Artist/Band: Francesca Milazzo
Hometown: Edison, NJ (Currently NYC)
Latest Album/Release: “Be Alright” Live Version
Influences: Nina Simone, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga
TrunkSpace: How would you describe your music?
Francesca: Soulful, honest, evolving.
TrunkSpace: You have a diverse list of influences who have left a mark on your creative POV. When you listen to your music, who do you hear coming through the most?
Francesca: I think it depends on the record. Certain songs you can hear my heavy soul influence (Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone). On the other hand sometimes I write up-tempo pop songs and it becomes obvious I was a kid who grew up listening to Britney Spears and Hilary Duff.
TrunkSpace: As someone who has admired other artists and has been inspired by them, how do you feel about your own art inspiring future generations? Is that something that you ever think about, creating something that will live on forever through other musicians/songwriters?
Francesca: When I write songs I don’t think about whether it will be a hit or if people will be singing it 10 years from now. I focus on the emotion or experience I’m writing about and try to convey it in the most honest way I can. I always ask myself, “Could this song stand up with just a piano and vocal?” I think that’s what makes a great song and great songs live on for a while! As far as getting into the studio and consciously thinking about it – that doesn’t really happen. But of course, I hope to make music that resonates with people for years to come.
TrunkSpace: When someone unfamiliar to your music hears it for the first time, what do you hope they take from the experience? Beyond the music itself, what do you want them to hear and connect to?
Francesca: I hope that the listener walks away feeling something. It’s a huge compliment when people say, “I love your voice,” but it’s an even bigger compliment when people say, “I love your song.” The emotions that I am able to elicit are important. I want the listener to connect to the lyric/melody.
TrunkSpace: How has your art changed the most since you first started pursuing music professionally to where you are today?
Francesca: The music I’m making today genuinely comes from me. I have the final say in everything we write, how the songs are produced, mixed, etc. When I first started making music, there were always third party people telling me how I should sound or what type of music to make. At the time I didn’t really know who I was as an artist so I just let it happen. Luckily, I don’t have that anymore and I’ve really figured out what I want, so overall the music just feels more genuine to who I am as a person.
TrunkSpace: What does your songwriting process look like? How do most of your songs go from inception to completion?
Francesca: I start a lot of my songs on the piano or guitar. Then I usually like to bring the ideas or songs to other co-writers/producers. I’ve also been writing to tracks, which is super fun.
TrunkSpace: You’re not afraid to tackle heavy subject matter in your lyrics. In your opinion, how important is it to be truthful, both with yourself and with your audience, by way of your music?
Francesca: For me, songwriting is a form of therapy. If I’m not writing from a genuine and honest place the music does not feel real to me. There’s nothing worse than going up on stage and singing a song you don’t even like. For the audience, I genuinely believe that people gravitate towards honesty. A listener has to relate and if you’re writing from a dishonest place, they’ll never get on your level.
TrunkSpace: How long did it take you to discover your songwriter’s voice? Is it a piece of the process that you have always felt comfortable with?
Francesca: It took me years. I experimented with a lot of different sounds, and worked with different producers. It wasn’t until I decided that I wanted to manage myself and my music that I found my sound. I put together a team of songwriters and producers who I really believed in. Together we’ve been making music I really love. I think it’s because we’re creating from a genuine place.
TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as an artist?
Francesca: I’m really tough on myself as a vocalist. I’ll re-sing a line 20 times if I have to, just to get it right. If I have a pitchy moment I beat myself up over it for a while. I just have to remind myself that I’m human and that imperfect moments make art more personal.
TrunkSpace: What is your favorite aspect of creating music? Is it writing? Recording? Performing? Something else entirely?
Francesca: The overall creative process is my favorite part. Starting with an idea, turning it into a full song, recording, and producing – this is when I feel best.
TrunkSpace: When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered as an artist? What do you hope to accomplish through your music both personally and professionally?
Francesca: I hope I’m lucky enough to make music that resonates with a lot of people. I want people to feel some type of way when they hear my music. Of course I have big goals, but I like to take it step by step. Since right now I’m still recording and developing my main focus is to put together the best project I can. If I’m able to do that, everything else will fall into place.
TrunkSpace: What can fans expect from Francesca Milazzo in 2018?
Francesca: Music, lots of music.