Born in Florence 20 years ago, Birthh is Alice Bisi’s dark alter-ego, “the conscience of a nineteen-year-old who spends most of her time thinking about apocalyptic events”. She defines herself as the “Queen Of Failureland”, a young queen who finds no peace inside her mind: “I thought love was enough / But truth is love is dead”.
Birthh played an amazing show on Tuesday the 9th @ Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London!
We caught up with her to discuss her music, her love for literature and her spare time.
Hello Alice! When did you start making music?
I started making music when I was 8 years old, while studying classical guitar. I’ve never really liked playing with dolls, music has always sounded more fun to me than anything else, so writing songs was the most exciting way to spend my free time.
Where did the name Birthh come from?
I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of origin, it’s an incredibly paradoxical phenomenon to me: everything has to come from something but at the same we never really know for sure where this process starts.
How would you describe your sound in three words?
Water, body, breath.
I know you love literature! Tell us more about how it influences your music?
Literature has a lot to do with how I see the world, I could write a whole essay about it but I don’t think it’s a good idea haha. My favourite books are probably: Satura by Eugenio Montale (a poetry collection of my favourite Italian poet), Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire and “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath (YES I AM THAT KIND OF PERSON). In hindsight, in the lyrics of Born in the Woods, I have come to find that literature – I mean, a lot of stuff, mainly poetry that I studied in high school – have influenced my work more that I knew and more than I expected. I’m not talking about actual quotes that you can find in the album, it’s more like a hidden network of influences that refer to a specific reading or a specific song.
How was your SXSW experience? Was it your first time in the US?
This was our second year at SXSW, we went there for the first time in 2016 and this year we had a completely different approach. In between 2016 and 2017 we had about 70 gigs around Europe, we were more relaxed and we enjoyed the festival much more this time.
People always talk about negative aspects of being a girl in the music industry. What’s the best thing about being a girl in a band?
I’ve never really thought of myself as a “girl in a band”, I don’t really see the link between my gender and playing music.
Do you ever get stuck with your creativity?
Yes, pretty much every day. I have an intricate relationship with writing, especially now that I’m on tour and all, the pressure can be so high that sometimes I barely play a note on the piano; then suddenly melodies and harmonies come out naturally and everything gets incredibly exciting.
What does an average day of yours look like?
I genuinely haven’t had one in a long time, I’m always somewhere doing something; I play a lot though, that is the one element that never really changes, I’m always doing things related to music in a way or in another.
Who do you highly rate in the music scene at the moment?
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of music for us human beings: I’ve come to the conclusion that people who share honest perspectives on anything that involves what is around us through their artistic language really do need attention. I’m thinking about Noname for instance, she’s my favourite right now, I love the fact that her music is so bright and gives you a sense of peace, whereas some of her stories are intense and extremely relevant.