Malika Ayane needs no introduction because to speak for her is her unique voice and her style, an inexhaustible talent and a great versatility. Versatility that led her to compare not only with music but also with radio, cinema and television. In 2019 she will be busy with the new stages of the lucky “Domino Tour”, with it the singer-songwriter is carrying around her fifth recording project in ten years of career.
by Francesco Del Grosso
When did you understand that music would play a major role in your life?
It has always been. A few days ago, I was talking to my daughter about the fact that not everyone knows what they want to do in life, while I was one of those people who knew it immediately. Not so much becoming a famous singer, rather than my well-being passed through the making of music. When I was as a child, playing gave me joy.
What did you bring with you from the Teatro alla Scala?
The pursuit of quality and beauty. When you’re 12 and after doing your homework in a theater bar like that, you go to rehearsals with an orchestra of great professionals. You start looking at the world with different eyes and you realize that there is something so high that it will mark you forever. It’s like getting used to eat very well and being forced to adapt and not the other way.
In addition to your style and your voice, what accompanies you on stage during each performance?
A great insecurity [she laughs]. There is a moment, before starting, where you don’t know how it will end. It is not easy to explain in words what happens at that moment. It is as if at some point everything went out – including myself – and the feeling of uncertainty took over. There are a number of possibilities and you have a limited time to decide where to go.
How has it changed – and if it has changed – your way of singing compared to the beginning?
I think that the experience of beings humans leads to living things differently, a bit as happens when you approach the emotions or decisions to be taken. In the same way, your way of singing changes with maturity. When I was a teenager, I wanted to amaze and sing the sounds – something very common among the young singers – with the maturity I realized that it was more important to be able to give value to the same words through sound. So do less, but do better. This means using the voice as an instrument and, at the same time, trying to make the contents comprehensible.
How did you deal with the participations in San Remo and what is the episode you remember most?
I participated in four editions and I understood how important it was to go there knowing that you are bringing a musical project (a single track or the promotion of a record) to the attention of millions of people. I never experienced the festival as a competition, rather like the possibility of talking to many. So it’s not so much the situation itself but how you handle what you’re carrying on and off the stage. It would be wrong to say that having taken part several times in that event was not more or less incisive on sales, concerts and listening to the radio. Undoubtedly the revolt of the orchestras in 2010 was the episode of greatest impact, but what I remember with more affection is the Sanremo of 2015, I have faced in a more relaxed and positive than the previous ones.
How much important was for you to win the Critics Award Mia Martini twice in Sanremo?
It has a human value before artistic. In the age of social media, every day there is someone who suffers harassment and it is very important that certain attitudes be condemned. A film about her was recently released entitled “Io sono Mia” that, in addition to making the right tribute to the figure of an extraordinary woman and singer, is a finger pointed at the kind of slander and psychological violences that can destroy a life and a career. The effect of words can be devastating. We often forget that at the base we are all humans and it goes beyond the notoriety media exposure.
What would you like to talk about in a song that you have not been able to do yet?
I write a lot of states of mind in most disparate situations. Through the lyrics of my songs I like to talk about how what we live inside then reflects on the outside world. More than a specific theme I would like to become better in refining the description of certain sensations and certain concepts.
What is your position with respect to talent shows?
It is undeniable that television gives a certain visibility, but career is another thing. You have to be structured people and I don’t envy those who naively think that the point is getting to be a part of this cauldron where everyone makes records, as to stay there as long as possible doing things to be proud of. Many like Mengoni or Michielin started studying after the talent show and they would have done so independently of participating in X Factor. I do not know if today I was a beginner, if I could do without television to emerge.
What do you expect from the audience and what do you think the audience is expecting from you?
Pure reciprocity. A concert is a mutual exchange of emotions and there must be an empathy between the audience and performers.
At the active you have a series of prestigious collaborations, but among the many which surprised you?
It might seem obvious, but the greatest discovery is and continues to be Caterina Caselli. In the years I realize how much she is a model to follow in terms of versatility, the ability to play a team game and to know how to recognize what works and what does not. I was lucky enough to grow by her side and enjoy her teachings. Without her and her directions I would not have known Paolo Conte or take a tour with Bocelli.
Currently do you feel free as a woman or an artist?
For the first time I feel that all the pieces match perfectly and it is a wonderful feeling that comes from having the right age both in terms of maturity and physical and mental energy.
What do you think could be the turning point or the year zero in your career?
I think it’s really my last album “Domino”, in my opinion is more difficult to promote and to make people reach than the previous ones. This is an album in which I brought back all the credibility and experience gained in these 10 years of career. With it I don’t draw a balance, but I celebrate the beginning of a new path. The idea of being able to shape something again relying only on what I have and not on possible shortcuts gave me further way to do better and more. For this reason I consider “Domino” a turning point and at the same time of restart.
Artistically, what is your biggest fear?
A few years ago, my fear was not to be able to make beautiful records as much as I wanted. Today I think back that we do our best, when we are doing it, I believe that everything leads to another. My biggest fear is the idea of no having the strength or the courage to try and do new things.
Credits Malika Ayane Press Office: Lara Cecere LaPresse
Press Office 1 Day: Elisa Martini
Sugar Artist Promotion and Marketing: Nicoletta Zagone