rampstyle #29

Alvaro Soler: Sunny side up

The songs of Alvaro Soler are usually associated with warm, light-hearted fun and sunshine. So it’s only fitting that we met him in Barcelona. In our exclusive interview with the Spanish-German singer, we talked about the power of music, his Porsche – and clichés, of course.

POLOSHIRT: Cos / HOSE: Gant
  • Interview
    Michael Köckritz
  • Photos
    Markus Henttonen
  • Production
    Antonietta Procopio, Arabella Fabig
  • Styling
    Stephanie Wüstemann
  • Hair & Make-Up
    Katharina Nitzpon
  • Location
    Gran Hotel La Florida, La Cucanya
How would you introduce yourself?

My name is Alvaro Soler. I’m best known as a musician, but I actually studied product design. My father is from Germany, and my mother is from Spain. I was born in Barcelona but spent part of my childhood in Tokyo. Today I divide my time between Barcelona and Berlin.

How often are you in Barcelona?

Not as much as I would like, not even half the year. In Berlin, I actually share a flat with my brother. In the beginning, he said how cool it would be to live together, but after a few months he complained that I’m never there. That’s because I’m always on tour, in Italy, Poland, Belgium . . . So you could say that I live out of my suitcase instead of in any one place.


Still, is Barcelona a creative place for you?

Barcelona is many things to me. It definitely is home – though admittedly “home” is a pretty big word. But I get all excited just talking about the city. When I look around here, I see so many ­different places where I’ve partied with friends, where I’ve worked, where my heart has been broken . . . There are just so many things that have happened in my life here in Barcelona.

This issue of our magazine is titled “All Summer Long”. What do you associate with summer?

I am a very sensory type of person. I associate summer with certain tactile sensations or scents, like salt water on the skin or the smell of sunscreen. I remember going out to sea with my parents or grandparents, who have a small boat. That, for me, is the real feeling of summer.


GLOVES: Café Leather
GLOVES: Café Leather
"I am a very sensory type of person. I associate summer with certain tactile sensations or scents, like salt water on the skin or the smell of sunscreen."
Alvaro Soler
Here in Barcelona?

That was along the Costa Brava, a little further north. We used to go out to sea there and sail into all the little coves. It’s the most beautiful place in the world, if you ask me. And then, after a day like that, when you shower and put on some fresh clothes and go out to dinner, that’s a perfect summer.

Since we’re on the subject of clothes, how would you describe your style?

I think it’s a combination of casual and chic. I love textures and fabrics that fit organically, plus I wear a lot of vintage, just slightly oversized.

Could you have been interested in studying fashion design?

No, fashion design is something completely different, and I wouldn’t have been good at it. At university, there were a lot of people who studied fashion design and then went into the field. At the time, I always found it very demanding in terms of craftsmanship. It’s not enough just to cut the pattern, it also has to fit properly. Product design was more suitable for me.

People associate your music with summer and good cheer. Is that a cliché?

Especially in non-Spanish speaking countries, people associate my music with summer. Because they might be remembering a vacation in ­Mallorca, which is certainly a nice thing. You can kind of end up being pigeonholed a bit like that. Though I don’t think that’s so bad. I want to write songs with a positive message. I love making ­people happy with my music. I often get messages from fans telling me what they have done while listening to my music, how it made them meet new friends, that they got married to a song of mine, or that my music helped them get through an illness. 

LEATHER JACKET & POLOSHIRT: Loro Piana
LEATHER JACKET & POLOSHIRT: Loro Piana
The other day I met a girl named Sofia who was in a wheelchair. She told me that she had been in an induced coma for a month because she had myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. She then said, “My family used to play me your songs while I was in the coma. And I would always start smiling – at least that’s what they told me afterwards.” That really brought tears to my eyes; it was an extremely emotional moment.

And it’s those moments that make you realize the power of music. When I was a kid sitting in my room and I started making music, I never would have thought that it could be some kind of ­medicine or that it could do someone good. That’s really amazing.
What kind of music did you use to listen to yourself? 

A lot of Phil Collins, Elton John, a mix of English and Spanish or Latino music. I started playing the piano, but at some point I realized that I could use my Casio MIDI keyboard to not only play the piano but also try out other sounds. That opened up a whole new world for me, an endless playground. I started making little loops, got better at piano, learned the guitar and played in bands at school.

You’ve recently gotten into photography, so your creativity isn’t limited only to music, isn’t that right?

I just love trying out new things. And photography was an obvious choice because my family is into photography and because when we’re on the road, I work with a lot of photographers and video­graphers. Sometimes I see the result of their work and think, “Wow, that looks really cool.” And then at some point we were playing a couple of concerts near Frankfurt and spent the night in ­Wetzlar. I went to the Leica Museum there, and I really liked it, so I bought myself a Leica.

I’m trying out a lot of things with it right now. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and sometimes when you capture something that triggers something in you, it’s like music or a film. I find that fascinating. I also like capturing things with a beautiful aesthetic, especially in a time when you can take endless photos with your phone that look perfect. Though I actually prefer the imperfect. [laughs]

You have an old Porsche. What’s the story behind that?

I studied product design in Barcelona and had then intended to go to Pforzheim to get my master’s degree in automotive design – especially since I’ve always loved cars. At that time, I didn’t yet ( … )

→ Read the entire interview in rampstyle #29.
Michael Köckritz

Michael Köckritz

Editor in Chief
As a journalist, author, artist and media maker, Michael Köckritz succeeds time and again in creating both attention-grabbing and sustainably stimulating impulses in the context of contemporary and future topics as well as lifestyle and luxury worlds. As publisher and editor-in-chief, he has realised a whole series of book and lifestyle magazine formats that have regularly won numerous national and international awards over the years. The car culture magazine ramp, the men's lifestyle magazine rampstyle and the design magazine ramp.design are published internationally and are considered style-setting.
rampstyle #29 All Summer Long

rampstyle #29 All Summer Long

Barcelona im Sommer. Mit Alvaro Soler - und einem Porsche 911 SC. Eine Annäherung an das Phänomen und den Menschen Yves Saint Laurent. Wir sprachen mit Udo Kier in Palm Springs, und Luc Donckerwolke in seiner Garage. Und dann ist da ja noch unser Cover - und die damit verbundene Geschichte von House of Spoils. All das und vieles mehr erwartet Sie in dieser Ausgabe der rampstyle.

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