Gina Sicilia is a blues singer out of Philadelphia, PA. She hit the scene in 2007 with her debut release, Allow Me to Confess. Not very long after her first release she was nominated as best new artist at the Memphis Blues Awards. She claimed that was the catalyst that put her on the musical map.
She said, “That was a huge honor for me. That nomination really helped get my name out there in the blues world. It also opened many opportunities in terms of touring and playing festivals. It also woke up people in the music industry to my name and it helped my audience to grow bigger and bigger”.
Gina grew up surrounded by music and had been writing songs since she was 12 years old. She said as a child and teenager she was very shy. She would sing to herself and always knew she wanted to be a musician but had no idea how she was going to go about making her dreams come true.[youtube lZGPDSgbRso nolink]
She had terrible stage fright and struggled to even sing in front of her own family. Then when she was at Temple University out of Philadelphia at the age of 19 she discovered a blues jam club called, Warmdaddy’s. It was there she befriended other like minds and learned to come out of her shell. Everyone was encouraging when they heard the dynamics in her voice. She started going there every week and eventually started gaining more and more confidence. That was where it all started. She met her producer Dave Gross and he eventually became a part of her band and went on to produce every CD release from that point forward. Her latest CD Can’t Control Myself, he not only produce and engineer it, he also played most of all the instruments on it as well.
I asked her if there was a story behind the title track and if there was a specific reason she chose that song for the title of the CD.
She explained, “Yes, there is. I wrote that song myself and it is about when you’re in the presence of someone you care deeply about and how it is almost impossible to control your thoughts and actions. The rest of the songs are all similar in context and talk about wanting or desiring something; so I thought it was the most appropriate title for the CD”.
It has been said many times you can’t sing the blues unless you lived the blues, I was curious what her thoughts were on that and she responded with a small chuckle.
“Well, it doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you’re in your teens, 20’s or even your 60’s everyone is living their life, and everyone has problems and desires. Anyone who is human feels those emotions and that is what the blues is all about. If you are writing about a personal experience, you write those lyrics and sing your heart that dictates how genuine those feelings can be. I have always been drawn to really soulful music. When I was 14 I discovered the blues. I was watching an infomercial for a CD called, Solid Gold Soul, and it had all the classics on it, like Bobby Bland and BB King and that’s where it all started. So then I started incorporating that vibe into the songs I was writing. Blues has always been something that was a part of me. It came easily to me and something I was very drawn to”.
Like all artists starting out and even those who have been doing it for years you never stop learning. Honing your craft is a part of the job. I asked Gina what she does to improve on her talents.
“I learn more and more everyday by touring and recording. I sing along to my heroes and always challenge myself. I never had vocal lessons, but I would sing along to people like Aretha Franklin. She would help me extend my vocals to lengths I did not even know were possible. I’m always extending myself vocally and stepping out of my comfort zones in order to reach new levels.”
Gina is also continuously setting new career goals for herself. She is working on another CD release due to be out next year. She is releasing a Christmas single for this coming holiday season. You can also catch her live on her current tour. She will soon be looking to incorporating an internet tour along side her live performances as well. She is always looking towards the future.
She is an active user of social media sites and enjoys staying connected with her fans. She currently has a contest that helps engage her fans and keeps them involved with her music. She had numerous submissions of her fans singing her song, “Addicted”, in there own creative way. The first winner up was awarded a signed copy of all three of her CD’s and the grand prize winner got a chance to have dinner with her and the band and will make a cameo appearance in her next video.
She says, “I do not only feel like social media is important it is essential in your music career. There is something about being able to interact with your fans and make them feel engaged in your life. It is entertaining for me and a great tool to promote and get your name out there”.
I asked her if there was anything specific she wanted to tell her fans and she responded without hesitation, “Tell them I love them all so much. My fans inspire me and I hope in return I can give them music they will always enjoy”.
Rebecca Hosking – email@example.com