Alicia Creti started her budding career on TikTok after posting videos of herself singing and playing piano to the platform. Since then, she’s amassed over 800,000 followers on the platform and racked up nearly 200,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Alicia Creti’s gorgeous vocals and relatable personality have made her a star to watch, and we’re so excited to see what comes next for her.
We had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Alicia Creti to talk about her beginnings as a singer-songwriter, her newest song ‘Strange’, and her upcoming EP release.
Read the exclusive interview below.
Your music has been described as a mix between Amy Winehouse and Jazmine Sullivan, how do you feel about such comparisons? Who would you say influences your sound the most and how do you pay homage to those influences while striving to create your own distinct sound?
It is an absolute honor to be described as a mix of such legendary vocalists and commendable artists. I have always been floored by Jazmine’s vocal ability and emotional conviction and can say the same about Amy. It was actually my fans that put me onto Amy, which I am grateful for as I admire her story-telling in her lyricism. I always loved big and powerful voices and growing up listening to artists like Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Christina Aguilera, Adele, Rihanna, Brandy, Usher, and Stevie Wonder to name a few, really motivated me to push my range and perfect my runs because I wanted to feel the way that they made me feel when I was listening to them when I was singing. I sang from a place that was therapeutic and healing for me, and the more life experiences I had, the stronger that emotional connection became. I grew up during the good old YouTube days and listened to more covers and medleys of songs than I did the originals, and so many of these singers were putting their spin on things, which I was always compelled by and was inspired to do the same.
You have such a powerful voice, and we know you’ve been singing since three years old! What was the first song you sang that made your family say “she can really sing?”
I grew up constantly singing to myself in an almost soothing sort of way where I wouldn’t even realize I was doing it. The earliest memory that my family and I have that made them think I could really sing was when I auditioned for the elementary school talent show, I sang and played ‘Unfaithful’ by Rihanna on the piano. My mom told me that every parent came up to her at that talent show singing my praises and saying I took lessons, but I never had. From that moment my parents thought, she must be good!
And at just six you were playing the piano and writing your own songs. Can you tell us what little Alicia was writing about at such a young age?
I started writing songs at around 6-7; I remember the very first song I wrote being super sassy and structureless with so many spelling mistakes. Honestly, I was writing about my life. I have written my parents so many songs for mothers and fathers days that were about them, I wrote about friends that I loved and friends that had hurt me, I wrote about believing in myself which was a song called ‘I Can,’ I wrote about the death of my grandfather… Although I was so young, and my vocabulary and the way I felt reflected the mind of a child, the emotions were real and I needed a way to get them out. I was an extremely sensitive kid and it took a long time and a lot of life experiences for me to build a thicker skin. Writing was my way of coping and turning a negative situation or grief into something beautiful, and allowed me to express my love to and for the people that mattered most to me in my life.
Is there a performance or moment from your musical journey that taught you a lesson you still stand by today and can you tell us about it?
When I was in elementary school and they had just started doing school talent shows, I didn’t think I was good enough and was too shy to even try out. A lot of people knew that I loved to sing and quite literally ambushed me into auditioning. I remember being so intimidated by the older kids judging whether or not I would make the cut, and to my surprise, they loved my voice and sang my praises which gave me the confidence I needed to sing in front of people. From that point onwards, I promised myself that no matter where I was or what the situation was, if I had the opportunity to sing I needed to take it. The first time I auditioned for my high school talent show, I didn’t get in. I was absolutely crushed and didn’t understand why because of how my classmates had reacted in the past. However, I stayed true to my promise, and I took it as a kick in the butt to work harder and get better. That year, I sang in restaurants that had pianos laying there, fully making a scene, I sang for friends and for family. The next year, I tried out again, and I got in. I quickly became known as “the girl who sings” around school. All this to say, don’t let fear stop you from trying, and don’t let failure stop you from trying again. This taught me that true strength is resilience, and to be resilient is to embrace and learn from failure.
As a singer, songwriter, and pianist, how do you find the balance between these different aspects of your artistry? Do you have a favorite or a particular strength that you lean into?
I started writing and playing piano to accompany that at around the same time, I was between 6-8 years old. Although I was singing before, this is when I truly found myself, and was probably the only part of me that felt sure, that felt right, that felt like me. To me, singing my own story accompanied by my own instrumentation at the piano is one and the same. Individually, I enjoy all of these things, but when they come together, that is truly when I come alive and feel free. I rarely do one without the other because of how passionate I am about it and because of how much it has helped me heal and grow as a person and as a creative. When I started learning the piano, I quickly honed in on my ear and used it as a cheat code to learning all of the songs in my head and the songs I wanted to make medleys of. I never really learned to read sheet music because of this, which is probably not the best, but this did allow me to develop my ear and creativity which today helps me tremendously with pitch and in the studio.
We had the privilege of listening to ‘Strange’ and ‘Going Down,’ ahead of release and we are obsessed! Can you share some insights into the inspiration behind these tracks and what they mean to you?
It means the world that you like them! ‘Strange’ is what feels like the story of my life and is the prelude to my story… I love hard and tend to give my energy to the wrong people who take advantage and leave me feeling empty and lost because I put them first and neglected myself. It’s interesting because I feel like I related so much to this song when I was truly at my lowest, like how I felt after writing ‘Congratulations’ – coming out of a toxic relationship where I needed to rebuild myself as I lost my sense of self. Today, I feel like I am in a growth period and am learning to put myself first and heal from that pain, and although I know I am right where I am meant to be, I still relate just as much. I think this is telling that growth is uncomfortable and hard, and that’s okay. ‘Going Down’ which is an unreleased song on my upcoming EP, describes the all-in, loyal people-pleaser in me that would do anything for someone that I love, even if it is unhealthy. I wrote this song after a big argument with my ex to reassure them that I would always be there for them in that way.
Social media, especially TikTok, has played a significant role in your music career. How have these platforms helped you connect with your fans and shape your musical career?
I used to be so shy when posting myself on social media until a friend and I were taking a break from 13 hours of studying for our finance exam in university, right before the pandemic, when she pushed me to post on TikTok saying anyone could go viral. I’m truly grateful I listened to her because it changed the entire trajectory of my life. I have received an overwhelming amount of love and support from so many people online and especially through TikTok, which I am eternally grateful for. So many people have told me their stories and expressed how the music has helped them heal their own wounds. This is what music is all about; we could come from completely different backgrounds, areas of the world, going through our own unique life experiences yet all relate to the same song, and that is beautiful.
You have an EP coming in the Fall! Can you give us any hints on the name or the themes we can expect?
I have been working on my debut EP for about a year and a half now, and it is finally coming to light. I put my whole heart and soul into this project; it is the most vulnerable I have ever been in my music, which I owe to myself and to anyone who needs it. Deep down I always knew who I was, but was afraid to live up to it because people were used to me taking up less space and playing a certain role in their lives. However, the one person that will always come first is my brother, Luca. He is my best friend and he is autistic, so I had to be a mother more than a sister at many points in my life and my music journey has been difficult for him to grasp and cope with, as I deeply interrupted his routine. Moving away from him has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do and I miss him tremendously every day that goes by. The EP is the story of my life and touches upon me finally doing something for myself, like leaving an unhealthy relationship for the first time, moving away from home, and making so many sacrifices to follow my dreams. I am learning to set boundaries and protect my mental health and live up to the person I always knew I was. The EP is called Self/Less, and the title track is about my brother.
What are your hopes and expectations for this new chapter in your musical career?
My musical journey has been so enriching and therapeutic for me. All I hope to do is connect with as many people as possible and help them heal as I have been doing for myself. We can heal and grow together. I am so eager for people to see a new side to my artistry that I think might be unexpected, considering I only have 3 songs out to date. I am focused on pushing myself to make the best music I’ve ever made and to just keep going. This is truly everything to me and to be able to connect with people in this intimate and vulnerable way is everything I could ever ask for. I am beyond excited to see everyone’s faces in person when I start performing the EP so that I can thank everyone in person for changing my life, encouraging me to free myself and be me, and sticking around.
We’re obsessed with Alicia Creti’s newest song, ‘Strange’ and we know that you will be too. What did you learn about Alicia Creti from the interview? Is there anything you would like to follow up on? Let us know by dropping a comment below, or tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram.
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