An Exclusive Conversation With Gianna Branca About Her New Song “conversation”

Gianna Branca

This is an interview done with Gianna Branca, read her story below! If you, or anyone you know, would like to be highlighted in The Zillennial Zine, shoot us an email at thezillennialzine@gmail.com or DM us on Instagram!

 
 
 
 
 
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Q: Tell us your story! Where did you begin and how did you reach the caliber you’re currently at?

A: Firstly, hey! I’m Gianna. So, I’ve lived just outside of Philadelphia for my whole life and grew up singing and performing whenever and wherever I could. In fact, all of this started at age 3 when I was in my first musical – The Lion King. Musical theatre became my first love and I performed all throughout grade school and high school. After graduating, I began studying Musical Theatre at Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia and will be a junior this fall. In terms of songwriting specifically, it was definitely a love that blossomed out of my love for singing and telling stories as an actor. I’m 20 now, but I actually started writing songs when I was 14 years old and continued to write in private for years. I didn’t share my first song on social media until freshman year of college, and it wasn’t until this year that a friend connected me with a studio in California, OC Hit, and I began recording my original music.

 
 
 
 
 
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Q: What makes you love what you do? How long have you been making music? Would you call it your passion?

A: As I mentioned, I started writing music when I was 14. I was going through a hard time, and an adult told me to try journaling. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t seem to find the right words for what I was feeling. I knew I loved music though, so one day, I sat down at my piano in my living room, and I tried writing my feelings over some chords…and I’ve been doing it ever since. I think of all my songs as journal entries, and I always try to make them personal and specific. I think there is something so powerful about a song’s ability to let a stranger into your heart or into a specific moment in your life. Every time I write a song, it’s about something that I’m dealing with – but it doesn’t always have to be something that is actively happening to me. I use songwriting to process things – and that processing can be over anything from a sad movie I just watched to a moment of intense anxiety. Sometimes, I’m not even the “person” in my song. I can be inspired by a character or a random stranger I talked to that day. Genuinely, anything that “moves” me in some way can be the catalyst for a song. So, yeah, in that way I consider songwriting to be my passion. It is the one thing that I am most moved to do in my daily life, no matter the circumstances.

 
 
 
 
 
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Q: What are some accomplishments or milestones you’ve reached lately?

A: Wow…so many. I performed “conversation” for the first time live at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville – which is where Taylor Swift was discovered. I am the biggest fan of hers (like the biggest fan on Earth), so that was a HUGE milestone moment for me. I’m currently in Michigan on a summer theatre contract – and it’s my first time being paid to act and sing which is unreal. Most importantly though, my first single ever is coming out this Friday – and that is a milestone that has been around 7 years coming.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Gianna Branca (@gianna.branca)

Q: Tell us about “conversations”!!

A: I wrote “conversation” by myself in my dorm room during my first year of college. I was thinking a lot – too much really – about an ex. Even though I was over him, I didn’t get a lot of closure when it ended, and I had so many unanswered questions. I found myself wanting to text him, wanting to see him so we could talk about all of it. But obviously, as we ALL know, texting an ex is never the answer. To fight the urge, I gave myself permission to put it into a song – what would happen if I DID ever see him again…what we would talk about… what we wouldn’t bring up…and out came “conversation”. I hope you like it as much as I do…and if you relate a little too hard, I’m sorry! Haha. On a more serious note, I wanted to write a song about a very specific personal moment, but also a shared, universal experience. Many of us have to deal with the reality of seeing an ex again – even if the experience isn’t quite exactly like it is in this song. I’m hoping that people can see some part of themselves in this song and are maybe even able to find their own closure.

 
 
 
 
 
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Q: Do you have any advice for someone who is starting out in the music industry?

A: Wow! What a question. I feel so new to the industry myself that I’m not even sure I have a lot of the answers – but I think I’ve learned one big thing: the time is now. I waited SO long to share my songs with people because I was worried I wasn’t ready yet – I put off recording for YEARS because I was so nervous about getting it “right.” But, I think what makes art and music so special is that it’s reflective of the artist at that moment in their life – so yeah, maybe you’re not writing the same songs at 15 as you would at 20, but that’s okay! People want to hear the music you’re making now, and it’s okay to grow while sharing your music. Though I know recording isn’t possible for everyone, post clips online! Share what you’re working on! Put it out there where you can! If you’ve got a voice, people want to hear it.

If you stay true to yourself and your music, listeners will connect with that. On that note, something I’ve really come to understand about songwriting is that being honest in your music makes it more personal, more meaningful. Shawn Mendes once said on the Zach Sang show something along the lines of “if the people who SHOULD know DON’T know who or what your song is about…then it’s not truthful enough.” I think the specificity of songwriting is what makes the emotion so universal – and Shawn Mendes made me realize that. In more recent life, I will die on the hill that is metaphorical genius Lizzy McAlpine, and I would give anything to have the perfect chorus like Maddie Zahm. All these people have shaped me – some starting when I was super young, and some I’ve only found recently. But these songwriters push me every day to be more honest, more real, and more true to the music. It’s okay to take inspiration from other artists that you admire but being yourself is what’s most important.

 
 
 
 
 
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Q: What do you want our readers to know about you and your music?

A: I think what’s most important for them to know is that I’m just like them. I’m a young girl with flaws and problems. I cry and I laugh and everything in between. The only thing I do differently is that I put those feelings and experiences into songs. I do this for myself, but I also do it for other people who need an outlet or a means to experience their feelings. I guess I just hope that people can connect with my music in a way that makes them feel less alone and more understood.

Go Check Out Gianna Branca!

Instagram: @gianna.branca

TikTok: @gianna.branca

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