Alice Pisano – who is she?
Debut: ‘Celebrate Life’ (October 2018)
SheBOPS: Is there a quote you consider to be your life motto?
Alice Pisano: There’s so many but my favourite is “What you think you become” – I really believe in the power of the mind.
Could you tell us about one particular experience from your life so far which influences your music?
Moving from my hometown in northern Italy to London; it’s got such a vibrant and thriving music scene – it’s a great incentive to work hard and always try new things.
Was there ever a moment where you felt like giving up on music and doing something else?
I’ve never had any doubts, music has always been my one great passion.
What is the message or theme of your song ‘Celebrate Life’?
I wrote it at a point when I was feeling pretty low and discouraged with life in general. ‘Celebrate Life’ is about letting go of fear and of expectations of perfection… writing it was cathartic for me and I hope it can help other people as well.
How did you start working with Ian Barter (Dermot Kennedy, Izzy Bizu) for the song?
We had been working together for a while before I wrote ‘Celebrate Life’, he’s a great producer and played a crucial part in crafting the right sound for the song.
What was the biggest difference in terms of writing and recording ‘Celebrate Life’ compared to your previous songs?
I guess when I wrote it I knew it was special, although the process was not different from my previous songs as I wrote it on piano and then took to Ian to produce/arrange.
Is there a lyric from ‘Celebrate Life’ you like the most?
“Don’t let it turn your heart into stone”. There’s always something good to look at, however tough things can get.
How do you describe your musical style?
Soft pop, with a bit of ambient…
What are your favorite sounds to incorporate into your music?
I love sounds that create an ethereal atmosphere like London Grammar-y background synths and guitars. I also love a live recorded grand piano, where you can almost hear the pedals.
What emotions do you hope your music conveys to the listener?
I hope it can be warming to people.
What is the toughest part of creating new music?
When you come up with 30 different ideas and don’t really like any of them enough to develop them into a song! But when you finally get that winning melody/lyric it’s the best feeling ever.
Generally speaking, what is your creative process like?
I usually write melody and chords first and then lyrics, as it comes more natural to me… but I have written songs the other way round and it’s worked well too.
How do you feel about the representation and portrayal of female musicians? Is there anything that you’d like to change?
I think the music and the songs should always come first, whereas sometimes there’s too much focus on physical appearance and being sexy.
As a woman, is there anything about the music industry that frustrates you?
Lately I had a manager say to me “female artists are more difficult to launch than male ones, we have to focus on your image” – what’s wrong with my image? I see lots of male artists who are simply themselves and it’s ok.
What issues do you think female musicians are facing today?
Sometimes it’s not easy to be young and female and having to deal with older men being bossy and treating you condescendingly. Another thing that infuriates me is when I post my music on social media and there’s men who always comment on the photo and not the song.
We need more women to headline festivals, so if you were planning your own music festival, which five female musicians would be at the top of your list?
Adele, Gabrielle Aplin, Florence + the Machine, Lana Del Rey, HAIM.
Are there any female artists you’re particularly into at the moment?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Julia Michaels, she’s written some real bangers! I often pick up a Joni Mitchell record, I grew up listening to her and she’s always a great inspiration.
Have you noticed any double standards when it comes to gender in the music industry?
A woman has to make good music and be good-looking, a man has to make good music.
What advice would you give to young girls and women looking to work in music?
Don’t do anything you’re uncomfortable with, stay true to yourself and your personality.
Do you think the music industry places too much value on physical appearance?
Yes, especially with women.
Do you think there are any misconceptions held by the public about life as a musician?
That it’s all parties and rock n roll when writing songs (at least for me) actually requires quiet and loneliness… also I think that maybe artists these days tend to have a less crazy lifestyle than in the past.
How do you think musicians can create a sustainable income from their music?
Live shows, streams, syncs…
Which aspect of the music industry excites you the most?
Spotify and digital music services – they are a great opportunity for new artists to have their music heard from millions of people around the world.
What do you stand for as an artist?
I would love for my music to make people feel good.