A Q&A with Gina Assunta

The Montreal-based musician and producer released her debut EP “Thinking too Loud,” back in spring.

By: Sun Noor

“Thinking Too Loud,” presents itself as a perfectly thought out concept record, exploring themes of of love and loss. The album’s track list present those subjects, each through different lenses, with the final track “Letting You Go,” culminating the overarching story. Assunta’s ideas continue to develop as the record gradually progresses, evoking a mood with each number. Sonically, her soulful vocals clash perfectly with the glitchy yet clear cut production, creating an alluring soundscape. Upon first listen of her debut project, it is evident that Assunta remains one of the most distinct up and coming artists to emerge out of a Montreal at the moment. I caught up with the musician and producer a few months back to discuss what went into the creation of her EP.

How do you feel about finally putting your first body of work out in the world?

“I feel good, I’m happy that it’s finally released. It’s like a weight off of my shoulders,”

Tell me a bit about your musical history, have you always been interested in music?

“I started singing in choir in church when I was maybe 8-10. My first instrument was guitar and then I moved over to piano. When I was in college I studied jazz studies which really shaped the way that I make music today and the way that I sing. It really changed my outlook and the way that I even listen to much which was a huge event for me.”

Are you self-taught in any of those instruments?

“I was self-taught in piano but I had classes for guitar and vocals.”

How did this EP come about?

“The EP is really a body of work of different songs I worked on throughout the years that all had the same themes to them. It was pretty easy to put everything together and so I focussed on finalizing the songs in a way in which they would all speak to each other.”

Did your initial vision match the final result.

“Maybe not completely. The end goal was always the same and I achieved it but there was a lot of changes and I continued to work on it and got a clear picture of what I wanted. I went with what feels right, what songs best represent who I am and what feels the most complete.”

Who are some of your musical influences?

“I really love FKA Twigs, she’s one of my favourites. I have to say Banks as well.”

You mentioned working in your home studio, where is your favourite place to write?

“I do write in my home studio, I have a basic set up here and this is where I like to be the most creative with lyrics and sound production, finding the right sound and exploring new ones, exploring words as this is where I really to start new projects.”

What was your main source of inspiration for the EP?

“I don’t think there was a main source of inspiration. It’s really almost like my diary, things that I’m feeling, events that have happened in my life so let’s say my many failed attempts at love and relationships.”

Album artwork for “Thinking too Loud,” by Kawter Chougui

Do you find it often difficult to dive into more personal topics in music?

“Yes, I think there is a challenge there. I do find myself most vulnerable in my music more than I would be in real life. I think my purest self would exposed be through the songs. “

Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

“For visuals I for sure have a lot of people on my list that really make great visuals. I absolutely love working with Blank Montreal. We do have some visuals we’d like to create in the future as well. I’d really like to dabble into directing and editing videos in the future too.”

What was the most difficult part of putting this project together?

“I think it’s just my way of approaching music and my compositions. I like to imagine to be able to imagine my music, so make it almost cinematic and dramatic. That’s why I would like to also start directing because I’d like to put those visions up on screen as well.”

What was the most difficult part of putting this project together. 

“Finalizing. A song is never finished and I think that’s what how artists usually see things. You never feel as though your work is finished so you have to accept that this is it. I try not to go back and say that I want to touch up my vocals in certain sections.”

Lastly, what are your current favourite records?

“At the moment I am listening to Keaton Henson who is really interesting. I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz music, Wayne Shorter is one of my favourites to always go back to. FKA twigs’ LP1 will forever be a favourite for me too.”

Download/stream “Thinking too Loud,” here.

Watch Gina Assunta’s cover of “Highway 7,” below:

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