Annemarie Picerno - 10 Questions Interview
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
I believe music is within everyone's soul and nurtures our growth and happiness. I've been writing and singing songs ever since I was 5 years old, and have found great comfort, healing, and joy in writing and singing. Some songs help purge hurt, while others are a cry for growth, and all are an expression of myself that might not always be made evident in every day living. But the lyrics and music always take me to another place and feeling. Music has been with me and keeps me alive.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
I would say that many blessings have come from me publishing my music for the world to hear in many unusual ways. Music can touch hearts and souls, make someone laugh cry, and experience many emotions as well as evoke memories or bring great hope. The pain of being an artist despite challenges, propositions, rejection, money, has, when I look at "the BIG PICTURE", resulted in many wonderful connections with fans, people, friendships, and my life. Without being specific to any one crazy thing, some of the biggest trials have resulted in music I have created that have become a great song to be heard around the world.
What has been the high point of your music path?
Becoming a Grammy member years ago was a very proud moment. That, along with having my music videos on television with Bongo Boy TV to millions inspires me to work harder to have more of my music heard around the world and to write songs that will have impact years to come. The best moments are hearing from listeners who write and tell you how a song affected them and what they got from you putting your heart and soul in your music!
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I usually have a very clear idea of something that strikes me passionately in the lyrics and can write very effortlessly. Sometimes, a song is born from a melody that goes through my head, but usually the lyrics write themselves from my experience or observation of an event. i like to write with metaphors and use the 5 senses to put sight, smell, feeling, hearing, and taste in the lyrics because it evokes imagery to the listener. The lyrics usually are how you would speak the lines, and those rhythms then determine the style, mood, and genre of the music. For me, it develops very naturally and I usually shut off social media and outside distraction to get focused and create.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
Money and sponsorship is always a challenge. Indie artists must always compete with big labels, and I myself try to be very inventive to explore creative outlets and placements for my music. The business part makes it not so fun at times. You can only become as big as what you can handle on your own, yet there is a huge satisfaction of being in control of doing your art your way! This year I will be stretching boundaries and doing more videos and live performances that have theatrical visuals along with the music.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
How about they share the stage with me? I grew up listening to greats like Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, Janis Joplin, Patsy Cline, classic rock bands, to analyzing Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars videos that it would be heard to pick just one.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
I not only think of the space in the theater, but the sound of my voice hitting the back wall and how I want the audience to feel. I have been in stage shows that were rehearsed from 8am to midnight, and dress rehearsal to opening was one in 7 days. I am disciplined and used to working with people that do the work, are meticulous, and see the big picture. I enjoy creative souls and minds.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
COLOR BLIND was not challenging as I knew exactly what I wanted to say. Although hate, racism. and violence are big issues, I chose to write about human character and spiritual good in metaphors. Once I know the approach that will relay the message, the song to write is not challenging. Once in studio, my producer Bob McGilpin and I discuss the sounds and musical approach. The musical parts, and vocals usually fall in place as we build the song. We rarely disagree as it develops quite naturally. If we have different views, which is rare, we get back to the basics of what the song is about. I give Bob McGilpin a lot of credit for taking what I hear in my head and making it in the exact style and sounds I imagine, as well as going beyond in his incredible arrangements. I also enjoy developing the background vocals myself that compliment the pockets of the arrangements. If we hit a roadblock, usually a short break away from the project and coming back to listen with new ears refreshes our creativity.
What's coming up in the future?
COLOR BLIND and the next undisclosed single release are in the blues, rock, and American roots genres with powerful vocals and messages. I plan to produce more evocative music videos that interpret the themes and provoke thought and change. I also plan on more live performances in staged shows. My mind is always dreaming of bigger stages and productions with costumes, choreography, and visual effects.
Tell us where fans can access your music?
www.annemariepicerno.com is my official website with links to all music stores and social media at top of the page! Other music stores can easily found at https://song.link/ssFSJPVZR28qV which lists all stores and streaming outlets Itunes, Amazon, Youtube, Pandora, Soundcloud, etc GOOGLE MY NAME!
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About Annemarie Picerno
Annemarie is a registered songwriter with BMI, a Member of The Americana Music Association, Member of The Recording Academy ©Grammys and an Indie Collaborative artist. She has performed in theater, bands in every musical genre, comedy shows, film, radio and television. Her diverse musical sounds mix country, pop, blues, soul, and rock.