BIRTHH, the project of the Florence-born 22-year-old singer/songwriter Alice Bisi is taking over playlist everywhere with her latest full project, WHOA. There was never a time she didn’t feel music was her soulmate stating, “Music has always been such a huge part of my life and everything regarding my musical journey has happened so naturally, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.” When she was 2 her parents split up, and she’d spend the long journey to her dad’s house listening to the likes of Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, and The Chieftains. She cherished the time she spent with her dad who taught her from a young age how to enjoy the little things in the music. Her dad, who himself used to be a musician, told her to focus on the guitar or piano – so she started playing music and wrote her first song at 8 years old. Spending time split between pure pop and the soulful fusion between the electronic and the organic that was present in one of her favorite records; Corinne Bailey Rae’s 2006 self-titled debut. Despite amassing a handful of songs, Bisi kept her songwriting a secret while at school in Florence. A visit to her father was the impetus to make her secret hobby her primary passion as her songs moved from SoundCloud to the stage.
She released her debut album in 2016 titled, ‘Born In The Woods.’ which gained a massive amount of media attention for its pop, folk, and jazz mix. She describes that era of her life as an “emo sad boi teenager.” Even though she doesn’t resonate with it anymore, she says “it represents a time of growth and introspection in my life and I’m happy it exists.” Her most recent full project, ‘Woah’ was released in 2019 and features 11 tracks.
BIRTHH wrote most of the album in her makeshift bedroom studio before completing it with Solange collaborator Lucius Page and the GRAMMY Award-winning mixing engineer Robert ‘LB’ Dorsey (H.E.R., The Roots) and GRAMMY Award-winning powerhouse mastering engineer Emily Lazar (David Bowie, The Killers, Lou Reed, Dolly Parton). The first single from the project was written in a windowless room on a scorching hot day in Los Angeles. Her plan for the day was simple: quickly write a beat for a rapper she’d met in Chicago and then head to the beach for the day. Fate, however, had its own ideas.”I rolled a couple of joints and made two different beats. I panned one on the left and one on the right, and against all odds, it sounded surprisingly nice and organic,” she recalls.
Gradually the song took shape, with bass, backing vocals and nuanced details added to the growing production. “When I was done I went out to buy some water and realized it was midnight. I’d worked on the song for fourteen hours non-stop. I’m not sure how that happened, but I’m glad it did. It really helped me focus on the song without having any distractions or external stimuli, in a way it’s a very pure song: its creation was only fuelled by the song itself’. In most of her catalog, her music showcases her emotion on her sleeve so effortlessly, “I don’t really see it as a choice, it’s more of a necessity to me. I believe that a certain amount of vulnerability is necessary for music to be relatable, you can’t talk effectively about something you don’t know much about and you only really know things that you can feel on a deeper level.” Her advice to new artists? “Never settle for something that doesn’t make your heart swoon”.