Music has always been a motivation for Salome Korkotashvili. Although the Georgian-born, London-based singer-songwriter was born into a humble family, it didn't stop her from pursuing a music career. And as a singer, specifically.
SALIO won her first singing competition at age six, studied the piano at music schools for 10 years, and proceeded to write her first song 'Varskvlavebi' (it's Stars in English) which made her a household name in Georgia.
SALIO's love for jazz isn't by chance. Thanks to her parents who played records by Ray Charles, Elton John, and Ella Fitzgerald, her fondness for the improvisational genre developed organically. Later, she would go on to be a jazz singer-songwriter herself after being discovered by New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival producer, Quint Davis. Leaving Tbilisi for her calling is a risky move but it paid off—she had the opportunity to work with music heavyweights such as Joss Stone and Macy Grey.
The up-and-coming jazz singer was in town for the inaugural Singapore edition of Chess and Jazz which aims to gather global chess aces and talented musicians together.
Of course, we had a chat with the gifted songstress on her go-to tunes.
Fun fact: Many people were unable to pronounce Korkotashvili's first name correctly. So she shortened it and assumed her professional name, SALIO.
“As dawn comes and I wake, I love taking some time to orient my thoughts before getting on with what I have to do for that day and I find these songs have the correct energy and momentum for the morning.”
1. ‘White Clouds Drift On and On’—Brock Van Wey
“Depending on the night’s dreams I have just woken from, this song either calms any turbulent feelings I might have or wakes my mind for the next activity. I love the depth of energy in it which can be meditative, invigorating or anywhere in-between, depending on where I find myself as I wake.” (*Note: This song is only available on Bandcamp)
2. ‘Rhubarb’—Aphex Twin
“I love this song at any point of the day but particularly after meditation in the morning, as the city starts to wake with me. Each day, I try to spend a little time by myself just breathing to focus my mind. As I come out of that state, I find this song is perfect—calming, relaxing, warming, positive and gentle.” (*Note: All songs in SAW II have aliases. 'Rhubarb' is Track 3.)
“This is obviously a lot more up-tempo than the previous tracks so it shakes any remaining cobwebs out of my mind and I really enjoy the funky groove it has going on. It lets me step outside the house with a spring in my step so I try to have a dance with the headphones on as I enter the day’s business. It also brings out my creative side, which helps me come up with ideas as I work.”
“As my schedule tends to be unpredictable during the afternoon, and can range from doing soundchecks to recording sessions to sitting with family or practising the piano alone, I feel that these songs will always let me walk into any situation with a smile on my face.”
1. ‘Tobiume’—Susumu Yokota
“There is an introverted yet outward positivity in this song, which I feel rings true for almost all of the ‘Sakura’ album. I keep myself in balance with cheerful thoughts at the dreamy sound and tempo of this song by the late, great Mr Yokota.”
2. ‘Misty’ (Live From Sweden, 1964)—Sarah Vaughn
“Sarah is my teacher. She is incredible and I am always trying to learn from her. This particular performance of hers truly encapsulates the pure beauty and ability of the human voice. A little time with Sarah always brings positivity and strength to whichever situation I find myself in.”
3. ‘Butterfly’—Talvin Singh
“I adore the pure energy of this track. The lively beat of the tabla and lilting of pipes over the rhythm almost makes me feel as though I am in the Himalayas of Nepal, whether I am sitting in an office or even in an underground train. This song is always a pleasure that heightens the anticipation of the afternoon to follow.”
“This is generally where my live work begins, so a mixed playlist of upbeat and down-tempo rhythm helps me stay focused, relaxed and energetic at the same time.”
1. ‘Back To Nature’—Nightmares on Wax
“After a long day running around between places and dealing with phone calls that interrupt my tranquillity, this song gives me a chance to switch off and just kick back for a little while. The message of peace and love so obviously apparent in the tribal chanting really helps me relax whilst watching the sun softly go down.”
2. ‘Gosh’—Jamie XX
“Depending on the evening’s antics, this either gets me to tap my foot and think or stand up and dance in preparation for a performance. The rhythm is phenomenal and makes you feel that you are not just listening to typical electronica – it really speaks to me and readies me in preparation for whatever is coming my way.”
3. ‘Chill Out’—The KLF
“Now I know this is technically not one song, instead, it is a journey that lasts forty-five minutes. What else can I say? Whether I intend to do, or whatever the day has delivered, The KLF will put it at rest, in the most beautiful and reflective manner as anyone who has ever heard this wonder will attest.” (*Note: This album is not available for purchase digitally)
Enjoyed the tracks? Check out our other ‘Dawn to Dusk’ playlists curated by guest artists each week and follow our Apple Music profile to access our playlist first when it's out.