APOTEK – Interview

Elisa di Riccio is an established musician who took a side step in 2020 to record her own solo electronic album. 

The resulting LP ‘Unknown Territories’ is a beguiling mix of emotive vocals and otherworldly calls to the dancefloor. We caught up with the Belgian based Italian artist to discuss the LP and more.

Apotek - Interview with Minimal Mag

Hi Elisa, welcome to Minimal Mag. Can you tell us a little about where you live and what you do?
Thanks for having me for this interview! I’ve basically been living between Belgium and Italy for the past 7-8 years and I’ve been doing different side jobs alongside music in both countries.
You have recently released a great debut album in the shape of ‘Unknown Territories’ which has had support from BBC6 Music and many more. What was the journey to the writing of this album and what can you tell us about the LP and it’s inspirations?
This album was a sort of stream of consciousness. 
Apart from “Dying Stars”,  which I wrote long before, the other tracks came out one after the other, very naturally. 

While I was composing, I was listening a lot to Four Tet,Thom Yorke and Boards of Canada. I guess they may have somehow influenced my work.
You perform vocals on a number of tracks on the LP, do you enjoy the experience of singing on a record in a way that is different to playing instruments and producing? And do you have plans to perform this LP live?
I’ve really enjoyed using my vocals for this album. I found it very cathartic. At the beginning, I thought I wouldn’t have performed this LP live but I’ve lately started to reconsider this assumption. 

So I’m currently working on a live set which will include some of the songs from the album. 

I’d love to conceive a show with some visuals which I hope will be finalised by the end of the year. 


Who are the artists and creatives that have inspired you most in your career?
It’s difficult to answer this question. There are so many of them… Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Cage, Terry Riley. 

Among the singer songwriters: Mazzy star, Cat power, Shannon Wright and many other different artists such as Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, Nils Frahm, Thom Yorke, Four Tet and Nosaj Thing, just to name a few. 
The last year has been extremely challenging for everyone and for the music industry specifically. What has your personal experience been and what are your hopes for the year ahead?
Yes, the last year has been undoubtedly difficult. 

I’ve had so many ups and downs. 
As previously said, I basically spent the first lockdown in Brussels working on my album. 

But as soon as it was possible, I decided to leave Brussels and spend some time in the Tuscan countryside for I realised I couldn’t bear living in a city under those circumstances anymore. 

I really felt the need to recharge in a more peaceful environment close to nature. 

My hopes for the year ahead? As everyone, I guess, I hope Covid will disappear from this planet.
You’ve been player in bands previously, what have been some of the highlights of playing live and what are the things you find hard about touring / gigging?
Playing shows is always very exciting. I find it very enriching and I’ve learned a lot during the past years. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to tour a lot yet and I’d love to do that  one day but for a short  period of time. 
What are your plans for Apotek after this LP?
I’m planning to write more music and working on my live set. 

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Photo by Guido Mencari
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