Laura Pausini ended 2013 with a lot to celebrate. She released a greatest hits set where she collaborated with Marc Anthony, James Blunt, Andrea Bocelli, Lara Fabian, Kylie Minogue, Alejandro Sanz, Michael Buble and Miguel Bose. The set peaked at number one on the charts in Italy and charted in many markets.
She performed a tribute to Bose at the Latin Grammy Awards alongside Ricky Martin and Juanes.
Now, she will embark on an international tour promoting twenty years in the music industry. Here, she talks about her collaborations, fears and love for her craft.
Although you have recorded in many languages, you are known for your Italian and Spanish musical work. Are there things you can express more eloquently singing in Italian than you can in Spanish? Are there things you can express more eloquently singing in Spanish than you can in Italian?
Languages are so beautiful to learn and you cannot imagine how wonderful it is to be able to write and sing in many of them. Portuguese is my favorite one but I have to admit that Italian and Spanish are my own. I feel so comfortable in both… Sometimes I am writing in Italian (most of the time, of course) and sometimes I feel Spanish in my soul and I write directly in Spanish.
Some songs are better in Spanish and some others are very nice in English but my adventure with my English album (From The Inside, 2003) is not so nice to remember. Although it is one of my favorite albums ever, my record company in the United States released the singles in a remixed version without my permission. The first single became number 1 on the dance Billboard Chart and I felt so unhappy; it was not me. I am not a dance artist. I just wanted to promote the album the same way I recorded it. I left the project and sometimes, only when I am very into the song or the artist with whom I am sharing the song, I like to sing in English too. Such as “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” with Michael Bublé, “Surrender to Love” with Ray Charles or “Looking for an Angel” written for me by Phil Collins.
What is the best part of being a music icon? An international superstar? A role model?
The best thing is to be a musician itself. Not an Icon, not a superstar. I just wanted to be a singer and I was not searching or dreaming for success. This is very beautiful for lots of reasons but believe me, the best thing is just to be able to sing for living!
What is your favorite story to share from a time you met a fan of your work?
Once I found a fan inside a big travel bag. He wanted to fly to Italy to live with me!! It was scary but also very sweet and funny!
In the last twenty years of your musical career, which musician has surprised you the most when meeting her or him?
Phil Collins was the very first international musician that believed in me, because of him I started working with a lot of idols of mine, such as David Foster and music icon Madonna!
Which musician has inspired you most with her or his work?
I have got a very long list of names…
I can say that James Blunt and Alejandro Sanz’s lyrics and melodies [inspire me]. I am proud to call them my friends. Marc Anthony is a storm of light and energy. In the past, Etta James and Frank Sinatra, and when I started singing Whitney Houston and George Michael.
How do you see the shift in the music industry from physical to digital releases?
I am scared of it. I know it is the future but I also know that most of the people in record business do not know how to manage that and 90% of my audience, for example, is still in love of the actual CD. I am really concerned about this change because I do not think we have received all the information that needs to be shared about digital releases.
How did you pick “Limpido/Limpio” as the lead single to support this greatest hits collection?
I wanted a ballad to became a pop song. simple and modern sound, Italian but international. I thought it was the one, and the lyrics are so perfect for me! I believe in people that are transparent and I cannot stand liars anymore.
Having worked closely with Kylie Minogue, please use five words to describe her.
Sweet, deep, talented, radiant, not a diva (and I love it!).
How do you plan recording with artists like Minogue, Sanz, Buble, Bocelli, Anthony, Fabian and Blunt?
By the song I wanted to sing. Every song inspired the artist I wanted to share the song with because of their talent or personality. They are my dream come true.
You have been an inspiration to singers, songwriters, musicians, performers in your career as well as women, the GLBT community and younger artists attempting to enter the music industry. What advice would you share with them when it comes to balancing a busy work life with happiness?
Being yourself is always a right choice. To imitate some other artist is not helping you to be yourself and having a charismatic personality. And of course be humble is the only way to enjoy this beautiful job.
More interviews: Vanessa Carlton, KENN, Mary Lambert, SATURN, Stephen Dittmer, Stephan Nance, Mark David Gerson, Eric Himan, Kevin J Thornton, Sammy Crawford, John Carrasco, YogaBear, Bryan Nevin with Christopher Van Etten.