(Photo Credit - Camilla French)
We had the opportunity to chat with an up-and-comer in the world of alt-pop, 15 year old NYC-based musician Simone! Check out our Artist Spotlight with her here!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"Music has always been a part of my life. Growing up, my parents would always encourage my brother and I to sing and put on shows for anyone that came over. We were huge fans of shows and movies that incorporated music, like “High School Musical” and “Glee”. It was pretty much just apart of our lifestyle. When I was 10 I started to realize truly how much I loved music and asked for a guitar for my birthday. I started playing and writing as well, eventually my songs got better and better and my whole family took it a lot more seriously. I started playing shows when I was 11 and have just been building my career and skill set since them."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"I try to write everyday, just to build the muscle. Not every song is great, but I really value the learning experience I get out of it. I usually will just pick up my guitar when I feel like it and start playing with chords. Then I’ll record some melodies I think of while I play, and start getting into the lyrics. When the lyrics start coming I always say to myself “Okay, what story are we gonna tell in this song?”. I’ll build off of that story through the lyrics. Once I start writing a song I have to finish it, if I put it down and wait to finish it later I’ll go crazy. It takes me around 20-40 minutes to write a song, but every time is different. That’s one of the reasons why I love songwriting, because it will never be the same experience twice."
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"Taylor Swift is the reason I wanted to pick up a guitar in the first place. She really made me interested in the music industry and songwriting. I definitely would not value storytelling in songs as much if it wasn't for her. I’m also super inspired by other songwriters, like Amy Allen, Jack Antonoff, Ali Tamposi, and Ethan Gruska. I really look up to them.
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?"
"I’m definitely the most familiar with the guitar, it’s basically my home base. I have a Mitchell guitar that I got for Christmas years ago and It’s the only one I play. I’m very protective of it, my Dad is pretty much the only one allowed to touch it besides me. I’ve written hundreds of songs on it, played a bunch of my shows with it, and recorded my favorite songs I’ve ever made with it. It’s pretty special to me."
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"I prepare a lot before shows because I am very much a perfectionist and messing up on stage is one of my biggest fears. I try to make each of my shows unique and different by creating new arrangements for the songs or playing unreleased ones. I want people the come to my shows to really just be in the moment, and forget about everything else happening outside the venue. I want it to be so fun that people forget they have work to do or an essay to write. For me, the venue doesn’t matter at all if the audience and I have a good time."
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"My goal with my music is always to connect to people and let them know they are not alone. When people tell me they have cried to my songs or heavily relate to them it’s a really wild feeling. I want to be able to speak to people through my songwriting and tell them stories that make them feel something. I want people to know that my music is real, honest, and I’m not hiding anything. My words are the truth!"
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
"I have some upcoming releases planned for sure. Be on the look out for songs coming later this year. These new records are my favorite things I’ve done so far, and I’m super excited to share them with everyone."