“I set out as a woman in rock when there weren't many” reveals producer, songwriter, artist, writer and designer Giana Vogt. “These days I feel liberated with excitement.”
After 20 years of holding back, Giana is letting her artistry freely flow again. The powerhouse creative is announcing a lifestyle branding platform that will be an outlet for her music, her clothing, accessories, and her other artistic expressions. The first installment of her creative outpouring is her debut album, Showers of Sparks, a collection of mystically enlightened pop-rock.
As a songwriter, she is a sharp, lyric-driven artist and her songs brim with sonic details that support her narrative arcs and the emotional quality of her songs. Her songs and her designs feel both instantly familiar and uniquely stylized with flourishes that are pure Giana. Her clothing designs ooze rock n’ roll cool with a flowing elegance and nuanced Giana-esque.
Informing Giana’s dynamic musicality, and her sharp sense of style, has been her experience and background in theater, art and the fashion industry. Giana honed her promising performance chops in musicals and community productions. She fortified her talents through attending The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYC, for acting, singing and dance. HB Studio, NYC, would further inform Giana’s work as a performer and dramatic writer.
Giana was born and raised in NY by artistic parents. Her mother nurtured Giana’s burgeoning talents through piano and dance lessons. While also recognizing her fashion design talent by the original outfits she made. Eventually, Giana began exploring singing through performing at school and church functions. She grew up in the era that is now considered the zenith of classic rock, the 1970s, and she even attended the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, NY as a young girl.
She began her journey as a musician at just 17, and for decades Giana would dip in and out of music performing around the Tristate area. During this time, she had multiple rock bands, playing original music as well as cover tunes in many esteemed NYC and beyond venues. Parallel to her budding music career, Giana also enjoyed success as a clothing designer.
Giana’s life transformed when she adventured on a personal soul search journey and began to devour books by the New Thought movement (Emmett Fox, Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Dr. Wayne Dyer). Around this time, Giana relocated to her family home in the Town of Bethel, NY, fell in love, and married a musician with whom became her songwriting partner. Together, with their band, UNUM, Giana was performing again in the tri-state region. Her band Unum performed in front of 12,000 attendees, on the 30th Anniversary of Woodstock held on the original site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, now the Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center. On the same site that enchanted her as a child. Her song “Time Stands Still” was written as a tribute to that same site and time.
Upon that relationship ending, Giana let go of her connection to the artistic medium for many years. However, recently moving to Little Rock, Arkansas for a new job changed things. Giana rediscovered her first love. “Music is in my blood” she enthuses. While revisiting lo-fi acoustic recordings of originals written 20 years ago, she realized her songs sounded fresh and felt emotionally vital.
These became the tracks for Giana’s debut, Showers of Sparks. For the album, she not only wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the music, she also structured, arranged, and fleshed out the musician’s parts for all the songs on the record. The title is a nod to the epiphanic time of self-realization Giana experienced reading New Thought Movement texts. She explains: “Most of us have experienced times of a deeper reflection. When we emerge, we may receive sparks and glimmers of hope and inspiration that feed us strength, propelling us forward. It is these experiences that inspired me to write and share these songs.”
This album of 8 tracks and 2 singles are a cohesive body of work, sharing a dreamy musicality, poetically thought-provoking lyrics, and Giana’s richly expressive vocals which shift in tone and delivery much like an effective narrator conveying a fascinating story. The music behind her embraces an ethereal pop-rock aesthetic deeply attuned to the dynamics of her lyrics and her vocal delivery.
The title track is sweetly haunting with a rich textural overlay. The feeling is moody and mysterious with a dynamic expanse of the verses being contemplative and the choruses being big and confident. Here, her chorus impressionistic and otherworldly, she sings: Showers of sparks igniting a path/Showers of sparks leaving a trail/Showers of sparks all in a flash/Precious moments are rising too fast. “This song speaks to my creative process. When I’m attuned to ideas and feelings are really flowing, I see sparks—there are literal light bulb moments for me,” she says with a sweet laugh.
The track, “The Turning Key,” has an infectious pop-rock sophistication recalling 1990s Brit-pop. The song exudes a searching spirit brought to the fore by Giana’s vulnerable vocals lyrics. Choice lines include: Looking hard for answers or for another way Wounded by curses/the demons/I would slay/I heard that surrender was the turning key/And that acceptance of my reality. The thought-provoking, “In The Stillness,” features an imaginative arrangement and engrossingly ambient textures, lending the feel of a journey of a song, “In The Stillness” has been selected to air on the Women Of Substance (WOS) “Music With A Conscience” weekly podcast series available via iTunes that averages 10,000 listeners per episode.
Giana’s anthemic song, “My Thunder,” features the invigorating lyrics: You try to steal my thunder/You strive to keep me under/You think you’ve got the power/Of something you’re not sure of/Don’t try to steal my thunder! These are the words of a woman with hard fought confidence. “I’ve always been free spirited and a bit of a rebel” Giana says. “I recently saw something online that seemed to be intended for women who experience the realization of their own talents and power. It was pink, and in a pretty font it said ‘Actually, I can.’ I feel that way these days, like, “yeah, Actually, I can!”