Exploring the Young Songwriting Process, Live Performances, and Upcoming Projects
Luiza Girardello ©️ 2023
Today we have the pleasure to have her on Goathead
GH: What inspired you to start writing music?
Luiza: I think it's something I always wanted to do, but it took me a really long time to admit (even to myself) that I did. I grew up in a family of artists who had put their art to the side to focus on more traditional careers, and I think even though I was always told I could go into art if I wanted to, the example I was seeing was louder than the words I was hearing. I had been making music all of my life, but I only wrote my first song at 23 years old, in between chemotherapy sessions. It took me getting sick and confronting mortality in a really direct way to realize that if I died tomorrow the main thing I would regret was doing what I thought people expected of me and not what I wanted to do.
GH: Can you tell us more about your experience performing live at gigs and what was the most memorable experience you had?
Luiza: I started performing pretty young, at around 13 years old, back when I started studying classical singing. As a very shy and awkward kid it was really scary to go on stage to use my voice in front of people. I've always been a little uncomfortable being the center of attention. But as I kept facing the fear, the excitement started to be stronger than the anxiety, which is honestly still how I feel to this day when I perform. There's always a little bit of both. My favorite performance I've had so far would probably be my Senior Recital at Berklee College of Music last year. It was my first live performance after the pandemic, and it was also the first time I ever performed my original music in front of an audience. The fear and the excitement were both definitely there, and the reward of connecting with the audience and with the musicians is just huge.
GH: How is your process of songwriting set around?
Luiza: There's this idea that some songwriters call "song seeds," which are these fragments of songs that you're later supposed to plant, water, and grow into a full song. I like thinking about it through that lens because anything can be a song seed, and that is very much how my brain works. Sometimes you'll get a little fragment of a melody stuck in your head, and you don't know where that came from. Sometimes it's a word, a phrase, a chord, or a beat. My notes app is littered with so many random words and phrases and with these insane voice notes. I have one from the San Francisco airport. There was this automatic door that was making a squeaky sound, but I really liked the melody it was accidentally creating. I later found a recording I made of it, and then it's followed by my voice singing it back to the phone. It sounds insane, but I swear it works for me. When I sit down to write and I don't already have an idea, I'll go through these and see what speaks to me. Sometimes looking back, you can clearly connect the finished song to the seed, but other times they seem completely unrelated. And both are okay.
GH: What motivates you to create music and bring awareness to different situations through your songs?
Luiza: While I was in college, one of my majors was Songwriting, so I had to write a lot regardless of inspiration, and sometimes I just didn't connect with what the assignments were asking for. Those were the ones I struggled with the most. I find it really hard to write a song when I don't have an emotional connection to the subject. It ends up being that most of my songs have some connection to mental health, spirituality, social justice, or the ability for people to fully see and connect with each other. Or some specific situation that has happened in my life and I think lends itself to a retelling through song. My debut single "Conversa Fiada" is about connection, but I tried to write it in a funny or gritty way. I wrote it in Portuguese, my native language, and I often joke that it is my manifesto against small talk. I wrote it while we were starting to come out of the lockdown, and I was on one hand really craving human connection and on the other hand finding myself in these conversations that didn't feel very deep at all, we'd end up talking about the weather. In it, I'm saying "I'd rather hear about your demons and about all of your trauma than about whether it's gonna rain or not."
GH: Could you share some insights into your next projects?
Luiza: Yeah, I'm really looking forward to keep releasing more music! I just put out my debut single, "Conversa Fiada," and I recorded it along with a few other songs that we are currently working on finishing up, and will be released pretty soon. I'm also currently performing locally in Boston. My next performance is on October 5th at the Warehouse XI in Somerville. I'll be sharing the bill with another awesome local band called Round Trip. Thank you so much for having me!