The hardest work to create often comes from the sweet relief of catharsis. That was the case for Toronto based artist Aunty Social and her soon to released debut EP, The Day My Brain Broke.
Through periods of isolation and personal evolution, Aunty Social, AKA Daniela Gitto, worked through her way of out a toxic lifestyle the best way she knew how: through music. The Day My Brain Broke is a powerful and emotive body of work featuring touching references to poetry and childhood. It covers a wide range of emotions while also being sonically diverse, leaving the EP as a dynamic listening experience.
We had a chance to chat with the Toronto native about the debut EP, her creative process, and video games!
Culture Collide: We’re curious to know about your creative process. What does writing a song look like to you?
Aunty Social: The most common way I start a song is by sitting down and pushing out an idea. There are times I’ll get a overflow of inspiration and I’ll sit down at the computer immediately to express it, but the bulk of my process is by writing routinely. Sometimes a new album from another artist will get me writing everyday. I think the last one that had that effect was Okay Kaya’s new album Watch This Liquid Pour Itself.
Culture Collide: Have there been any music releases lately that you’ve found interesting or really cool? Why?
AS: Acid by Jockstrap is my favourite release this year. All I truly know is that they’re making music in the future then coming back to 2020 in a time machine and releasing it.
Culture Collide: You’ve mentioned that “Crack a Deal” is a song about the struggles of working a job you hate to fund your dream job. There are creatives all over the world that are currently doing the same. What would you say to those who are also chasing their dreams?
AS: All I can say is the industry is kind of crazy and random, can’t really guarantee result just by perseverance and talent alone. If it wasn’t for Spotify allowing independent artists to submit their song to playlists, I would not be where I am. That exposure alone changed the entire rest of my musical pursuit so my only advice would be to use all these resources to their fullest capacity.
Culture Collide: Were there any challenges while writing The Day My Brain Broke? Were there any songs that were more difficult to write than others? You’ve mentioned that “Cortex” is named after the fictional villain in the video game Crash Bandicoot. Being the nerds that we are, we have to know do you have any other favorite video games?
AS: The most difficult part was creating the single collages. I wanted to use photos of myself from each stage in my life, even the the hardest ones which were high school and college. I searched through albums and albums of memories I had suppressed which brought back a lot of negative feelings. I remember having a tension headache for almost 2 months after looking through them. The good thing was, it was extremely cathartic and unintentionally hit on the theme of the EP which is coming to terms with my old, toxic lifestyle.
Yes, so many! I am a big fan of Spyro the Dragon, every single Sims game on ps2, Silent Hill, Ape Escape, Animal Crossing, Super Mario Melee, Mario Party, Super Mario Sunshine and COD black ops.
Culture Collide: You’ve recently expressed admiration for Grimes about producing, something you were hesitant about doing without first seeing her example. Are there any other artists who inspire you to perfect your craft? Would you collaborate with them if you had the chance?
AS: Yes definitely, I watch videos of Bjork’s live performances to improve my stage presence. I also get encouraged when listening to other female producers like Okay Kaya, Jessy Lanza and Graces Ives. I would collaborate with all of them!
Culture Collide: What are you looking forward to most about the release of the EP? Touring? Writing more? Or having it finally be out for people to check it out?
AS: All of the above! this is my first EP release as a solo artist and i’m lucky enough to have the right resources that’ll get my music heard by a lot of people. I feel grateful at every part of this process, its all so new to me and I feel like a baby in this world.
Culture Collide: Lastly, what do you hope people take away from listening to The Day My Brain Broke?
AS: Overall I just want them to take something. I hope it makes enough of an impact in their world that they’ll take something from it. I hope it helps people feel less isolated if they’re in a dark place. I hope it alleviates the shame that’s inherent to suffering, I hope they give themselves more credit cause living is a lot of work sometimes.
You can watch the lyric video for “Cortex” now down below. Aunty Social’s debut EP The Day My Brain Broke drops March 6th!