Italian-born London-based pop star on the rise Andrea Di Giovanni, use their experience as gender-non conforming musician to empower other queer artists and enable change. Their beguiling pop debut album, Rebel, showcases a very deep and vulnerable side of the artist; mixing Andrea’s personal stories while tackling global issues close to their heart. The singer-songwriter has shared with us about their creative process, their journey towards understanding their identity, and tips for staying grounded in challenging times. Press play and enjoy our chat with this refreshing artist.
Hi Andrea 🙂 Tell us a bit about your relationship with music; How and when did you decide that music was the right path for you ? Hi Laetitia! I’m so excited to talk to you! I always like to say that music chose me. It’s hard to pin-point a specific moment as music has always been part of my life, from the piano lessons that I started at 3 years old to the endless afternoons spent listening to my father’s CD collection, dancing and singing around. Music is the medium with which I communicate my deepest emotions and quite often rationalise events in my life. It’s my safe space. The fire from within.
You were born in Italy. What pushed you to move to London? Curiosity and the need to discover and learn more about myself. In Italy I felt trapped in a golden cage, I felt as though the world was calling me.
Your first album ‘ Rebel’, released in March 2021, is such an uplifting & addictive record! If you could describe what you wanted to translate with this album in one sentence, what would it be? With this record I wanted to showcase my vulnerability and how I process my emotions while still tackling global issues close to my heart.
When I landed on the concept of gender fluidity I felt at home, a sense of relief. I finally understood I was so much more than a man.
Tell us about your creative process – What drives you to create a song? Do you write from lived experiences or from imagined scenarios ? I take inspiration from my experiences and the world around me. As an artist I try to feel things on a deeper level and I try to reflect them back through lyrics, melodies and music.
Who were some of your biggest inspirations growing up ? And who are your current inspirations – within music or otherwise? Growing up I adored Whitney Houston, Micheal Jackson, Britney Spears & Amy Winehouse. Today I feel inspired by the incredible work of independent queer artists across the globe, regardless of genre. Some absolute legends are GESS, Zee Machine, Julez Lorenzo, Boy Untitled, Yavin & so much more.
On your feed you openly share about your journey towards embracing the person you are. What does gender mean to you, and how has your understanding of gender and identity changed over the years? Gender is a social construct and it always has been. As humans on this planet we’ve decided to enforce the binary system out of coercion and fear. I feel as though religion, sadly, plays a huge part in such boring and unrealistic division. My journey with understanding my identity hasn’t and will continue not to be linear. I started off my existence as a cis man, closing out any other form of identity. There wasn’t any other option available according to the society I was born into. Once in London, slowly but gradually, I connected with the trans+ community and got familiar with the world of gender non conformity. When I landed on the concept of gender fluidity I felt at home, a sense of relief. I finally understood I was so much more than a man.
About being a gender non-conforming artist in the music industry – You said that most queer artists are independant and struggle to exist in both mainstream and queer communities. What gives you hope for the future ? Our resilience and willingness to push through any barrier the industry puts on our roads to mainstream success. I’m also starting to see audiences across the globe feel a stronger connection with indie queer artists’ authenticity and creative strategies.
keep yourself rooted in reality, likes, views, shares and comments are not and never will be a reflection of your worth as a creative.
Image & aesthetic seem to be an important part of your world. Can you tell us about your recent experience shooting with Luce Lapadula? Shooting with a fellow Italian peer has been such a wonderful experience. Luce’s ability to capture strength and vulnerability in the same frame is truly unmatched. She’s also so much fun to be around.
As a musician during a pandemic or other difficult situations, how do you maintain your mental health ? Any advice that could help other creatives in such challenging times? Stay grounded in real life. For the past year and a half most of us creatives existed only in social media realm. As much as the online world helps with connecting like minded people, it can also alienate oneself and trigger insecurities, trauma and severe mental breakdowns. So keep yourself rooted in reality, likes, views, shares and comments are not and never will be a reflection of your worth as a creative.
Do you have a dream place where you would love to perform, and why? Wembley Stadium. It’s where all the legends perform and I see myself there sooner or later.
What’s next for you? I’m very excited to be performing on Birmingham Pride Main Stage on the 25th of September alongside icons such as Cheryl, Bree Runway, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and more. Music wise I’m still on album promotion, however soon enough I’ll be working on my 2nd album. A true change in sonic direction going back to my acoustic roots. That’s all I can say for now!