Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Sep 9th 2010 4:30PM by Mark Wigmore
A multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and veteran of the recording studio, some wonder how the tone of her earlier records, 'Brown' and 'Corduroy Boogie,' led her into the shimmering and layered world of sharp studio pop. On her latest record, 'Santilli,' Ivana argues that being labelled 'pop' doesn't mean she's sacrificing artistic vision for album sales.
"Some people say, 'She's trying this or she's selling out. What's this flashy pop stuff?' Pop is not so much a genre as it's the success of being able to reach a good amount of people all very quickly in one song," Santilli explains to Spinner. "That's tough for me because I never thought of my songs that way. I thought, 'If I am going to be any kind of good musician, I should be able to do a different kind of music that I haven't done before.' You have to stretch."
After getting her start in music with her father's wedding band and landing her first hits with the Canadian soul/hip hop group Bass is Base while still a teenager, Ivana Santilli now speaks and performs with the assured security that comes with experience. But while it all began in Ontario, spending more time in New York City helped her reinvent what was already a lively career.
"Living in New York had me really understanding the need for simplicity in music, and [music] that's not dumbed down," she explains. "Simplicity is finding a way to get to the same point more efficiently and quickly [while] considering the people that haven't studied music for 20 years. Just make them feel good, what's wrong with that?"
"I didn't get to say as much as I would have liked to have said in 'Confused Little Boy,' for the sake of it being a pop song -- I didn't even go into it," she explains. "There's someone that tried to come in and out of my life many a time, and never stepped to the plate properly." When asked about dating in a world full of man-boys, Santilli enjoys a giggle at the sheer numbers. "There are so many, and how quickly technology is advancing for videogames is not a good situation."
It's tempting for artists to lean on modern production tools, but Santilli takes her musicianship very seriously. "I don't use auto-tune to put me in tune. You have to use a tiny bit of that now because there's a sonic aspect to it that people are used to," she admits. "I'm very much about, if I didn't get it and the producer goes, 'Cool', my response is, 'Did I really get it, or did you mess with it?"
With pop music comes remixes, an increasingly important musical step that can add new life to a radio hit by introducing it into the 2AM nirvana of a nightclub. "It allows your music to reach [more people] -- you are still using the same melody, and sometimes it puts it into an entirely different mood or feeling."
Ivana Santilli Plays Taste of The Kingsway festival in Etobicoke, ON, September 11