasses for me.
Photos by Vera Marmelo