Interview: Vitor Fortunato, Canal Off & Surf Music - Top 50 Spotify Playlist Curator

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Vitor Fortunato is the curator for the Canal Off & Surf Music - Top 50 Spotify Playlist which has amassed over 23k followers and is focused on showcasing songs from a range of amazing artists including Zion I, Bootleg Rascal, ODESZA, Full Trunk, Teasley and Milky Chance. We connected with Vitor for this exclusive interview to get a better understanding of what initially inspired him to create his playlist, what he looks for in the songs that are selected, what he enjoys most about being a playlist curator and much more.

After reading our Q&A with Vitor, be sure to follow Canal Off & Surf Music - Top 50 on Instagram and stream the playlist below. 

Tell us what inspired you to create the Canal Off & Surf Music - Top 50 Spotify playlist?

Let me start saying that since my childhood, I'm totally fanatic music listener. I'm super eclectic and I like all kinds of songs, from classical to pop, hip-hop, rock, deep house and trance. Good quality and production is a must, whatever the style. Another passion is surfing. I watch many surf TV channels and I always stay tuned for new tracks related to this atmosphere. Two of them inspired me the most to create this playlist. One of them is Brazilian, called Canal Off TV. And the other one is World Surf League online streaming. They both have tons of good music, all of them very related to surf, sports, relaxing and inspiring vibes, contemplation of nature and so on. 

I started picking the best songs of these channels but then went further I started adding some indie tracks that I liked a lot had the same style. At this very beginning, I wasn't even thinking about being a curator, I was just having fun with my playlist. However, people started to follow it more and more. 

This may be hard to answer, but who is your favorite artist/band and what is your favorite song of all time?

This is an impossible answer, actually, hahaha! It's also hard to define the style of my playlist. Well, I'm sorry but I'll have to choose 2. First one would be "Coastin - Zion I feat K. Flay". The second one, not less important though, would be "Sinking Sun (Acoustic Version) - Mt Warning". Check them out and you're going to notice they have completely different styles, this is why I had to choose two because the playlist is not about a specific genre but a feeling. They are brilliant on instrumentation and lyrics are supreme. Every time I listen to them, I get the motivation to get up and go. They're inspiring.

How do you know that a song is right to be added to your curated playlist? Is there something specific you look for in the music you feature?

It's a feeling. As I'm not stuck to a specific genre, I always look for cool tracks that will give me motivation, inspiration, relaxation. It's not about the specific Surf Music genre set by The Beach Boys and The Ventures, but actually, it's about a LIFESTYLE, in the same way surf is not only a sport but a way of living and enjoying life.

How can artists get in contact with you regarding the possible addition of their music to your playlists?

I'm partnered with SubmitHub and PlaylistPush at the moment. Just go there and look for the playlist. Also, feel free to contact or check out our Instagram @surfplaylist.

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Are you a surfer yourself? If so, what goes through your mind when you are riding a wave?

For sure! It's the greatest passion in my life. Actually, let me rephrase that because at the moment I've just moved to Berlin because I was hired by a company here as a GIS Analyst. So surf is on hold for a while. But I've surfed my whole life. 

Surf is definitely more than just a sport. It starts in the middle  of the week when you're checking the wave conditions for the weekend. Then, you have to wake up early to get better glassy waves and also avoid the crowd. Meanwhile driving your car to the surfing spot is the perfect moment to put on some music, inspiring, motivating tracks! This is the whole meaning of this playlist to put surfers (and other sportsmen too) in the mood to go! 

Riding a wave is the best thing ever. First, the paddling. Then focusing on the drop. Then come the speed and refreshing sensation. No matter the surf level, every person will have extreme feelings at this moment. Connecting with nature is outstanding and something close to religion.

What makes a song "surf music"?

As I said, it's more about the feeling and not about being inside of the Surf Music genre. I always look for alternative tracks, inspiring beats, cool indie and old-fashioned elements, but at the same time, I have to understand that it is a modern track. Some tracks are going so old-fashioned that they don't have any modern element or sound effects. So basically they're just mocking the same old style. I like bands that are influenced by this old style but also mix it with modern elements, making authentic new sounds.

What do you enjoy most about what you do as a music curator?

It's crazy being connected with some artists that I am a fan for a long time ago. Like Bootleg Rascal, Sticky Fingers and Dirty Heads. I'm so glad to be able to help them. 

Before getting in contact with Bootleg Rascal, they were already a reference for the playlist. By the time their manager got in contact with me, asking for a music review, I got so stoked that I called all my friends telling them about this. It's amazing.

Connect with Vitor Fortunato: Instagram