INTERVIEW: Erene Mastrangeli talks latest single ‘Love, Shine’ & her new album

Erene Mastrangeli

Regarded as Italy’s answer to Joni Mitchell, Erene Mastrangeli’s music entices flashbacks to the sounds and famed artists of yesteryears, notably the 70s, a decade which heavily influences Erene and the songs she shares with the world.

Her latest single, “Love, Shine” – also the title of her new album, which will drop in November – is a track she hopes those who hear it will be soothed and uplifted by at a time when so many of us have struggled due to the pandemic and other issues in life, it’s a song designed to remind us all that love and positivity can change our mood and our world. XS Noize caught up with her to learn more about the track and the new album and to discover her personal and professional ambitions for the following year.

How would you sum up your sound and style in a few words?

A warm embrace like the morning sun in a rose garden or sophisticated acoustic jazzy poppish music.

What would you say is your unique selling point as an artist?

Authenticity and vulnerability. I often feel naked when I perform. In my songs, I share my emotions and life experiences; I share the workings of my soul, and it can feel quite vulnerable. As my soul comes out in my songs and in my voice, I feel others relate to what I put out and allow their souls to come out and play with mine. After all, the listener is as part of a show as I am.

Which band or artist, past or present, influences you most and the music you make? How does their work impact and inspire your own?

Some so many artists have inspired me. I just spent a few days in the house where I grew up, and in my room, there are all the records I used to listen to as a teenager. I was actually surprised by the wide variety of music. Some of the artists who have influenced me the most are Sting, Stevie Wonder, Pat Metheny, Michael Hedges, Bach, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Tori Amos, The Eagles, Jackson Brown, Keith Jarret, the Fugees, Des’ree, Jamiroquai, Incognito, Massive Attack, and of course Italian artists such as Fabio Concato, Pino Daniele, Ivana Fossati, le colonne sonore di Enia Morricone, Franco Battiato, Ivan Graziani, Carmen Consoli ed Elisa.

They basically taught me how to write songs; they are the very reason why I learned to play and started writing. Their music touched me so much that I had to sing it, play it and then elaborate it through my own writing. They are a working part of the “composition engine”.

Tell me a little about your latest single, “Love, Shine.” Can you talk me through the inspiration behind it and what the writing and recording process was like? 

The day I started writing this song, I was playing in preparation for a show. Suddenly, I found out about the mass shooting that took place the night before at the LGTBQ club Pulse in Orlando. My heart sank, and I gasped. At that time, it was the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the US. Since it targeted the LGBTQ, it hit so close to home that I finally woke up to the reality of gun violence in this country, a reality I was trying to avoid to maintain my sanity of mind.

I grabbed the guitar to try and soothe the pain. The arpeggio that opens the song comes, and then I keep going. I just wanted to yell, “STOP the insanity!!!” The recording process was magical. Daniele Sinigallia, who produced the record, is such a talented, compassionate, kind and creative producer. When we met, we hit it off right away. He totally got what I was trying to communicate and helped me dress the song in the best way possible. The recording process was so fun and exciting; it was definitely the experience of a lifetime.

What made you think “Love, Shine” was the right choice for you to put out as a single?

“Love, Shine” is the song that propelled forward the idea of the album. After I wrote “Love, Shine”, I had a sensation of a message coming from it, saying that I needed to record it and put it out into the world because it wanted to be heard. I trusted this “voice”, so I got out there and started looking for a producer. “Love, Shin” pushed the album out of the womb, so it needed to be a single. Not only that, it gave the title to the record. This song changed everything for me; it helped me realize that it wasn’t about me anymore but about my songs and the messages they need to deliver.

What do you want listeners to think and feel when they hear it?

I would like listeners to feel hope and to be uplifted by it. The song comes from a lot of hurt from a huge tragedy, but it has a lot of light; it’s positive and inspirational. During the last few years, with all that we’ve been going through, I have been singing it almost every day. It has been my way to cope; it’s my way to soothe myself and see a glimmer of light in the darkness. The song calls upon LOVE to lift and replace the darkness with light.

How did you come up with the idea for the video? What made you want to film it in Central Park? 

The video has been shot in Fort Greene Park, one of my favourite spots in Brooklyn. Living in Brooklyn in the last three years, I spent a lot of time in Fort Greene Park and Prospect Park by myself and with my friends. They have become really dear to me. Since we wanted to do the video outside in nature and I wanted to have my friends in it, Fort Greene Park felt like the perfect choice.

“Love, Shine” is the title track of your album, out in November. Without giving too much away, what can you tease about it? 

I can say that the album is a beautiful journey, and if you allow yourself to listen to the whole thing, you’re in for a real treat. Also, a real string quartet recorded the string arrangement for one of the songs, Beautiful Day…just gorgeous!

Will you be announcing any tour or performance plans to coincide with the album release?

Yes! There will be a CD release party at my favourite club in NYC, Rockwood Music Hall – Stage 2. The show will be on Saturday, December 9th at 7 PM. It will be a full-band show. I really look forward to that! There will be some shows Upstate following the album’s release and a European tour in the Spring. The dates are TBD.

Where in the world would you most like to play and why? 

I would love to play in Sweden, Island and Canada. There is such cool music coming from these countries that I’m curious to play there.

How has social media impacted your career? Are you much of an X or FB user, or given the problems with X in particular lately, do you tend to stay away from those platforms and focus more on personal interactions and connection instead?

Ha! Social media, good question! I’m not much of an X user just because I never really got into it. I’m more of an Instagram user. I’m on Facebook and TikTok, but I’m not much on them. I’ve also had such a hate-love relationship with social media because I wouldn’t say I liked sharing too much about my personal life. But now I feel I’ve found a balance with them and that I don’t see them as evil or a trap anymore. They can be a great communication tool, and I’m even enjoying using them now. I think because I don’t see them as the beginning and end of it all. It’s one of the many tools I use for communication, and I’m clear that my focus is primarily on personal interactions and connections.

Finally, we’re ¾ of the way through 2023 (crazy, I know) – looking back on the year so far and your career as a whole, what have been the highlights for you, and have you started looking ahead to 2024 yet? What dreams and ambitions do you still hope and want to fulfil, personally and creatively?

I think the highlights of my year have been the preparation for the release of this album I love so much. I feel it has helped me believe in myself and my music even more. There is an energy in it that, when activated, its magical and endless. I was just in Europe for two months, and I loved every single moment of it; it was amazing to be with my family, to travel, to play shows in places I’ve never played before and to be received so well. I feel so lucky to be doing what I do.

A big highlight of my career has been collaborating with Brad Roberts of the Crash Test Dummies. He is a masterful songwriter; I’ve learned so much from him. The recording of the album with Daniele Sinigallia, an incredibly talented producer and a loving and compassionate person who became a close friend, was a huge highlight of my career. It felt like a match made in heaven. Daniele totally got me musically and in terms of the messages I wanted to convey. We had so much fun recording the album; I felt like a kid playing in my favourite playground with my best friend. It was an experience of a lifetime.

I’ve started looking at 2024, and I plan to play many shows here in the US and Europe. I will also start recording some new material. There is also a song in Italian I’m dying to record. I call it “my famous song” because I play it at all my shows. People love it and have started singing it with me, but it has never been recorded.

Some of my dreams… I’d like to have my songs featured in movies and TV shows. I see my songs as very cinematic, and I love films; I think the matching of images and music is so powerful I’d love to be part of that. I would also like to write films and TV shows. I’m not a writer, per se, but I have lots of ideas. I started talking about them with an actor/writer friend who wants to collaborate with me on some of those ideas. Personally, I would like to go see my family in Italy more often, and I would like to find a partner and maybe start a family.



Xsnoize Author
Rebecca Haslam 93 Articles
Rebecca writes about pretty much any and all music but is a big pop-rock-indie fan. She loves the likes of Panic!. Fall Out Boy and Green Day, but is pretty old school too with Roxette and ABBA on many of her playlists. When not writing, she enjoys travelling far and wide, attending theatre and music shows, reading and spending time with friends.

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