Interview

From Bob Marley to Bob Dylan, Inside the Eclectic Roots of Valentina Marino

Q: Given that he is such an icon, most people would be intimidated by covering a Bob Marley song, especially one so iconic as "Three Little Birds." What were your feelings in recording this?

A: It just came out very naturally. I heard that arrangement in my ears and in my heart.

Q: Have you done a cappella before? What kind of experiences have you had singing without instrumentation?

A: Yes. But never a Marley song. It's very interesting. Your ears expand and your voice goes into a sort of orchestra mode.

Q: When did you first hear Marley's music? Would you consider yourself a huge fan?

A: I am a huge, huge fan of Bob Marley. My aunt introduced me to his music when I was a teenager. I spent so many summer nights since then singing and dancing to his songs.

Q: Where were you born? Did you grow up in a musical environment?

A: I was born in Sicily and grew up in Rome. My family is super musical. I am so proud of my cousins who are so talented and have been singing and playing multiple instruments since they were babies. I thank my parents for passing me the joy of singing and whistling, my aunt for introducing me mostly to all the music from the '70s and the '80s. And my uncle, of course, whose guitar has accompanied me for my whole life.

Q: What kind of music did you listen to when you were younger?

A: Literally all kinds of music. From opera and classical instrumental music to rock, folk, pop and jazz, of course.

Q: What artists had the greatest impact on you in terms of your creative evolution?

A: Many. Too many to mention them all. And not only musicians. Painters, poets, thinkers and philosophers as well. Here's a big concise arch: Coltrane, Dylan, Mitchell, early Madonna, Lennon, Bartoli, Bowie, Fitzgerald, Klimt, Dali, Freud, Picasso, Neruda.

Q: In what way did they influence you?

A: They influenced me through their passion and honesty and vulnerability. With the dedication and commitment for what they created and shared.

Q: You released an album in 2014 called Jazz Canvas. How would you describe that experience?

A: Like my producer, Cameron Brown, said: it was the fastest and most creative record in the history of jazz. This is an exaggeration, of course. But it's true that the band was so cohesive, we were so much together and the energy so great that we jumped in the studio and gave birth to the album in such a short time. The flow was magic. The process behind my later record, PhiLOVEsophy was much different and much slower. You can never predict in music how the process is going to evolve.

Q: Do you have plans for another full-length? What can people expect from it?

A: While waiting for the release of PhiLOVEsophy, I am getting ready for another new born. 2017 will hopefully be the year for my third record to come out. All originals this time and of course my experimentations with a cappella renditions and loopers.

Website: http://www.valentinamarino.com