MWN: Hello, first I want to take the time to thank you for answering these questions! Alright let’s kick things off with the release of your new album Tug of War which was released on June 2nd via Blue Élan Records. How does it feel to finally release new music?
Gina Sicilia: It’s always an incredible feeling to release new music, especially these particular songs, which come very a personal place. I’m so proud of the new material and the entire process has been so gratifying. From the recording with such amazing musicians and producers to releasing the music and getting such a positive response from fans, and now going on tour and performing the new songs has been so wonderful. I already can’t wait to release more music. Each album represents a different chapter in my life, and that is certainly true with Tug Of War.
MWN: This album flows beautifully together. It is like a perfect puzzle. What were a few bands you were listening to while bringing the album alive?
Gina Sicilia: I’m always listening to many different genres at all times. I just love music so much and try to pull ideas from everything I hear. This album is definitely very soul-driven and that’s what I was inspired by. Sometimes going back to my old favorites like Sam Cooke, James Carr, Bobby Bland, and Aretha Franklin, and other times I’ll go on a doo-wop kick, other times I’ll be on a country kick. And I love listening to Brandi Carlile, one of my favorite artists who I think is just outstanding.
MWN: Having listened to Tug of War, I can truly feel the emotional side of the lyrics. How did that transition into your songs?
Gina Sicilia: I’m almost embarrassed to say, but one of the more sad songs on the album, I actually wrote while crying after a really hard experience. Another song I wrote out of anger and another I wrote about my determination and resolve to never give up, also after a challenging time. A lot of the emotions behind the songs were still very raw when I went into the studio and I think it comes across. When I go through tough situations, I try to see the silver lining in that I can always write a song about it. I want to continue to get personal with my songs, it’s cathartic and really gratifying.
MWN: Did you discover anything new while recording this album?
Gina Sicilia: That I have more stamina than I thought! Most of the vocals were recorded in one day, which is a record for me. I’m also discovering how much I love being vulnerable through my lyrics and telling my story, whether it’s pretty or not.
MWN: Being in the business for over a decade, what is one piece of advice you’d give to people who want to get started in the music industry?
Gina Sicilia: So many things and much of it sometimes has to be learned the hard way, unfortunately. Surround yourself with positive people who inspire and support you. This is very important. If you try to face this business on your own and it can be pretty lonely and overwhelming. Be persistent, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. You won’t always get what you want, but the worst anyone can tell you is “no”…never give up.
MWN: You have a beautiful strong voice. The vocals in this record are killer. So would you say you were born a singer or did it develop over time?
Gina Sicilia: I was born a singer. It’s not something I decided to do. It’s always been who I am and what I love more than anything. I don’t remember a time in my life when singing wasn’t my passion and my biggest obsession. I’ve been singing since I was a baby and one of my earliest memories is singing in the bathtub when I was very, very young. One of the songs I used to sing at the top of my lungs is “Tell Him” which I recorded on Tug Of War. For me singing is as natural as breathing. A life of not singing is not a life I’d want to live.
MWN: Thus far who or what has had the most impact in your music?
Gina Sicilia: People and events in my life that have hurt me or caused me to struggle in some way. They teach me the biggest lessons and make for the best songs.
MWN: As an artist, you are experiencing life every day. You started with a career in journalism, does that play a role in developing your lyrics and writing music?
Gina Sicilia: I actually never had a career in journalism. It was my major at Temple University and definitely something I found interesting. I volunteered at some radio stations and even interned at NBC during my junior year, but it was never my passion and I never worked in the field. But I absolutely love writing and enjoyed my time in college immensely. It helped me grow as a person and as a writer (I wrote for the college newspaper and took several creative writing courses) and helped me develop a really strong work ethic, focus and determination in whatever I’m pursuing. It was a great time in my life.
MWN: Lastly is there anything you would like to say to the people who have stuck by your side and continue to support your music?
Gina Sicilia: Thank you. You are what keeps me going, literally. This business can tear you up emotionally if you let it, and all it takes is a cheering fan at a show or a kind message on Facebook to remind me that I’m doing the right thing and to keep moving forward. I’m so grateful to every supporter and don’t take them for granted.
Interview By: Allison Wyrsch and Maria Limon | Instagram: @allisonisthecooliest & @shotbylimon | Exclusively for @Music, Why Not! – All Rights Reserved-