violetta zironi

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Violetta Zironi

Violetta Zironi is a 22-year-old Italian singer-songwriter who has been making waves on the music scene with her earthy folk-inspired offerings.

Reminiscent of Katie Melua and Birdy, Violetta has been busy writing music since the age of 16. She also has some incredible plaudits under her belt already, from singing ‘Stand By Me’ on stage with the legendary Ben E. King to being personally requested to accompany Jack Savoretti on tour.

In 2016, Violetta spent the summer travelling across America. Her journey allowed her to further develop her sound as she experienced different things, made lifelong memories and picked up new inspirations along the way.

Her latest release is the dreamy ‘Toast’, taken from her forthcoming EP Half Moon Lane. Violetta describes the song as “being emotionally removed from any relationship, being afraid to be vulnerable and to put yourself out there. When stealing hearts, all you really want is someone to steal yours.”

We recently had the opportunity to ask Violetta about ‘Toast’, her forthcoming EP, her Italian roots and more. Check out what she had to say below.

You started to write music at the age of 16 – who or what inspired you to follow a career in music?

My dad is a musician, just as a hobby. When I was 6 he got me to take piano lessons and shared with me his passion for music. My mum has also always been very passionate about music and very supportive.

I also remember my music teacher when I was 12, and I remember him telling the class off for always looking up to their idols as they were doing something impossible instead of trying themselves. I thought about it for a moment and I realized I wanted to try.

We love your new single ‘Toast’. Can you tell us about the creative process behind the song and how long it took you to write?

‘Toast’ was written five years ago by my boyfriend. He told me he was just having a bit of a lonely time in his life and really wanted to finally meet someone who would “stay for breakfast”. He played me this song last year and I loved it: not only did I love the music and its catchy riffs, but I could really find myself in those lyrics. So I changed some of the lyrics and adapted them to myself. I also fixed a couple of music lines and that was it.

The track is taken from your forthcoming EP Half Moon Lane. What can listeners expect from your EP?

I would say this will be a very honest EP. It’s my very first, and I thought I really wanted to tell everyone the truth about me. It will contain some hints of the music that I love, folk, Americana, mixed with tastes the throw me back to my roots, Italy, and its musical tradition from the 60’s songwriters. I really tried to find a point in between those two sides, a meeting point between what I love, and what I am.

Which track from the EP was the most difficult to perfect?

I would say the song “Muddy Fields” was trickiest to work on. Although they all came out pretty naturally, this one has quite some changes, mood wise and tempo wise between the song… I couldn’t say why. Probably I just saw more dynamic in that one song more than in the others.

How have your Italian roots influenced your sound?

Yes, absolutely. I come from a country where music was really important and really beautiful in the past. More so than now, Italian music until the 70’s was a big cult around the world. The beauty of its language, the romantic melodies and the clever arrangements of Luigi Tenco, Gino Paoli, Paolo Conte, and the greatness of the Maestro Ennio Morricone have really really influenced my approach to my sound. If there is one thing that I love, is melodies. I think just like if a song is good it will be good even if played just on guitar and voice, if a melody works it will work if there was no voice at all singing it, but just played on a silly flute.

In 2016 you trekked across America, which inspired your new music. Was there a particular state which impacted on you the most?

I really loved Austin, Texas. It’s a big city for country and blues, but not only that. There is a lot of every genre, and I felt like I could reach any kind of music or even people. I am happy I will get to Austin again in March for SXSW.

Who would you say are your three current musical inspirations?

I would say Luigi Tenco, for melodies and elegant arrangements.

Norah Jones, as I love the sweetness but maturity at the same time in her voice (I also saw her live recently and her live show is just fantastic, technically).

And Chet Baker. Melodies, and voice are incredible.

What is your favourite lyric that you’ve written over the years?

I would say this line from my song “Don’t Make Me A Fool” : “Letting it happen, drive till the world ends, until we get old some day, Leave me a note say you’ll meet me on the road, don’t make me a fool cause I’m young”. It really represents me atm.

You’ve already achieved so much in your career, from playing ‘Stand By Me’ on stage with Ben E. King, to being personally requested to accompany Jack Savoretti on tour. What has been your personal highlight so far?

Those two are definitely at the top of my personal highlights. But I’ve had some achievements recently which I’m very proud of, including playing a main role in a Italian/French production musical film (coming out this year), and playing at Swiss Festival Zermatt Unplugged.

You’ve already been confirmed to perform at SXSW and Reeperbahn this year. What can we expect from your live performances?

I will perform with my band. We are in rehearsals atm and we’re including the songs in the EP but also some more recently written tunes.

What would you like people to take away from your music?

I would love to be able to talk to people through my music. Tell them about myself. Since four years I’ve been living a pretty crazy life, made of traveling around the world, meeting the most extraordinary people, facing strange adventures and getting to know what’s around me and myself. I come from a country where music is not really precept as we see it here in Germany, so it was hard for me to leave it and find courage to try somewhere else. I just want to tell everyone this story.

What else can we look forward to from you during 2018?

I would say lots of live shows and possibly another record later this year.

Thank you to Violetta Zironi for her time. Make sure you keep up to date with her on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Let us know your thoughts on Violetta Zironi and ‘Toast’ on Twitter @CelebMix

Written by Katrina Rees

I'm Katrina, or Kat to pretty much everyone. I'm an editor for CelebMix, a content writer, a boyband lover and an all round music fanatic.
Twitter: @lifeofkatrina