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Ava Della Pietra Talks New Single “Rearview Mirror”

June 14, 2024

Read the full interview on SheenMagazine.com!

Ava Della Pietra is taking her talents from Broadway to the recording studio.

At only 19 years old, the rising star has already achieved what most people wish they could in a lifetime. Building her fanbase organically since before high school, Ava currently boasts a grassroots audience of over 440K monthly Spotify listeners, accumulating over 6 million global streams total. In fact, her standout single “Ego” hit 1.5 million views on Youtube within just 8 months!

Now, the former Broadway actress is excited as ever to be releasing her newest single and visual called “Rearview Mirror.” The record was inspired by a real life experience, showing a more mature, sassier side of Ava fans have yet to witness.

Sheen spoke with Ava Della Pietra during her few days in Los Angeles, to discuss the new release and her roots in Broadway.

How did you get into Broadway?

When I was really little, I used to perform at community theater productions. People would come up to my parents and say, “does she have an agent? Maybe you could consider this.” [laughs] For a while, we didn’t really do it. But then finally, at the age of 6, my mom thought she’d reach out to Matilda on Broadway, to the casting agent, and see if they could connect me with an agent. Sure enough, I ended up auditioning for an agent and getting one. After a few auditions, I was booked for the national tour of Les Misérables.

What was your main strength? Was it singing? 

I guess singing was probably my strongest at that point. After Les Misérables, I ended up auditioning for more shows. I was in the National Broadway touring company of White Christmas, and then eventually in the original Broadway cast of School of Rock.

Were you nervous? How was it being on such a big stage? 

It was a lot of fun. One of the highlights was that a lot of really famous people, especially rock stars came to see School of Rock. It was really insane to meet all these people, like Stevie Nicks and Barbra Streisand who came to see the show. Of course Jack Black, who’s in the film. That was probably the highlight. I was also a swing, which means that I understudied multiple roles, so I got to go on for a wide range of different characters.

You’re dropping your new single “Rearview Mirror.” What’re you most excited for? 

I recorded this song a while ago. I’ve had it in the bag for a while. It’s one of my favorites, because it’s a really big departure from my other stuff. It’s a lot sassier. [laughs] More in my bad girl era, which I like. It’s a big departure, so it’s very exciting.

It was inspired by a real life situation right?

So I wrote this song about a car ride that I was in with one of my guy friends, with his girlfriend in the front seat. He kept on glancing back at me through the rearview mirror, that was the inspiration for the song. For a couple of months, he had been giving me these mixed signals. I was writing about how somebody like that, who has a girlfriend and is giving me these mixed signals, deserves to be in the rearview mirror of my life. It’s a double meaning there.

Will he know it’s about him?

I don’t know, he might be able to identify it. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. [laughs]

What do you hope listeners take away from “Rearview Mirror”?

Really being able to honor yourself and respect yourself enough to ignore any feelings you might have, if you know it’s the wrong thing in a relationship. The main thing is being able to respect yourself and knowing what you deserve.

You’ve had a significant increase in your social media following after releasing more mature singles. How do you handle the pressure that comes with a larger audience?

I just try to keep it authentic, and not really worry so much about the fact that I do have a wider audience. Because when I post on social media, the things that end up getting the most likes are usually the things that took me 5 minutes to record. [laughs] As opposed to the really produced stuff. That’s a sign that people really do like authenticity in artists. Seeing that people just write songs in their bedrooms, that’s super cool.

Can you discuss the significance of the songwriters Guild of America Award and other accolades you received for your songwriting?

That’s been extremely encouraging. I’m very honored to receive recognition for my songwriting. One of the greatest things about those awards is I’m able to see other winners or other applicants, get connected with them and see who else is out there. That’s also trying to be a rising singer-songwriter.

Talk about balancing academics at Harvard and Berklee College of Music with your music career. How do you manage that?

I’ve been balancing my academics with my music my whole life. So it wasn’t that big of a change, it’s just a little bit more elevated. [laughs] In terms of how much academics. The main thing is that I’ve always viewed music and songwriting as fun. I don’t really see it so much as work even though I am releasing music professionally and everything. Because I love it so much, it doesn’t feel like I’m trying to balance two workloads. It’s more like alright I have my academics, which I also really love. But then I have this way to express myself through art and everything.

What’s the biggest lesson you learn from transitioning from Broadway to being a pop-singer songwriter?

One really big difference between being a Broadway performer and being a singer-songwriter is the fact that when you’re performing on a stage, most of the time you don’t want to break the fourth wall and look at the people in the audience. Whereas when I’m performing as a singer/songwriter, I really do want to make eye contact with the people in the audience and connect with them. It’s a lot more of a personal experience, as opposed to putting on a show from someone else’s perspective. Songwriting has really allowed me to put on a show from my own perspective and connect with people on a deeper level.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I really like to hang out with friends and try different things. Because I find that I come up with my most songwriting ideas anyway, when I am doing something different, because it inspires different emotions. During the summer, I definitely go to the beach – a lot. I like that. And I have two puppies – they’re super cute.

If you could collaborate with any artists, who would it be?

I’m a really huge fan of FINNEAS right now, especially from his production side. I really looked up to him for a while. At Berklee College of Music, he came to give a talk, and in that moment, I realized what a huge fan of his I was. I was brought to tears being in the same room with him. [laughs] I love him.

Anything else you want to let us know?

I’m starting to also get into composing musicals, which is really fun. At Harvard, I co-composed something called The First Year Musical. It’s an original show written by freshmen, the whole cast is composed of first years as well.

Photo Credit: Georgia Nerheim

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