How did you get your start in music?
Music has always been a big part of my life. I started playing the piano at the age of 2, before I could even speak properly. I used to go to watch my older sister’s piano lessons and the teacher noticed my strong enthusiasm to play so she decided to try to teach meeven though I was so young. Unfortunately she passed away when I was 10 and so I stopped playing for a while. Then when I was 12 my family wanted all of us to record a song for my dad’s 40th and make him a CD. It turned out quite well and as a result I was encouraged by my family and others in the studio to pursue singing so I did.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
My musical influences are diverse and vary because I have been involved in so many different aspects of music (musical theatre, pop-rock, dance). I have now taken a direction that is more pop, so I look up to people like Sia, the way she has controverted the music business by covering her image is impressive. Her work very much focuses on the display of her creativity and musical talent. I admire that; she is a great songwriter and vocalist. I also love Pink, she sings with such conviction and is never afraid to show her personality. I will always remember her live Grammy performance from a trapeze! I also went to circus school a while back so I enjoyed that performancec a lot. I have to mention Beyonce, she is an incredible vocalist, dancer and all around performer.
Can you tell us about your experience on The Voice in France?
It gave me an insight in what it was like to be in a competitive situation and about possibly developing a career in the music industry. I was able to perform in all kinds of events and venues. I have also since been called for a number of castings. At one point in the show I was really ill and had lost my voice at the time so it taught me to control my nerves, stay calm and make the best of what I had that day because it may have been my only chance to perform on TV. I’ve also met some great people who have become true friends of mine. It’s great to be able to share your passion with people in the same situation as you.
How well do you think competition shows like The Voice and X Factor can help launch new artists’ careers?
From what I have seen, these shows do not guarantee a successful career or even radio play for the signed artists and / or winners. There are no rules anymore. I think it is a great way of gaining exposure if you are new to the industry and don’t know where to start – knowing how an audience reacts to your performance and the type of opportunities that can be offered to you afterwards. It definitely has given me a better idea of what I wanted to do and what I was able to do. But I do think it takes a lot more than a singing competition to make it in this industry. There are so many singing competitions and seasons of each one that you have to find a way to stand out and be unique and different from the rest so that people remember you. It’s not just about singing well and winning.
Describe the inspiration for your new single “Tomboy.”
It’s a song about a girl who would rather have a good time with the boys. I am girly, but I had a few experiences with groups of girls and I realized it wasn’t really my thing. I wanted my first song in the US to be positive and playful and something many could relate to. Tomboy is a fun concept, many girls will relate to it. You don’t need to be a complete tomboy to sometimes feel like one, having a good time with the guys and be easy going around them.
How did your collaboration with Nelly happen? Can you tell us what it was like to work with him?
It’s a modern collaboration because he has worked with my producer before, so he heard the song, liked it and recorded his verse on it. I’m so honoured that a Grammy-award artist heard my song and agreed to collaborate. He is a rapper but he can also sing and writes great lyrics. I only met him during the video shoot and he was so kind and down to earth. He knew this was my first music video so he talked me through it; he made me feel really comfortable and gave me some good tips. It was an enjoyable day we all had had a great time whilst shooting.
What can fans expect with your upcoming album? Any surprises?
People will get the chance to see various aspects of my personality that are unexpected. There will definitely be some surprises, potentially new collaborations…
Do you have any big plans for 2015?
Yes, I would love to meet my audience on a stage and perform for them live. I would also like my music to be released in Europe because it’s where I’m from!
Are there any other artists you would like to collaborate with?
Obviously there are so many talented artists who have inspired me the list would be too long! I hope that one day some would also like to collaborate with me.
If you could describe this year in a few words, what would they be?
It’s definitely been a year of hard work, new opportunities, taking risks, facing changes and new challenges as well as exciting collaborations. I feel like I am at the right place doing what I love 🙂
Listen to Diana’s single below…