Amore Vita Collective Celebrates Collaboration | Westword

Amore Vita Collective Celebrates Collaboration

CU Denver students NAAV and Chris Adams formed the collective Amore Vita to promote collaboration between local musicians.
NAAV, Fiamoré vocalist and founder of Amore Vita
NAAV, Fiamoré vocalist and founder of Amore Vita Sydney Jade Photography
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NAAV, Fiamoré vocalist and founder of local arts collective and label Amore Vita, has always been creative, and has used his musical prowess to explore his Indian heritage. He and his siblings began to learn Indian classical music at age four, and NAAV even mastered the tabla, a type of Indian hand drum that requires intricate variations in hand movement and is notoriously difficult to play.

He was further immersed in the style when he and his family relocated from the States to India for a time. "Music was just something that we were practicing and learning," NAAV recalls. He moved back to Ohio in 2015 for his junior and senior years of high school, and his musical focus soon shifted to producing and songwriting.

But his dreams of music production were put on the back burner until late 2019, when NAAV went to Italy to visit his partner, who was studying fashion design. "Being there and being around a bunch of people who were chasing their dreams, I was like, 'This is what I need to do,'" he reflects. "I was definitely feeling a lot of unrest at the time, because I wasn't doing what I wanted to and what I felt was me."

His mind was made up: He wouldn't let his career idle for another moment. He called his parents and told them he needed to go to college for music, and he was accepted to the University of Colorado Denver in 2020 to study recording arts and music business. "The minute they reached out, it was Colorado for me," NAAV says. "I knew about the school. It was contemporary. I loved the vibe of the city, the vibe of the state. And I'm a nature-driven guy and that inspires me, so it was a no-brainer."

In 2022, NAAV crossed paths with Chris Adams, a fellow music student and recent transfer who spent three years studying physics at CU Boulder. "I really didn't like [physics]," Adams says. "I don't know why I stuck with it for so long, but eventually I thought to myself, 'Either I'm going to drop out, graduate and never use my degree, or transfer and go into a different major.'" He decided to pursue his passion for performance and recording arts at CU Denver.

"I had a session in a studio with a friend for an AP project. I went into my session...and I wasn't expecting anyone to be in there," Adams recalls. But NAAV was there, wrapping up a project past his session end time. "We ended up going to get lunch and coming back, and that's when we started talking with NAAV, and I was like, 'Oh, this guy's really cool,'" he says. "And we just hit it off from there."

The pair became fast friends and quickly realized that they shared a deep love for the collaborative process of creation. They decided to lean into that and intentionally promote collaboration and community, creating the band Fiamoré and artist collective and label Amore Vita in January.

"Amore Vita was born from the idea of having a creative collective where creators can come together, collaborate and really push their content in the most meaningful and impactful way possible," NAAV explains. "And at the same time, be aware of the responsibility that we're here to create, but also enjoy the process of creation."

The name of the art collective and label is as thoughtful as its mission — the phrase translates to "love life" in Italian and encapsulates the warm, inviting energy that NAAV and Adams strive to capture. Together they plan Amore Vita shows, where both NAAV and Adams perform in Fiamoré with fellow CU music students and collective members Nate Tharp, Dom Cudd, Ben Mailaro and Erique Johnson. Other members of the collective include solo artists and CU Denver students David Amaya, James Sorteberg and Zach Gerard.

NAAV and Adams hope that in a year, Amore Vita will be an established business that books and records for collective participants. Amore Vita will record using Denver's CCM Studios and CU Denver's recording studios with the help of the collective's lead recording engineer, Hayden Hallat, along with Sorteberg. A Fiamoré EP, set for release by the end of August, will be the first under the Amore Vita imprint.

Amore Vita will "be a place where it's kind of an all-in-one route — you have your idea as an artist, or you want a job as a recording engineer, or you want to play with other people as an instrumentalist, and we facilitate the process of merging all of those together," Adams says. "Everybody can gain from this experience."

Amore Vita and Sweet Pork play The End Lafayette, 525 Courtney Way, Lafayette, 7 p.m. Friday, July 21. Tickets are $18.
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