Belgium-raised, NYC-based singer and harpist Pia Salvia, is a prodigal talent who started playing the harp at the early age of 6, and after training classically for 10 years and later on decided to dedicate her life to changing the function of the harp in music. Speaking to the Crush, she delves into the process behind her latest album Blissful Sigh - out today (July 10th) - what message she hopes listeners will take away, who inspires her and more.
What is your favorite track from Blissful Sigh?
That’s a tough one to start with but I would say « Révérence » because of the calmness of the track. It always relaxes me.
What song was the most difficult for you to write on Blissful Sigh? What do you think made it the most challenging?
Maybe I Have to Try! I actually wrote the 1st verse and the chorus some time ago. It came out very quickly, using my loop station, looping the harp and some vocals, and I really liked it. A long time after, when I was working on the album, I decided to make a whole song from that verse and chorus. I thought it would be easy to finish, but it was actually way harder than I expected. Somehow, making a decision on that song was challenging. It was the last song that we worked on - we finished arranging and producing it pretty late. We even wrote the lyrics on the go, right when it was time to record the vocals of that song. But we made it!
Who are your top three female inspirations in the music industry? Why?
Ella Fitzgerald - Cesária Évora - Edith Piaf. They are 3 amazing singers, in their own style, mastering their voice and their musicality. They all had a very tough life, but even then, they followed their passion and brought so much emotion and beauty to their fans and audience. I am very admirative of these women and inspired by them (and many others).
In your opinion, how has your history of living in Belgium, Boston and now New York impacted or shaped your music?
Living in different cities and countries taught me and inspired me a lot. First, I learned so much about myself. This is the first thing that shaped my music. Then, I met people from everywhere, especially when I was studying at Berklee College of Music, and I learned so much from them - their country, language, culture, personality and music. Meeting and sharing with so many different people influenced me a lot and had a big impact on my music. Every time I travel and every person I meet has an influence on me and therefore on my compositions. It shapes me and my music all the time.
What is your favorite part about writing / releasing an album? Your least favorite?
I love going into the studio. It is an amazing feeling to record your songs, have all your work being captured. I also love playing live concerts, both are different experiences. One of my favorite parts is when I get to do overdubs as I get to sing and play separately, while I usually accompany myself on the harp while singing. I enjoy both, but it is very exciting to be able to focus on one instrument at a time. When I can focus on each element individually, I often discover new ways of playing or singing. My least favorite part is all the bureaucracy involved in making an album. As an independent artist, I have to take care of that on my own, which can be a bit overwhelming. One might think that a musician’s job ends after producing the music but actually a lot of work still needs to be done after that.
Writer's block - everybody experiences it at one point or another. What helps you break out of a block?
Sometimes, I go back to old recordings of ideas that I kept on my phone. I listen to a lot of them, it can inspire me to write something totally new, or I can use one of those old recordings and keep exploring it as I might have new ideas. Also, when I have a deadline, sometimes it pushes me to work harder and faster and I might feel inspired. It puts me in survival mode.
What is the main message you hope people take away from your album?
I would love for people to take a few things from the album. Firstly, I want to convey that harp is not only a classical instrument. It can be part of a full band, have many different roles in a song, and explore many different musical genres. Secondly, I want this album to inspire a message of hope. I wanted to do this album for years and years, I never gave up, even if it took a long time and it was hard on many different technical aspects. I never doubted that it would happen. I was convinced, I colored my path.
Blissful Sigh is out now. Listen to it here
CONNECT WITH PIA : Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Spotify
Interview by Jenn O'Hagan
From event coordination and marketing, to community management and performing, the PR Director of Cyber PR , Jenn has glanced behind-the-curtain in many areas of this industry. Well-versed in all things Cyber PR, Jenn works with artists to identify if they’re a perfect fit for our company and if so, which services will be the best match. Find out more about Jenn and Cyber PR here.
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