#YMXINTERVIEW | Raw Songwriting Talent – In conversation with Paola Levitch

Originally from Madrid, Paola Levitch is a 21-year-old singer-songwriter active in the London music scene. Her recent single ‘D.’, and latest effort ‘New Addition’ – honest and genuine love songs that sound as fresh as much as familiar – caught the attention of BBC Introducing, that made her a ‘featured artist’ on their show. Intrigued by Levitch’s raw talent, we tried to find out more about her creative process and upbringing, confident that this is only the starting point of a successful career!

YMX: Can you tell us about yourself as an artist? Where are you now, how you started, and what are your goals? 

LEVITCH: I feel like I am still discovering and uncovering myself as an artist, on the daily even. Music was something I always naturally gravitated towards, even though it was strange in my case, because I was not brought up in a musical background and my parents weren’t musicians in any way shape or form. Back when I was in high school (when I used to study in Madrid , where I’m originally from), I used to “sneak” out of class to go into the music studio and just record stuff, write music and write songs. I moved to London 3 years ago to pursue a career in music, and I’ve just graduated from the Music degree at The University of Surrey. This final year I have launched my artist career, releasing my debut single D. on the 4th of April. Right now, my goal is to keep writing music and see where I can take this. The only goal really is to be able to keep creating – I try not to plan too far ahead into the future and just let things evolve naturally like they always do. Ultimately, I hope to reach more and more people with my music.

YMX: Some of our readers might not be familiar with you yet, how would you describe your sound? 

LEVITCH: “Low and smokey” was the most distinctive description I got about my voice. Overall, I’d say my style would best fit into an indie-pop vibe, which blends playfully seductive writing with a youthful captivating sound. “Carefree” would be another word I would use to describe my songs.

YMX: Who have been your biggest influences so far? 

LEVITCH: Since I moved to London, I have been obsessed with London’s singer-songwriter Joy Crookes. I recently attended a webinar where she was interviewed, amongst three other amazing creators, and I loved her energy and how she is finding her voice in the Industry. Apart from being an amazing storyteller – her lyrics are just incredible, her voice and music really inspire me. Another outstanding artist which I always go back to is SZA, and specially her album Ctrl – her music is just incredible and her production and vocal skills really influence my own work.

YMX: You recently released a new single, the jewel that is ‘New Addition’. Can you tell us how that project came about? 

LEVITCH: My latest single release is “New Addition”. I wrote the song on the 43rd day of lockdown, as a stream of consciousness about the mixed feelings of this time. From not being able to sleep to thinking about the people I was missing, it felt like a little quarantine tune that many people would be able to relate to. The chorus of the song features vocals from some of my closest friends, which we each recorded in our own homes and which I then mixed together. (As for all my songs, I create the song entirely, from writing and recording to mixing and mastering). As a producer, having their voices in the track felt like a way to bring us close together during that time. I wanted the song to also portray, once more, music’s power to connect people. All of the profits that the single generates I will be donating to the British Red Cross Fund for Covid-19 relief.

YMX: 2020 has been a hard year for everybody, but the music industry and arts in general took a heavy hit. How did you guys cope with that, musically speaking? 

LEVITCH: “Fortunately”, throughout 2020 and specifically when lockdown hit I was in the process of writing and producing an album, as part of my dissertation project for University. Working on the album really helped me stay focused, motivated and busy- and it was really the main thing that helped me and got me through these times. Some of the tracks from the album will be released in my next EP – so stay tuned for that!

YMX: Do you consider important working together in a team, or do you prefer working alone? 

LEVITCH: Collaborating with other musicians/ artists/ producers is the highlight of making music for me. I’m so lucky to have so many incredibly creative and beyond talented people around me. They have sometimes slightly adjusted my EQ in a vocal within a mix and made it sound a million times better, just because they have that outside listening ability that you don’t have when you’re immersed in your own track.

YMX: What are you looking for, in terms of promotion? What do you think could be helpful to promote your music around? 

LEVITCH: In this day and age, I am fully aware of the power of social media and how a following can dramatically impact your music career. At the moment, I am looking to increase my Instagram following by at least double. I am working on creating and posting more musical content (videos of covers, originals, gig related posts, etc), in order to increase my audience engagement.

YMX: What does playing live represent for you? a way to make yourself known or a way to express yourself? 

LEVITCH: I have never thought of live music as a way to make myself known. Every gig I have ever played I have always just tried to connect with my audience through my music, and hope that I can make them feel something.

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future? (releases, gigs etc.) 

LEVITCH: I had a gig in Shoreditch scheduled for the 11th of September at 93 Feet East in Brick Lane, which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 safety measures. However, we are now working on rescheduling for around February time, so stay tuned for the new dates! The show is going to be amazing once we can get back to live music, I’m so proud to also say that the initial show was sold out, but all tickets will be transferred to the new date. At the moment, I have also just started working on the new EP which I hope to drop early next year. Currently I think it will contain six songs and will be full of positive vibes.