Interview with Alice Pisano
‘Oh yeah, I hope they recognise themselves. I hope they hear all my songs… and I hope they are haunted by them. That is my wish whenever I write a song about someone!’ – Alice Pisano
Blimey, note to self, never mess with singer/songwriter Alice Pisano. I had asked her if any of her ex-boyfriends realised she was singing about them in her lyrics, many of which are based on her own experiences of love and romance… both good and bad.
Her songs are always catchy and well-structured but lyrically there’s a world-weary cynicism about tracks like ‘Boys like you’.
‘Why do I always end up with the boys like you, saying they’ll call you but they never do. Then they ghost you and it’s so damned rude…’
Alice is obviously joking about wanting her ex’s to be ‘haunted’ by her music but her lyrics are incredibly raw and confessional at times. The process is something she finds incredibly cathartic.
‘Definitely. Absolutely 100 per cent. I feel like when I’m going through something emotional, sometimes I don’t even know what I’m feeling until I put it down on paper and then put it in a song,’ says the Italian singer who is now based in London. ‘I feel it’s a really good way of processing emotions and It’s definitely cathartic. It’s like everything is in order. It’s like therapy in a way.’
Alice, who has co-written with several well-respected songwriters, laughs: ‘Songwriting sessions often become like these therapy sessions where I’m over-sharing all these intimate things about my love life.’
Her songwriting career began when she was very young and her father brought a piano into the house.
‘I was lucky because my family has always been supportive. They always encouraged me to study music. My dad plays piano as well. That’s how I was introduced to piano. He bought the piano for himself initially and then he was like “Do you want to try?” I took a few lessons and I loved it.
‘I discovered songwriting when I began singing in a band. I was in my late teens. They were looking for a singer and they wanted to write songs. At the time I was a performer. I played piano, guitar, I sang but I had never written anything.
‘I didn’t even know if I was capable of doing that but I thought I would give it a go. We had a rehearsal and I had all these ideas in my head, all these melodies and I thought. “This is so fun. I wanna do this in my life.” And I found out I was actually OK at it.’
Five years ago she moved to London to study music at the Academy of Contemporary Music. She fell in love with the city and decided to live there.
Her debut single ‘Celebrate Life’ garnered over four million Spotify streams alone. Following this successful debut, Pisano also had four singles enter the iTunes Pop charts, numerous radio plays on stations including the BBC and over one million views on TikTok with her single ‘September’.
She recently released her sophomore EP, ‘Shattered but still cool’, which is packed with pop gems like the aforementioned ‘Boys like you’, ‘Ink’ and the gorgeous ‘Where my heart is’.
Apart from her songwriting skills, Pisano has an incredible voice – and vocal range. Her melodies lodge themselves in your brain after one listen and her songs are, not surprisingly, getting a lot of airtime from the likes of BBC Radio 1 and Spotify.
‘Ink’ and ‘Where My Heart Is’ were picked up by BBC Radio 1’s prestigious Future Pop Show.
Alice has co-written with the likes of Jez Ashurst (Little Mix, Maisie Peters, Tom Grennan) and greatly enjoys collaborating with other writers.
‘I still write on my own. But also it’s interesting to work with someone else as you put two heads together and you come up with something you never would have by yourself.’
There is one collaboration she dreams of, however.
‘I would love to write with Chris Martin. I listened a lot to Coldplay growing up. I love their songwriting. It’s a bit of a dream of mine to work with Chris. Also Nina Nesbitt. She was a big influence when I started writing songs so it would be amazing to work with her.’
Is there one song she wishes she had written?
‘I’ve been listening a lot to Holly Humberstone. And I think her songwriting is very interesting and I love the lyrics. There’s this song called ‘Scarlett’ and it was one of the most listened-to songs last year. So yeah I wish I’d written that song.’
She’s supported other acts in the past, touring with the likes of The Boo Radleys but this year she headlined her first ever show with a band at a sellout gig in London.
‘In the last few years I’ve been playing mainly acoustically, piano and vocals or guitar and vocals. With a band the songs sound so different. It was great to finally hear them as they should sound.’
And any more live shows? Any visits to Scotland?
Alice is keeping schtum for the moment: ‘I’m plotting behind the scenes but I can’t announce anything.’
As the interview draws to a close I go back to the rawness and openness of her lyrics and ask her when was the last time she cried.
‘Probably a couple of weeks ago. I was feeling a bit sad because I had recently broken up with my boyfriend.’
Never mind, you can write a whole new bunch of catchy pop classics about the break-up.
Alice beams: ‘Exactly, yeah!’
Alice Pisano’s latest EP, ‘Shattered but still cool’ is out now.
About Alice Pisano
introducing Italian-born, London-based, Alice Pisano, a rising star in the contemporary pop scene. Blessed with a uniquely warm and silky voice, Pisano has a natural ability for writing relatable, emotive songs that connect and since her debut in 2019, she has garnered a fantastic name for herself.
Her five-track sophomore EP, Shattered But Still Cool, is a collection of songs about the tribulations of love and dating, from the frustrations of dating apps (Boys Like You), to the first spark (Ink), to falling in love (Where My Heart Is) and dealing with a cheating partner (Pretty Girls). Through honest songwriting, Pisano shares her vulnerabilities delivering them in the most infectious and shimmering pink package.
Alice Pisano worked alongside acclaimed songwriters and producers on the EP, including Jez Ashurst (Little Mix, Maisie Peters, Tom Grennan), Anthony Goldsbrough (toured with Ed Sheeran, Clean Bandit), Gavin Powell, (Emeli Sandè, Jake Isaac) and Dan Cox (Laura Marling, Peter Doherty). Sonically inspired by the likes of Nina Nesbitt, Gabrielle Aplin, Astrid S and Julia Michaels, Shattered But Still Cool is a deliciously addictive release, showcasing the singer’s impressive vocals, sugar-coated melodies and vibrant synths.
“Pretty Girls” narrates a very personal experience for the songwriter. She shares, “I was dating someone who seemed very smitten and in love, only to discover he was actually dating other girls at the same time. I was furious when I wrote this song and it was very liberating!” “Pretty Girls” results in being the perfect mood booster. This is the anthem for anyone who has been messed around by their partner (or situationship), a reminder that they’re not alone and that they deserve so much better! The EP also features an acoustic version of “Where My Heart Is” recorded at Spotify Noteable Studios in London.
Accumulating a huge amount of Spotify editorial support, the first three singles from Pisano’s upcoming EP – “Boys Like You”, “Ink” and “Where My Heart Is” – made their way to Spotify’s Global Fresh Finds playlist, 6 New Music Fridays, New Pop UK, as well as many more editorial playlists. As well as garnering critical acclaim from online tastemakers including Clash, Earmilk, Wonderland, METAL and Atwood Magazine, “Boys Like You” was regularly played on BBC Radio Wales and Pisano was also interviewed live by H from Steps on his Friday Night show. With “Ink” and “Where My Heart Is” Pisano hit a major milestone in her career, as both tracks were played on BBC Radio 1’s Future Pop Show.
Alice Pisano played two shows at The Great Escape Festival 2022 and was one of the first 50 artists to be announced. With shining global success, her debut single “Celebrate Life” garnered over four million Spotify streams alone. Following her successful debut, Pisano also had four singles enter the iTunes Pop charts, numerous radio plays on stations including the BBC and over one million views on TikTok with her single “September”. Her single “Open Up” was featured as the soundtrack to the summer trailer of the British hit TV series Hollyoaks. Needless to say, Alice Pisano is quickly establishing herself as one of the most exciting new artists on the pop scene
Alice Pisano performing her first-ever headline show at The Grace, London on the 9th Feb 2023 and with possible further dates to be announced