Armed with just samplers, an electric guitar, and her voice, GIUNGLA has fast developed a reputation for her breathtaking and visceral live show. She’s played alongside The xx, Foals, Grimes, Franz Ferdinand, Mura Masa, Let’s Eat Grandma, and Battles as well as being invited to play at numerous festivals across Europe and North America. After working on a couple of singles with producer Luke Smith (Depeche Mode, Foals, Anna Of The North), she spent summer 2019 in the studio with Andrew Savours (My Bloody Valentine, The Kills, Black Country New Road). Despite spending most of 2020 locked down in Milan, GIUNGLA has not stopped creating, recording new singles, and adding the finishing touches to her second EP, which is set to be released later in 2021 by Italian label Factory Flaws.
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MUSIC?
I started taking piano lessons when I was five thanks to my parents. They encouraged me a lot, and yet would never actually force me or anything. I think I was a bit too young to be really committed to classical music so once I blew out twelve candles, I decided to start playing electric guitar. Soon, without even realizing it, I found myself writing and writing stuff. I used to lock the door of my bedroom and record everything on tape. Mostly I was playing with words, some in Italian, some in English, and building loops. It started really unconsciously and it felt like the only place where I belonged.
Then I believe one of the reasons that urged me to make music was being a big fan of it. What really inspired me was going to live shows, seeing what music was really about and looking around, and seeing people that I felt could understand me.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PHILOSOPHY AND STYLE AS AN ARTIST?
I like to call what I do “camouflage pop,” because when I work on my music I try to “think pop,” still I use a few simple elements and make some sort of translation of them with guitar.
This is also connected with my stage name. Giungla is the Italian word for ‘jungle’. I like the fact it gives you the idea of something tangled, you cannot really control and need to discover. And that’s the way I believe I approach music.
WHAT DRIVES YOU TO CREATE, AND HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOURSELF IN MUSIC?
Along the way, I had different experiences touring with other bands and this had a very important role in making me who I am today.
I think music is like endless research for something, meeting new people to collaborate, discovering new places, trying new instruments, studying ways to perform, etc.
I think that real success, in the end, is being able to keep doing music in ways that surprise you.
And in a world so full of distractions in which we’re always ready to compare ourselves to others while scrolling, I think being able to find endless ways to enjoy what you’re doing is key.
Trying to see the journey and not the outcome has always helped me keep going.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, AND DO YOU WISH YOU HAD DONE ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY?
I absolutely love working with other people and personally I love that extra step where I let a song go and someone helps me put everything in order, but in general, I just wish I had started producing my own stuff way sooner and be more sure and proud of my choices.
HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN A SONG THAT NO ONE ELSE BELIEVED IN? HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
I think it happened.
I tend to trust very few people when it comes to sharing my demos, but I think it actually happened once! It was a very, very rough demo, probably just guitar and vocals. Sometimes I just want to capture the song, the melody, the idea, and I think about a proper recording only at a second stage. Guess in that case the recording was way too crappy for their taste, hehe.
Anyway, even when I’m listening to music written by others, I’m always very fascinated by the nucleus of a song, that tiny spark that can ignite everything.
HOW CAN INDIVIDUALS HELP THE LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY SUCCEED IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, OR WHAT CAN THE INDUSTRY DO TO CREATE A MORE INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR LGBTQIA+ INDIVIDUALS?
Music has the power to impact culture and everyone in this industry should work towards diversity and inclusion. Everyone should stand up. For example, we should ask more and more why there are not enough role models, not enough women or LGBTQIA+ artists in a line-up, and so on. And we should start building a community by surrounding ourselves and collaborating with people that reflect the change in the world we really want to see.
I’m really proud to work with this Italian label called Factory Flaws, especially because they pay a lot of attention to equality, but I think that unfortunately a label like this one it’s still an exception in Italy. There’s a long way to go.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR UP-AND-COMING LGBTQIA+ ARTISTS?
Just be yourself, really.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU? ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS OR PLANS FOR 2021?
I’m releasing another single on June 4th which will be part of my EP, out at the end of June.
Then I’ll play some shows around Italy with my drummer. Everything is going to be a little different than usual since the audience will be sitting, but it’s nice to finally be back at doing my favorite thing.
In the meantime I’ll keep writing as much as possible, getting ready for when we’ll all be allowed to jump and scream inside a club.
Photo Credit © Olimpia Rende
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