Robert took his bike and went to meet Valentina Monetta yesterday and we had a chance to talk to her once again. This time we do a lot of name dropping, she tells how the swing version was born, something very personal, her hobbies and background and who would she like to sing for San Marino next year? And what's Calabria to do with it all? And in the case of victory? Here:
Hello Valentina again and thank you for this interview! With the song Crisalide you come closer to your true self in singing, and a couple of nights ago you gave a concert in San Marino party singing in a very jazzy way. Who are your musical idols?
I have many, I don't have just one above the others. I love soul, jazz, black music but growing I'm revalutating the sing-songwriters, especially in Italian music. And the music of the 1960's and 1970's. And names like Mina, Patty Pravo, Milva, Ornella Vanoni... all these artists that have combined jazz and bossa style with the Italian style.
Can we expect Valentina doing thse songs with Valentina style?
Yes, why not. I like that sound a lot! It's possible, yes!
And who tought you to sing the way you sing now?
There's not only one person. I started singing as a child and experimenting with my voice different music styles and now finally I have found my maturity so to speak, my way of singing. After many experiements I have found my way! :-)
Have you learned yourself or do you have a professional training?
I have a professional training, I did Accademia Toscanini in Cattolica, Italy near San Marino. I took lessons in classical singing and jazz. Martina Grossi was my teacher, I love her and she's very famous. She has given me the basis. Now I take private lessons occasionally, from different teachers. But the best training these days is to perform with my musicians!
Do you mainly perform around Rimini and San Marino?
Yes, mostly in that region; Ravenna, Pesaro, Urbino. But sometimes also elsewhere like Milan. These days not so often as before but more important ones. Before I was singing 3-4 times a week. Before it was necessary to make financially to the end of month, now the intentions have changed. Less but bigger, a step forward. Also my motivation has changed.
And your near future plans. A CD is to be released....
Yes, maybe. It's our intention.
And how about Sanremo, will we see you there?
Maybe! It's another dream of mine. Maybe it's possible in the future, I'm looking forward to it!
And you will continue giving concert...
Yes, I want to do a very long tour with my musicians. It'd be fantastic, this is my life!
Is there a dream duet partner for you, in Italy or elsewhere?
Many! Ha ha ha. Many, I can't name just one now. But I'd love to collaborate in musicals.... more with the directors than the singers, writers who work with musicals, movies.... But of course it would be a dream to work with likes of Caterina Valente, Tony Bennett....
And with that we go back to the 1960's!
Ha ha ha yes. Tony Bennettt has made a duet with Lady Gaga and Amy Winehouse, it would be great to reach that level! Anyways, artists and music of the 1960's and 1970's are a foundation for the music of the future and future artists, they were so important and significant. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones....
Ok, let's talk something else. We know very little about your personali life. Are you married, have children....?
I have tried! Many years ago. I was very much in love. I have given a lot to the people I loved in the past. But it didn't work out. No happy ending. (I totally hear you, girl! We share the birthdate and horoscope. Ed.note) But maybe the suffering in love has given me the strenght to dedicate myself even more to my passion in music that I dedicate myself now. I think many artists have created their best works after unlucky love affairs, no? I've sufferered a lot, yes. Already as a child I was in need of affection and not having it I turned to music, it was my comfort. ...
Besides music, what are your hobbies and interests?
I like jogging, I'm not very sporty but enough to keep in form. I love to eat! If I don't move it's a disaster! Actually it's been a week I haven't been jogging and I'm suffering a bit! I think tomorrow I will try do it, if possible.
What's your favorite place in Italy?
I adore Tuscany! Florence. I like a lot Calabria, my dad is Calabrese! San Nicola Arcella.... Sicily... Messina, Trapani. There are so many beautiful places in Italy! I use to go kite surfing in Sicily! there's no wind in Riccione for surfing.
What is your favorite movie and book?
Lately I saw Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen and liked it a lot. I don't read much but the book I've liked the most is The Secrets by Paolo Coelho.
Let's go back to Eurovision now. You have a great song, you are very popular at the moment and a final is very possible. But in case you win is San Marino ready to organize it?
Well, I don't think I'm the right person to answer that, ha ha ha!
But Rimini would be a good place to organize it?
Maybe yes. Rimini is capable of accepting something like 2 million tourists every year, so...
Last but not least: Who would you like to see for San Marino in Eurovision 2014?
There are good singers in San Marino. If I may, I have a friend who, if she finds a good producer who would love her as much as Ralph Siegel loves me, would be great. She's a classical jazz singer but she sings also other stuff and I'd love her to have this same experience I've had. Her name is Sarah Jane Ghiotti.
I saw you perform The Social network song in a jazzy way...
Oh you mean The Social Network Swing? Ha ha ha!
Yes, when did this version come and why didn't you perform that in Eurovision last year?
When I first heard The Facebook Song as it was titled then, I already heard this melody and in my musical mind heard it could be arranged differently, I saw the future so to speak. One of the reasons I accepted to sing it. But only after Baku we rearranged it with my musicians.
May I please ask you to include this version to your future album?
Yes of course, absolutely. Many people love it!
Thank you Valentina for this interview, it's been a pleasure. See you on Thursday and then in the final!