INTERVIEW: Fany De La Chica
Hi Fany, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Very good! I’m in Andalusia right now (south of Spain)
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Do You Still Love Me”?
“Do You Still Love Me” is an evolution in the style mixing R&B with flamenco. In a way, this song asks back to my ex-lover how is everything going…if he is still remembering me….. The second part of the song is inspired by the flamenco fandango “Fandangos del Cariño” by Rocio Jurado:
Y en silencio,
me recuerdas a escondidas,
y me quieres en silencio,
que ya no me llames Rosa,
que me llamo Estefania,
como la princesa hermosa.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I think what inspired me is passing of the time after the break up with my boyfriend as we didn’t speak in a long time so I didn’t know much about his new life.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
I went to Los Angeles because I’m a filmmaker and I was selected for a film festival. My friend Can Turedi just bought a camera so he was happy to be co-director of the music video. I wanted to appear with a typical flamenco outfit but with a modern touch, for this reason, I used the veil with flowers and the comb. This image also reminds me of the classic Hollywood actresses in a way so the scenario of Los Angeles was ideal to portray this image.
The single comes off your new album Dressed For A Sunday – what’s the story behind the title?
When I was a child my mum used to reserve the “good clothes” for Sunday because my sister and I needed to go to Church – we went to a catholic school- . With a love breakup, it come the nights out, the occasional sex with strangers, drinking and all these things. Basically, to go out on Saturday and come back home on Sunday morning with the clothes from the previous night. It was normal to walk in the street and meet these people that go to church on Sunday morning. So the title of the album makes reference to these Sunday mornings…. because this album is to start to listen in a Saturday night and finish to listen it with the hangover on a Sunday
– of course, I don’t have time to go to church now and I’m not catholic anymore-
But the catholic themes are present in the aesthetics of the album. For example, in the cover, I appear dressed as a modern Virgin, in a painting made by a professional painter from my region named Pedro Gonzalez . For me this is very symbolic because I felt like one of these virgins that have a sword in their hearts. With the breakup, I felt like my heart was bleeding.
How was the recording and writing process?
The album describes the different stages of my relationship in an emotional arc telling a story like in a film. From being together with my boyfriend in a difficult situation in the first song, to suffering almost depression-like after he broke up with me and beginning to have feelings for other men and being scared of loving again at the end of the album.
For this reason, the album mixes different genres of music, depending on the part of the story and the feelings I’m expressing; from my roots in flamenco to other music styles like jazz, indie or R&B.
I recorded the album during my time in the MFA Directing/Screenwriting at Columbia University of New York. I started to take jazz singing lessons at Columbia and I met musicians in the university. I always wanted to be a singer but I never felt encouraged enough and confident to take it seriously. At this time I think it was a necessity, with the break up I needed to take out all the sadness and shit I have inside in an art form that wasn’t cinema.
What role does Spain play in your music?
I’m originally from Andalusia – south of Spain- the land of flamenco but I left my country ten years ago. When I left my country I started to listen even more to Flamenco and copla because I was an immigrant in the countries that I lived and this music become a part of my identity. Every time I felt sad or people were discriminating against me I used to listen to flamenco because flamenco; is not just a music genre…. is an attitude towards the life of fighting, of working-class – humble people and that started with people that worked in the fields – my region Andalusia the primary activity was agricultural-. The lyrics are always deep like in a poem and talk about life, love, and death. This music gave me the strength – most of the time- to continue fighting and to ask for respect. I think in a way jazz is very similar to flamenco.
How would you your musical vision and perspective has changed since you move to the states?
I think I listen even more to music genres like jazz and R&B and I feel more free to create because I always find collaborators that encourage me to continue composing and singing.
How did you get to balance all your different influences on this record?
I normally listen to different styles of music for my normal process to try to innovate or create something I think is unique. I do the same with my films so why don’t do it with music?
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
From my break up with my ex-boyfriend… and from old flamenco songs. Also from artists like Camaron, Rocio Jurado, Diego el Cigala and other international artists like Chet Baker, Amy Winehouse or Lauren Hill.
Any plans to hit the road?
I would love to! Especially in the US. I have plans to do a small tour in Spain this summer.
What else is happening next in Fany De La Chica’s world?
I hope I will get funding for my first feature film to shoot next year. We are now in development and I have enough songs to record another album where I want to mix R&B with flamenco. Apart of that my personal life is quite boring right now to be honest. I’m always working. Sometimes I think about stop making films and composing songs but I really think that this world needs more female artists!
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