Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Gina Sicilia
Gritty soul and blues singer, Gina Sicilia, always stays one step ahead in her songwriting and music. The Newtown, Pennsylvania-native, who now calls Nashville home, has never been one to sit still musically.
Songwriting and singing are second nature to Sicilia. She was singing and performing at local talent shows when she was 6, and started writing songs when she was 12. “I got into blues and soul when I was a young teenager,” she says, “and by the time I was 18 or 19, I was singing in a blues band. In my early years in college, you could find me at the weekly blues jams at Warmdaddy’s in Philadelphia.”
Sicilia met a group of musicians at those jams who helped her record her first demo. “In 2007,” Sicilia says, “I recorded and released my first album, an EP titled Allow Me to Confess.” Those eight songs caught many people’s ears; she developed a following, and she was nominated for a Blues Music Award as Best New Artist in 2008. That same year, she released her second album, Hey Sugar, which shot to #10 on the Living Blues Radio chart, and Sicilia was nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award for Best New Artist Debut Recording.
Unchange arrives hard on the heels of 2020’s Love Me Madly, which was produced by Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstate, and debuted on the Billboard blues charts at #4. That album showcased Sicilia’s canny songwriting and her ability to find the grooves in all styles of roots music; it featured gospel-inflected tunes, good old school R&B, and hoots-drenched soul.
On her 10th studio album Unchange, Sicilia worked with beloved Nashville-based songwriter and producer Colin Linden at his studio in Music City.
Linden credits include an array of renowned roots artists like T-Bone Burnett, Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, Bob Dylan, Keb Mo, and Lucinda Williams. In addition, he served as musical director on the popular ABC TV show Nashville.
The album is comprised of 10 soulful gospel and blues-infused tracks, largely acoustic, that showcase Linden and Sicilia’s shared love of traditional gospel and blues music from the likes of Reverend Gary Davis, The Soul Stirrers, and Mississippi John Hurt, as well as numerous original tunes that are raw and soulful in their simplicity.
While the music business was largely put on pause during the pandemic of 2020, Sicilia capitalized on her other artistic passions and established a successful Italian food business called Gina’s Italian Cuisine, the profits from which she used to self-fund this project.
Although most people know Gina Sicilia as a singer, she’s passionate about songwriting, and her brilliant ways with words and music have evolved over ten albums. Her embrace of various musical styles, and her adventurousness in seeking out new corners in a variety of musical rooms, has opened the door for her and her listeners.