Angelica Joni is an up-and-coming Pop sensation with a hot new single out titled “Weightless” that is beyond radio-friendly and not to mention a slammin’ video to go along with it. According to Joni, “Weightless” is the best song she has ever written thus far and there is a lot of buzz surrounding it. Besides the new single, Angelica is an angel of sorts supporting many different charities and causes along with sheltering/fostering rescued cats and finding them homes. As part of her sorority Delta Phi Epsilon at Rider University, her and her sisters are involved with fundraising for numerous causes/organizations such as: Cystic Fibrosis, ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and associated Disorders) and the Delta Phi Epsilon Scholarship Foundation). The goodness doesn’t stop there for Angelica as she is also a proud supporter of the foundation called The Little Dreams Foundation founded by Orianne and Phil Collins that raises money for kids that want to pursue music but are less privileged. Joni will actually be able to play alongside Phil Collins at a future charity event held by the LDF (TBA), so how cool is that! Angelica is also a spotlighted artist for the IDA program founded by music engineer David Fangioni, which is designed to teach and educate singers and songwriters through a comprehensive training program led by some heavy hitters in the music industry. So much going on for this Italian Singer/Songwriter with a “New York State of Mind” where I’d say it’s just about time for Angelica Joni to spread her wings and fly high.
Angelica Joni – “Weightless”
J Rae: So your real name is Angelica Massamillo but you go by Angelica JONI when performing. Why not just stick with the full, original name and what’s the significance behind JONI?
Angelica Joni: I feel that “Angelica Joni” flows better and makes for a more unique stage name rather than Angelica Massamillo. Joni is my actual middle name which is pronounced “JOHNNY”. People assume my middle name is pronounced JOANIE since I am a girl, but I was named after my dad, John.
J Rae: I couldn’t help but notice your last name, Massamillo, seems to have an Italian ring to it. I’m part Italian myself so just thought to ask what was it like for you growing up in an Italian household if in fact it is true?
Angelica Joni: Yes, I am Italian. Having a big Italian family consists of a lot of get-togethers, overeating, talking with our hands, endless laughs and generosity. I am very proud of my upbringings and happy to have such a loving and supportive family.
J Rae: Your latest track “Weightless” does seem to have a real light ‘n’ airy, Hit Single feel to it with you singing to the stars. This track is ridiculously Pop/Radio-Friendly and I’d like to know what are your expectations for the song and what has the response been like thus far?
Angelica Joni: I have high expectations for this song! Everything about it screams “radio” and I know soon enough it will get there. We just recently kicked off promotion for “Weightless” and already created quite the buzz! Working with the amazing producer Valentin and world famous remixer, Jason Nevins will only enhance the success of “Weightless”. Everyone that listens to this track falls in love and can’t help but smile and move their hips when the song takes off. Hearing all the positive responses and constant love I get from “Weightless” lets me know that this is the best song I have written thus far and I believe that it will absolutely make it to the top of the charts!
J Rae: You were involved with music at a very young age and classically trained at 15. How old are you now and what got you so interested in music originally? What comes to mind when you think of those days when you were just starting to develop your musical abilities? And how far have you come since then?
Angelica Joni: I am now 22 years old. I started to love music when my older sister and I would belt out lyrics from Lauryn Hill and the Fugees on our front porch when I was little. I also got involved in my church choir in elementary school and continued to sing throughout High School where I was accepted into the Performing Arts department. What comes to my mind when I look back is that music is the one thing that’s always been with me no matter what stages of life I’ve gone through. I have certainly come a long way! I noticed my voice really improved once I started singing opera and learned how to keep my control when hitting really high notes with proper breathing techniques. Being classically trained has helped me get to where I am today.
J Rae: As a resident of Staten Island, NY, what does it mean to you to have a “New York State of Mind”? And did the great Billy Joel get it right?
Angelica Joni: To have a “New York State of Mind” to me means that New Yorkers do not let anything or anyone get in their way or bring them down. We have a do it NOW attitude whether we win or lose. I definitely have a “New York State of Mind” Attitude being born and raised in New York.
J Rae: So I heard that you’ve rescued 12 cats in the last 12 months that you’ve actually fostered and found homes for, which is a really generous & kind act on your part. How did you get involved with this and what is it about cats per se that tugs at your heart?
Angelica Joni: I am really just a diehard animal lover – not only with cats. I volunteered at my local animal shelter when I was a kid and always loved being hands on with all kinds of animals. I’ve grown up with having tons of pets (Lizards, snakes, rabbits, dogs, cats, fish, etc.) and I know how happy my pets make me so if I can make someone else just as happy by rescuing cats I would do anything to find them a great home.
J Rae: I hear that you’re really passionate when it comes to your Sorority Delta Phi Epsilon at Rider University and wondering what kinds of things you and your sorority are involved with?
Angelica Joni: If it wasn’t for Delta Phi Epsilon, I would have nothing to be thankful for in my college years! My sorority is big on fundraising for our Philanthropies such as Cystic Fibrosis, ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and associated Disorders) and the Delta Phi Epsilon Scholarship Foundation. We’ve had car washes, haunted houses, raffles, and competitions just to name a few. We also do a lot of sisterhood events such as movie nights in the basement, going to concerts, Six Flags, Mixers with other Greek Life, vacations together and dinner dates. My sisters are constant supporters of my music and some of my biggest fans. I have made many lifelong memories with my sisters and found some of my future Bridesmaids!
J Rae: I saw that you’re an advocate for the #IAmIDA Foundation founded by music engineer David Frangioni, which is a comprehensive & educational training program for singers and singer/songwriters. What has the IDA (Inspire & Develop Artists) program done for you and what have you learned from it as an artist? Also, what is it like working with and around such talented music mentors such as: David Frangioni, Jon Secada, Rudy Perez and Mark Hudson who are all big-time hitters in the music world? And finally, what does it mean to you to be a spotlighted artist for IDA?
Angelica Joni: The IDA Program has given me so much to be thankful for. Not only have I become a more seasoned performer, but I was able to grow my songwriting skills to its fullest potential. They were really helpful and very “hands on” throughout the whole process and pushed each and every artist to get out of their comfort zone. Being mentored but such incredibly talented individuals really made my IDA experience so memorable. Being able to make jokes and let loose with them helped us all build strong connections. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to work and perform alongside such giants and recommend IDA to any singer/songwriters who are serious about furthering their career. Being a spotlighted artist for IDA shows me that they really believe in me and know that I have what it takes to make it in this industry.
J Rae: I couldn’t help but notice that you support The Little Dreams Foundation created by Orianne and Phil Collins that helps make dreams come true for young, aspiring musicians that don’t have the money to do so. The foundation raises money for the sake of the kids having the gift of music in their lives, which is a beautiful thing! This sounds like a wonderful program that’s been going since 2000 and wondering what your involvement has been and how do you support The Little Dreams Foundation? Also, I was told that you were selected to perform for their sold out Charity concert Dreaming in the Beach Gala that took place on Dec. 06 in Florida. Unfortunately you were unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts but gotta know what was going on in your head when you got word that the LDD wanted you to perform at their special charity event? And have there been any talks about maybe scheduling you for a future Charity event? Lastly, as a big Phil Collins and Genesis fan I’m dyin’ to know if you got to meet with or talk to Phil Collins and if so what was said?
Angelica Joni: I strongly believe in this foundation and am happy to help support this cause via social media and word of mouth. I lend my talent and my name to this foundation because it is super important to me that underprivileged children are able to have music in their lives and this foundation helps to provide that. It was an honor to be chosen to perform for this amazing charity event. Only a handful of very talented artists were picked to perform and being one of them was a privilege. Since I was unable to attend the concert, I will be able to perform with Phil at the next LDF event. I have not had the pleasure of speaking with Phil yet. Phil’s wife, Orianne was in charge of most of the communicating with all the artists and managers, but I intend to get to know him at the next event. My IDA family that did get to perform with Phil said he was very kind and generous to them and was supportive of their careers.
J Rae: With your hot, new single and video for “Weightless” out now and all of your other exciting endeavors, how is 2015 looking for you and what are your expectations for this year? And what is your New Year’s Resolution?
Angelica Joni: So far, 2015 has been nothing but a positive exciting year for me. I have received some great opportunities for myself thanks to “Weightless” and I know there are a lot more still to come. I don’t particularly believe in New Year’s Resolutions but I plan to stay on track, write more music, perform as often as I can and get my name out there.
By Jimmy Rae (firstname.lastname@example.org)