Gabriella Simpkins is an award-winning singer-songwriter, composer, and musician hailing from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Informed by her vast experiences across many genres and performance settings, her singer-songwriter material is an eclectic mix of folk and indie rock with jazz harmonies and classical flourishes. An avid student of Impressionism, her classical works are heavily influenced by late nineteenth and early twentieth-century composers such as Debussy, Ravel, and Bartok.
Growing up in a very musical home, Simpkins’ passion for her craft was almost inevitable. She spent hours in her childhood bedroom listening to Mozart, early 2000s pop, and her mother’s vast collection of R&B CDs. She started playing the flute at age 9 and performed with the Cape Symphony Youth Orchestra throughout high school. Having perfect pitch, she began to teach herself music theory. By age 13, she was writing songs and arranging pieces for chamber wind ensembles at her high school. At the beginning of her pursuit of songwriting, Simpkins had originally intended to write songs for other people to sing, but after failing to find collaborators, she decided to sing the songs herself. She later learned to play the guitar on her own and started accompanying her songs with a very thoughtful and intricate fingerstyle sound that is often compared to the stylings of Nick Drake. By her freshman year in college, she began to focus more seriously on a career in music after finding her pre-med studies unfulfilling to her sense of purpose. She began to devote most of her free time to songwriting and composing arrangements for her songs, and started playing these songs as a solo artist at local open mics and events on Cape Cod with encouragement from friends. Blending all of these experiences together, Simpkins’ work showcases her diverse talents and creates a listening experience that forces one to suspend expectations of genre and conventionality.
Gabriella Simpkins is currently attending Salem State University while simultaneously independently managing her career as a singer-songwriter and composer. She studies in the BA Music program at SSU and focuses on music theory and classical composition. She regularly performs her singer-songwriter material at Boston-area venues such as Club Passim and is beginning work as a freelance composer. She is also in the beginning stages of independently recording her debut album. Her accolades include recognition in the Eventide Theater Company’s New England Songwriting Contest and grants from Passim to upgrade her recording equipment and aid in post-production expenses related to her debut release.
Looking to the future, Simpkins plans to finish and release her debut album within the next year and hopes to further establish herself as a composer. After finishing her bachelor’s degree, she is considering graduate studies in music composition and musicology alongside performing and freelancing.