Gabriella Cilmi admits working with brother Joseph had its challenges

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 27 July 2019
Gabriella Cilmi (Photo by Jess Brohier)

Gabriella Cilmi

Gabriella Cilmi admitted she and her brother shouted and slammed doors when they first started working together, but collaborating with a sibling "helped" with the creative process

Gabriella Cilmi and her brother shouted and slammed doors when they first started working together.

The 27-year-old singer and her sibling Joseph co-wrote her upcoming new EP – which features her single Ruins' – and while it helped collaborating with a family member, the experience still had its fair share of challenges.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, she explained: "He's kind of harder on me than anyone else, in the sense that he's watched me since I was a kid. He knows all my strengths, and he knows probably my weaknesses too.

"It helped to be honest – there's so many conversations you can have with your brother that you can't have with someone that you're working with.

"When we first started working together it was pretty hard, there were some screaming sessions and slamming the door type things. But we got through it, we complement each other. He thinks quite analytically and I think the other way."

Gabriella – who was just a teenager when her single 'Sweet About Me' topped the Australian charts 11 years ago – wanted her new material to be more raw and honest, which was reflected in the way she went about writing the songs.

She said: "My brother and I would literally sit around with the mobile phone and record loads of ideas. Some days we might get five – some of them might be completely not very good, but some of them tend to work.

"I guess it's just that stream of consciousness capturing a moment and that's what I wanted it to feel like."

Working on a record in this way brought about "a lot of trial and error" before Gabriella settled on the style she knew was right for this stage of her career.

She added: "There was a lot of trial and error. I tried a lot of different things before I worked out what exactly it was that I wanted to do.

"There was a lot of experimenting with production, and that kinda wasn't working out. So I thought, screw it, let's strip it back.

"I started writing on acoustic and keeping it really simple, and that's when creatively things started working for me."

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