Updated: Aug 26, 2020
An interesting feeling settles over me as I begin my interview with up-and-coming singer-songwriter Amilia Riviglia. Having watched her grow up, I almost feel like a parent, with my emotions stuck somewhere between immense pride and poignant nostalgia.
“I always knew that I wanted to be a singer,” she begins. “But I was just really shy about it.”
I smile, unable to argue with that. When I first met her, Amilia was a timid six-year-old seated at my piano bench. But she’s grown a lot since then.
“If I would sing, people would tell me that I should do something with it,” she goes on to say.
So she started posting short cover videos on social media and found the response to be overwhelmingly positive. That encouragement ultimately became the driving force behind Amilia’s decision to pursue music as a career.
Although this decision came only last year, Amilia is no stranger to songwriting.
“Sometimes I literally can’t fall asleep because something’s stuck in my head. And I have to write it down or I’ll be up at three in the morning. Lyrics will pop into my head and I’ll grab my phone and start recording.”
She pauses for a moment and reflects. “It’s usually when I’m studying for school. I don’t know why that happens. It’s like my brain doesn’t want me to do that, it wants me to do something else. Like, ‘No, Amilia, you’re going to sing now.’”
When asked about the source of her inspiration, she casually shrugs. “It just comes to me.”
Recording in a professional studio, on the other hand, required more of a learning curve. Speaking about the experience of recording for the first time, Amilia gushes, “Oh, it was so cool!”
She recalls watching videos online of artists recording beforehand, and of trying to mimic their actions. “I put the headphones on half-on, half-off, and I’m like, ‘I already know what I’m doing!’” A moment of silence passes before she meets my eyes and smirks. “No, I don’t!”
But she quickly got the hang of things, throwing herself wholeheartedly into her craft.
“I was performing like I was on the Grammys,” she laughs. “It was such a good feeling. I was like, ‘Um, I want to sleep here.’”
As exciting as the process of recording was, the reality of what she was doing truly hit home when Amilia heard her song played back for the first time.
“When I heard myself, I actually started crying,” she reveals. “It’s a different feeling. I’ve found what I love to do, and when you do something that you love, it’s kind of emotional.”
“I think you can interpret my songs in many different ways, and that’s what I like about my music,” Amilia muses. “I’m getting great feedback from people who, say, wouldn’t normally listen to a pop song.”
She beams as she recalls a memory, then shares, “This lady sent me a video where her little daughter was dancing to my song and singing along, and I found that so, so cute.”
That personal connection with her fans means the world to Amilia, validating that she is in fact on the right path and inspiring her to continue.
“I don’t know why I didn’t discover this sooner,” she wonders aloud. “I’ve always loved to sing… I am a singer.”
Then she stops. “That is so weird to say, because I feel like I was always scared to say that, or admit that, because I felt like I wasn’t good enough.”
Her admission both breaks my heart and causes it to swell with pride. I’m proud of her for following her passion. I’m proud of her for pushing past her uncertainty and stepping out into the unknown. But most of all, I’m proud of the incredible person she’s become.
As we wrap up the interview, I ask if she has anything more that she wants to say to her fans.
“Yes, if you find something that you like to do, I say really go for it.”
“Really try and put your effort into it. It’s a major difference. You feel happy, you get into this different mental state where you’re like, ‘I know what I want to do, I want to do this for the rest of my life!’ So… follow your dreams!”