Last week, Italian born Chiara d'Anzieri released her first song under the name Chickpee. The former professional cellist now indie-rocker spent years traveling throughout Italy performing with various orchestras and quartets. Now, after moving to the states, this is her American debut. Her first song ever written in English, "25" is the lo-fi song of our dreams. Chickpee opens her heart to the vulnerability and longing for love. "25" is funky, smooth, dreamy, and nostalgic of a psychedelic sound all at the same time. Check out Mothership's interview with Chickpee and get as excited as we our for her future!
I really really love how you make this song sound very nostalgic and retro, whether it's in the distortion or your light-hearted vocals, was this your goal in recording the song? How did you decide that this was the sound you wanted to achieve?
This was the real intention, probably because of a combination of few things: first, this was the first time trying record something at home, just two of us with what we have (no proper recording gear) and second, I really like lo-fi and warm sound. As much as I can make something sound like tape, I will be happy.
If I understand correctly, this song was your first song ever written in English! Was this difficult to do? Did you write it in Italian first and translate to English after? What was your songwriting process?
Correct, this was my English debut. At the real beginning I was completely scared. I’m usually pretty shy about express my real intentions/feelings via words and music, and using another language makes everything way more difficult, of course. To be honest, wasn’t difficult for real, just start and just feel free to try. I’m speaking English 24 hours everyday so my process was: let me try to write this song like I’m talking to Ron [Gallo] about this. From when [I start thinking] in English, I also start [writing in English and] don’t write [it] in Italian, [as translating Italian after would be] extremely different. This is basically just telling this story in the best way possibly for a non-english speaker. Fortunately, I’m lucky because I have the best reviser at home with me.
What does this song mean to you and what is the story you want listeners to hear when they listen?
This song, it’s so important for me. I remember the first time that I said the verse “now it’s time to drink all the Atlantic Ocean and be together, forever” to Ron: was nighttime in Italy and was one of the most difficult day that I had during our separation time, I was under a waterfall of emotion, sad because [we'd be] apart but so happy because [we were] together. He was searching on google for a teleport or something more fast than nine hours of flying, by the way.
Anyway, I had a bad asthma and so for me was impossible to just thinking about take an airplane. Well, the giant love for this man and the giant love that I had from him gives to me all the necessary courage [to] try and go through any issues. The important message of this song, it’s basically this: when this is it, this is it and there’s no border, visa, immigrant processes that can divide us, forever. Also, important when comes to “who know how long forever will be” it’s just because the huge question of life, but until that moment, will be forever.
Will you release any songs in the near future sung in Italian?
For now, no Italian songs for me, but who knows! This is a new chapter of my not classical music life and I’m happy to use this new [unfamiliar] language. I think English is a very musical language, not so much Italian.
What are your influences?
So many, probably too many. I have a long and solid classical heritage but from when I’m young my parents gives to me the greatest combination of music information, I’m so glad my dad share with me so much jazz and both mum and dad together a long list of masterpieces. Beatles but more John and George, psychedelic rock for fill some sound necessity but garage rock for fill my subversive part, weirdo stuffs like Devo or Talking Heads, but also, for example from forever I’m into so much r&b or hip-hop stuff.
When can we expect to hear more?!
Pretty soon, I hope. I don’t know how soon [it] will be in temporal space but I have a few new songs that are done and ready to be recorded and I’m gonna continue writing and being revised.
Lastly, is creating music in the states easier for you? How does being here differ than being back in Italy in terms of releasing and creating music?
It is, definitely easier here than there. Here everything, it’s more fast, [including the making of] music/art. Also, I am more lucky because my partner is always ready to make everything. I just need to think about what I want to do or be and catch his eyes for having the right answer [for] any questions. Being totally independent or try to do something here it’s more easy and accessible. I’m around so many other musicians, everybody here play something with someone and this is great. I feel positive and good about this new chapter.
Check out "25" on all streaming platforms and keep an eye out for any future Chickpee releases!