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Born in Venice, Giada Valenti never sat down and made a conscious decision to become a singer. The Valenti family was inherently musical and her grandmother was a well known professional singer in the local community. Clearly rubbing off, Valenti took the stage by four-years-old, and was writing musical notes before she could pen the alphabet. Performance and music part of her DNA, she studied music theory at the Santa Cecilia Music School in Venice, and got her degree at Giuseppe Tartini in Trieste.
On the other hand, her father felt she needed an outlet to a "serious career" to go along with her musical passions. So she studied psychology at the University of Padova.
In between, Giada was influenced by pop and rock music and was very much among the Italian music vibe that looked to cover all sounds American and British. But she would come to realize that the world's greatest music derived of love and the yearnings of the heart.
Either way, she signed with BMG Ariola and had several of her recordings reach the European charts. Riding and romancing that success, Giada received serious interest from a major record label in New York. As a result, she decided to adopt the greatest city in the world as her home and is not be shy about letting her music show what Italians have always done better.
Love Italian Style
“We invented romance,” she said. “Around the world they say Italian men are very romantic, but you cannot generalize. Still, everybody loves romance, and the world seems to think that the Italians and the Spanish are more romantic. I guess it's the accent.”
Of course as an Italian women, she knows the drill. So she is well schooled in putting on the brakes. “I made my husband work for a month before anything happened,” said Valenti.
Her experience with the first string of relentless Italian pursuit was all the easier in her case, though. “He's Dutch,” Valenti revealed.
Nonetheless, the cut across culture never had her family giving him the boot. “They loved him right away, and now they love him more than me,” she said. “You know how that goes.”
That would be in-law love if you’re not Italian, while her father’s career concern turned out not to be a problem. “I've always been eager to learn, and he was right in a way because everything you learn enriches you,” she said. “I use my psychological knowledge to analyze my audience. I can see who's enjoying the show. Who's shy and who's thinking, please come to me.”
Singers all feel the same way.
On her end, any trial or trepidation falls as a matter of process. “I'm maybe nervous the first 20 seconds, and then it just becomes a natural place for me to be. Even if I have a cold or headache,” she said, “it just makes me feel like, wow.”
This leaves her in good company. “A big fan of Edith Piaf, I know she felt the same way,” Valenti asserted. “I think it's something that all singers in the world have.”
But the uplift is thicker than blood or culture. “So even though I'm Italian, in my heart, I love French music,” said Valenti. “But maybe I love Edith Piaf so much because she's half Italian.”
Romantic Musical Journey
However the whole of her musical journey took a turn as she started to deviate from rock and pop. “I came across jazz and began learning about song writing. I eventually realized the most famous songs that people write are all related to love, and I really connect to that,” said Valenti.
Still, rock and pop can be found among the sounds at her concerts. “I even do Light my Fire—of course, in my own style,” she said.
There are plenty of funny stories shared about life and family, but the performance always comes back to the romance. “I see people holding hands and getting closer. I even know people that came to my show having just met, and a few months later, they are engaged,” Valenti beamed.
As for her, romance has yet to yield the fruits of motherhood. “I can't. I'm always traveling —never knowing which country I want to live in. But if I did have kids, I would want them to be strongly connected to music," she implored. "I always say music has kept me away from troubles like drugs and bad company. It's just very important to encourage them to pursue their passion. So whether it's sports or art, if you have an interest in life, you're not going to look for those bad things around you."
Men and women both identify.
But does having a lot of men in the audience get her in trouble and maybe make her husband jealous. “The main reason they are there is because they have a girlfriend or wife taking them,” Valenti clarified.
On the other hand, her show sometimes turns the tables. “Recently, I did a show, and they interviewed some fans after. It was funny to hear this one woman say, I loved it,” Valenti conveyed. “But I'm never bringing my boyfriend again, because all he keeps saying is how beautiful Giada is,” Valenti joked.
So she’s very proud to have so many female fans, and her fans seem be on the same page as to the show stoppers. “I would say 'La Vie a Rose', 'Volare' and 'The First Time Ever I Saw your Face' are my favorites, and what's great is my fans seem to adore those songs as much as me,” she said.
But it’s more than the company that keeps her from missing her native home. “Italians are very proud of where they are from, but I've lived in London, Amsterdam and Astoria,” she concluded. “I love everywhere I am, because I'm happy with myself.”
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