Alessia is a 25-year-old singer-songwriter from Italy and currently in her last year at BIMM Institute London studying Popular Music Performance. In this interview with BIMM London Student Association, she discusses International Women’s Day and being a woman in the music industry.
You have just released your new single ‘Like U’. What was your inspiration behind it and do you have any tips for independent artists?
I wrote ‘Like U’ almost a year ago, during the first lockdown. I was stuck in my room in London, far away from all my family and friends like everybody else. Things were changing very fast, and it was scary! Somehow though, I felt very grateful for all the good people around me.
My tip for independent artists is to avoid overthinking and rather focus on enjoying the process of making music.
It’s a joyful song to honour them and to remind myself that I am lucky to have them. I hope this positive feeling spreads to the listeners too. My tip for independent artists is to avoid overthinking and rather focus on enjoying the process of making music. We are making music and we should be the first ones to enjoy our art.
Do you think there’s extra pressure on women in the industry and how do you think the industry could improve itself towards prejudice against women in the industry?
Yes, I am aware that this is a real struggle for many women working in the music industry, although I’ve never felt under extra pressure because I am a woman. At least not yet. I’ve missed out on opportunities but I don’t think that was because I am a woman. Instead, I think it was because I wasn’t ready yet.
It is also true that in my experience I’ve never covered other roles other than that of the singer, and this might seem like the most common choice for a woman, from a man’s perspective. I see many women in the industry taking the lead and I have faith things will change soon enough.
Are there women in the music industry or in your life that have inspired you? If som how?
There are many proud women in my family, from my mom to my grandmas and my aunties. They have different backgrounds and each of them has fought in different ways. Through their stories, I’ve learnt many things about life, and sometimes this helps me to see red flags before it’s too late. They’re definitely an inspiration and a guide for me.
What advice would you give your younger self starting BIMM Institute, and for other women your age?
To my younger self, I would say “don’t over judge yourself and don’t take everything too seriously” – even though I’m still working on that. I would tell my younger self to enjoy the process, the little steps, and be patient. The advice I would give to another woman would be to think positive and great things will come. Also, follow what feels right for you, even if your dream job breaks the stereotypes of society.
Have you struggled to find your identity/image as a female artist with the established female image in pop music?
I don’t feel like I have struggled to find my identity as a female artist. I always try to be myself and I’ve never really cared about what people think I should wear or the way I should act, as long as I am happy with it. Personally, I’ve never felt like my image should be more feminine or sexually explicit just because I am a female pop artist. The music industry never made me feel that way, and maybe I am just lucky enough, but society did. Too many times. So I rather “blame” society for sexualisation than the music industry.
I believe things are changing.
Many artists have been very vocal about it, such as Ke$ha or Billie Eilish who decided to wear baggy clothes to avoid showing what’s underneath and be defined as “slim” or “not slim”. All this is very sad. In the last few years I’ve been to many live concerts in London where female artists didn’t wear provocative outfits, but a simple t-shirt and a pair of jeans or anything else that suited their styles, such as Lily Moore, Anne-Marie or Joy Crookes. The audience cared about their music rather than their looks. Maybe I’m too positive, but I believe things are changing. Day by day more female artists are taking full control of their image and therefore avoid objectification.
Make sure you head over to Spotify and listen to Alessia’s new single ‘Like U’ and follow Alessia on Instagram and Facebook. You can follow BSA London on Instagram or join the Facebook group to keep updated on everything BSA London. Don’t forget to subscribe to the BSA London Newsletter too!