Music: Dessy Di Lauro

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This fresh face in the independent music industry is hardly a novice, having been performing and recording for almost a decade. Currently, she’s touring the US and Canada in a lead role with the latest production of Cirque du Soleil, called Delirium.

 

Dessy Di Lauro’s debut album, “A Study of a Woman’s Soul” (CrazyglueMusic), is a blend of R&B & Latin music. This fresh face in the independent music industry is hardly a novice, having been performing and recording for almost a decade.
Currently, she’s touring the US and Canada in a lead role with the latest production of Cirque du Soleil, called Delirium. Her producer, musical director, arranger, composer, writing partner, and husband, Ric’key Pageot, is the show’s musical conductor and keyboardist.

In 2005, Dessy performed at Detroit’s “Motor City Music Conference,” Toronto’s “Canadian Music Week Conference,” New York City’s S.O.B.’s Club, and The Montreal International Jazz Festival. She also sang back up vocals for Patti Labelle and The Neville Brothers, among others.

Dessy developed her interest in music at an early age, when her parents exposed her to many genres of music, a reflection of her multi-ethnic background. Presently, she’s writing music for her upcoming release, “An In-Depth Study of a Woman’s Soul.”

BSN: What exactly is your multi-ethnic background?
DDL: My background is Italo-Cuban Brazilian.

BSN: Did that mix help shape you?
DDL: Well, the mix helped shaped me in my music. I was influenced by salsa on the Cuban side, the bossa nova and samba on the Brazilian side, and romantic love songs on the Italian side. And also by jazz, Afro-Cuban and lots of soul music from the Afro-Brazilian side. My mom, who was born in Brazil and moved at an early age to Montreal, really instilled the soul and jazz influences in me. She was and still is a huge fan of these styles. This was the fusion of music I grew up listening to and still do. From the likes of Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Sarah Vaughn, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Irakere, Los Van Van, Chaka, Aretha, etcetera. Gospel was also the first and biggest influence in my life.

BSN: When did you develop an interest in music?
DDL: At about the age of 4. I sang all the time. So much so, my mom had me join the local Montreal gospel groups at about 5. That was the start of my musical journey.

BSN: What types of music did you listen to?
DDL: All of the above as I have mentioned

BSN: Did you study an instrument?
DDL: No, unfortunately I didn’t. I had always dreamed of being the “baddest”
female drummer around, but singing was my passion and I never immersed
myself in learning how to play drums, cause it requires a lot of discipline. I would have loved to learn how to play piano as well.

BSN: Did you take singing lessons?
DDL: I started with the gospel choir and kept developing my skills in the church, and just continued building upon those skills on gigs over the years. That was my school. I never got any kind of formal lessons. Basically, I am self taught. I learned from my records. Listening, learning, copying singers like Sarah Vaughn and trying to copy instruments, the solos.

BSN: Who would you consider your influences?
DDL: So many people influence me., but my biggest influences would definitely have to be Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway and Sarah Vaughn. I still can’t get enough of their wonderful music and talents.

BSN: Why did you settle on a combination of Latin and soul music for your debut?
album?
DDL: Because of who I am, my influences and my background. I am Latin all around, and soul. I lived this music my whole life.

BSN: How would you describe your sound?
DDL: I would describe it to be organic and full of stories about my personal experiences and the people closest to me in my life. I try to reach out and touch people. I feel and want people to have the same feeling with my music

BSN: Tell me a little about your upcoming release “An In-Depth Study of a
Woman’s Soul.”
DDL: There will be lots of revelations about who I am and the journey I have lived and where I am going. I will reveal things that I couldn’t in the past but that I am comfortable revealing now because of the growth and hardships that I have gone through. And hopefully, I can help other people with their situations and inspire others. I will be reaching out and going deep. I am letting a whole lot of emotions out and letting go.

BSN: Why did you join Cirque de Soleil? Do you have a circus background?
DDL: I don’t have a circus background. The only circus background I have is having worked on a Cirque Du Soleil show in Orlando, and now on Delirium. I knew nothing about circus life. But this circus is not the typical circus that we know of with the animals and circus tents. This one is with live music, dance, theater, and projections. Every art form you could think of, and adding acrobats in the mix. I joined because we get to reach a broader audience with this circus and the theatrical part of me is being developed in the show. I am getting more comfortable in different roles. I become a different character in this show. It’s fun and lets me grow in a role and gain experience doing role playing and singing at the same time.

BSN: What is you role with Cirque de Soleil?
DDL: I have a few. One of them is temptress. I try to tempt a man who is floating around trying to find himself. I am also the chief of an urban tribe. It’s hard to describe. I also sing a song that somewhat looks like I am under water, like a water goddess. I have a couple of different characters in this show. It always keeps me on my toes.

BSN: Cirque de Soleil is a unique type of circus. How would you describe it?
DDL: Cirque du Soleil is all disciplines of the art world and acrobats combined into one. Also adding projections, music, and multi-media.

BSN: Which do you enjoy more, Cirque de Soleil or performing your original
songs?
DDL: Well, there is nothing like performing my own material, cause it’s me. They are my stories, my experiences, my influences, all molded together. The original project is my heartbeat, one, because of my experiences and I pour my heart out. And also because I share this project with my writing partner, band leader, composer, pianist and, above all, my husband, Ric’key Pageot. Our hearts, soul and love is in this project. We get so much joy performing our original music. There is nothing like this feeling.

BSN: How much traveling is involved with Cirque de Soleil? How many cities
and how many shows do you do a year?
DDL: There is a whole lot of traveling involved. We perform in three different cities a week. We often play two shows in one city, then immediately leave after the show and travel to the next city. In a year, we probably perform in 20 cities, if not more.

BSN: Where do you live when you’re not on the road?
DDL: Home is in Montreal. My whole family and all my friends, with the exception of a few who are in the US, are in Montreal.

BSN: How many relatives do you have there? How do they handle you’re being on the road so much?
DDL: Yes, my mom and dad are in Montreal. I have an older brother as well. He is married with two children. They got very used to me traveling. I have been leaving for my career often throughout the years. I also lived in Florida for four years, so they’ve had time to get used to me traveling.

BSN: What gives you the most satisfaction in life?
DDL: Music and my husband. They are my passion. Also my friends and family. Loving. Creating and eating well. Great food helps my mind, my body, my soul. Above all, singing and my husband.

BSN: What do you do to unwind?
DDL: Believe it or not, playing solitaire on the computer. Love it, love it, love it. Also reading an inspiring book. It takes a lot for me to sit down and read, but an inspirational book will do the trick. I just got a PSP. I am very excited about that. I really enjoy cooking as well and having friends over for dinner. It’s very therapeutic for me. I cook all the time for my husband and I when I’m home.

BSN: Do you have a MySpace website where fans can keep in touch with you?
DDL: As a matter of fact, I do. www.myspace.com/DessyDiLauro. Everyone has got to have a myspace nowadays. It’s a great tool to reach out to millions of people and get your music heard.

BSN: Who do you consider to have been your inspiration?
DDL: God, of course, my husband, and my mom, who’s my best friend.

BSN: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
DDL: My biggest advice and one I had wished someone would have told me about was to read lots of books on the music business. Know what you’re getting into. And to find an entertainment lawyer that will review any documents that you possibly sign, recording, management, etcetera. There are so many things we should know about the business and that will save you from getting into trouble. This is my ultimate advice. Having talent is the easy part, it’s what comes after the fact. There are lots of sharks out there. Beware, and be informed and prepared to know what to do, so you can protect yourself. Also the next big one, which would probably be before the one I just mentioned is, keep your integrity. That will be your longevity. Be true to what you do best. You will shine, cause it’s your heart. It’s not about thinking of quantity, but first and foremost, quality.

To purchase Dessy’s CD, check out her website at: www.dessydilauro.com.

 

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