Songbird – Interview

Songbird is a twenty-three year old singer/songwriter with an absolutely beautiful voice! Although she can be compared to Miley Cyrus, her voice has it’s own special timbre that should not be missed. Songbird started her musical climb at the age of seven, took classical piano and vocal lessons and started playing and singing in recitals and competitions. She composed her first song when she was 15 and hasn’t stopped. She is now touring extensively (sixty-nine gigs in 2023) while composing and collaborating with professional musicians, producers and coaches in Nashville.

Interview by Maria Passannante-Derr. Photos courtesy of Songbird.

Maria Passannante-Derr: You were busy this past year! Where did you perform your 69 gigs and what did you play?

Songbird: I perform extensively in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Sometimes I showcase in twenty-minute sets with other artists, but I mostly play original music that I wrote when I was younger.

MP-D: How did you get started in music?

My dad sings, plays guitar, and performs in bands and he was always trying to get me into music. Classical piano was my Mom’s idea. I just wanted to sing and play at the same time. So, it’s just me and my keyboard.

MP-D: You have a tremendous Miley Cyrus influence but you also have a foundation in classical music and vocal lessons. How has your sound changed since you were younger?

S: I’ve gotten better with each song that I’ve written and with what I have co-written with my team in Nashville. A lot of people still like my earlier songs but my latest songs are more advanced.

MP-D: What inspires you as an artist creatively?

S: A lot of my songs are about love. I’ve been dating the same guy since I was fourteen.  We just got engaged recently. We have been together a long time so I feel like a lot of my inspiration comes from that feeling of love. I’m going to be twenty-four in February. I have also grown so much as a person. I’ve gone through many more experiences than when I was a teenager. A lot of my writing is about transitioning as I get older, stress, losing friends. I feel like my music is shifting.

MP-D: How do you juggle your playlist when performing to introduce your new music to your audience?

S: That’s a good question because when I first started making my set list for 45 minute shows, I played a lot of pop music Like “Young” by Miley Cyrus and sprinkled my music in between. Her song “Gravity” is one of my favorites. Sometimes I’ll have a set list ready to go and then I’ll change it  depending on what’s going on at the show and who’s there. Sometimes it’s an older crowd and when it is I play mostly originals. I will start with “Stubborn” or a song called “Time” that I wrote when I was sixteen.

MP-D: What is the message of “Time”?

S: Time doesn’t stop for anyone.  It’s going to keep moving no matter what happens, whether you had a good day or a bad day. It’s still going to keep going and you have to make the best of every second, every day that you have.

MP-D: What are your top covers other than Miley?

S: I play a lot of Kelsea Ballerini.  She is a big inspiration for me. Also, Olivia Rodrigo.

MP-D: When you were younger, you played in many bands and performed in competitions.

S: The competition stuff was when I was in my early teens and it was fun.  I did it for a couple years and then it wasn’t for me. Next I started going to Lake House Music Academy in Asbury Park, New Jersey. I met some great people, did a lot of band work, singing different genres. It wasn’t really for me either, so I started doing more solo stuff and I wrote my first song when I was 15.

MP-D: Any plans to tour locally and/or nationally?

S: This past year I did sixty-nine gigs in total. My goal was fifty to seventy. This year I want to do one hundred shows.  I book all my shows myself. My dad does my sound and goes to all my gigs. I do a lot of shows in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. Hopefully this year it’ll just be even bigger and better!

MP-D: What is coming up in 2024?

S: I have a new song coming out. My finance wrote a movie and asked me to write a song for it. The title of the song is called “All The Way” and the movie is called “Phantom and Perceptor”.  It’s an 80s action, love story, superhero movie. I love this song. I went to Nashville to record it. I was in the studio for seven hours that day. I got it back a couple months ago and it’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written and recorded. I’m very excited for it to come out.

MP-D: The Nashville part of your journey sounds very interesting. Can you tell me more about that?

S: I have my team in Nashville that has help me professionally. I dropped out of college to start working with them because this is what I want to do. College wasn’t  for me.  I was in music education and it wasn’t my favorite. During COVID I started posting more on social media and they found me. I went to Tennessee, had a meeting and started working with them. I took vocal lessons for a year. We wrote two songs in August, 2021 that are out now. Working with a team of such experienced people and songwriters has been great. I love going down there.

MP-D: Do you think you’ll be spending more time down there because it’s such a great place for musicians?

S: I love Nashville so much. It’s so very different from where I live. One day if I ever make it big and I have money then I’ll have a dream house there. But, for now I love visiting for a whole month, writing songs down there, and getting to see my team and work with them in person. Maybe one day I’ll put out a country song.  

 MP-D: What is it about your music that this team was attracted to?

S: When I wrote my songs, we sent them to the team and they told me, “We are ready for you to record. We love your voice. It’s beautiful. We can really help you.” They have definitely upped my level sooner than later. Without them I would have eventually gotten to this place but I am glad that I have their guidance.

MP-D: Is there anything else you’d like to discuss about your music or you personally? Is there going to be more collaboration with your finance?

S: Yes, he helps me a lot with my video. He is already writing another script and he wants me to write a song so we’re definitely going to be collaborating a lot in the future.

For more information about Songbird, click here.