Indie pop artist Peppina is releasing her EP titled Spark on June 23, after dropping the single "Moments" in February. But before the full record arrives, AXS conducted an email interview with her to learn more about the upcoming release, Peppina's tour plans to promote the record and the artist who dazzled her in concert. Get a taste of the album, and get to know the artist, below while you can also watch several of her cover videos on YouTube.
AXS: Describe Spark for us. What can listeners expect from this EP that's different from other pop releases?
Peppina: I think in the world of singer/songwriter and indie pop, what really stands out about this project is that it's uplifting. We have so many breakup and makeup songs in this genre, I just think the world needs some hope and encouragement these days, and I wanted to make something that provides it. "Fire" is definitely a track to highlight in this aspect, as it's all about finding inner strength to keep going even in your darkest moments. My dream would be that this record would give people some good energy, confidence and strength to help them push through whatever they're struggling with, or just to brighten up their day and make them believe in themselves and their dreams at least a little more than before.
AXS: Have you finalized any live performance plans in support of the EP?
Peppina: I'll continue performing around New York City. I have a show coming up at The Bitter End on June 20. We're also working with my label Honey Rose Records toward releasing a music video for “Fire”!
AXS: How did you get to this point? Were you always intent on becoming a pop performer?
Peppina: As long as I can remember, I knew music was going to be a big part of my life. I started playing the recorder when I was six and moved to classical flute at the age of seven, which I played for 11 years. I got my first piano at the age of ten, which is when I started to explore harmonies and writing. I was always a bit insecure and never saw myself in the spotlight. For a long time I didn't think I could be successful as a music artist, so I planned to study to become a music teacher. Then, at the age of 16, I started sharing my songs online on this open source music and art platform called hitRECord. The response was so amazingly positive it made me to consider a career in songwriting, which is still my long term plan. The online success then led me to some big opportunities and performances on big stages when I was 18, and made me fall in love with the energy you get from the audience while playing live. That's when I decided I wanted to spread my wings as a performing artist.
AXS: Were there other artists who shaped your career or influenced your sound?
Peppina: Regina Spektor and Yann Tiersen (the composer of the soundrack for "Amelie"). I discovered them around the same time, at the age of 15. I fell in love with the soundscapes, harmonies and simple but beautiful melodies Yann was writing, and that made me push myself to learn how to write as simple yet beautiful music as I could. Regina on the other hand was the first artist that made me truly want to start writing lyrical music in the first place, it was how she did pop music in completely her own way that inspired me to try and see what I could bring to the table.
AXS: Then how do you describe yourself creatively? What makes you unique as a performer/songwriter?
Peppina: I always need to have a theme, some kind of a core message in my mind before I start writing, whether it's by myself or with other co-writers. I don't think I've ever sat down to write a song just to write any song. The lyrics are such a big part to me and when stepping into the process, I always need to know what the purpose of this song will be, even before I have any melodies or rhymes in mind.
AXS: As a music fan, what's the last great concert that you went to?
Peppina: I recently saw Father John Misty at Brooklyn Steel. What a show! He had a very intense stage presence, and the interesting part was I didn't even notice he didn't talk between songs until toward the end when he suddenly said a few words. It was just one song after the other, accompanied by a beautiful light show that really pulled you into the music.
"Moments" is now available on iTunes. Spark will be released on June 23.
For more on Peppina, visit her artist page at AXS.