‘Perhaps the most British Italian you will ever possibly meet’. That’s how Alice Bisi, aka Birthh, defines herself on her Facebook page. The twenty-year-old Italian songwriter will be playing in London on May, 9 at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen.
Your first album, released in March 2016, is ‘Born in the woods’ and your project is called Birthh. Can you explain me what’s behind these names?
First of all, I like the world itself, birth. The idea of birth is something that always has fascinated me. It is something strange, because we all know that we were born. But if we have to go back in the past and find where everything began then it’s more complicated. As far as the album concerns, nature has always fascinated me too. Nature is something very irrational and it difficult for us human beings to give a sense to it. But at the same time, it gives an order to everything.
Where does the idea of the album come from?
It was born by chance. I was at high school during my third-fourth year but I’ve always written songs since I was a child. During my last year at school I had some songs and so I thought about the album.
How did you get so close to music?
I started playing classic guitar when I was about 6 years old. My dad used to play for fun in a band and my mum used to sing in a polyphonic chorus.
Your music sounds very international, it may remind artists such as Daughter or Torres. Do you have any particular influence?
As far as the album concerns, there are many influences and these come from the fact I listen to lots of music and this may influence the arrangements. Some electronic music I listen to inspired for sure my work, such as Son Lux, Jon Hopkins and Trentemøller. If we talk about the writing side, I have never followed anybody’s style, but for sure other artists influenced me in this sense, such as Bon Iver.
What does it mean writing for you?
Writing this album in particular, helped me to go beyond some episodes in my life, but I wouldn’t say that music is my safety valve. However, when I write, I talk about things that are important to me.
All the songs in this album are in English. Why did you choose that instead of Italian?
I have always written songs in English and I like it. I am not so good at writing in Italian, I think, it is matter of training. I tend to stick to English because it is a language that can reach everybody. Sometimes listening to some music helped me to feel less alone and so I think that if I write in English I can share my feelings with more people.
There are two other people in this project, Lorenzo and Massimo. How did you meet them?
We have been friends for ages. I had some songs and I liked the idea of sharing this with other people. They really helped me in the studio and supported me. Also, during the live shows, it is completely different playing with other musicians. It is the first time I play with a band. When I played just by myself on the stage there are no shortcuts, but when it is the three of us it doesn’t matter if you have one or thousands people in front of you, you can have fun all together. Both of them leave their mark in the music and I like it.
You already played in many festivals all around Europe and in the US as well. Have you ever thought about having such a success?
I wasn’t expecting all the nice things that happened to me with this album. There is still lot of work to do and so I want to keep on going. I try to do as many things as possible and not to stop or focus on a specific issue. I think I grew up as an artist and I really look forward to making people listen to new things I have.
So you are very busy. What do you do in your spare time (except playing)?
I don’t have spare time anymore. When I do have, I want to sleep! I try to study music at DAMS (the Arts, music and performance faculty). It is quite hard at the moment, but I will make it, sooner or later I will get a degree.
Do you have any new projects?
I am often touring so writing is complicated, but I was exactly working on a song when you rang me! I have a few projects that are not too much related to Birthh too.
You can get your ticket for Birthh’s concert in London here.