Ingersol, music and the arts have always played a big part in her life.
Born on July 22, 1990, this Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, native grew up
traveling between the US and the UK. Her mother had emigrated from
London, England after her parents had met at Oxford University. The
25-year-old singer/songwriter spent her childhood in both countries,
which loans a uniqueness to her experience that translates strongly into
age of four, Ingersol's singing debut came about in church choir. By
five years old, she was handling pieces like "Gloria" by Vivaldi and "Bist
Du Bie Mir" by Bach. The singer credits choir director Barbara Bruns
with promoting her passion for music and performance.
playing guitar after a cousin gave her an acoustic that she determinedly
plucked at even though it was too big for her to hold correctly. Once
her parents bought her a suitably sized electric at 13, Ingersol
attended Harcum College's Summer Music Program, where she learned more
formally how to play.
program focused on rock music with counselors/teachers who were music
students from Berklee College of Music, NYU, and UARTS, among others.
Ingersol went into the program knowing only how to play Green Day's
"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." By summer's end, she crunched out
power chords and established a confidence in her musical abilities.
there, Ingersol began songwriting and recorded two original songs for
her final project; now one of them, "Apocalypse," is on her self–titled
debut album. "Comfort Comfort" – yes, that's it twice – made the cut as
well. Her experience opened her up to knowing more about her own musical
to three months in Europe, visiting Florence, Italy; Paris, France;
London, and Liverpool, England; and Glasgow, Scotland, during a summer
abroad program. She performed for roommates and "jammed" with local
musicians – when not in classes.
while earning her Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree from Susquehanna
University ('13), Ingersol also gained experience regularly playing at
local venues and charity concerts.
crafting her debut album, she worked extensively with Grammy–nominated
producer Alex Salzman, who helped her weave her many musical influences
into an intimate, honest, and often profound, songwriting style.
Ingersol also completed a video of the first single "Comfort Comfort,"
directed by former ER star Erik Palladino.
addition to her love of music, Ingersol is passionate about painting,
sketching, and photography, as well as travel, cooking, family, and
animals – especially her family's pets, which currently numbers five
cats. Ingersol's paintings have been featured as cover art for her
alumnus magazine, as well as in several shows.
carries her Taylor acoustic guitar (fondly named Babylon) with her
everywhere she goes. Her debut video can be found on her website: www.Ingersolmusic.com
Some of your songs have a dark side. Do you have a dark
that it's something in everybody. Having a dark side just isn't
pronounced when you meet somebody. That's why I decided to do music the
way I do it. I wanted to keep it honest and have it be accessible to
people. I'm a happy person on the outside and the inside as well, but
everybody goes through rough and tumble times. It's important to be able
to articulate that.
Which of these songs were inspired by your kitty?
mascot. I just have to make sure I sing to him instead.
Does he get the dark songs or the more up tempo songs?
the bright and happy songs because he is just a little ball of love.
Which song is the best for your kitty and why?
for Pepe it would be "Apocalypse," because "Apocalypse" has that quirky,
upbeat, a little bit dark, but uplifting grasp to it. Pepe my cat,
embodies that. It's about loving something until death or the apocalypse
So at least you want him to survive to, if not through, the
apocalypse. Everyone associates songs with relationships, what song
would you associate with a relationship and what were the circumstances?
Way" is pretty close to embodying all those things because it's a lovey
song. Feeling love no matter where you are in life or location you are.
Having that long-distance relationship and how difficult that can be. I
could play that song for somebody I was in love with. It hits close to
home with a lot of people that I've talked to about it.
Are all your songs rooted in relationships?
Shadows" is the most tumultuous relationship description, because as an
art major and a fool in the middle of nowhere I was surrounded by not
the best sort of people sometimes. I knew drug addicts and people like I
had never been. I was dating a guy that was into drugs and I didn't know
about that. He ended up choosing drugs over me. That's how I found out
A) he was an addict and B) we were over. It was supposed to be a slam
poem about our relationship. I wrote it with my roommates. Then I was
saying it out loud to them and they said, "you should write a song." So
I turned it into a song. He said it helped. It really hit close to home
for him during all of that.
What can you tell about the tales behind other songs? Are
all the songs specific to relationships?
all specific to relationships in some way, shape, or form. "Sailor" is
about my great grandparents. My great grandfather was a flight deck
commander for the USS Shangri-La during World War II. He passed away in
1999 and my great grandmother passed away in 2006. I had most of my life
to get to know them very well. When they died, I was going through all
this stuff. I found the letters my great grandmother wrote to my great
grandfather while he was away in the Pacific. I obviously elaborated a
tiny bit for the song, but I decided I wanted to write a song about
their love. No matter how far away they were or how hard things they
were going through were, they always had each other to come back to.
You might have a whole future album in those letters.
them. They make me tear up every time I read them.
single, "Comfort Comfort," has a cool story. The whole conflict behind
"Comfort" was in my younger relationships, when you feel comfortable
with somebody but you don't really think you're in love. It's that
awkward in-between phase when you want to spend all your time with them
but you can't understand why. You're comfortable being around them. That
song is about that feeling. I couldn't figure out a word for it, so I
had to write a song about it instead.
How did you meet producer Alex Salzman? Was the musical
through my manager Liz when we were looking into recording. I drove up
to his studio and played a few songs in his beautiful studio. We got to
talking and it was like a lightbulb turned on. His vast knowledge of
everything in the industry and our similarities in music appreciation
really helped us hit it off. I started recording with him a few months
later. He put so much into this album. Alex deserves a lot of
recognition for this, because he worked day in and day out. We'd wake up
and get to the studio at 10 and be there all night. He worked his butt
off. I couldn't have done it without him. He deserves a lot of kudos for
everything he has done. Alex really is incredible. He is talented on so
many levels. I have never met someone that talented, ever.
How did he finesse the songs?
is the key word, because I come up with these crazy ideas like, "How
about a glockenspiel?" Or, "Let's add a dulcimer." Alex would be like,
"Okay, let's pick one of those." If you listen to the songs carefully
you can hear a bunch of instruments coming in and out. That's where Alex
really shone through, getting the arrangement together so it made sense.
He's just a genius when it comes to that.
What's been the most rewarding so far in making record or
the first video?
it's really hard to pick just one [thing]. This whole experience has
been a whirlwind. Recording the album was a dream come true. Everything
about it [was incredible]: from being in a studio every day recording
and tweaking things, to meeting the incredible musicians on the album
and getting their insight on my work. The video helped me really put
into perspective how big we were going. The video director Erik
Palladino really blew me away with his vision and gave me a chance to
get on stage and do what I love to do.
You also paint. You have the option between painting or
singing, but for you was it ever really a choice?
music go hand in hand. It's really difficult to say I'd be doing one or
the other. It's as the wind blows and how I'm feeling. There's a quote
from Leopold Stokowski that I always get wrong, but I'll see if I can
remember it. "A painter paints on canvas, while a musician paints on
silence." It's that same concept. I always have a craving to fill empty
space, whether it's with beautiful loud obnoxious noises or actual
physical paint. It's just that I want to alter the emptiness.
What was the first song you heard? Do you remember it? Is
your music rooted in it?
the lyrics to Sting's "Fields of Gold" tattooed on my foot. The first
time I heard "Fields of Gold" was on a cassette tape in my living room.
I fell in love from there. I just needed it. There's something behind
the story of words and Sting is incredible. Sting always hits me right
in the feels. I also really identified with Freddie Mercury growing up,
and still do to this day. I know pretty much every Queen lyric. We never
watched TV growing up, so I would listen to his voice and imagine him
marching around the stage with his microphone. I didn't even know what
he looked like at the time. It was just from how my parents described
him. I also listened to Smash by the Offspring a lot as a kid.
They have remained a staple throughout my life. They are so energetic
and sharp. Their lyrics did wonders for my four year old self.
How old were you?
three years old. I had been listening to so many types of music my whole
life that it's hard to name one, but I think that was the first
conscious moment where I remember listening to a song and saying, "Oh
gosh, I love this."
What was the very first concert you attended?
concert I went to was a Pink concert back when she was doing
Missundaztood. My parents originally said I wasn't allowed to go
because she was risqué and I was like 12 years old. But it was for a
friend's birthday party, so they agreed to let me go. She was so
incredible and cool on stage. I was blown away seeing her perform. I
wanted to do that.
Was this before Pink did the circus and acrobatic stuff?
before that. This was when she had pink hair and it was shorn on one
So how do you feel about the statement that women can't
strongly disagree with that statement, that women can't rock. There is a
certain type of person that has to be a rocker. It might just fall into
being more men than women because of the barrier of women not being able
to do things. Through the years, women have been able to step forward
and really hold their own on the stage when it comes to rock. I know
women are generally more emotional than men, so there's a deeper seed of
the lyric of the rock music. If anything women are better at rocking.
There are certain female singer/song writers you didn't
reference in your bio like Tori Amos or Kate Bush. What do you think of
definitely know both of them very well. What I struggle with is that I
listen to so many different types of music and I get inspiration from
all of them. I struggle to pinpoint who my favorite artists are or who
my influences are because everybody is an influence. If I listen to a
song once it's in my music repertoire. There are so many amazing women
in music history and rock history that I just draw a blank.
How much did you improvise for this record or is it more
A lot of
it is improvised because of my history of jam bands.
Did you go to Grateful Dead concerts?
(laughs) In college, I had a band and we used to play every single
weekend. We'd do concerts, like battle of the bands type stuff to raise
money for different organizations. We'd do other fundraisers for
fraternities and sororities and for the school in general. We had a lot
of fun. Having that as our background made doing improv an integral part
of recording, which will also hopefully translate to page. It's been a
while, so I'm really excited for spring to come so I can get back up
With a name like Ingersol, there's some European element in
your background; isn't that Scandinavian?
somewhere in the North. It's a family name. My parents met in England,
so my mom is definitely from the other side of the pond. My dad's family
is Mayflower family. Pretty old school America. It's a pretty
interesting mix of cultures.
How does that affect your music? Is it rooted in your
I grew up
listening to a lot of classical music, where instead of having an A, B,
A, B arrangement you have a very complicated arrangement where it stems
from emotions. You want to bring people up and take them back down and
really throw them around. Alex Salzman, my producer, has a really strong
background in classical music. With us sitting in the studio together we
came up with these wild arrangements where at first we'd be like "this
is too wild, too crazy." Then we sit with it, add a Theremin to it, and
decide it's perfect. It was interesting to see everything blend
together, our taste in music and stuff like that.
Do you dream of a day when you can bring in a full
orchestra for a recording or tour?
so. That would be so incredible. There were so many talented musicians
that worked on the album. It would be great to get them back again or
other talented musicians. The Ingersol Orchestra. Let's get that
started. It'd be awesome.
Does your music have a healing force or is it for your own
tough question, because I can only speak for myself. It's helped me a
lot to grow and change and learn about the world and myself. I know my
little sister has always loved it and that it helped her grow a little
bit, but I don't know for sure about other people. I think that there's
a level of honesty and surprise in it that helps me at least.
How old is your sister?
she just started college.
She keeps you on the youthful tip, right? You're already
over the hill!
(laughs) She tries.
It's not like she suggests that you put a rapper into the
she wouldn't be opposed to it. She's pretty well rooted in the things I
like. '70s rock. She listens to more Led Zeppelin than people my age.
Where do you live now?
outside Philadelphia right now. Born and raised.
Do you think your music has a suburban quality?
we're technically in the city but I don't count it as Center City.
Philadelphia is such a sprawling place. Kind of suburban, but a little
Philadelphia is very under appreciated. It has a great
it's just great.
Do you associate any of your songs with food?
probably need to start doing that.
Do you have songs you recommend for when people are eating?
the old Kentucky-Fried-Chicken-and-a-Pizza-Hut song. My eating food
music is definitely John Coltrane.
Coltrane's A Love Supreme is one of the first records
I ever owned.
good. I cry every time I listen to it.
It's an important record. It does all the right things, it
makes you aspire to higher planes.
all your emotions into one big ball and pushes it down onto a record
plate. You just play it over and over and over and just get wrapped up
Do you think you could live without music or art?
think I could ever live without music. Music is my art, art is just an
outlet for it, if that makes any sense.
What made you so disciplined to play music?
really just my need to make noises. I had been singing for as long as I
can remember. Everything I could say I would sing instead. I was never
good at taking lessons of any type so I had to teach myself everything.
It was just listening to records or movies and deciding I was going to
play it, then just sitting down and figuring it out. It's like solving a
math equation or something like that. I have to do this. I'm really
I could never stand my own singing enough to stick with
music. You don't have to think about that. Sound comes out of you and it
it's the same as with you and writing. It's like how you just write
something down and it just clicks?
No, it's complete and utter torture for me!
feeling, really. When I go to speak, sometimes I just feel like I need
to sing instead. I was born with this thing inside of me that I just
need to make noise and it turned out to be actual music, which is pretty
When did somebody say you should be a musician?
was a little baby we did singing in school and it made me really happy.
My parents have always been so supportive and say, "Oh you're the best."
But when your parents say you're the best sometimes it doesn't actually
mean that. They just love you. That's what I was worried about. Over the
years I figured out I might have something still.
Did you do solos when you did choir?
duets with my big sister. That was when everyone said, "Oh my gosh,
they're so great." We did all the duets after that.
You have a big sister too?
of three girls. My big sister is 28 and the little one is 18.
Are they expecting you to put them to work?
so. My little one wants to do a Christmas album with me. She's so
What would be your ultimate Christmas song?
love to do "Silent Night." It's nice and simple, but beautiful.
CHECK OUT INGERSOL VIDEO FOR HER NEW SINGLE "COMFORT