PILLEY BIANCHI, SONGWRITER, PRODUCER, SINGER
YOU WERE BORN IN MEMPHIS AND GREW UP IN SOUTH CAROLINA. HOW HAS BEING A SOUTHERNER INFORMED YOUR CAREER IN MUSIC AND YOUR LIFE IN NEW YORK?
Oh lord, I wish I could say something slithery and juicy, but the bottom line is that growing up in the south gave me a great appreciation for understated grace & the humility in being polite. As a result, I am by nature, a very well mannered girl who sometimes leaves understatement at home, with a huge love of drippingly beautiful music. Also, trained as a classical pianist, I was a very poised performer. I tried to buck these basic realities when I first landed in NYC, fancying myself to be more exotic and edgy. While I quickly became successful as a free-lance player, I couldn’t manage to get my artist career off the ground. This was the mid-90’s and while I was definitely being noticed by labels, they wouldn’t seal a deal. After a show at CBGB’s I was scouted by a well known producer who was looking for new talent & he requested a meeting. He’s comments were eye-opening and dead on. I’ll never forget it, he said “You are a great songwriter and performer but I don’t see or hear any of ‘you’ in your music. Sitting here with you, you are a charming & quirky southern girl, with a cute crooked smile like you have a big secret. But with your guitar driven band, there is absolutely no evidence of your accomplished piano playing.” I took his advise to heart, succumbing to my roots instead of fighting them and have found my musical and personal happy place. Good, bad or ugly, our roots shape who we are and embracing them is part of the value we bring to any table.
YOU HAVE BEEN PERFORMING SINCE A VERY YOUNG AGE. AT WHAT POINT DID YOU KNOW FOR SURE THAT YOUR ART WOULD BE YOUR LIFE?
The first day I played a cardboard keyboard at age 4. Never looked back.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO STILL ACHIEVE PROFESSIONALLY?
Connecting with listeners & clients. To be able to inspire or touch people emotionally is hugely gratifying. I just hope to keep growing, whatever direction that takes me.
WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY?
Outside of the givens, my 11 year old son, my husband, my cats, my house in Williamsburg, it would be a good hair day.
COMB OR BRUSH?
Comb!! Must be able to tease!
DO YOU LIKE YOUR NAME?
Yep, it never bothers me when people mispronounce it.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: MY AGE IS…………….
significant….or is it insignificant? I forget.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER TONIGHT?
I make a mean, super simple radicchio salad with aged balsamic vinegar, EVOO, and black truffle salt. Then I call La Nonna’s around the corner on Bedford & order the most amazing Grandma Pizza with pepperoni, black olives & onions. Yum.