When Gianna Botticelli began writing songs at age 14, she never thought she would share them with anybody. “They always felt too personal,” she says. “And even dumb to me at times.”
But with time came bravura, and when Botticelli started performing and releasing music under the moniker GHOST GRL, she learned that her words served a bigger purpose. “People started coming up to me at shows and telling me about how a song touched them so specifically, or sometimes even asking to hug me because they felt they related to me so much,” she says. “Things like that really just confirmed for me that all emotion can be relative.”
It’s that realization that has informed the expressive vocals and ambient melodies that GHOST GRL is known for today. Her music is purposefully designed to make you unpack emotion and feel it. It’s also is constructed to inspire you to connect. “[Because] people are really quick to forget that we all feel the same sometimes.”
Botticelli’s career got off to a rough start when her first performance presented an unexpected challenge. “We had set up the show a couple weeks in advance, and when I showed up no one had been aware I wasn't 21 yet,” she tells us. “I wasn't going to be allowed to play.”
They eventually came to an agreement and the show went on. “I remember feeling really nervous and out of place,” she recalls. “But once I started playing I just focused on that.”
But she hasn’t let a little speed bump slow her down. She’s since played at The Sinclair, Great Scott, The Middle East, and Cafe 939, to name a few.
When it comes to creating her music, Botticelli likes to record songs on her phone as she writes them. And once they’re in a good place, she heads to the studio to record. “I'll always start with the guitar and vocals,” she says. “And then just sort of add parts and instruments as it all comes together.”
She values collaboration during the process, believing that it gives her work depth. “I think it gives the album a really nice feel to have a bunch of little pieces from various friends/people.”
After the album is done, Botticelli prints physical copies to sell at shows, and distributes through platforms like iTunes and Spotify.
After spending years frequenting local shows and discovering new music, Botticelli considers the Boston sound is a little bit of everything. “There are definitely some staple genres,” she says. “But overall I think that anyone can find their place here. ”
The Boston Music Awards recently selected GHOST GRL to be a part of the 617Sessions, a program that recognizes Boston-based artists who are making great contributions to the local scene, and rewards them with a day of studio recording.
Visit 617Sessions.com to learn more.