In the latest of our exclusive interviews, we were thrilled to chat with Ava Della Pietra! Ava is a singer, songwriter, Broadway actress and multi-instrumentalist that needs to be on all your playlists right now. If you’re a fan of Olivia Rodrigo or Renée Rapp, you’re about to fall in love with Ava.
Ava’s latest project ‘happy for you’ is an “ode to lovesick teens everywhere.” You see what we mean with the Olivia Rodrigo comparison now, right? To be perfectly honest, the way Ava writes about relationships is so earnest that it’s universally relatable. Lovesick teen or not, we’ve all been there, right?
We won’t keep you waiting any longer! Here’s our exclusive interview with Ava Della Pietra!
Congrats on the release of ‘happy for you!’ We love the story you’re telling in this song – it’s definitely universally relatable. Do you have a standout lyric that you think best encapsulates the track?
The lyric, “it’s hard to be happy for you when she’s the only one you see,” best encapsulates the track. It highlights the feeling that it is difficult to be happy for your crush if he’s in love with someone else. I repeat, “it’s hard to be happy” to emphasize the struggle of maintaining a facade, biting one’s tongue and pretending to be fine even though it can be painful.
You have a very engaged fanbase who we know you love and appreciate! What did you want them to take specifically from ‘happy for you?’
I think that many of my fans can relate to the emotions in ‘happy for you.’ Perhaps they have also had an experience of trying to be happy for someone while balancing feelings of regret and pain at seeing that person with someone else. The song is also about the struggle of holding in emotions. I hope they can find comfort in the fact that they’re not alone in their feelings. I want my fans to know that sometimes we must move on and face new beginnings, and that is a part of living.
This is the first single you’ve released since your debut EP, truth or truth. Did that change your writing or releasing process at all?
As I am growing and evolving, so is my music. My past songs focused on personal growth, positivity and other topics that may have a more universal quality to them. ‘happy for you’ is more introspective and intimate. It explores different emotional themes with a unique perspective on a relatable human experience.
What was the biggest thing you learned about yourself through the journey of sharing that EP with the world?
The most significant thing I learned about myself through the journey of sharing my EP with the world was the importance of refining and improving my work. As an artist, I always strive to create the best possible version of my music, and through the process of releasing my EP, I realized that sometimes that means taking the time to make adjustments and changes. It was a valuable lesson to learn to provide feedback to improve my music. In the end, I’m proud of the EP that I released, and I am happy when I listen to it. I believe that the time and effort I put into it held me in good stead. It’s worth noting that while the refinement process can be helpful in improving one’s work, it’s important to strike a balance between improving it and actually releasing it. In the past, I’ve found myself holding back from releasing music because I wasn’t satisfied with it, and I recognize now that this mindset can be counterproductive. With the EP, I learned that it’s important to trust myself and my instincts and to have confidence in my work.
Your music is very earnest, and you talk about a lot of issues that affect other teenage girls like you. Is it difficult to be that vulnerable and open in your music, or does it come naturally to you?
Being open in my music and vulnerable is definitely something that comes naturally to me. Music is such a powerful tool for self-expression, and for me, it’s always been a way to work through my own thoughts and feelings. I hope that by sharing my experiences and struggles, I can connect with other people who may be going through similar things and let them know that they’re not alone. Of course, it can be scary to put myself out there and share personal parts of myself with the world. But ultimately, I think it’s worth it if it resonates with others and helps them feel seen or heard. And I’m grateful for the support and love that my fans have shown me in response to my music.
You were in the iconic School of Rock on Broadway! What are the biggest similarities between you and the characters you played?
As someone who played six different characters in School of Rock on Broadway, I can say that I found similarities between myself and all of the characters I portrayed. Summer Hathaway, one of the leads, is a driven and high-achieving individual, which is something that resonates with me. However, as the band manager, she can be singularly focused on winning at all costs, whereas I prioritize building strong relationships with my fellow cast members and students. I also related to Katie the bassist, as we both shared a love for music! I was able to draw upon my own experiences, emotions and perspectives to create a fully-realized character that felt authentic and convincing to the audience.
What are the most important things you’ve taken from that experience and applied to your solo music?
Being an actress on Broadway provided me with invaluable skills and experiences that I have applied to my solo music career. The first is to create a memorable experience for the audience, and this requires a high level of performance skills, discipline, practice and dedication. Next, as an actress, I needed to create a believable and sometimes complex character. I apply this to my songwriting, helping me create lyrics that tell a story. Last, being part of three professional theater productions allowed me to understand the value of collaborating with others that I apply everyday in my music career in interacting with other musicians and producers.
We find it so inspiring that you’re such a multi-hyphenate musician! Of all the instruments that you play, which was the hardest to learn and why?
Learning to play the violin was the most difficult of all of my instruments because it required a lot of practicing and dedication to develop technique and good intonation. However, one of the most challenging experiences I’ve ever faced is learning how to play electric bass four days before my callback for School of Rock!
Do you have any tips for people who want to start learning an instrument for the first time?
I have lots of tips for first-time musicians. First, think about what kind of music you like to listen to and which instrument would help create the music you like. Take the time to see if you would enjoy playing that instrument. Trial and error works best. Next, take the time to get the basics set, and seek out the resources you need to help learn the instrument. Practice daily, and enjoy the process!
We love the acoustic version of ‘happy for you,’ and the emotion it conveys too. But on a lighter note, we’re completely obsessed with the jacket you’re wearing in the video for it! Who are your style inspirations?
Thank you so much for your kind words about the acoustic version of ‘happy for you’ and for noticing the jacket I wore in the video! For my style inspirations, I really admire iconic female musicians and performers with bold and unique styles, such as Zendaya and Olivia Rodrigo! I love exploring new and different fashion trends and experimenting with my own style to create something that feels authentic to me. At the end of the day, I think that fashion is about expressing myself and feeling confident in my own skin. I try to wear things that make me feel good and reflect my personality and the mood of the song.
In fact, we love all the live videos you’ve done for songs like ‘power of you’ and ‘my boyfriend!’ How do you find the experience of live performing? Is it nerve-wracking, or does your background on Broadway help your nerves?
Thank you so much! My theater experience has taught me a lot about going with the flow during any kind of performance. When performing live, anything can happen, so I’ve learned to stay calm and confident no matter what! One difference between theater and performing as a singer-songwriter is that in theater, I was taught about in an invisible imaginary fourth wall between me and the audience. I needed to unlearn this when performing my original music, since my priority is to directly connect with my audience and share my music in a meaningful way. Making eye contact and interacting with the audience fuels my performances and allows me to connect more deeply with my fans.
You kicked off your 2023 with a show in Williamsburg! How did it go? Can we hope to see you on tour at some point?
My show in Williamsburg was an incredible experience! The audience was amazing, and the size and vibe of the venue provided the perfect backdrop for my performance. I was thrilled to be able to share my music with fans in such an intimate setting, and the energy in the room was electrifying. As for touring, my team and I are hard at work planning a tour starting this summer. I can’t wait! So keep an eye out for upcoming tour announcements, and I would love for you to come say hi!
Thanks so much to Ava Della Pietra for taking the time to chat with us in this exclusive interview!
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