Lori Greco: Musician, Singer and Songwriter
Lori Greco: Thank you so much for having me and it’s a pleasure to make time for you.
Jessica Gilbert: Firstly, I know that your inspiration to get into music began at age seven when you were introduced to piano. And this led to your pursuit along the music path in life. So, who is the person that introduced you to piano? What was it about the piano that made you fall in love with music?
Lori Greco: My music teacher at school, Mrs Slater. In Year one, my class was ushered into the hall and Mrs Slater sat in front of a piano. She was going to teach us some songs and it must have been the first time I had ever seen a piano up close. Sadly, I can’t remember the song, but as soon as her hands touched those keys I was mesmerized. Her fingers danced upon those keys and the sound was amazing! She just made it look so easy. What was it about the piano that tugged at my heart? That, I will never know, but it sparked such a passion and a desire to learn it that I ran home after school begging my Dad to buy one for me. Money was tight for my parents and it was such an expensive request, but my parents saved over many months to buy me one. As soon as it arrived home, I sat down to play it and was sooooooo disappointed that I couldn’t play it! How innocent was I? I thought that I could have played it immediately. Soon after that, piano lessons began and I took them all through junior and high school. I also studied the piano at a higher level at the Conservatorium. I am now also a piano tutor and hope that I inspire my students too!
Jessica Gilbert: What was the very first song you ever wrote? And what was one of your favorite songs you liked playing on the piano as a child?
Lori Greco: I’ll answer that in the reverse order because up until my teens I had a classical upbringing and didn’t hear much pop music. So the music of Beethoven; Chopin; Ravel and Katchaturian, although always challenging, always inspired me. The first song I ever wrote has been binned shall we say as I have evolved as a songwriter and I wouldn’t DARE perform that song today! The song that catapulted me back into songwriting was “Australia” which you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMaTJ5pDuas
Lori Greco: It’s a very cerebral process for me. Sometimes it’s an inner need or a craving, sometimes I have something to say and sometimes hearing a song in the background when shopping that I have never heard before can also set me off onto another path and voila! It just happens. Other times when I sit in front of my piano, it’s almost like meditating, looking within and delving deep into what my mind and my soul wants to say. It’s my ability to cleanse and say what I feel, through the power of music and lyrics. It is intensely satisfying when the marriage of the two work well. More and more though, I try not to listen to too much music intentionally as I do not want to be influenced in my songwriting. I catch enough through the tv being on, advertising, fb, radio etc., etc. It is everywhere.
Jessica Gilbert: What’s your process for writing lyrics?
Lori Greco: Ah! I don’t profess to being a great poet although my fans say they can relate to my lyrics, often heartfelt they say, so I am thrilled with that. As a musician, the music always comes first and the lyrics second. The greatest thing about “my” mind is that as I am composing the songs on the piano, the title of the song just falls into the hook of the song, as if being led by something “higher.” This is a blessing for me, as it tells me what the song should be about and I can then complete the lyrics! It’s a process I have to thank myself for actually. Generally, the lyrics take longer to write than the music. On a few occasions, it’s because I have something I need to get off my chest so the story is already set. Lastly, if I feel a “need” to write on a particular topic such as “I’ll be There” for example ( a song sung as if in Heaven, written to comfort the loss of a loved one) then that can give me the mood of the song and the lyrics flow easily.
Jessica Gilbert: Tell us a bit about your recent trip to Italy.
Lori Greco: Where do I start? On a personal level, I was born in Italy so going back to Italy just brings me back to the place that I come from and I do love immersing myself in the culture and the day-to-day living of it. I also cherish the moment spent with my husband and children and family who live there. On a professional level, we spoke to many contacts and bars lining up gigs for next year once my new album is released. I also flew to New York from Rome to compete in the Festival of Italian song, in which I came third, singing my own composition in Italian. From that I have been invited to sing next September not only in Rome, but looks like we are heading back to New York, so I am doubly excited! I’m hoping to get an invite to Spain too!!!…hint hint…
Jessica Gilbert: What do you love most about performing on stage?
Lori Greco: I will share with you that the moment before going on stage is rather nerve wracking, but once on a stage, all professionalism kicks in about giving the best performance to an audience. With every note and every gesture, it’s about getting through to your audience, to entertain and to please. On the one hand it’s very selfish wanting that attention, but on the other it is very satisfying not only in the delivery, but succeeding in transporting the listener to another place to experience another emotion; then it’s a fantastic feeling.
Lori Greco: Truthfully, I had thrown away all hope of ever recording because unless you were signed to a record deal there just wasn’t any hope. Today, it’s quite the contrary! Any artist can record, but doing it with great producers and great equipment is another topic for another day. After the success of “Australia” I was asked by a radio station to submit more of my music. At that point, I had nothing that I really wanted the world to hear. So I set about writing the twelve songs and recorded “WAITING” Why the Title? That’s easy. I waited all my life, to record an album and finally, I had done it. Besides, it’s also the name of one of the tracks.
Jessica Gilbert: Currently, you’re working on your next album No Ordinary Girl. Can you share some details about this one? And when is this album expected to come out?
Lori Greco: This album is one that I am going to be very proud of when I share it with the rest of the world. Whereas the first album was entirely funded by me and incorporates real musicians with some electronic sounds and sampled recordings, this upcoming album is all real. This album was funded through the help of 412 fans from around the world and has some of the biggest recording session musicians in the world. I’m proud to say that Steve Gadd, Abe Laboriel, Andy Snitzer, Lucky Oceans and Romeo Scaccia are on the album. We are going for nothing short of a world class production this time. There are thirteen new songs and for sure, there is an evolving of me as a songwriter, with much classier hooks and such a variety of genres.
Jessica Gilbert: Who are your major music influences?
Lori Greco: I’d say a lot of my classical upbringing is what makes my music so complex in it’s composition and arrangements. Vocally, I have loved Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, The Eagles, The Carpenters. Big voices and luscious harmonies. They get me every time so naturally, they appear in my music.
Jessica Gilbert: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
Lori Greco: Apart from granting world peace and an end to famine, I would love to have the power to open everyone’s eyes and hearts. Show people how to treat people as they would like to be treated and for many, many people give them the ability to learn how to love themselves too.
Jessica Gilbert: What is one of your favorite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
Lori Greco: “Just do it.” No seriously! I’ve experienced quite a lot, and frankly, it’s a matter of just getting on with things. No “ifs,” “buts,” or “maybe” about it. If you don’t face what you need to face, whatever it may be, then how can you grow and move on?
Jessica Gilbert: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can our readers find out more about you and your work?
Lori Greco: Just a thank you to you for having me in your magazine. As an Adult Contemporary Indie artist, it’s great to have your support. If readers are interested in more about me, or would like to contact me please check out my website: www.lorigreco.com, or find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lori-Greco/52900922638?ref=ts&sk=app_178091127385
Jessica Gilbert: Thanks again for doing this interview and wish you all the best with everything in the future. Look forward to your next album!
Lori Greco: Thank you! I’ll give you a shout when it’s released. God bless, and I wish you and your readers a Happy New Year.