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 Thrill Me.


Chiara: Nothing 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 stomach.
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 go away.


MTribe: And then you saw the Confessions Tour live.
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 things.
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?

Chiara: 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?

: 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.


MTribe: 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?

: 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 that.
If something from above "uses" me to do something helpful I'm happy to do that.

The video for Nothing At All has been shot in London over the Christmas season. What are your memories from this experience?

Chiara: 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.

: 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?

Chiara: 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 issue.
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.

: Part of the proceeds from the sales of "Nothing At All" will be devolved to the charity foundation Raising Malawi.
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 new single?

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.


Not-so-suprisingly many critics by-passed the true message to simply blame the presentation.
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 stunt.
She made a lot of money? Well ok, she deserves all of it. I detest envy.


MTribe: 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.


MTribe: 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?

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 been living.

: How long have you been a Madonna fan? To which extent was she an influence musically and as a human being?

Chiara: I'm 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.

: 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 Show tour.
How is working with Luca?


Chiara: 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 yourself?


Chiara: 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.

MTribe: Let's 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?

: 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 children?

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.

: Can't wait to hear it. What musical genres are you most interested in right now?

: I really love Club music at the moment. Both Paola and I love dee-jays, there's a lot of talented people around.


MTribe: 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 there again.

MTribe: Great, it will be fantastic to have you both back on the music scene.
Chiara, it was a pleasure to have you here chatting with us at MadonnaTribe. Thank you so much and all the best.

Chiara: 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 all iTunes 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 visit: and -

Special thanks to Marco Contini for his precious help and assistance.

This interview © 2007 MadonnaTribe.
Portraits of Chiara courtesy of Chiara Iezzi - All rights reserved

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