Q&A w/ SERENA: “Pain Killers”, Ableton, & her love of Patti Smith

S E R E N A (Serena Maria Carretti) is an Italian singer/songwriter, currently based in London. She says she found her love of music after a trip to the United States. “After High School I was feeling lost, trying to postpone what I thought was expected of me, I decided to challenge myself and move to another country. After a year in the US working, studying and travelling, there – on the other side of the ocean – I found the courage to admit to myself that music was what I really wanted to do.”

After performing sets in festivals and different venues in Italy, she made the jump to the UK in order to keep working on her kills. Recently, she’s been experimenting with Ableton Live in the studio and in the live environment, in order to “merge my fiery psyche with my sensitive essence”, she says.

Hear her latest tune Painkillers below:

When Girl Gang asked about the inspiration behind “Painkillers”, it was clear there was a special story behind it. “Painkillers started out as a way to be close to a loved one, but it then became a daily reminder that it is never too late to be happy. And yes, sometimes pursuing our own happiness means not living up to the expectations of the ones that love us the most…

“Sometimes pursuing our own happiness means not living up to the expectations of the ones that love us the most…”

…But ‘we are the sun of our universe’, and if we don’t learn how to shine, we will never be able to light up all the planets in the system. It might be hard in the beginning, but we are not alone, and that’s what I want you to know when listening to the song.”

Not only is SERENA putting thought behind her records, but she’s also getting hands-on with the production. “Because of a course I had to take at uni, I started venturing into the production world with Ableton Live. It did not matter that I was a complete novice at first, I was so fascinated by all the sounds that I could create with this computer programme, sounds that no electric guitar could ever produce. I love the positive power that rock music has, but I have never had the chance to bring out my sensitive inner world.”

GGM: How has being a woman in music affected your career?

“I’d say it affected my career in a way that it showed me since the beginning that I need to be 110% sure of who I am and what I stand for, because there is always someone around the corner that feels entitled to tell you what you should be doing, wearing or writing, just because you are a woman.”

“There is always someone around the corner that feels entitled to tell you what you should be doing, wearing or writing, just because you are a woman.”

But she says that the history of music is full of “great women who set the examples for their successors, breaking the stigma of women as fragile sentimental vocalist” and that she’s happy to be surrounded by powerful and inspiring drummers, songwriters, sound engineers, bass players that “confirms to me that we are finally heading in the right direction”.

Follow SERENA

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Soundcloud

SERENA’s Girl Gang Picks

Alanis Morisette

“I still remember the day my older cousin passed me ‘Jagged Little Pill’ by Alanis Morisette and..the CD has been on repeat on my stereo since then!”

Christine And The Queens

“I recently started listening to Christine And The Queens and I am absolutely amazed by the sound scape she creates with the synths and the beats and cleverness of her lyrics. I also admire the way she uses her French accent, when singing in English, almost as a device to add rhythm and tone to the infectious musical flow.”

Patti Smith

“Last but not the least, I cannot forget to mention my biggest inspiration in life and music, Patti Smith. She made music for the sake of communicating, where it didn’t matter if the guitars were untuned or the drummer not in time, as long as the message would have reached the listeners. She wrote 4 minutes hit parade songs and 8 minutes of spoken word beauty, she would stand against the atrocity of an ongoing war and then sing about her long lost dead husband.”

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