Getting To Know... Ivan Campo

After having met in the city of Preston whilst studying contemporary music at the University of Central Lancashire, English folk-pop trio Ivan Campo are now set to release their highly-anticipated tenth studio album and have now returned with their latest offering 'The Girl Who Dreamed'.

With an impressive back story that includes four studio sessions for BBC 6Music and having their song 'The Great Procrastinator' featured on TV series Skins, 'The Girl Who Dreamed' sees them return in stellar form. With its light and uplifting aesthetic that combined wistful guitar hooks and sweeping vocals, their newest delight is sure to brighten the day of anyone who hears it.

So with the band back on our radar, we sat down with them to find out more about their experiences and what first inspired them to get into the music scene.


What were the first instruments you fell in love with?

The dulcitone was the first instrument that all three of us fell in love with. Dulcitone is a keyboard instrument which works like a piano but instead of strings it has a range of metal tuning forks. The sound is magical! We first discovered it in 2009 at Johnny Roadhouse, a brilliant music shop in Manchester. That particular one was being fixed and wasn’t for sale so we were actively looking for one on the internet for the next month and, because there aren’t many of them left in the world, we were lucky to find one that was available to purchase. It needed a bit of work when we got it but it was worth the effort. We’ve used it on a number of tracks; most notably ‘Dice Man’, ‘The Hanging Gardens’, and on our latest song ‘The Girl Who Dreamed’.

What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?

‘The White Album’ by The Beatles. We are all huge fans of their music and often discussed what their best album was. Then, we all read a book by David Quantick called ‘Revolution - The making of the Beatles’ White Album’ and agreed for the first time that ‘The White Album’ was and is their best album. The book gives a glimpse of how the album was made and it became the inspiration behind the ethos of the band.

What kind of music did you love as teenagers?

Between the three of us, it was quite an eclectic mix. There was a bit of a music divide when we first met, with some crossovers; a bit of jazz, hip-hop, grunge, motown, pop, 50s and 60s singer songwriters, avant-garde, electronic, funk, soul, and the occasional metal band. The diversity in our music tastes has definitely influenced our music in some way. We sometimes joke about an alter-ego band called Igor Plasma who would produce the complete polar opposite music to what we make.

Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?

The Coral released their debut album at the time when we were just starting to write songs. The energy and connection you could hear between the group resonated with us big time! It wasn’t just a song, it was an entire album that played a part in the excitement of starting our journey in music.

When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?

There’s a number of artists and music that could be chosen for waking up to, but Nick Drake would probably be the ultimate music for the morning. There’s a song to suit every mood, whatever the weather, whatever the season.

How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?

Far too many to count. There can’t be many writers that haven’t written about the people in their lives or the stories they hear about other people. On average, there’s about 2-3 songs on each of our albums that have been written about someone we know.

What have been the most memorable moments in your career so far?

Performing on prime time Spanish TV is probably up there as one of the most memorable moments. Gigs in interesting spaces are usually very memorable - like our recent gig at the Harris Museum and Library in Preston.

Outside of music, what are your biggest passions?

Food and drink (mostly) - love watching ‘Chef’s Table’. Reading - Roberto Bolaño, Philip Pullman, Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang. TV Series - Nathan Barley, Twilight Zone, Red Dwarf.

If you weren’t musicians, what other path do you think you might have taken?

Difficult question... maybe something to do with horticulture or landscape gardening. A wildlife photographer would be a cool job. Working outdoors with nature in some way or something that involves making and building things out of raw materials, perhaps.

And what advice would you give to those looking to start a career in music?

Always stay in control and keep it enjoyable.


Ivan Campo's new single 'The Girl Who Dreamed' will be available on all streaming platforms from the 27th July. Check out the new video for it in the player below.