M meets… Giovanna

GiovannaGiovanna is a talented 21 year-old singer and songwriter who has already been enlisted by Mumford & Sons, Noah And The Whale and King Charles. However, rather than the alt-folk-pop sounds of the aforementioned artists, Giovanna’s music is a combination of abstract dance sounds and her glacial vocals. Zane Lowe made Out In Bold his single of the week, calling Giovanna ‘A completely new and independent sound in a class of her own’.

From the age of five Giovanna has been playing classical piano, and has developed into a songwriter, performer, vocalist, and producer. Giovanna’s big brother Winston Marshall is multi-instrumentalist and vocalist in Mumford and Sons.

Read M‘s interview with Giovanna and watch the video for her debut single In Bold which is released on 28 November through Mi7 Records.

I read that your ancestry (Italian, Hungarian, English, Scottish, Irish and French) is a source of inspiration to your music. Have you taken old family tales and used them in your songs or is it a bit more of an abstract influence?
There are some interesting family tales, but I haven’t used them yet. I love the instruments of my heritage: like bagpipes and violins etc. which I include in my sound.

Do you set aside specific times to work on songs and create new ones?
Yes – if I’m not in the studio I’m songwriting.

Do you use an instrument or a recording device to help you create melodies?
I use a keyboard which has an endless pallet of sounds.

Have your experiences of working with the likes of Mumford and Sons and Noah And The Whale taught you anything or influenced you?
They’re both incredible. They’ve sort of taught me discipline and perseverance and give whatever you choose to set your mind on more than 100 percent.

Can you describe the creation of Out In Bold? It’s got a very pared-down backing track that works with your voice and builds in intensity – I’d like to find out what came first out of the lyric and music and how it came together.
Well I wrote Out In Bold three years ago so I can’t quite remember what came first! But normally the chords come first, but it can be very obscure. In the recording process I laid down the chords at home, added this sort of Afro-beat and other instruments and brought it to Mi7 which was very exciting. All my songs build up!

The tracks I’ve heard by you all have a real electronic and dance feel. Do you listen a lot to these genres and if so, which artists are currently inspiring you?
Yes – Michael Jackson: dance legend, Moby: genius synthesiser I went to go see him the other day and it was a very exciting experience, Justin Timberlake: the sexy one, all fit into that genre!

You contrast the cold production styles with a really emotional vocal, where does the inspiration for your voice come from?
Sinead O’connor!

Are live performances a big part of who you are as an artist, or are you more of a fan of working in the studio?
Yes it is, I’m a fan of both. Its important to do justice to the music in the live performance and it becomes a part of your identity.

www.soundcloud.com/giovannaonline