Born and raised in Italy, Am.i moved to the UK in 2015 aged 19 to chase her music dream career.
With a first degree in Popular Music Performance, she is currently studying a MA in International Music Marketing at Tileyard Education.
Last week, I spoke with Am.i in the light of her debut-EP release, “Product of Procrastination” out on May 1st. But don’t be fooled by the name, there’s nothing in this punchy and smoothly produced EP that will make you think that Am.i doesn’t take music seriously.
Heartfelt lyrics led by her powerful voice, Am.i’s work is a statement for freedom while navigating the troubled waters of life and the dark depths of love. On a journey towards resilience, this EP is an honest portrayal of our generation’s problems; fighting self-doubt, toxic relationships, and laziness. Take a look at this interview, then stream “Product of Procrastination” on your favourite streaming platform. There’s no chance you will be insensitive to Am.i’s raw talent.
Hello Am.i, how are you doing so far under lockdown?
I’ve been trying to keep myself busy which is easy with the release. There’s a lot to do when you are a DIY artist, like emailing radios and magazines. I also filmed and edited the promotional videos for my socials. I have also been reading some books for my master’s course like “This is marketing” by Seth Godin and “The rest is noise” by Alex Ross. I have been watching the series about Michael Jordan, and also some movies that were on my list like American Psycho or Last tango in Paris. I’m sorting out my wardrobe, cleaning my room, doing some exercise, you know, just trying to stay sane.
How did you evolve from Francesca to Am.i ?
It’s not really evolving, I’m embracing both at the same time. It comes out in different environments and situations. Am.i is my creative side, it represents my emotional freedom and feelings and Francesca is the logical, grounded person.
Am.i is something I came up with in July last year. It is simply a representation of my self-doubt. It came up very easily as I was trying to figure out a new stage name. At the time, my stage name was Frankie but it wasn’t working for me, I had to represent my artistic self and all my emotions because this is where I take my creativity from. And the strongest was self-doubt. It’s how it has always been in my life. Am I good enough ? Am I strong enough ? Am I ready enough ? I was just thinking “who am I ?” because it is literally a representation of who I am, doubting and overthinking and this is just the awareness of it. So what better name than Am.i ?
How did you start making music?
I have always liked singing, but my parents and nobody for that matter ever told me “Oh, you have a great voice”. I never thought I did, so I never questioned it. I kind of realised that I knew how to sing when I was 14 years old. I attended this musical theatre course and you had to do an audition that consisted in me having to sing and act in front of the teacher to get onto the course. I sang “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera because I really loved this song at the time. So I went to the audition, the teacher made me sing and she stopped me like “Wow, you know how to sing”, and I was like “Oh, okay cool!”. And from there it went all the way up. I never stopped, and I’m trying to make it my career for a lifetime.
Who are your biggest influences?
I would say BANKS and NAO, as I listened to them a lot when I started doing music, and FKA Twigs as well. I am also influenced by Billie Eilish’s work though to a lesser extent.
What is the story behind the choice of your EP name, Product of Procrastination? Are you particularly lazy?
Jeez, man. Yes, like very. To the point that I really struggle on a daily basis with organisation and being focused. it’s a millennial thing a lot of people struggle with every day and can relate to. So why not put it out there. Laziness and procrastination are led by insecurities in a way. If you live procrastinating, you see procrastination in every aspect of life, from career to physical health. You know it is toxic for yourself but you keep doing it because you enjoy the thrill of it. And you see the same pattern in a relationship when you’re in too deep.
Procrastination is a vicious circle just like toxic relationships. I was in this relationship that was toxic for me and I was aware of it, because I was insecure and not confident enough to love myself and just go out there and seek for something better. As a result, 3 out of 5 songs in my EP are for my ex-partner. This is mostly represented in my songs “Game Over” and “Bullshit”. “Game Over” is a heartbreak tune that talks about me knowing that this person is doing a lot of bad things to me but I am still willing to go on with this relationship. Procrastination is the same thing. And sometimes you procrastinate taking the decision that will make you leave the person because you’re in it.
Product of Procrastination is a very personal and emotional project but also very relatable. What has guided you through the whole creative process?
The creative process involved me, my producer Marta Maria Di Nozzi, and the songwriter Hayley Roscoe. They guided me throughout the process because it was my first professional project, my first steps into recording, producing music and songwriting. The songwriting process was a collective effort starting with my poetry. This is how I write songs. I was bringing my poetry to the sessions that we had, and we would turn these poems into songs to bring them to life. It was kind of tough, because I write poems and I hardly go back to reading them right away because it hurts too much. But as I had to turn them into songs, Marta and Hayley would put the poem in front of me for hours, trying to get lyrics out of it. There were a lot of crying and anger. But it is healing, because when you have the song at the end of the session and you learn how to deal with your emotions, it is pretty cool.
Was there a song particularly harder to write or record than the others?
“Game Over” definitely. It was the hardest because I wrote the poem in the worst situation, when I was realising that me and my ex-girlfriend weren’t working. When we wrote the lyrics out of the poem it took a good 4 hours of session because I was in tears all the time. They put me in front of the poem and they would ask me “What did you feel when you wrote this line ? And what about that line ?”. So it was reliving the emotions again and again. It was tough to write but even tougher to record. During the official recording, my producer kept on asking me for more intensity, so at some point I couldn’t hold it in so we had to take a break. But in the end we got a beautiful take out of it, so the pain was necessary.
You wrote Happy song to remind yourself to keep your head up. Most generally, do you write songs as a form of therapy?
Yes definitely, that’s the main reason why I write songs. I am a very sensitive person and I need to give peace to my emotions. I can’t stop my brain from thinking or feeling so when I write poems or whenever I am singing, that is the moment where everything is numb. It just comes out, it is healing because all of my emotions get out of my body. I get those 5 minutes when I am singing or these 2 hours while I’m writing and I am at peace.
Do you feel like music’s purpose is to demystify subjects that would have been taboo two decades ago, like mental health and queerness?
I am open about these two things, but I don’t think that it is the main purpose of music. I feel like that is mostly due with culture – which of course includes music – that is making people talk about it more. Addressing these subjects are great for people who make art and are creative as it reaches more people. It is important to be open about it if you are affected. If you are an artist that has the power to write about it then of course you should do it, as it makes everybody more aware of these issues. It is better for you and for the people who listen to you, because they can relate to your feelings.
What are the next steps for you, once the world starts spinning again?
The first thing I’m gonna do when this lockdown ends is a launch party for the EP, and I want to do a Sofar Sound, get a band up and start playing around to bring my music out there as soon as possible and I also want to go to as many gigs as possible and see emerging artists. I am also really eager to network at Tileyard.
Product of Procrastination is available on all streaming platforms, you can find it on Spotify here.
Credit: Mélina Diago