Simona-Valentina, welcome to VENTS! Can you tell us about your latest single, Head Outta Washing Machine?
Head Outta Washing Machine is my musical confession of a funny, true story about how my singing and performing music actually started. Since I can’t remember I used to sing, clap and make a lot of noises, from what I remember and what my parents told me. Later on I became very shy and judgemental about my singing, and hence decided that sticking my head inside the unused washing machine might be the best place to hide from outer criticism. Furthermore, found out that the reverb effect was simply amazing in there. That was my humble little studio at around seven years old. I wanted with this song to empower people that no matter where and how you start your journeys in life, you should never be afraid to follow your dream and always have your head “outta washing machine”, metaphorically speaking.
How did you overcome your fear of singing in front of people?
Obviously , my mother found out about my little studio inside the washing machine and told me off. She gave me an inspiring speech about how sharing my gift with others and singing in front of poeple should be my actual goal. Later on I joined the school and highschool choirs, moved to London and started to write songs and play gigs. I have never overcome the fear to perform to be honest. I still feel the fear but just decided that I should do it anyway! Because I found out that when I perform at gigs and events, people really enjoy it, they singalong and engage and that brings me great joy and satisfaction and kills that little devil of doubt that we all possess inside ourselves, called fear.
Was releasing your first single daunting?
It was not daunting, more like exciting and strange to me as I was not sure what the steps were in producing and releasing a song. I wrote my first single in collaboration with a great artist, Tom Bright. He put the guitar melody on my first song, Unspoken Love. When I first met Tom, I had this song obsessively playing in my head for a while and it just wanted to be born, like a baby sitting in the womb for over nine months. I just sang the chorus to Tom and magic happened, in a couple of weeks we had the song done. He believed in me that I can finish of the song, and I believed in him that he can play what is in my head. It was magic for me to be fair, as I could never have believed I could have a song written and produced in English.
How does your solo work differ from the acoustic duo you’re in, SVRPoole?
My solo work is more country/folk in nature and tells my dramas, stories and reflections mainly. It is most of the time just me and my guitar confessing and storytelling. With SVRPoole, however, the style is leaning more towards indie pop-rock and I take in more imput from the other collaborator, Riccardo Poole, that comes with his magical riffs of guitar and piano sounds, it is more of a band feel and work, I think.
We love the 90s nostalgia in your latest release; which artist from the 90s inspires you the most?
Thank you so much, that is a great compliment and glad you feel that, as I am truly inspired by those times. It is hard to pin it down to just one artist to be honest, but two names that come to mind are Celine Dion, for her incredible singing abilities and the Swedish band Roxette for the beautiful songwriting and overall feel of music.
What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
In terms of songwriting, the proudest moment was receiving a semi-finalist award in the International Songwriting Competition for my song, Blue Tattoo. In terms of performing, every gig means a lot to me and the feedback I receive gives me wings and makes me fly in this beautiful musical journey. One particular show that stood out was in highschool, in Romania, when I sang as a lead soprano in front of a big theatre with nearly a thousand people watching and I received great feedback at the end which really felt amazing.
What’s next for Simona-Valentina?
I am currently working on a sad love song that talks about the heart not being able to fully heal ever again and never able to give a second chance to a lover that broke your heart.
Also, I am wrapping up my first album, which should hopefully be all done by the end of the year, my Santa present, so to speak. This album will be dedicated to my beloved grandma that inspired me the most to sing and write, she will forever live in my heart and in my music and I hope she will be able to hear it from Heaven.