If you're looking for something as sweet as the leftover cake from the mixing bowl then Erica Manzoli could be the treat to satisfy your cravings. Following the release of her debut EP, MSM sat down with Erica to discuss finding beauty in the smallest of things and why being comfortable within your own company is quite simply the recipe to success.
By Ellie Baker @elleluui
Congratulations on the release of your debut EP ‘I’m Okay, I Promise!’. How excited are you?
I'm so excited. I wrote the entire EP by myself in my bedroom, during lockdown. The entire piece revolves around my own struggles with my mental wellbeing, so lockdown pretty much caused it! It both helped and hindered the process. I'm grateful as I was quite unsure of my writing abilities and questioned whether I could even write by myself. I’d only ever written with producers. Writing by myself meant that the songs ended up being completely unfiltered and felt the most real. I’m proud of that.
Describe the EP in a few words.
Raw, personal, introspective, relatable.
Your second single 'Silent Movie' tackles the experience of growing up with feelings of dissociation - do you feel the pressures and fragility of the often see-through nature of online personas vs real life?
Dissociation is the feeling of being disconnected from reality. Being on social media also disconnects you from reality, so it’s a double whammy. I really struggled with feeling present. I wish I could spend less time on my phone but I’m on it 24/7, either writing lyrics or posting pictures.
I’m at my happiest when in Italy as I have no wifi up in the mountains for a month. It’s amazing. Everybody feels the pressures of social media and not enough people talk about it. I hope that this shines through in a couple of my songs.
Swiping left on my love, looking right through one another - tell me about these lyrics?
It’s a little poke at dating apps. It's saying “I could be ignoring the love of my life because they’ve got a bad haircut on Tinder”. It’s so shallow. Most of the connections we make are through life experiences and now we’re at a point where we’re continuously swiping. If someone doesn’t have one thing that checks off our list we ignore them.
What does true love look like?
If you're questioning it, then it’s probably not true love. It's the most certain feeling. Adam Welcher has a song that says “if everybody in the world was standing in a line, and I could talk to anyone, I wouldn't waste nobodys time, cause I choose you, out of billions of people.” I think that’s accurate because when I feel true love there could be a million people standing in front of me and I’d still be thinking of that someone.
Your visuals are beautifully minimalistic, why?
When I was at my lowest point I found it hard to find beauty in the little things. As I became happy I found beauty in everything. I didn't want too much fluff on my pictures. Hopefully people can see it for what it is and take beauty from the little things.
What inspires you?
The first EP was very internal… I inspired myself. It was very much about my brain. I questioned why I was thinking the way I was, it was a therapeutic journey of understanding what was going on in my mind.
Externally I find inspiration in everything. I love Tracy Chapman, she writes beautiful and honest lyrics. I also love Moonrise Kingdom and NoseDive, Black Mirror. The visuals are so weird and cool.
Finally, if your EP came with a scent what would it smell like?
Baked apple crumble!
Listen to Erica’s debut EP here