Photograph by Alex Griffiths

Can you tell us about your new album?

My new album is titled “10PM”, as that’s when my kids finally go to sleep. That’s the time when I can start to focus on things that are more personal and creative. It is a collection of 10 original songs – mostly written at nighttime out of necessity…. and given my age and where I am at in my life, I have started to feel a bit nostalgic about youth, so there is a lot of that: memories of the past, growing up in Milano, images of things that have happened and that somehow have stayed with me forever. Some other songs give a snapshot of the pace of my life – the endless struggle to catch up with things, which is something so many of us experience – and reflect on the speed of it all. There is also a sense of family and how things have evolved for me in that field – becoming a mother of course was a massive change…. I had a lot of thoughts and emotions bubbling up while I was writing the songs and lyrics…

What other projects are you currently involved with?

I am very lucky to be one of the guests on pianist John Crawford’s new album – Room for Dancing – which will be out on 19/04 (the launch is on Thursday 18/04 at the 606 club in London!). I am excited about the opportunity of joining John’s Quintet on stage once more next week to sing a couple of songs – the line up is incredible. John leads an amazing band of top musicians – Guille Hill on guitar, Andres Ticino on percussion, Alec Dankworth on bass and Tristan Banks on drums. Their chemistry on stage is phenomenal! When you sing with a band like that, you are blown away every time. Not to mention the other guests – Shirley Smart on cello and Linley Weir on vocals…. it is just humbling to have a little spot amongst such names.

What are you currently listening to and what was the last CD or download you bought?

Right now, I am obsessively listening to Brittany Howard’s new album “What Now”. I love how the songs mix so many styles, from rock to pop, electro and jazz – it feels so varied. And her tone has got that dark, deep quality to it, but she can use her voice to sound strong, sensual or fragile. I am absolutely addicted.

Another constant listen is Guida de Palma’s “Jazzinho” album from 2010 – I was lucky enough to see Guida on stage in London about a year ago, and she was absolutely mesmerising. Since then, I have not stopped listening to her music. I particularly love the layered vocals on this album, and how the songs still sound so modern.

The last album I have downloaded – with a massive delay – is Fergus McCreadie’s “Forest Floor”. I still can’t believe he is so young and can write this music which is so full of emotions. I listen to his compositions, and I wonder where all that depth comes from. I am so looking forward to his new album “Stream” – I am sure it will be a masterpiece!

What is your all-time favourite album and why?

This is a difficult question! There are so many favourites. Am I allowed to say “Live Through This” by Hole? Listening to it was an absolute key moment in my life: as a little girl in Milano, that music was one of the reasons I felt I could start playing drums and try and be a bit more free.

Prince’s “Sign O’ The Times” is also amongst the all-time favourites: my father had it on cassette (!!) and I remember just stealing it for myself and listening over and over on my Walkman (!!) – it sounded so weird to a pre-teen girl! I could not really get the meaning of the lyrics obviously, but I could tell something very interesting was going on, with him using his voice in so many different ways – I can still sing “If I Was Your Girlfriend” by heart!!

Who has caught your attention recently that we should be listening out for?

A: I discovered Lewisham and Freetown-based pianist and composer Duval Timothy only recently, listening to his 2021 album “Son”, which is a collaboration with amazing singer Rosie Lowe. I went on to fall in love with all his discography – particularly with his 2022 work “Meeting with a Judas Tree” which is basically a solo piano and effects album, with phrases full of beauty – somehow, I feel they convey a sense of intense hope. I am really curious to hear what Duval Timothy does next – he is now collaborating with people like Kendrick Lamar and Solange, so it all sounds very exciting!

Read our review of 10PM by Eleonora here.