Interview with Composer Davide Rossi on his Work with Coldplay


 He has collaborated with Coldplay on their greatest hits, Viva La Vida and Paradise, added strings on a plethora of songs, including Yes and Rainy Day. Now, Italian producer/composer, Davide Rossi is looking forward to an even brighter future as he continues his work with the biggest band in the world.

He performed Viva La Vida in 2009 with Chris Martin and became the first ‘extra’ musician to appear on stage with the band in 2010. Davide’s producing talents were used on almost every Mylo Xyloto track and he is becoming a permanent fixture in Coldplay’s history. interview with Davide Rossi

Afi, from our team (known as Grids on the forums) caught up with the Turin born violinist to find out what it’s like to work the stadium rocking behemoths.

Coldplay Davide
Hello Davide, thank you for taking your time to chat with us on Coldplaying. First of all, it’s an honor for us to be able to interview with you.

Hello to you Afi, thank you for getting in touch and for you generous compliments.

So our first question is how does it feel to work with Coldplay? What is your favorite music work so far along with them?


I love to work with them. They’re not just great musicians but also amazing guys. I always feel super positive energy when I work with them and I miss them terribly when I’m not in the studio working on some Coldplay stuff, which happens more and more as both me and them are getting busier in our own careers.

I’d says my favourite period was the viva la Vida one, perhaps just because it was a first for us and also because that’s when we created the viva la vida song, which was a real game changer for everything I suppose.

When we first listened to the True Love remix, we were actually falling in love with this record instantly. What was the main idea to have a dominant violin sound in the beginning? The song really suits with the movie soundtrack in my opinion as it comes so flawlessly, though.

I started working on true love very early on, I think it was May 2013? I usually get Chris demoes and ideas very early, before the band its on it. I guess Chris, with the years, is trying to give me more creative space right from the beginning of a song. The band works another version and I just fill all with my strings. This is why I always had ideas to make an album of string re-interpretations of their songs, but maybe that would be too much and too boring to be honest. I’m glad on how well true love turned up though and was thrilled that the boys decided to release it eventually.

What is your favorite record so far with Coldplay? How does it feel to have Viva La Vida as the #1 single and is still playing a lot in radio stations today?

Feels absolutely great. will always be proud of the fact that I contributed heavily to possibly their most successful song until now? And there’s paradise too of course…

Another question about Viva La Vida, who came up with the main violin riff? Was it you or Chris?

He always comes with the chords and with a vague idea of a rhythm. Together we developed and refined the rhythm and the harmony. This is why you need an arranger around when you work with strings. Plus I have my way of using rhythm with strings, it’s kind of my signature if you know what I mean. I think especially with viva of all Coldplay’s songs I’ve worked with, it was a case of true collaboration between the two of us and the band of course.

Davide Rossi and Chris Martin

Above : Davide and Chris performing ‘Viva La Vida’ live in 2009

If we go back to your personal interest, why choosing to play violin? Have you come across that you will be collaborating with such big bands like Coldplay?

It’s an interesting question. To be honest, all I’ve always been interested in my life was to be a musician and to be where music is. I’ve been lucky to study with amazing teachers and work with amazing artists. I think you should always be prepared to work with a big band if that’s what you want. I always thought big, even when playing with ‘smaller’ bands. In my world, quality is what counts, more than quantity, which is usually what people judge a band nowadays. How big it is compared to what it sells or how many hits has on YouTube.Davide Rossi and Chris Martin

How much of an influence did Karlheinz Stockhausen have on your career?

Well, I spent a very very brief Period with him, but it was so strong it really changed my perception of what it was to be a musician. His discipline, the depth of his electronic music compositions and the whole vibe really. What an amazing man.

We believe you must have been proud with all of your achievements for the last few years, but we’re a little bit curious about how does it feel like when your piece of work is used for the whole song like when Viva La Vida happened last time?

It’s really amazing and such a lucky thing. I don’t even think about it to be honest. I always think that music happens on its own and if you are working on it and open to it, you may get lucky once in a lifetime…

Are you looking forward to more live shows collaborating with groups/bands you have been working for many years now?

Live shows not so much, I’m very busy writing/composing and arranging these days.

Coldplay Davide Rossi

Above : Davide on stage with Chris Martin at the Oremeley dinner in June 2013

Are there any chances to work with Coldplay again in the future? We have been wanting to listen more of your violin sounds on their record too, though.

Well, I’m working on and off with them since almost nine years now. I’m working with them on LP7 as we speak.

We are also hoping, though, to meet you one day as you have now become a musical inspiration alone and with the musicians you have been working with.

Thank you, you are too generous. Hopefully we’ll meet one day. Make yourself noticed!

We appreciate your time to interview with us Davide, and thank you very much in advance. We hope to chat with you soon.

We’ll leave you with Davide’s most prevelant and famous work to date, on Coldplay’s 2008 #1 single, Viva La Vida. 

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