“There’s so much value placed on being young, fresh and cool, and not much on experience, maturity or wisdom”: Fabiana Palladino on being signed as a new artist in her mid-30s

“I let it hold me back, for sure.”

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Fabiana Palladino

Image: Fiona Garden for MusicTech.

Gone are the days when artists debuting before graduating high school raised eyebrows. But what about those who find their spotlight later in life? In a new interview, Fabiana Palladino discusses being signed as a new artist in her mid-30s and how she navigates an industry that often prefers its talents “young, fresh and cool”.

Speaking to MusicTech in our latest digital cover feature, Palladino recounts how in her early 20s, she met a record label executive who casually remarked that they never sign artists over the age of 25 — a comment that stuck with her up till the release of her eponymous debut album this year.

“It definitely did affect me. It wasn’t directed at me,” says the Paul Institute signee, “but there is just that thing in the industry of [being excited by] young, new artists. How often do you see someone in their 30s, female or male, being a new artist or putting out their first album? It’s just, like, very rare.”

“There’s so much value placed on being young and fresh and cool, and not that much value placed on like experience, maturity or wisdom.”

“It was just always on my mind,” Palladino adds. “And I let it hold me back, for sure. And then, eventually, I just thought, ‘This is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. There’s no reason why a person of any age can’t make something creatively brilliant. I’m not going to let this stop me anymore.’”

According to Fabiana’s father — producer and bassist Pino Palladino, it was a comment that ended up working to the musician’s advantage: “That’s very much her character, too,” he says. “If you tell her she can’t do something that she wants to, she’ll find a way. She’s very determined.”

Listen to the album’s lead single I Care below.


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