We recently caught up with Italian singer-songwriter Violetta Zironi to talk about her music and songwriting, as well as the internet and discovering yourself. We hope you enjoy reading about Violetta’s art and how she focuses on enjoying the simple things in the world around her!
Think Before You Type: How would you describe your sound?
Violetta Zironi: I would say it’s a mix between what I love and what I am. I am passionate about folk and Americana music, as well as country, blues and jazz, so my sound definitely has influences coming from those genres. But being Italian, I inevitably absorbed a lot from my homeland’s music. I am inspired by the Italian songwriters from the 1960’s, such as Luigi Tenco, Gino Paoli, Paolo Conte. Their romantic arrangements and honest lyrics are very inspirational for me.
TBYT: As someone who started their career young, what would you say to other young people who want to go out there and leave their mark on the world?
Violetta: I would tell them that what’s really important is making sure to never stop learning. Especially from people around us. It also helps us define who we are in the best way, which I think it’s the most important thing for an emerging artist: having a clear idea of who we are and the message we want to send to our listener. We don’t necessarily know in the early years, but learning about people will help us discover ourselves.
TBYT: How did you get into songwriting?
Violetta: I wrote my first song when I was 16. I was playing in a band with some schoolmates and in order to participate in a music contest we had to present an original song, so I just wrote one. And then I wrote more and more and more and started performing them live.
TBYT: You once opened for and performed with Ben E. King. That sounds like an amazing experience. What did you take away from the experience?
Violetta: It was incredible. I could not believe it when he invited me to perform Stand By Me with him. I felt so lucky, especially because he sadly passed away a few months later, and I realized that I had the chance to share the stage with one of the music legends. He could still sing fantastic, and the way he still enjoyed music like it was the first time was mind blowing.
TBYT: Do you have any dream collaborations?
Violetta: Well… my absolute dream would be Paul McCartney 😉 But apart from that, I really love George Ezra, his songs and his voice, and I’d love to sing a song with him.
TBYT: People often forget it, but a little bit of kindness can go a long way. When was the last time a stranger made you smile?
Violetta: I’ve noticed that a smile from a stranger happens very often here in Berlin. I wasn’t used to it. I am pleased to say that every time I get the subway I get a smile from a stranger. And when that happens it really lifts my day up 🙂
TBYT: Part of our work with Think Before You Type is encouraging young people to use the internet for good. How would you like to see the internet become a more positive place?
Violetta: You often hear of the Internet used for negative purpose… such as bullying or express the hate for someone. I have been a victim of haters on Facebook myself, and I have to say that sometimes I got really badly affected by it. It’s very easy to judge people by what they appear to be on the web, as everyone is extremely exposed… so not only should people be careful on how they expose themselves, but other people shouldn’t stop and be aggressive only to take out some hate.
TBYT: If you had the chance to speak to someone who has been cyberbullied, what would you say to encourage them?
Violetta: I think I would just tell them to be strong. Just tell them to think of all the positive aspects in life, that are NOT behind our laptop screen. Real things are outside, and they might be harder to discover but once you do, there is no comparison.
TBYT: Tell us about your new single, “Toast”. What has the response been like so far?
Violetta: I’m happy about how people received Toast. It is a morning song, talking about how much you don’t want to be alone and how such a simple thing like someone making you breakfast can just make you feel loved and give a highlight in a dark period of your life. People have been perceptive about this concept and have enjoyed the song for exactly what it wanted to be, a little cuddle over the cold winter.
TBYT: Do you have anything exciting coming up in 2018?
Violetta: Yes! I’m excited I’ll be performing at SXSW in Austin Texas in March. It’ll be my first ever show in America. My EP is coming out in three weeks, and I’ve got a few more festivals coming up that I look forward to play[ing].