An Interview With the LA-Based Soulful Singer-Songwriter, CHRISTINA LAROCCA!
Posted On 19 Jun 2018
Meet the soulful singer songwriter Christina LaRocca! On the heels of numerous U.S. runs in support of her Child of the Sun EP, the LA-based artist recently announced her musical involvement in Chelsea Clinton’s recently released audiobook “She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History”
The book serves as a companion piece to Clinton and Alexandra Boiger’s #1 New York Times Bestseller, She Persisted. Clinton’s second installment echoes the same sentiments of female empowerment and impactful social change, but this time, speaks to the tiny, budding activists of tomorrow. Clinton highlights 13 women who have shaped global history in hopes of inspiring the world’s feminists-in-training to do bigger and better. LaRocca wrote, sang and recorded all the vocal arrangements for the audiobook, which can be both sampled and purchased HERE. The book features Marie Curie, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Viola Desmond, Sissi Lima do Amor, Leymah Gbowee, Caroline Herschel, Wangari Maathai, Aisha Rateb, J.K. Rowling, Kate Sheppard, Yuan Yuan Tan, Mary Verghese and Malala Yousafzai.
A member of the Recording Academy, LaRocca switched coasts from New York in 2014, finding much of her newfound inspiration from her trek out west, along with musical influences from artists like Lana Del Rey, Lauryn Hill, Elle King, Fiona Apple, and Maren Morris. Raised in an Italian family in Staten Island, and a descendent of professional musicians, Christina grew up surrounded by musicianship and quickly developed her voice to be one that commanded a room. She has toured all over the United States, Europe and the UK and has also been seen performing with the famous CafÃ© Wha Band, and High Moon Records artist, Ryan Martin. She is also an advocate for all human rights, especially the rights of women and the LGBTQ community worldwide and hopes her music reaches people who may not feel the same way.
The Child of the Sun EP marks LaRocca’s first commercial release since 2012 and was produced and recorded in Los Angeles, CA by Robb Torres, guitarist for artists like Draco Rosa and lead of Robbery Inc. Making her way from a R&B/bluesy background, the Child of the Sun EP is a fusion of soul, alternative rock and Americana.
Perhaps it’s fitting the the accomplished musician and industry powerhouse sets her sights on a world tour after chiming in on one of the year’s most influential literary works. LaRocca just finished recording with Grammy Winning Producer/Engineer, Andros Rodriguez (Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, Madonna) and.will continue to tour the US this year and is set to release new music later this year.
Connect With Christina LaRocca Here:
Learn more about Christina LaRocca in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So where does this interview find you? What’s on tap for the rest of the day?
Right now I’m writing to you from a ten hour flight to London where my layover to the first stop on my tour, Copenhagen, has been delayed. By like almost a day. So cheers! There are worse places to be stuck in. Like Salt Lake City.
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What are you most excited about for this year? What is the one big goal you have for 2018?
2017 felt like a rebirth back into the person I really am. I kind of lost myself for a while there. But all of that work and realization has led me to this very moment. I’d love to finish a full length in 2018. The songs are there, and even a few have been recorded by Grammy winning producer, Andros Rodriguez. Looking for a label (or sugar momma) to help with the rest.
Growing up did you ever think that this would be the kind of life that you would have? Has music always been a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
Not really sure. Singing was always very important to me. I have always wanted to do that on a professional level but for many people it’s hard to imagine what the road there is supposed to look like. I also always loved to travel and being out of my comfort zone. Touring has just really become my excuse to do the two favorite things I love the most on a regular basis.
How do you think you and your music has been influenced by your hometown and where do you live today in Los Angeles? How would you say that your music changed after leaving New York?
I live in the Encino area of the SF valley and summer’s here so it’s about to get hot AF. But I don’t mind. After leaving NYC, I definitely picked up a bit of a west coast vibe in tone and flavor and added it to the soulfulness of NYC. You can hear it in my accent too. Right now it’s a cross breed between Stat rat and valley girl. Accent purgatory. I impersonated the SNL Californians skit way too much when I moved out here and it basically caught up with me.
Can you talk about what it was like starting your own promo company and then leaving it all to pursue your own music full time? What do you think it was that motivated you to make that big leap?
Lt is in my blood. I still work with, book tours, and manage other. With L Rock Ent I was booking tons of shows a week, on a local level in NYC. I knew how to put together a show, but I honestly don’t think I was that great of an actual promoter. I did make a lot of amazing friends, and had the opportunity to work wth a lot of amazing musicians. I hated being compared to the grease balls that still make a living taking advantage of bands on Bleecker Street. I needed a change and LA was calling. I felt the hardness of NYC streets starting to creep in and turn me cold. I knew it was time to go. Maybe not forever, but definitely for now.
L Rock Entertainment is in my blood. I still work with, book tours, and manage other. With L Rock Ent I was booking tons of shows a week, on a local level in NYC. I knew how to put together a show, but I honestly don’t think I was that great of an actual promoter. I did make a lot of amazing friends, and had the opportunity to work wth a lot of amazing musicians. I hated being compared to the grease balls that still make a living taking advantage of bands on Bleecker Street. I needed a change and LA was calling. I felt the hardness of NYC streets starting to creep in and turn me cold. I knew it was time to go. Maybe not forever, but definitely for now.
How did the opportunity to compose all of the music for Chelsea Clinton’s new audiobook “She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women who Changed History” come from? Were you immediately interested in doing it?
In my early 20s I worked at an audio post-production recording studio in the Flatiron district. I had met some incredible producers of audiobooks while working there and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. For this particular project the director wanted women’s voices and I got the call – and yes, I cried actually when I got the gig. To be a part of something like this, that can influence so many young girls and boys to be brave and stand up for what is right – how could I say no?
How do you think that all of your previous experience has helped you with this project in particular?
I consider myself a strong woman. One who vocally speaks up when faced with injustice. I’m about to do this European tour completely solo. I think most women would be afraid to do it alone. It’s a huge reason I am doing this. Not just to prove it to the world but to myself of my limits and strength. We need to push boundaries and teach each other, teach the world that we are capable of anything and do not need to be held by the hand. We do not need to wait for ANYONE ELSE to help us along to fulfill our dreams!!
Let’s talk about your latest EP, Child of the Sun. What was the inspiration for this collection? It marks your first commercial release since 2012 so I am curious what it was like getting back into the studio and recording it after all the time away?
This EP is my voyage from NYC out west. It’s only 2 songs – and I’m ready to put so many more out there. Getting back in the studio after all that time with producer/guitarist Robb Torres was exactly the inspiration I needed to make the jump.
Do you remember what it was like when you heard the whole collection for the first time? Speaking of, do you find that you enjoy listening to yourself, your own music or is it hard to do?
Yes – I really dug the flavor Robb brought to the picture. His guitar playing is so colorful and hot. I felt bad ass….and, if I can’t listen to it and like it – who else will? To me – it’s a huge red flag if I don’t like listening to something I’m working on. That either means I chuck it, or keep working on it until I do.
While this may be hard, can you pick out a few of your favorite songs on this EP and talk about how they got to be on this collection?
“I Am Only Human” is a very special song to me. It’s my cry to humanity to see the vulnerability in one another and remember we are all only human….
What do you think makes for an ideal show for you? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far? How has your recent tour been going? Where else are you excited to play at?
Actually one of my favorite shows was my first show back in the game at a Chinese food restaurant with a venue in the back in Hollywood called Genghis Cohen. Lola Lennox, Annie Lennox’s daughter, happen to be playing a set with her band prior to mine. She packed the tiny 50 person capacity room. I had brought about 5 people. I was nervous. I barely invited anyone. Annie was there. I knew I had to bring it with my first song to catch people’s attention so I started with “I Am Only Human.” As people ushered into the other room to chat and get drinks, I was left playing for my voice teacher Tania Solomon (who brought me back from the dead and has been a HUGE inspiration), a few other friends…and Annie Lennox. She sat down right in front of me and stayed for the entire set. Afterward we got to hang out and she was appauled that I was not playing music full time. She pushed me and gave me the words of encouragement I needed. I haven’t looked back since.
We are living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that music is going to reflect these challenging times?
Music is a huge catalyst in influencing others. It always has been. It gives individuals a platform to speak their minds and make a change. Bob Dylan and the young people that followed helped end the Vietnam war. It may not seem like it, since we have so much distraction in our modern day, but I think our generation has that same spark. We are seeing it with the Women’s Movement and the March for Our Lives. I have hope.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future? At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans will take away from your music?
Right now I can’t stop listening to Brandi Carlile and Cardi B, haha. I know that sounds like a weird combination but both are very strong women that write amazing songs. Very different, but alike in many ways. I just want people to feel good about themselves honestly. I want them to feel strong, and that can over come whatever obstacle they may be presented with. I want them to feel free. Other influences over the years range from Lauryn Hill, Alanis Morrisette, Amy Winehouse, Fiona Apple, Incubus, Sublime, No Doubt, Miike Snow, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Etta James, Madonna, Lil Kim, Foo Fighters, Lana Del Rey.
What would you say is the overall message of your songs?
Be strong and don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of your happiness.
Would you like to share anything else about yourself or your music with our readers?
I’m starting a jewelry line – Child of the Sun Designs – as well as a jewelry making class on Airbnb Experiences starting in June! I’ve been making a ton of hand made jewelry and selling it on the road but time to get everything online!