#musicianstories: Alessia Labate
I'm Alessia Labate, a 21 year-old artist from Italy, I've been singing eversince (I have footage of a young myself singing and dancing at the age of 2) and I started writing really young at 12/13 but only at 18 I realized I was a good songwriter, and I started investing in it.
As every artist I'm a "sad motherfucker", Billie eilish said that in an interview and I think she found the right words to describe our mental situation. I tend to focus on the bad things more than on the good things and I wrote a song about it: BLACK Soul. It's the first track from my upcoming EP The Night, but It's not the first one I wrote. It came out after I had my first writer's block 2 years ago; that day I wanted/needed to write something to show myself I was able to, to boost my confidence. I sat at the piano and I started playing B, D, G, and again B, D, G Without realizing it I had my bassline for the song. Then I started humming a melody, and after singing it few times and changing something it became the chorus. I got so excited I wrote the whole thing in 30 minutes or so.
When I sent it to my amazing producer KROM he immediately liked it and made a draft of the arrangement. I "played" (most of it was MIDI editing, I'm really good at it) an electric piano and an acoustic guitar for my demo and he kept em and built the whole bass/drum. At that time I was still living in Rome, so I joined him in Milan to work on BLACK Soul and many other tracks that I wish I'll show the world someday and we finished the whole arrangement. He used few secret samples for the drum (he's really jealous about his samples, I dont know where they come from) and a SEM for the arp synth, back then I knew almost nothing about music production and it seemed magic to me. We tried to work with my guitars but they were too shitty, I'm not a good player, I needed a pro to do that.
So I came back to my home town Cosenza where my dad owns a Recording studio. He's a professional guitarist, sound engineer and songwriter. I played the song for him and he really liked it and recorded some guitars with his Yamaha acoustic guitar, it turned out really beautiful. People always ask me why don't you produce full time with your dad? He's really good, but he's also my father and sometimes I can't be as opened to him as I am to KROM who became my friend/uncle/mentor/person I trust the most in the world.
I came back to Milan, but there was a missing part in the recordings: the chorus. My dad was so full of work I didn't want to bother him again, so KROM asked a friend to come to the studio, Fausto Comincioli. He played amazing guitars and gave KROM new ideas for the arrangement, so he made a new version of the song that... eeehmmm was another song. Trying something new after some time working on a track really helps to understand which way to go, we were afraid our ears were too used to that, but eventually we liked the first version more. After the arrangement was done we recorded vocals and then I did the whole comp and melodyne thing, it took me many days, I had just moved from Variaudio to Melodyne and I felt stupid, I didn't know how to use it, adjusting timing and pitch of different tracks took me way more time than it does now. Also, I didn't know Revoice existed back then. Go check it out, it's amazing. Once I delivered the vocals we did the mix together and it was the most tiring thing ever, but I'm glad I was there making decisions and learning how to do that. In the meanwhile me and KROM worked on many other songs and we chose 4 to send to labels and friends, hoping to find an interesting deal. Well, it didn't happen, no one was interested in the project. I felt frustrated for a long time, and I also started to work for other people as producer/ songwriter / topliner and I got completely distracted, my project felt like a dream. Over time I started growing a though, a desire to put my songs out even if they were not perfect, I felt I needed to close that chapter to open a new one. So I decided to release them independently.
I started by releasing a cover of Bad blood through Reverbnation, it was pretty easy and I found more confidence in doin it ALONE. I also uploaded few of my demos there and since I had paid for the pro plan for a month to release the song I started submitting BLACK Soul in ALL the opportunities available: gigs, articles, radio, festivals, contests... and surprisingly I entered the International Songwriter Contest and I won a free mastering from MAVEN MASTERING, AKA Burak Atas, a cool Turkish guy that loved my song so much he really wanted to be part of it. Finally I chose Spinnup to release BLACK Soul, and I'm happy I did. The guys from the Support team are really kind and willing to help you in any way they can, they also reply quickly, so I highly recommend it to all my colleagues.
The song was out the 3rd of January 2019, so follow me on Spotify and you'll find it in your release radar Playlist
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