The MadonnaTribe team meets Chiara Iezzi, singer, painter, photographer and multifaceted artist, to discuss her new life, her new single and a common passion: Madonna. Join us for this exclusive chat with Italy's blond and pop sensation whose new single, "Nothing At All", entered the single chart straight at #2!
MTribe: Hi Chiara and welcome
to MadonnaTribe. There is really no need to introduce you
to our Italian and European visitors, but let's tell our
American readers that you're one of the most popular female
artist from Italy and that along with your sister Paola
you've been on top of the charts around the world.
You now have a new solo single out, Nothing
At All, that debuted in the Italian singles
chart at #2.
Nothing At All is a brand new
and original song with a production that is partly inspired
by Madonna's Confessions Tour rendition of Erotica.
This has caused quite a controversy among some Italian
Madonna fans, who have not the clearest idea of the difference
between songwriting and composing vs producing, and how
the syle and arrangment of a song is something different
from its structure and melody.
Would you like to explain these difference a little better
for our readers?
Chiara: Hi guys, first of all I'd like
to thank you for the opportunity you're giving me to express
myself and reach Madonna fans through MadonnaTribe.
As you know I'm a big fan of Madonna and I listen a lot
to her music. Each artist is influenced and absorbes a
lot of what he lives and loves and Madonna herself has
shown us how writing music and the way to "manufacture"
pop music has changed.
I think that writing Hung Up
on Abba's Gimme Gimme and the
references to Moroder and Pet Shop Boys on her latest
studio album are pure genious.
Citing Madonna was a risk for me, because she's not only
an icon from the past but she's an icon of the present
and future! Maybe she hasn't been given the total recognition
she deserves as the great artist she is.
Madonna can be seen as a cultural and musical milestone and a reference
since a long time.
Too many attacks, too much bad criticism. My song is lyrically
and melodically an original creation. It has nothing to
do with anything she wrote.
The chords used are a common standard often used in pop
music. If you notice even our song Festival
uses the same armonic progression.
This explains that a good pop song often uses the same
three main chords, but it's the melody that makes the
difference. Then, I was deliberately inspired by the feel
and the atmosphere of the new live version of Erotica
with those synth sound at the beginning
of the song.
This led some people to think my song was very similar
to Erotica, but factually it's
not like that at all.
MTribe: Why did the "Confessions'
version" of Erotica touch
you so much to the extent of inspiring the arrangement
of Nothing At All? As you probably
know this was the first time Madonna reworked live this
demo version of Erotica commonly known among fans as You
At All came to me one night, it was the end
of June or the beginning of July 2006. I didn't feel well
at the time. I was on my computer and I was checking the
first images of the Confessions Tour that were circulating
on the web and then I heard that version of Erotica. I never
heard it before. I was a bit depressed for a series of reasons
so I burst into tears, it was like getting a punch in your
Sometimes songs are born like that, with a great deal of
pain that you have to get rid of. It was a long time I didn't
write in that state. I was crying and something pushed me
to put down those words. "Nothing at all"
is my story, it's everything I lost.
And it's also what I've learned from a love story that put
me on my knees. I know for sure that this wound will never
And then you saw the Confessions Tour
Where did you see the show? And what do you think about
it? Do you find it different from Madonna's previous ones?
Chiara: I attended one of the concerts
in London with a friend of mine. Each of her shows is
a journey full of emotions.
I was madly in love with the Drowned World Tour
but Confessions is pure beauty.
It's pure energy and she is among the few artists in the
world to reach such a striking scenic perfection.
MTribe: Going back to Nothing
At All, on the cover artwork of the single you
had some numbers put around your eye. Can you tell us
more about the meaning of this image?
Chiara: Sure. It is common knowledge
that eyes have an immense power. Our daily moods and life
itself often depend from how we look and how we perceive
We can learn to re-educate our way to see reality.
In our hands we have the freedom to chose to be happy.
We are often enslaved by the world that surrounds us,
by people's judgements, by money, by a partner, by our
own ego. That's why I put some numbers on my eye. It seems
a paradox but I really do believe that to be free we need
to have a strong structure within ourselves. Inner order
comes from the knowledge of ourselves. This way, we can
learn to better handle the chaos coming from the outside.
Happyness and Freedom are always conscious choices. Those
numbers on my eye mean that when you change inside, you
change deeply in the DNA of yourself and that nothing
can change your mind or make you feel bad if you're not
the one to permit it.
On my website
I've posted some links to images by Yehuda Berg (who I
had the chance to personally meet). He wrote "The
Power of Kabbalah" and many other best selling books
on the issue.
He's a true authority, he's the son of Rav Berg and Karen
Berg. The whole Berg family, including the other brother
Michael, is the great reference of all the Kabbalah centers
around the world. They started it all with their first center
in Los Angeles.
MTribe: When did you
realize that it was the right time to add to the Paola&Chiara
experience the project of a solo career?
I never thought of it in terms of career or being a solo
artist. Pain was my guide, I needed to do what I've done
to put together the pieces spread everywhere. I felt disintegrated.
I didn't write for more than a whole year and I came to
point of hating and rejecting music because I was convinced
it drained out all my energies.
I became convinced
that the reason I lost the person I loved was because of
the time I spent working on music. But then, at a certain
point, love overcame pain, "love is stronger than pain"
as the song says. I wanted to stay alive, I wanted to overcome
my limits so I told myself: "you made a lot of mistakes
and now it is time for you to take your responsabilities
and face all the things you don't like in yourself".
I think I've never felt so bad in my whole life. When we
feel so bad you often get self-destructing ideas. Today
I'm not afraid to speak about things as they really were.
I know that people out there know what it feels to be broken
in pieces for love. Career has nothing to do with it. It
was a challenge with myself. I needed to understand if I
could still appreciate myself, and the things that I have
done as an artist and as a human being.
MTribe: What kind of relashionship
you have with your sister Paola today?
Chiara: The two of us are deeply bonded. Our relashionship
is constantly evolving, through music and our personal experiences.
We have written a record that is a proof of the strength
we have together. Ours is a multi-level bonding.
When we reach a result we go to the next level. We never
stop, we are always looking for the thruth, for the ultimate
meaning of all this. We don't care to do this job just to
be in charts and live in our ivory tower. We decided to
run risks in our careers and many people know that. We accepted
the fact that we could be unpopular because our ultimate
goal was not money or career.
Can I be honest? I don't like the term "career".
MTribe: How is it
now performing "alone" on a stage? I bet you give
strenght to each other when it's the two of you.
Chiara: Sometimes I feel scared. But as
I said I have a goal that requires much hard work and responsability
so I kick my own butt and go out there. When it's the two
of us we have a different balance, we are allies. When you're
alone everything is a test and you can't rely on anyone
else. It's all yours, be it glory, shit, judgement, appreciation
and everything else that comes to mind. But everything helps.
To me playing the game means putting yourself to the test.
There isn't a single big radio network that is sponsoring
my song, except for all those local radios and networks
around the country that I wish to thank. But I asked myself:
why? Maybe there's something good behind this and I am blind
not to see it right now and I will be able to see it in
the future. Kabbalah says that sometimes there are bigger
plans or simply different plans awaiting for us. We also
have to let life work out what it has in store for us. The
Ego is always there to spoil everything, giving us the illusion
that we can control every aspect of our lives.
In your new songs you're singing in English, why did you
choose this language and what's your approach to writing
your own songs?
Chiara: I've been a lot in London and the United
States recently. It's something natural.
I don't sit down and say: "Oh today I'm going to write
a good song".
Lyrics usually come out as if there's a force, an energy
coming from another world. And you're only a medium through
which this energy passes.
Every artist is a vehicle and has to accept it. We don't
own anything, nobody owns anything or anyone. It's an exchange.
People out there need music to feel better, to give sense
to the paradox that life is and today I'm very aware of
If something from above "uses" me to do something
helpful I'm happy to do that.
MTribe: The video for Nothing
At All has been shot in London over the Christmas
season. What are your memories from this experience?
Nobody believed in this song. I went to London and I invested
on the idea because I really believed in it. I felt I had
no other choice than sharing this experience.
I remember so many people who fell in love with the project.
Director Maki Gherzi, producer Rino Sorrentino
and the cinematographers. In the streets of London, while
we were shooting the scenes inside the taxi I was thinking
about what I lived and it became clear to me how the energy
of that city was instrumental to reactivate something in
me. I was serene and a bit concentrated. Inside I was confident
that I would have realized my plan.
The pain coming from the loss of a person you love pushes
you to travel around the world, to discover yourself, to
do something you haven't done before. That's why there's
movement in the video, it's simple but it says what it is
meant to say.
MTribe: To launch Nothing At All
you chose the very innovative way of the Digital Single,
that has been available for online purchase quite a few
weeks before the "phisical single" reached stores
at the end of January.
How was this experience and are you happy with the result?
I'm very satisfied. The people at Kiver, the distributors
of the Digital Single have been the first ones to really
believe in the project and have supported a lot the charity
Then the project became a store single.
When I proposed the song to the various labels many of them
told me I was crazy and that I would have never make it, especially
with a song in English.
Almost everyone was not interested so I had to start again
from scratches, as a new comer and it was great.
I think the part when they shut doors on your face is the
best part. Because it's a test and because life wants to
see how much you believe in your dream, how determined you
are to keep trying when others say "no".
I have to thank Marco Contini, my friend and graphic designer,
who supported me and helped me puttin' together the idea
of this cd.
I also owe this second place in the charts to his strenght
and faith in me. He never left me alone and he knew why
it was so important for me to realize this project.
Many people still don't know what it means to realize a
dream, believing in it and not letting outer factors scare
you away. I would love to transmit these feelings to people.
We all have the same potential. We have to live our lives
in an active way. This is what experience gave me.
MTribe: Part of the proceeds from the sales of
"Nothing At All" will be devolved to the charity
As Madonna herself said, the situation in Malawi is really
tragic.Would you like to tell us more about this foundation
and what made you decide to do something about it with your
Chiara: I was informed about the situation
in Malawi through Kaballah meetings. I had this song under
by belt so I though that using it for charity was the best
thing. I made a promise to a person of the Raising
Malawi organization, that I would do my best to promote the
Malawi cause in Italy and this is what I'm trying to do.
MTribe: To spread the Raising
Malawi message, Madonna needed to shock the
public and she decided to do it singing one of her most
soul searching ballads, Live To Tell,
hung on a cross.
many critics by-passed the true message to simply blame
What do you think about Madonna on the cross?
Chiara: Madonna has the power to deeply
shake me. I'm like any other Madonna fan. Nobody should
touch her. A person who puts herself on a cross knows what
pain is, she has given all herself. Sometimes to attract
people's attention on certain problems we need to turn ourselves
into "transmission mediums". She chose this role:
living to tell. This is what a true artist should do and
there aren't many true artists around today. I don't care
about cynicism and about who thinks it's just a publicity
She made a lot of money? Well ok, she deserves all of it.
I detest envy.
Do you have a favourite Madonna song and - being a singer
- is there a Madonna song you would like to cover, maybe
re-inventing it in a different style or arrangement?
Chiara: A few years ago we used to do Holiday
while on tour! Such a great song. Today my favourite song
is Future Lovers, the one with
the Donna Summer sample. I would do it just as it is, I
love the way Madonna performs it. I also like that song
on the American Life album, X-Static
Process, the one in which she says: "I'm
not myself when you're around..." It's amazing.
Recently singer Laura Pausini has had the luck to be able
to sing a beautiful unreleased song by Madonna, known by
fans as Like A Flower. We personally
think that Laura has transformed too much the original lyrics,
which were very deep and poetic. Anyway, would you be happy
to sing an unreleased song by Madonna?
Chiara: It would be even
more than a honour. I could even retire with a big smile
on my face after singing a song written by her! I agree
with what Madonna says in Like A Flower.
None of our previous experiences can really disappear. The way we are
and the shape we will take depend on the experiences we have
MTribe: How long have you been a Madonna fan? To
which extent was she an influence musically and as a human
influenced by almost everything she does. To me she's the
absolute model. It gives me strenght to see how much she
believes in her ideas. Madge is great. She's the Queen and
I love her voice, her talent and her courage.
MTribe: Which are the other artists and
musical genres that have influenced you while you were growing
up and you feel that today are part of yourself as a performer?
Chiara: There are
lots of things I love and music has always been such an
experience for me. A good song is a good song, that's my
philosophy. Aside Madonna, I love Freddie Mercury, George
Michael, Jackson. I also like the great artists of Jazz
music such as Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole.
And a thousand more I can't think of right now.
MTribe: Together with your sister Paola you had
the chance to work with Luca Tommassini, one of the most
popular and talented Italian dancers and choreographers
around who has worked with Madonna on her Girlie
How is working with Luca?
Luca is incredible. He is the only person in Italy that
has had such a special experience with Madonna and I suppose
she's not someone that becomes attached so easily to anyone.
On the Girlie Show stage you could
feel how she loved Luca. This is so nice to see. We have
always worked very well with him, he's a great perfectionist,
very serene but self conscious and detetermined.
Luca has a great talent and he's such a beautiful person.
MTribe: You recently
approached the study of Kabbalah, which is more a way of
life and positive philosophy than a "religion"
in the traditional meaning.
People can actually be interested in what Kaballah says
even if they come from other religious backgrounds. We agree
with Madonna when she says that ultimately it's all about
"doing things with sense".
Do you think that the study of Kabbalah helped you improve
the relashionship you have with others and most of all with
I'm working on it. Madonna is right when she says
that Kabbalah is simply about doing things with sense. Each
of us has that sense within, but sometimes we're confused
and and we think we're making the right choices when it's
not the case. Kabbalah is an "advanced technology of
self-correction". When I attended the first classes
I didn't expect something like that. I was struck by it.
You approach Kabbalah for just one reason: you want to deeply
change things of yourself after you realized it is something
that depends on yourself and not anyone else.
talk about the famous "red string". It is common
knowledge that it helps keeping away the "evil eye"
and negativity in general. What really made me think was the
fact I've been told it helps protecting us from our own
self negativity, from the bad thoughts we have. What do
you think about that?
Chiara: I think it's
true. We are often our own worst enemies and we accuse other
people instead, because we don't what to face our dark side.
It's easier to blame others instead of looking into ourselves
and facing the problems. The Red String reminds us that
it can also protect us from the outside. The same negativity,
envy and bad feelings stirred by others are the things that
Kabbalah fights the most. These are the things behind war
and distruction. Why don't you come along at the next Kabbalah
meeting and get to know more about all this?
MTribe: Still speaking about Kabbalah themes, did
you happen to read one of Madonna's children's book? We
think they are very well written and the final morals are
very interesting. My favourite one is Mr Peabody's
Apples. It's about the irreparable damages
that evil tongue and calumny can cause to people's reputation.
What do you think about this specific Madonna project for
Chiara: I agree that they are very well
written. Speaking about calumny and defamation, the evil
eye and evil tongue are among the most harmful things. If
you point a finger against somebody then the other three
fingers are pointed back at you with even more negativity.
This evil mechanism is very strong and sooner or later you
have to pay the price of it. In the new album with my sister
Paola, that is coming out soon, we wrote a song about this.
MTribe: Can't wait to hear it. What musical genres
are you most interested in right now?
Chiara: I really love Club music at the moment.
Both Paola and I love dee-jays, there's a lot of talented
And speaking a bit more about your future projects, as you
worked with your sister Paola on different new songs, when
is the new album coming out?
Chiara: Yes, the new album is coming up
and we're very happy about that. It was great going back
to writing, looking for new directions. We look forward
for having the album out in stores in May. It's a very special
album, very intense. This is the record we wanted to make
for a long time in our lives and we can't wait to be out
Great, it will be fantastic to have you both back on the
Chiara, it was a pleasure to have you here chatting with
us at MadonnaTribe. Thank you so much and all the best.
Thank you, it was a pleasure to be on MadonnaTribe.
You have all my love and respect.
Chiara's new single Nothing At All is out
in the stores right now.
Nothing At All is also available to download from
music stores of the European Union for 0.99
and from iTunes UK for 0.79£.
Customers of the Vodafone and 3
Italia mobile phone networks can also download
the tune on their cellphones.
Half of the proceeds from sales of the digital and physical
singles will be donated to Raising
Malawi, an orphan-care initiative.
For more information about Chiara please
Special thanks to
Contini for his precious help and assistance.
This interview © 2007 MadonnaTribe.
Portraits of Chiara courtesy of Chiara Iezzi - All rights