THE Italian-born artist Alessandra Grace is a Pop sensation…
who has just released her first single, Something So Good. She talks to me about moving to London and the inspiration behind her new track; what it feels like having the song used by Vodafone Italia (for their #ConnectWithPride campaign) and whether she’d like to see it help promote other L.G.B.T.Q. events/festivals. There is an instant appeal to Alessandra Grace’s music: I ask the artists that helped foster that and when music first came into her life.
I get an insight into the forthcoming E.P., I Do It for Love and the themes addressed; working with producer MOZ; how important London is to the spirit and nature of her music – and, whether, there are any tour dates approaching.
Hi, Alessandra. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi. I am well.
it’s been an incredible week, thank you!
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
I am a singer and songwriter - originally from Milan, Italy. I am proudly Italian - but I consider myself a world citizen.
Something So Good is your debut single. What can you tell me about the song and the idea behind it?
It all started with a White Party on 4th of July - where I fell for the only guy wearing all black. I think it’s happened to us all: that one person you want says they don’t want anything serious…yet, the feelings are there; together you are amazing and you both know you’ve got something special.
Someone once told me that the songs we love are the ones that tell us what we are afraid to say out loud…I had to write this song.
The next day, I met MOZ: what an incredible writer and producer. I heard a track he was working on at the time (yet-to-be-released) called We Own the World - and I immediately set up a session to work with him. I had a song to write: one that would have to connect on a first listen: catchy, mid-up-tempo; direct and to-the-point. MOZ and I immediately clicked and we wrote Something So Good in (just) a few hours. It was our first track together and we have been working together ever since.
That’s what this song is about. It’s about capturing the love that’s in front of you without any fear: if you have the luck to find something so good; don’t let it go.
It has already caught the ear of Vodafone Italia. What was it like hearing the news Something So Good was being used for their #ConnectWithPride campaign?
It was absolutely amazing.
The best feeling in the world is to know that your song is being used for a great cause - that you believe in and support.
The song has a buzz and ability to connect the community. Do you hope Pride festivals in Brighton and London use the song in the same way?
Absolutely. It would be such an honor.
I Do It for Love is the forthcoming E.P. What stories and events inspired the songs? How much of your own experiences are included?
Everything I write is personal and the E.P. title is about the struggle of pursuing your passion: it’s about putting up a fight for what and whom you love.
Each single addresses a different aspect of love: romantic love; love towards our family and close friends and, finally, love towards ourselves. I Do It for Love is dedicated to each and every one of us.
It is an anthem of love; of believing in yourself and in never giving up.
You were born in Italy but moved to L.A. What were the biggest changes you noticed when moving to the U.S.?
I lived in the U.S. for many years...
At first, when I was a kid. It is very different living in Europe and in the U.S.
L.A. was a very positive surprise for me as an artist - because I had the luck of meeting incredible writers, managers and producers to work with who believed in me and in my music. You’re immersed in this parallel world where everyone around you is a creative and is going after their dreams (with all the ups and downs this entails).
How did music come into your life early? Which artists inspired you to take up music?
I started playing the piano when I was five. I loved the romantics: Chopin, Schubert and Beethoven. The emotion I felt when playing music became that one thing that I took with me through all journeys - all of the moves to different countries; through all the ups and downs of life.
It was at twelve that I realized I could write my own songs…and I never stopped.
So many artists have inspired me in different ways: the power and presence of Whitney Houston and Etta James; the timeless songs of Oasis and Coldplay; the strength of melodies of piano-led ballads by Elton John; many Italian artists I grew up with such as Antonello Venditti, Laura Pausini; Giorgia, Mina - and then; truly listening to as much music as I possibly could.
Now in London; how important is the scene here? Do you travel a lot promoting your music or are you more focused here?
I still travel quite a bit between London, L.A. and Milan - but I absolutely love London and the music scene here.
It is so vibrant and varied that I am trying to stay here as much as I can - to perform live and to promote my music.
I believe you have a Classical background. How much of this, and the disciplines you learned, go into your music? Do you take more influence from the likes of Hip-Hop and Pop?
I think it has been such a big influence on my music and in the way I write Pop today.
It has made me a more emotional writer and I believe everything we hear, in some way, becomes a part of us and can influence our work. I always try to listen to new music, though, when I hear a song I love.
I play to it over and over a million times before I can jump to the next!
Any dates in the diary? Can we see you perform anytime soon?
I will be announcing fall dates next week on my website, socials and newsletter!
I hope to see you at one of my gigs!
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Any ambitions in regards collaborating with other artists - or releasing new material?
I am currently planning the next few single releases - I cannot wait to share more of my music!
I am, also, about to start producing an album I started working on earlier this year - to be released after the E.P - definitely, some cool collaborations are coming up next!
IN THIS PHOTO: Kevin Ross
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Such a hard choice…
I am positive I could change my mind a million times - but here are three of my favorites:
At Last by Etta James
I love every track: it’s a collection of some of my all-time favorite songs.
Anything Whitney Houston - so let me pick the Greatest Hits album
Because I absolutely love every single tune - and I Have Nothing is, probably, one of my favorite songs ever.
Norah Jones: Come Away with Me
It takes me to this beautiful dimension: soft, romantic; the sound of the piano…I love it.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Always be yourself: accept advice and criticism but never lose your essence, your message and the meaning to what you do.
Create a world of music we can enter and explore: don’t try to fit into someone else’s.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Then…I’d like to choose a track that I discovered through you…
Someone by Anna of the North
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