Cambridge singer-songwriter Wildcard takes her chance after penning debut single
Released on May 28, You & I is the debut single from Italian-born artist Lorenza Wildcard – also known as just ‘Wildcard’ – and the story of its creation is certainly surprising. It came from an emotionally challenging time in her life, which all happened around the time the pandemic started.
A moving pop ballad with a modern feel, You & I boasts powerfully honest lyrics, heartfelt vocals and beautiful harmonies – and it came about, as these things sadly often do, after a traumatic break-up.
Wildcard has been doing radio and magazine interviews since the single was released, and has also received positive messages from people on social media. Describing this period as an “exciting time” that’s been “really hectic”, she reveals: “I didn’t know I was a singer-songwriter until this time last year...
“I’d never written a song, I’d never really sung in front of anyone – let alone played the guitar in front of anyone – and then last year I was going through a very difficult time. And at one point, at the beginning of summertime, I just felt the need to sit down and put my emotions on paper.
“I did it without really thinking much of it. It wasn’t that I was going to do something and it was going to become a single, I just did it to put down my emotions. It was almost like a way for me to understand what I was going through.”
Once she’d penned the song and recorded it on her phone, things escalated quickly. “I sent it to four friends, and just 24 hours later I was approached by a music producer and was asked if I wanted to go and record it professionally,” recalls Wildcard, who used to work interviewing musicians for MTV.
"That came as a massive shock. I didn’t actually believe it at first; I didn’t really think that that could be possible, that that was going to happen to me, and I said I wasn’t interested. This went on for about three days and eventually I said OK.”
That producer was Italian musician, Ettore della Campa, who lives in Spain. “I felt that he really believed in the song and in my voice and he really wanted to do it,” says Wildcard, “so we agreed to produce the song together. I flew over to Spain and we recorded it in the studio. I was in the studio for two weeks.”
Wildcard admits that she occasionally suffers from imposter syndrome. That said, she loved what della Campa did with the tune and she found being in the studio a most rewarding experience: “When I was in the studio, I really felt that something clicked in me...
“Even though I never imagined that I would write a song, that I would sing it, that I could consider myself as a singer-songwriter, I really felt that that was where I was supposed to be. It felt to me like being home, apart from the first hour where I messed up everything!”
On her choice of stage name, Wildcard says: “I really like it because it has a double meaning. In a game of cards, a wildcard is a card that can have any value, and that to me encapsulates the concept of adapting and moving – and wildcard in athletics means a kind of opportunity to enter a sport competition but without having to take part in qualifying. To me, it was more about grabbing your chances.”
Delighted to now be chasing her dreams and hoping to record a full album at some point in the near future, Wildcard moved to Cambridge with her now ex-husband in late 2019, following a two-year sabbatical in Menorca.
The couple broke up shortly afterwards, meaning that she was alone at the start of lockdown. “My ex got offered a job and we decided to come to Cambridge because of his job,” says Wildcard, “but things were a bit shaky already, and then shortly after we moved here we decided that being together wasn’t the best thing anymore.
“We arrived in November 2019 and by January we were no longer together. And shortly after that, lockdown started. So I came to Cambridge following him and I didn’t have friends or family nearby, and I felt very isolated.
“But the good thing about Cambridge is that it’s a really friendly place. I made friends during the lockdown with my neighbours, and having that in my life made a huge difference. I also got Covid and being at home alone I had a very dear friend who lives just opposite, and she would leave treats at my door, she would leave bags of food – just to make sure I was OK.
“I have another friend who lives two doors down and sometimes she gets cravings for chocolate late at night. She just goes and gets a bar of chocolate for herself and on her way back she posts chocolate through my letterbox.
“So it’s all these little things that are really sweet. I really feel blessed that even during the lockdown I managed to form really strong friendships with my neighbours – without that, I think it would have been very difficult. I love Cambridge – it’s a nice place to be.”
You & I is available to stream and download now on all major music platforms including iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer and Tidal.
Visit Wildcard’s Facebook page at facebook.com/LorenzaWildcard.