Interview: D’Addio

D’Addio – a.k.a artist and producer Giulia Scarantino – reflects on the meaning of home in her new single, A Separation.

Ghostly vocals whisper intoxicatingly catchy vocal hooks, intertwining with soulful electric guitar and organ above grainy, lo-fi drums.

I had a chat with Giulia about her influences, writing and recording process and what we can expect from her upcoming EP…

Hey Giulia! Can you introduce yourself / D’Addio to our readers?

D’Addio is the name of my first solo project. It has different meanings – it has the word goodbye in it, and in its entirety, it’s my grandmother’s surname – she has been the most inspiring and strong woman I’ve ever met.

D’Addio is a very personal and intimate project where the main instruments are guitars, bass, vocals and synth/organ with a timid use of field recordings. 

I love your debut single, A Separation. What’s the story behind the song?

Thanks, I thought it was the right song to come out with, to present myself.

A Separation is a personal reflection on what ‘feeling at home’ means, as a human condition. The way I see ‘home’ has changed a lot for me over the last ten years. I am learning how to cope with constant precariousness as opposed to the protective culture I grew up in.

‘Being home’ has to do with relationships and when relationships end, we face the grief of a separation which opens up to millions of new possibilities that are yet to be explored, a bit like when we leave our countries looking for a different future. It has a positive connotation without denying that nostalgic feeling towards the things we’ve lost.

What was the most challenging aspect of the production process?

I would say being on my own for the first time really made a difference production-wise. I couldn’t really afford to pay musicians to play my music but I didn’t want to compromise my vision because of my practical limitations, so I recorded all in my home studio, guitar, bass, vocals and piano.

Recording has been a real challenge but then I was happy with the sound carrying the ‘home’ DIY feeling, it’s part of my world, of the process. It made sense to me.

I had to draft some drums to have a guide to work with and then I got in touch with my friend, super talented musician/songwriter Marco Machera, who mentored me and walked me through the production process and contributed also with additional arrangements (organ/synth). He helped me gain a bit more confidence and it’s also thanks to him that I realised that the right thing to do was to leave the recordings as they were without going into the studio and asking other musicians to play the parts I wrote. 

Marco got in touch with Toni Nordlund, a very talented Finnish drummer he had collaborated with in the past, and I am so glad he did, as it worked out perfectly. The one thing I didn’t want to do was program drums – I wanted them to be real and I didn’t want to compromise that, no way.

The song is the first single from your upcoming EP, The Happily Never After. What can we expect from the rest of the EP and do you have any plans to perform it live?

The Happily Never After will be an EP of love songs. Love, not really in a romantic way.

I am dying to play live – I can’t wait to be back on stage and am looking forward to it. But I would love to play live with a band and I am still in the process of finding musicians to work with, which I’ve found to be surprisingly very difficult.

If you could collaborate with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

The list is endless, but I would love to have a collaboration with Foxwarren, as they are one of the bands that have influenced me most during the last year. I would love to have a musical-spiritual exchange with them; Andy Shauf sings directly from the most fragile and powerful side the heart, and goes straight to the core… and his writing is beautiful and sharp.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a musician?

Be true, authentic. The more you are, the more likely people are going to be able to connect with your music. And when that happens, it’s a great feeling.

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