Chris Cappell started his songwriting career when he was fifteen while touring as a guitarist/backing vocalist for Creambossali’, one if Italy’s fastest rising bands. The group was a finalist in a national contest for upcoming talent and won the Emergenza Rock contest, which placed them on a compilationalbum showcasing their country’s hottest rising stars. At 16, Cappell came to America and enrolled in a summer session at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where he aced all of his courses. Cappell returned to Italy and formed Ocean, gigging continuously and headlining events for as much as 4,000 people.
While on a visit to GSU studios in Switzerland, Cappell had one of those life-changing moments when he met Mina, one of Italy’s biggest recording artists.
“I went there to check out their state-of-the-art recording equipment,” Cappell recalls, “and then Max Pani, Mina’s producer, introduced me to her.”
Regarded as Italy’s most beloved female singer, Mina is to her country what Celine Dion is to Canada and Whitney Houston is to the United States.
A household word and national treasure, Mina asked Cappell, then barely twenty, to bounce some songwriting ideas off of her. “She said, ‘I know you won’t disappoint me,’ “ Cappell remembers. “This was my big chance, and I wasn’t going to blow it.”
And he didn’t. The result was “When You Let Me Go” the album’s only original cut in English, which showed Cappell’s ability to reach international audiences through his catchy music and accessible lyrics. In addition, Cappell arranged, played on and sang backing vocals for the track “Donna, Donna, Donna”which ended up being the album’s prime cut for airplay.Pappa Di Latte, Mina’s double CD, entered the charts at the #1 position and went triple platinum. Released in 1995 on PDU/EMI Records and distributed throughout Europe and Latin America, the record garnered critical press attention for Cappell, earning him the praise of fellow industry personnel as well.Producer Max Pani told La Repubblica, Italy’s largest daily newspaper “We’ve taken a chance on a very young man and discovered a real talent.” Il Messagero, another large Italian daily newspaper, needed just two words to describe “When You Let Me Go,” – “intense” and “splendid.” On the subject of his debut an arranger, Il Giornale lauded, “Donna, Donna, Donna is excellent in it’s musical construction.” Il Tempo spoke highly of the people who put together Pappa Di Latte, citing Cappell as a member of an “extremely valid team.”
In the interim, fueled by Cappell’s new-found success as a member of Mina’s multi-platinum team, one of Italy’s largest rock radio stations began playing “Lemon Girl” a song Cappell had recorded for use as a demo. “I don’t know how the tape got into the hands of the radio programmers”, says Cappell, who was matriculating in the United States at the time. But however it happened, “Lemon Girl” (which Cappell wrote, sang, arranged and produced) began springing up on radio stations throughout Italy.
Currently, Chris Cappell is in the United States shopping a demo tape which showcases his skills as a songwriter, vocalist and musician. He’s already making headway into the American market thanks to a popular ear training course offered by David L. Burge, who plans to use Cappell as their spokesperson/endorser for a large scale advertising blitz this summer. Burge raved, “How could you resist telling the world about him? So, Chris will soon appear in a mass music magazine campaign with full-page ads everywhere. Millions of people will learn who he is, and we wish him the best of luck and hope that this contributes toward promoting his music career.”
Cappell has about fifteen songs that are ready to be recorded in the studio. He chose to record the following three, which are in the vein of chart-friendly pop rock, for their hooks and accessibility. Cappell also produced the tracks.
“Sally Brown” employs a strong guitar hook in a fast-fueled rock milieu. The lyrical base is a tongue-in-cheek tweak on the little sister of cartoon character Charlie Brown’s little sister, who rebelled against her staunch upbringing, her brother’s low self-esteem and Lucy’s frigid attitude. Good grief!
“Let Me Run Away” shifts into a lower gear with an infectious chorus and escapist feel. The track employs more of a modern rock feel in the vein of many of today’s radio and chart occupants.
“Tribal” is good clean chest-beating fun. The chorus and overall feel of the song is anthemic in a CHR sort of way that just throws convention to the wind. With songs about ‘tub-thumping’ and ‘if you wanna be my lover’ topping the charts, “Tribal” just might find a home.