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Story of Perseverance and Triumph 

In the vibrant tapestry of London’s music scene, Elisa Cipro a multilingual singer with Italian roots shines, captivating audiences with cabaret performances, including a recent stint at the iconic The Windmill Soho. But the journey to the stage wasn’t without its challenges. Battling the hurdles of being a female immigrant singer in a competitive city, resilience and determination ultimately led to the creation of a musical oasis.

What inspired you to move to London and form a band? Can you tell me more about the process of putting a band together?

In 2015, I had just finished my studies in Rome and felt the need for a change of scenery, so I decided to visit a friend in London. Initially intending to stay for only a short while, fate took its course when I was offered a singing job. People were friendly, which made the decision easier. This was before Brexit, so opportunities like this were more common.

For the next seven years, I pursued my solo music career. Trying to join other bands in London was tough because the music scene is competitive, especially for newcomers like me. Moving to a new country alone came with its own challenges, and there were times I felt discouraged. Instead of giving up, I decided to form my own band.

Finding Italian musicians who shared my love for vintage Italian music, like Renato Carosone’s songs, was hard. It took me two years of searching London’s music scene to find them but then all of the sudden all the pieces came together.

In 2022, I met Jack. Initially, I hired him as a sound engineer for a gig. Later, I discovered he was also a talented guitarist. We performed together at the Hard Rock Café and it was amazing.  Looking back, I learned the importance of perseverance and believing in the process. Despite the challenges, I kept going and succeeded in forming our band.

What does it mean for you to be able to use your platform to support causes such as climate change awareness and minorities in London?

As an emerging artist, it can be challenging to support causes that may not directly relate to your music out of fear of alienating part of your audience. Consequently, some discussions may be avoided. However, I firmly believe that as an artist or individual with influence, it’s our responsibility to address the issues of our time, share our worldview, and have the courage to speak out on social issues, regardless of our audience size. It’s essential for me to tackle these topics head-on, and I take pride in living my life in opposition to any form of discrimination, never condoning it. Climate change is another significant concern for me. While I’ve occasionally performed at ‘Extinction Rebellion’ protests in London, I also take sustainable actions in my daily life. Whenever possible, I opt for public transport over driving or taking a cab, and I always consider my environmental impact in all my choices.

How did the Italian guitarist Jack Hakim contribute to the sound of the band?

I can confidently say that our band exists today because of him. He believed in me from the start and that gave me a lot of confidence I had lost on the way and within a week I put a band together. Everyone in the band has ties to Napoli or is from there, contributing to our Southern Italian vibe. However, Jack’s role goes beyond just being a guitarist. As a sound designer and engineer, his expertise enables us to be self-sufficient in recording, editing, and mixing songs.

What strategies are you using to promote your music online and build an engaged fan base?

Starting out as a band, we’re thrilled to explore new ways to share our music and connect with fans. We want to be more than just a band – we aim to team up with other artists to create something special. This collaboration won’t just help us reach more people, but it’ll also give other artists a chance to shine.

We’re using social media like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to interact with fans in a fun way. We’ll keep you updated on gigs, new music, and sneak peeks behind the scenes.

We’re excited to perform live and grow our fan base through gigs and other traditional methods. We’re ready to work hard and see where this journey takes us. If you’re a musician who wants to join forces, don’t hesitate to reach out!”

How does Queens Magazine contribute to your mission of encouraging young people to find and pursue their paths? 

If I just tell my story of encouragement all the time, then it will get boring in the long run, so I would like to tell a lot of stories of encouragement. The issues are not long, because the young girls, the young people should and are allowed to see themselves in a story and use it as motivation not to give up and go their own way. Only one question is asked in my Magazine, and everyone can answer based on their experience. I deliberately kept it short, it’s not commercial and I design it entirely myself. 

How has your identity as an immigrant female singer influenced you as an artist?  How has your experience of living in London influenced your music?

Moving to London has profoundly influenced both my personal identity and my artistic expression. The challenge of acclimating to a new country and culture has provided me with a distinct perspective that deeply influences my music. London’s unparalleled diversity, characterised by a myriad of cultures and people, has exposed me to experiences and collaborations I couldn’t have encountered elsewhere. Working with musicians from around the globe has broadened my creative horizons, introducing me to new ideas, sounds, and musical styles.

Furthermore, my time in London has reshaped my approach to language. I’ve developed a heightened sensitivity to the importance of inclusivity, which has significantly influenced the themes and messages. London has taught me the profound interconnectedness of humanity, emphasising the strength found in our diversity and unity.

While Italian Radio Society allows me to reconnect with my roots and pay homage to my heritage, my immigrant experience in London has indelibly shaped both my artistry and my character. It has provided me with a unique voice that I now bring to music, blending elements of my Italian upbringing with the vibrancy and diversity of this cosmopolitan city.

What message do you want your music and social media platforms to convey?

I want to transport people to a glamorous holiday in 1950s Capri, where they can have fun, dance, and feel entertained. But I also want them to grasp the concepts of ‘dolce far niente’ and ‘la dolce vita’, which are so important in Italian culture. ‘Dolce far niente’ literally means ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’. Some may think Italians are lazy and doing nothing is a waste of time. But the truth is, we appreciate the simple things, like sitting around a table with friends and family, laughing, talking about feelings, and the meaning of life, while enjoying good food and wine. This isn’t a waste of time, but rather nourishment for the soul. Many people in London, caught up in themselves and the fast pace of life, forget about these things. We like money and expensive things too, but we also try to live sustainably. Our music isn’t just about fun and enjoyment, but also about sharing our worldview.

How has the band evolved since its inception, and what do you see for its future?

From the outset, I envisioned building not just a band, but a small Italian community of expat musicians coming together. We have some regular members and what’s remarkable is their versatility as multi-instrumentalists but we are constantly evolving, welcoming new members and collaborating with different musicians and artists. My inspiration for this concept stems from Scott Bradley’s Postmodern Jukebox, who turned a similar idea into reality.

Personally, having them in my life extends beyond the stage and as the only female member, I deeply appreciate the respect they consistently show me.

Looking ahead, we’re excited about the possibilities that await us. We aim to continue pushing our creative boundaries. Collaborating with DJs and producers to sample our vintage sounds is one avenue we’re exploring to reach younger audiences and introduce them to our music. Additionally, we plan to increase our live performances, both nationally and internationally, to share our music with as many people as possible. The future holds endless opportunities, and we’re eager to embrace them.

What is your strategy for achieving your goals in the past five years, and how will you apply it in the next five?

My strategy was very simple: I focused on taking small steps, worked diligently, and persevered even when faced with doubt or unexpected setbacks. In this type of journey, sometimes sacrifices are necessary. Without delving into specifics, I certainly sacrificed much of my personal life and relationships. However, I never compromised my integrity, as I believe it’s crucial for long-term success. Additionally, I owe gratitude to one of my singing coaches, Cheryl Porter. She provided me with a detailed list of questions she used to guide her own journey. These questions helped me clarify my life goals, determine the necessary steps for achievement, and establish timelines. I documented everything and revisited it periodically over the past five years. This approach proved effective. Having a structured plan and maintaining an entrepreneurial mindset were crucial factors in my success.

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