I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days with Valentina Monetta before and after the concert in San Marino on August 5, 2014. A concert where she presented songs from her latest album Sensibilità. An album where Valentina was able to express herself in a more personal way including songs composed by herself in collaboration with other authors, including her brother Vincenzo (Viaggio samba, this blogger's personal favorite). An intimate concert in the magical setting of Piazza della Libertà under (almost) full moon, with intense and original interpretations of rearranged Chrysalis and Maybe and a lot of what she does best: jazzy stuff.
But it's not all spotlights and glitter in the tiny intense, somewhat closeted reality of the microstate of San Marino, a small jewel of the Italian peninsula, as we spoke over a pleasant lunch and the post-concert gathering in the historic center, or during an afternoon at the beach on the Adriatic Coast (where her video for Maybe was shot), or the quietness of her home's lovely terrace over looking the historic city center.
These three years in the Eurovision world have given her for sure a lot of inner growth, more commitment and a better awareness of her abilities and possibilities. ”This is the most beautiful, positive thing I can see. It is difficult to say else. What can I say? That it brought me more money and more work? No ... because Eurovision is a project for those who work around it in the end. I'm trying to maintain contacts and keep myself busy but in the end Eurovision gives you work for two weeks a year. I certainly understood I'm not an artist who wants to be used for something that threatens to get away from what is art in the truest sense of the word. I understand that now,” she says. ”As I said I do not want to be no more a vehicle of any kind except for the art itself or making people feel good when I sing. I'm not going to be more of a political or commercial vehicle, I want to sing for another reasons.
Undoubtedly, the experience of the Eurovision brought me a great inner growth, I realized so many things, I grew up, I discovered sides of me that probably, without this experience, I never found out. It gave me a new kind of awareness and approach. It has given me popularity abroad ... but definitely not enough to get by or to do well what I want to do. Surely I speak better English, I realized many logistics of the show business. There are more questionable sides than the positive parts in Eurovision. From the outside everything is beautiful, glitter and sequins. For an artist who instead is trying to do it with big heart and passion there is a risk that we are going to detract from the whole. My impression is that a big heart or a big passion is not a reason to jump into a situation like the Eurovision. You also need a pinch of cynicism, often more head than heart. Well ... I have learned to use more my head. But if I didn't put my heart through maybe I didn't receive so much love from the fans. Of this I am immensely grateful to Eurovision.
The Eurovision is not considered interesting in San Marino. There is a famous saying that says "Orphans home, winners abroad." Perhaps it would be easier to obtain satisfaction abroad and then return home later on, as did many. My desire for my future is this ... But you have to take into account the possibility of having to start from scratch each time. Many think that I have gained something more to make me calmer at the professional level when in fact it is not. I definitely feel more human than many other rich people who put the money in the top of the list but it will not stop me thanking, however, that this show got me so many beautiful things. An event that asked me a lot but also gave me a lot. Not money. That's for sure!” (laughs).And the story of Valentina Monetta continues.... not in Vienna but somewhere else.....