Introducing: Sans Soucis
Hometown: From Italy, now in London
Listen to: ‘Visible’, ‘Air’, ‘Confini’
On her website, London-based artist Sans Soucis (the stage name of Italian-born Giulia Grispino) asks: “Can I be: genre-fluid? exciting and intense? light and dark? ecstatic and depressed? she/her? they/them? fun and awkward? foreign at home and at home in a foreign country? I don’t have all the answers to this.”
Upon listening to her music, it’s clear to hear the conflict Sans Soucis is navigating. While she cites Frank Ocean, St. Vincent and Lauryn Hill as her main influences, it’s hard to compare her closely to any of them. But Sans Soucis’ difficult-to-pin-down and thoroughly unique sound is a blessing, not a curse. With a name translating to ‘no worries’, it’s unsurprising that she draws inspiration from the buoyant syncopation of the Congolese rumba. But also playing a part in her influences is the Italian singer-songwriter Fabio Concato, a master of haunting compositions and poetic lyrics.
And the ‘ecstatic and depressed’ oxymoron comes clearly into play throughout Sans Soucis’ music; a sense of euphoria underpinned by a subtle sadness pervades every song. In ‘Visible’, the sighing harmonies and the spoken voice making the unfinished statement “and if you want to be happy” give an otherwise upbeat song a melancholy edge.
Sans Soucis’ vocals are crystal clear, full of emotion and versatile. They’re reminiscent of Jorja Smith when soaring in ‘Human’, and softly transcendent when layered into the dreamscape of ‘Air’. You don’t need to know a word of Italian to feel the emotion of ‘Confini’, a simple ballad which strays from the syncopated ‘Air’ and ‘Visible’.
And while her production is often multi-faceted, injecting each song with a distinct personality through harmonies and layered instruments, her recent performance for the UN Women UK award was a testament of her ability to command an audience with just her voice and a guitar.
While she’s yet to announce any projects for the new year, 2021 will be all the better if we hear more from Sans Soucis.
Words by Kat Smith
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