Valentina Sounds
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Valentina Sounds

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2018

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Established on Jan, 2018
Band Folk Pop




"Daily Discovery Feature"

Singer songwriter Valentina Sounds grapples with the pain of a broken heart but optimistically looks to the future in her song “Seeking You.”

The song comes off her debut solo album “Bring On The Fire,” an album dealing with themes of heartbreak, renewal and hope.

Over the course of a year, Sounds crafted “Bring On The Fire” from the heartbreak of a broken marriage, one that led her to move to the United States in the first place. The Italian-born musician moved to Philadelphia, PA nearly 10 years ago with her former spouse and played in local bands Sparkle Pony and Sunshine Superman.

But now she’s blazing a trail of her own as a solo artist, using her own stories to write inspiring and hope-fueled songs.

“‘Bring On The Fire’ is a group of eleven songs about the end of the relationship with the person I moved to the United States for, and all the emotions that came from dealing with a difficult year,” she said. “Not all the songs are sad and depressing. I’m hopelessly hopeful and I’ve been told I have a unique sense of humor. My songs reflect those aspects of my personality, even though they were written during some of the darkest moments of my life. I’m hoping my songs will inspire people that are not happy with their current situation to make a change in their lives, no matter how hard and impossible it might seem. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

The second-to-last track “Seeking You” is definitely one of those tracks that stands out as one of the more hopeful songs on the record.

Invoking an old-school soul feel akin to Muscle Shoals, Sounds’ piano ballad finds the singer dealing with grief but also hopefully looking to the future. Although she is hurt, Sounds hasn’t completely lost faith in love.

“‘Seeking You’ is a love song I wrote while I was still hurting from the break up of my marriage. I think of it as a promise of what’s to come after my heart has healed, and the hope of sharing my time with someone who’s going to give treat me with love, kindness and respect,” she said.

Drawing inspiration from soul legend Aretha Franklin as well as the American National Anthem, the instrumental for “Seeking You” evokes the timeless feeling of a classic piano ballad.

“I was trying to figure out the chords to the National Anthem for one of my voice students and I started playing around in the key of Ab. I liked what I came up with so much that I went home and wrote lyrics to it!” she said. “I personally find this to be one of my favorites on the album, I know my producer Matt Muir feels the same way. We had fun creating all the back up vocals. When the “Ahhh” kicks in in the third verse it really opens up the sound.”

Sounds will be starting off 2020 on the road with show in Italy and her current residence in Philadelphia. - American Songwriter Magazine

"Who, What, When, Where, Why"

Who: Valentina Sounds, Italian born/Philadelphia adopted pop/alternative artist

What: Release of debut solo album, Bring On The Fire

When: Out now, go go go! (11/22/19 if you want to be exact!)

Where: Everywhere online (copy Spotify, Apple Music, cd baby, Amazon, whatever)

Why: This is an album about the end of a long term relationship, told in a relatable, true to life way. I wrote it because I had to keep reminding myself why I was leaving. Not all the songs are sad and depressing: some are funny, some sarcastic, some inspiring and some… well sure… some are sad and depressing. But Bring On The Fire wants to be uplifting and inspiring. Go find your happiness. Don’t settle. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s gonna be alright.

“Bring On The Fire” is a group of eleven songs about the end of the relationship with the person I moved to the United States for, and all the emotions that came from dealing with a difficult year, says Valentina. “Not all the songs are sad and depressing. I’m hopelessly hopeful and I’ve been told I have a unique sense of humor. My songs reflect those aspects of my personality, even though they were written during some of the darkest moments of my life. I’m hoping my songs will inspire people that are not happy with their current situation to make a change in their lives, no matter how hard and impossible it might seem. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.” - Guitar Girl Mag

"Interview: Valentina Sounds"

Hi Valentina, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been overwhelmed with things to do! But good, and proud that the album is gonna hit the market on Nov 22nd!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Bring On The Fire”?
“Bring On The Fire” is about the quiet determination it takes to end a relationship that lasted 14 years. And knowing that it’s not going to be an easy battle.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I kept thinking that if I gave him enough time, things were going to get better. I wrote Bring On The Fire when I got tired of getting my hopes up.
Any plans to release a video for the track?
My creative team and I have been talking about a few ideas, so maybe.
Why naming the record after this song in particular?
It’s the key song to the whole record: “Bring it on, I’m ready”. Let’s finish a chapter, no matter how hard, painful, traumatic is going to be, and start something else.
How was the recording and writing process?
I wrote the biggest chunk of songs between December 2018 and May 2019. We walked into Retro City Recording Studios in June 2019. I have never experienced such a quick turnaround between writing and recording. I think it helped keep the tracks raw and honest.
Would you call this a departure from your previous musical work?
Yes and no. I think they all still sound like songs I have written, but in Bring On The Fire the emphasis is on the lyrics more than before.
What role does Philly play in your music?
Living the Philly folk scene has definitely influenced my rock-ish/euro pop background (there are two folk-ish tunes on the album). Also all the people featured on the album are Philly musicians and influencers, they bring the Philadelphia vibe into the songs.
What aspect of relationships did you get to explore on this record?
The album captures a glimpse of “end of relationship”. From wanting to be there for your partner in a moment of need. Then realizing that the partner is not willing to do the work to fix his issues and understanding that the only way forward is out. Ups and downs of having made that choice. Then eventually finding some peace and realizing that eventually everything is going to be alright.
What made you want to explore some of these dark themes?
As a songwriter I tend to write about what I’m going through. I approached the piano in tears, for the writing of several of these songs. If I had been in a better state of mind, I would probably have written a much different album.
How did you get to balance the dark aspect with the much uplifting tone?
The only way I can personally deal with the darkness is to make fun of it and try to laugh about it. I struggle with depression and self doubt on a daily basis, sarcasm gets me through the day.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Interactions with friends, family, listening to other music, acting in a play, meeting new people.
Any plans to hit the road?
Maybe at some point, once I’m a little more established.
What else is happening next in Valentina Sounds world?
The CD release party is coming up on Nov 23 at The Locks (Philadelphia PA). I will do an album release party in Italy on Dec 27th and I’ll be releasing a music video for “Eat the Chocolate” soon. Then we’ll see what the future will bring! - VENTS Magazine

"Local Spotlight: Valentina Sounds"

Singer, songstress, pianist and guitarist, Valentina Sounds will be making her Johnny Brenda’s debut this Friday, February 14th supporting The End of America. Born and raised in Italy, Valentina relocated to Philadelphia a decade ago to marry her now ex-husband with whom she performed in two local bands, Sparklepony and Sunshine Superman. When her marriage ended, Valentina spent the subsequent year composing the eleven songs that make up her first solo album, Bring on The Fire. The songs range from heartbroken to hopeful and highlight Valentina’s jazz trained vocals (she’s a graduate of University of the Arts) and feature members of Philadelphia’s beloved Huffamoose as her backing band.

When she takes the stage at Johnny Brenda’s, she will be performing as a trio with her backing singers. Ahead of the show, Independent Philly sat down with Valentina to discuss the album, Philadelphia and the magic of singing with others.

[ Interview by Jen Strogatz ]

Independent Philly: Bring on the Fire is your debut solo record and you’ve been in bands here in Philadelphia for the last decade. What inspired you to step out on your own and make the first “Valentina Sounds” LP?

Valentina: “I love collaborating with others, and I still do, but I wanted to be fully in charge of at least one project. That’s why I created Valentina Sounds.”

Independent Philly: How did you meet, Huffamoose, who play on your album and have played with you live? We love them here in Philadelphia.

Valentina: “I had the good fortune of meeting some of them at University of the Arts, they were part of the faculty there when I was a student.”

Independent Philly: You will be playing with your trio at Johnny Brenda’s on 2/14. What can audiences expect from your trio lineup as opposed to the full band line up?

Valentina: “With the trio, the lyrics and the harmonies are at the center of the show. We have prepared a performance filled with surprises, choreography, and fun three-part-harmonies that will leave you feeling like there’s hope for humanity after all.”

Independent Philly: You grew up working with your parents at their seaside resort in Italy. How does that experience and the experience of growing up in Italy influence your music?

Valentina: “I don’t think that working at the beach resort influenced my music, but living in Italy definitely did. My father and mother love music, they are the reason I listened to so many different styles growing up, and they are also the reason why I know all the words to their favorite Italian pop from the 70’s and 80’s! In Italy we also had a chance to listen to some European artists that didn’t make it to the USA, and vice versa. For example Skunk Anansie was huge in Italy, but I had no idea who Journey was till I moved to Philadelphia.”

Independent Philly: Bring on the Fire is sung in English. Do you ever write songs in your native Italian? Do you find easier or harder to write lyrics in English?

Valentina: “I have written a few songs in Italian, but I find English to be easier to write in. I can communicate long concepts in very short sentences in English, which is something that in Italian is impossible to do (we have long words and lots of grammar).”

Independent Philly: Philadelphia has been your home for the last decade. How does living here influence your songwriting?

Valentina: “I went to school for jazz here in Philadelphia, at UARTS (as previously mentioned), and jazz is a huge influence in my songs. If I hadn’t moved to Philly maybe it would have been a different kind of jazz or a different kind of rock. I think Philadelphia has a lot to offer, music wise, and I take inspiration from every single genre I listen to. I particularly love going out to live shows and listen to my friends play.”

Independent Philly: Bring on the Fire is a record written following the demise of the relationship. Was the writing and recording of this album a cathartic experience for you? Do you think creating helps heal a broken heart? What advice would you give to other creative types going through a similar experience?

Valentina: “It was absolutely cathartic. I definitely felt better after screaming “I FEEL LIKE POISON” for days! In all seriousness though, even when you “heal a broken heart”, you’ll always bear the scar. “Bring on the fire” is my “scar”. I need it to remember what I’ve been through, it will help me not to make the same mistakes again and it reminds me that I can create something beautiful even out of the worse situation. As I was working through my separation and my divorce, it also helped to have a goal I could focus my attention on.

I don’t know if this approach would work for every creative type, but it worked for me.”

Independent Philly: What are some of your favorite places to play in Philadelphia? Which venue in Philadelphia would be your ultimate dream to play?

Valentina: “Favorite places are World Cafe Live, The Locks, Ardmore Music Hall, 118 North, but also the smaller venues like Bourbon and Branch and Dawson’s Street Pub. Ultimate dream? Well, I finally get to play Johnny and Brenda’s Feb 14, that has been on my bucket list for a while! If I have to dream big though, I’d like to play at the Mann Center.”

Independent Philly: By day, you are a music teacher and have studied voice at University of the Arts. What do you love about the act of singing? You perform with backing singers and the three of you function as a trio. What is it about singing with other singers that excites you?

Valentina: “It’s hard to describe what I love about singing. I’m about to get a little metaphysical, ready? I get to translate my thoughts and feelings into waves that eventually turn into sounds. I get to touch souls with the vibrations that come out of my throat. I am the only owner of my instrument, and I’m the only one who knows how to play it. Singing is incredible. Singing with others is magic.”

Independent Philly: You have a Youtube channel called The Real Italian Kitchen. How do you choose what kind of meals you want to demonstrate cooking to your viewers? Which restaurants in Philadelphia do you recommend for an authentic Italian experience?

Valentina: “I’m not really posting much on Real Italian Kitchen these days, but I always tried to choose dishes that were both healthy and delicious. I don’t really go out to eat Italian food, why would I? haha!”

Independent Philly: You make music, you cook and you share both with the world. Where do cooking and making music intersect for you?

Valentina Sounds: “There are only so many notes, and there are only so many ingredients. And yet, every now and then, I get lucky and I create something that nobody has ever come up with before.”

Independent Philly: What can we expect next from Valentina Sounds?

Valentina Sounds: “More music, more food, more love!” - Independent Philly

"Valentina Sounds Premiere of Eat The Chocolate"

In anticipation of the May 19th premiere, we caught up with Valentina to find out more about her video for “Eat The Chocolate.” See what she had to say below.
The Philadelphia Globe: “Eat The Chocolate” features you in a dance studio, having a tough time keeping up with the choreography and then eating a bite of chocolate which leads you to having the other dancers join you for a less formal and more fun routine. How did you come up with the concept for the video, and how does it relate to the song?

Valentina Sounds: I wanted to showcase the magical powers of the chocolate (and positive thinking). I love dancing, even though sometimes I’m not the most technical dancer, and I’m always trying to incorporate dancing into any of my videos. My team (Sara Mingle – choreographer and Skyler Jenkins – video maker), and I talked about a few ideas (including one where the chocolate had hallucinogenic powers…) but we finally settled on this one and polished the storyline for the video.

The Philadelphia Globe: “Eat The Chocolate” is a departure from the Americana and folk style of your previous bands, what inspired you to go in this direction?

Valentina: Well actually, my first band Sunshine Superman was more along the lines of this style, so I guess you could say I went back to my snarky-quirky-pop roots with this song.

The Philadelphia Globe: “Eat The Chocolate” is a song off of your debut solo album, “Bring on The Fire.” What’s it like to be a solo artist instead of sharing the spotlight with a band?

Valentina: Honestly? Liberating and terrifying at the same time. I don’t have to be afraid to express my opinion because it’s my project, which is the liberating part, but if something goes wrong is my ass on the line.

The Philadelphia Globe: What inspired you to write “Eat The Chocolate”?

Valentina: “Eat the chocolate” is a song about mental health, which is a really important topic to me since I used to have panic attacks, and I am still affected by a good amount of daily anxiety. In Italy, if you tell someone you’re depressed they say “Eat a piece of chocolate, you’ll feel better!”. I find that funny, and thought that the phrase “eat the chocolate” was kind of catchy. In the song, along with the chocolate, music and dancing are also mentioned as means to feel better. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, throw all your worries out the window, turn the music up, shake your bottom and eat something that makes you happy.

The Philadelphia Globe: You were born and raised in Italy, but have been in Philadelphia for the past decade. How do both places influence and inspire your music?

Valentina: I could go on for hours about this, but in short, both places have a very strong music culture that I love and cherish, I go back to Italy every year and I’m able to keep my Italian heritage alive.

The Philadelphia Globe: You’re a graduate of University of the Arts here in Philadelphia. How did that experience influence and inspire the songs written for this record?

Valentina: I went to Uarts for jazz vocal performance. I think there’s a lot of subtle jazz nuances in “Bring On The Fire”.

The Philadelphia Globe: Now that we’ve been in quarantine for quite a while, what are you doing to keep sane? How do you stay creative during such an uncertain time?

Valentina: During regular life I tend to over pack my schedule with activities, I’m constantly running around for events and errands. It’s been kind of nice to take time to chill, slow down, catch up on some sleep, drive less. From a creative point of view, I currently find myself drawn towards different form of arts like cooking, baking, (eating), and drawing. Sometimes I have to take a break from playing music to get back to it with a fresh point of view.

The Philadelphia Globe: You do weekly performances from your facebook page at a time when your fans in both Italy and the United States can tune in. What’s it like to be connecting with fans and performing via live stream scenarios rather than in live music settings?

Valentina: I think the livestream fits somewhere in between playing music to a room full of attentive people and playing a restaurant gig where people are just focused on eating: during live stream, people are there to listen to you, but there’s no applause at the end of the song. It can be challenging sometimes, but I’m surrounded by super supportive and loving fans who tune in every week to watch the live, and who reach out afterwards to let me know how much it they appreciate the entertainment.

The Philadelphia Globe: What music are you listening to right now? What can you recommend to our readers?

Valentina: My roommate Sara and I enjoy listening to the Apple Music generated playlists while we make dinner. I also try to tune into artists I like on FB when they’re doing a livestream. I highly recommend supporting independent musicians right now, not necessarily financially, even just by joining the FB/Instagram live you keep our spirits up!

The Philadelphia Globe: What’s next for Valentina Sounds?

Valentina: I just got a bunch of new home-recording equipment, once school is over (I teach middle school part time) I’m going to spend my time recording and experimenting with new sounds.

I think there’s a new EP in my future…! - Philadephia Globe


Bring On The Fire - released Nov 22 2019








Philadelphia, PA – After ten years in Philadelphia performing with bands Sunshine Superman and Sparkle Pony, Italian-born Valentina Sounds will release her debut solo album Bring on The Fire on November 23rd. Written over a year that followed the demise of the marriage that inspired her transatlantic relocation to the United States, Valentina takes center stage with a sonic journey through the stages of grief with relatable feelings culminating with the singer, pianist and composer’s hopeful optimism and focus on the future. Valentina expertly blends her love of melodic, appealing and memorable pop songs with jazz vocals and expressive piano playing.
“Bring On The Fire is a group of eleven songs about the end of the relationship with the person I moved to the United States for, and all the emotions that came from dealing with a difficult year, says Valentina. “Not all the songs are sad and depressing. I'm hopelessly hopeful and I've been told I have a unique sense of humor. My songs reflect those aspects of my personality, even though they were written during some of the darkest moments of my life. I'm hoping my songs will inspire people that are not happy with their current situation to make a change in their lives, no matter how hard and impossible it might seem. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Listen to Bring On The Fire Here 


Valentina Sounds celebrated the release of Bring On The Fire with a full band show on November 23rd 2019 at The Locks in Manayunk.
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