Interview by Miriam C.It’s time for the Italian artist Kiara Laetitia, mainly know as the former vocalist of the symphonic power metallers Skylark, to write another chapter of her artistic life. With her debut EP “Fight Now” she inaugurates a brand new start that can only be shining for her future. Discover with us what Virgin Steele‘s mainman Mr.De Feis has helped in this rebirth! Hi Kiara, first of all how are you?? I’m really honoured to speak with you!
Hi Miriam! I’m great thanks! And thanks for this interview, pleasure it’s mine!Let’s start, so recently, after being for 8 years the lead vocalist of the Italian power/symphonic metal band Skylark, you have decided to go solo and release the EP “Fight Now”. What you can say about its genesis? When you have started to compose the lyrics for this release?
Well, I’ve always had the idea of a solo project, a parallel project to Skylark, but then I had so much going on with the band that I never found the time to sit down and write some material. For this EP “Fight Now” I wrote both music and lyrics and David DeFeis from Virgin Steele wrote some music for it as well. “I’m Not God” was born while I was still in Skylark, while “Fight Now” for instance was conceived like last year. I also wrote most of the stuff for the rest of the album and I’ve already started to record some demoes. Basically “Fight Now” is a 2 years’ work!So, Kiara the idea of this solo EP was born before your were leaving Skylark and essentially, what represents for you?
Yeah, the idea of a solo project dates back to 2005 when some journalists and labels in Japan asked me to do a solo album. But as I said back then I was busy and also, honestly speaking, I also had to find my own domension inside Skylark which was completely a new experience for me. Through the years though I’ve always wanted to do something on my own, to create my own dimension and when my adventure with Skylark was over I decided it was the right time. I had to wait 2 years to release something on my own after the split with Skylark for contract reasons, but in the meantime I kept writing material…Interesting! You have mentioned Japan, and you have kinda anticipated a question that I’ve prepared – ’cause for me as a fan and a ‘journalist’ when I read of European bands (in these case Italian) having a musical breakout in Japan is like daydreaming , I know for my own experience, that the Japanese market (although there are many many interesting musical entities such as Liv Moon, Cyntia, Cinq Elements and more) can be very tough due to, mainly, its language and cultural barriers. How the Japanese musical market works? Also, correlated to the previous question what glimpse you can give us about its musical scene?
It’s hard to define the Japanese market. I’d say that for some part it’s very similar to the European or American one, some of the bands that are huge in Europe are huge in Japan as well (like Bon Jovi for instance). Of course, Japan also has some local entities and music sung in Japanese. I would probably say that music in Japan is very ‘visual’ (see visual-K for example), meaning that a lot of attention is given to clothing and accessories and the way artists look, which creates a pretty captivating ensemble. I agree with them, I mean the visual aspect is important for an artist as well since it is a tool to express art at its best.I think that the visual aspect is important but should never define (in strict compartments) who we are. At the end we’re free thinkers and we are allowed to change.. that’s what I like of the v-kei Japanese bands… they give me a sense of freedom..
Of course, I agree with you! Never put people inside compartments or boxes. Clothing doesn’t define the person but it can help define art…that’s what I meant!Also your biography in totally states what I was saying before : “artistic freedom”- I quote [from the official site] “She was a model for Exté, Schwarzkopf and Givenchy just to name a few, actress and assistant director in theaters (she also wrote a play) and brief TV productions on the Italian national TV channels Italia 1 and LA7”. We can consider you both a writer, model and actress but what it is the fact/reason that has made inclined to choose exclusevely a rock singer career?
Actually I haven’t chosen solely the rock singer career 🙂 In fact, as we speak I’m talking with some managers for theater productions, some projects I cannot talk about yet but as soon as I can I will issue a press release with all the details on those acting projects which are very ambitious and flattering at the same time. Singing, writing music and modelling were my main outlet in the last decade, but I feel I have so much more to say as an artist and thank you for the words you used ‘artistic freedom’, those 2 words represent me so much.Interesting… I cannot wait to know more about also, I’ve read in your site that is in preparation a book that you are writing it since 2002 if I’m not wrong..
Yes, I’ve been writing that book for a decade now and I kept adding and adding things, it’s prose, poems and letters. What’s funny is that some of the poems in that book ended up as lyrics for Skylark, like “A Rose In My Hand” for instance. When the book will be published, people will actually read the extended version of songs like “A Rose In Her Hand” or “I’m The Evil”, and they will see its origins…Oh god I was dying to know more about “A Rose In My Hand” since years!! Our Skylark fans will very very happy!!
Really? Cool, everyone will have to wait for the book to be published 😀
You have already told me that “Fight Back” sees the collaboration of Mr.David DeFeis behind the mixing desk and a producer, but we must remember that you have already worked (or better you sing a song) with him to a song called “Symbol of Freedom” in 2010 released on the album “全部”. This time, how was working with him as your producer and recording duties?
Yes, I had already worked with David on the “Symbol of Freedom” song back with Skylark, but working with him for a whole project like “Fight Now” was amazing! David also wrote some music for my EP and played most of the instruments for it (he played keyboards, bass and drums). And of course we co-produced the project together. I’ve been knowing David since 2005 and I’m lucky enough to call him a friend, not only is he an extremely gifted artist but he’s also a very cool guy and person.Behind a friend, I sense that him is also a mentor for you. How was, for the first time ‘deal with’ the music business by yourself, ALONE? Sounds a little silly what I’m asking here but we’re human being and we’re not machine without feelings so.. was it hard?
Of course it was! I can’t deny that I was a bit overwhelmed at the beginning by everything and the fact of having to do things on my own. But then I found strength inside myself first of all and of course David was a mentor for me as well. But the main strength always has to come from ourselves. It’s partially the message I give in “Fight Now” – people have to find their inner strength and power to carry on, never give up, life is such a precious gift and it’s too short to be scared!So, I can get that “Fight Back” sounds for you like a karma to never surrender in front of the obstacles that life puts you..
We should accept ourselves as human beings and accept all of our fragilties cause they make us human and special, but then we need to face life and never be afraid and yes, “Fight Now” it’s my karma!Now I sounds like an old granma but I realize it’s true – my High School english professor used to say: “the words aren’t fried air, they have a specific meaning and everytime you spoke you accomplish powerful things!” – I must realize also that “Victory is Mine”, the VS cover that you have included has a tight/narrow ‘relationship’ with your idea of ‘never surrender’, right?
“Victory Is Mine” is a way of saying that I can be victorious in the end if I want it. I’m not sure this was exactly the meaning Dave wanted to give it when he wrote it, but that’s what represented for me in that specific time of my life. So yes, never surrender what’s worst in life is to lose hope!“Fight Now” EP, for what I’ve learnt, is part of a bigger plan: your first solo album that will be out the next year. What you can spill about this exciting upcoming release?
That’s correct, “Fight Now” EP is an amuse bouche, an appetizer for a full-length that should come out by the end of 2014. Most of the songs have been written, now they need to be arranged and then recorded, mixed etc…the wheel spins 🙂 I can say that’s it’s gonna be heavy, I should say heavier in some parts but always melodic. I have the intention of experimenting a bit, but it’s hard for me to define the final result yet, since there’s a lot that can change throughout the whole production process..you know, new arrangments, different instruments, different mix…“Fight Now” is not only the title of your debut EP but also is your debut single for which you have shot an interesting videoclip. What you can say about its shooting? Any fun insights to share?
The video has been shot in Milan and wants to represent music and art as freedom. In the video I’m in a coffin, behind bars, in a cage, then I have some hands trying to stop me and also the musicians are tied up in belts, chains and such. Every time I manage to free myself from something there’s always something else, and this symbolizes all the difficulties in life. In the end, when I find myself in front of a glass, I grab one of the chains and I smash it and that sets me and the musicians free. Music liberates us all, art allows us to be free and not be held up in boxes or cages someone else puts us into. I have a ton of funny stories on the behind the scenes of the video 😀 From the guys having their make-up done to me literally ripping off one of the costumes I had…the day after the shoot I had a tons of bruises!Well, beside finishing the new album.. what are your next plans? I imagine a promo tour in Japan ):
Next plans are touring and promo around the world, but that’s gonna be in February.Promo around the world? Well, congratulation and good luck for that dear! Well, we’re at end I really thank you for this long long chat and thanks for being such welcoming and avalaible! Please greet our fans freely… as you want!
Thank you for this opportunity to talk about a project that is sooo me and sooo defines me as a person and as an artist! To all the people who supported me, to all the Fighters out there, thanks for your support through the years, I’m here because of you and for you, my art is at your service! I’m just the messenger!