Direct Talks with Cathy Battistessa

“A unique artist with a powerful spirit and distinctive vocal style” – Acid Jazz

Cathy is a versatile artist, she’s a singer, a songwriter, a performer but also a painter and a sculptress. She is recognized internationally as “The Voice of Café del Mar”, but she is much more, becoming an artist sought with its own unique path of arts and life. Her versatile style, her shiny spirit, her mastery in vocal games, make her performances evocative and emotional.
She has written and performed memorable chillout songs like “More than Ever People”, “Oh Home”, “Shine”, “Speck of Gold”, “Riva” etc. She has worked with DJs, artists and producers, important and influential in the scene of House, Deep House, Electro, Downtempo, Lounge, Chillout, Pop, like Stephane Pompougnac, Jose Padilla, PAco Fernandez, Afterlife, Volgier Siggurson…

In 2009 Cathy was invited to perform for His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt, in Honour of his birthday and to help raise money for The Free Tibet Campaign, obtaining so a great privilege and acknowledgment. In the same year, she’s supported Fat Boy Slim’s tour in Dubai and also performed for MTV.
A new album and collaborations are coming.

We don’t forget the other artistic activity of Cathy. She exhibits internationally in both group and solo shows, throughout Europe and the Americas. It’s in those cultures and civilizations that she takes inspirations for her art and music. In this regard, the information on his works can be found in his brand new website, recently online.

  1. Afterlife feat Cathy Battistessa – Let it go (LM edit) Afterlife feat Cathy Battistessa

What follows is my interview with her:

01. How and when your career started?

Well I guess my career started when I began getting booked as a song writer for recording sessions at various recording studios & record labels in London back in 1993. I was just a kid and would scoot around from studio to studio, writing hooks & melody’s for dance tracks! Wow! If only I had known then what I know now about the industry and how to move within it? “More Than Ever People” (Levitation) was written in Ibiza during the summer of 1995 and first released on Café Del Mar Vol 5, at the same time I was writing in London with Leroy Thornhill (The Prodigy) for his first record, “The Longman EP”, I guess around that time I started to take my career more seriously.

02. Is there someone who has contributed in meaningful way to your musical choice?

Musical influences for me as a child were hugely varied and eclectic. Old Jazz musicians & artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Paz, Miles Davis to Soul R&B legends like Aretha, Marvin Gaye, Roy Ayres, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Sereeta, Minnie Riperton, to Northern soul & Ska. The legendary folk musician, John Martyn had huge impact on me, I used to watch him play in London regularly, his voice, the layered tones of one voice … astounding! The way he connected with us, the emotion, just inspired me like no other. I loved all sorts of Nick Drake and early Van Morrison (Astral Weeks) also but I guess overall the biggest inspiration came from a huge vinyl collection of old Studio One Reggae records my brother gave me. I would just play these records over and over until worn out, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Burning Spear, Lee “Scratch” Perry, The Abyssinians, Gregory Isaacs, Mad Professor, Black Uhuru, Big Youth, Uroy, Dennis Brown, Jah shaka … ah it’s an endless list ..!

03. What led you to this specific musical genre?

I was heavily immersed in dance culture as a teenager and when I discovered Ibiza I guess the whole utopian future I had dreamt of suddenly became a very real possibility. We were another generation that just wanted to blast open limitations, bust some rules and connect with each other through beautiful music. Ibiza proved to become a temple where we could actually be free of society and systems that failed. Banging dance tunes soon became too ferocious for the delicate sunrise moments during after parties and the after-after parties, so chilled beats, authenticly soulful Balearic influences in instrumentation, gentle piano keys, Spanish guitar
licks, beautiful strings, endless breakdowns were born : this is where I found my musical home.

04. Please, tell us a meaningful or amusing anecdote related to your career.

Being asked to perform for the Dalai Lama in 2009 was the highlight of my career so far. It was an amazing experience and one that resonated so deeply, I realised that my heart, soul, my voice had been felt, heard and acknowledged and that is actually all I can ask for.

05. Who is Cathy Battistessa, musican apart?

I am a mother firstly, of a beautiful little boy but my time is also spent as a painter, sculptor & writer. I meditate daily and work with alternative, healing therapies. My friends are so loved and cherished and vital to me, I am fortunate to feel loved and i find it very easy to love and value dearly, many, many people here and this is such a blessing.

06. Do you believe that when you were a child, there was already in you the artist that you would become?

Yes I felt I was an artist when I first saw Auguste Rodin’s sculpture “The Thinker” age 9 yrs. Something woke up and moved inside me, a realisation of what i was here to do somehow and huge shift in my whole young perception at that time. I then started to draw and sketch portraits that came alive! I realised I had something and it was special, it felt special. Connection to another way of being, seeing, a deeply creative way. The way i felt music and used my voice soon followed under the same realisation and all creative threads united !

07. To follow our passions it needs determination and discipline. It’s also needs the component of the game, the fun, the child who always live in us. If you agree, how much and as the child that’s in you, it contributes to your creativeness?

I am still very childlike, it’s just a part of my nature I think and I still get crazily over excited about the simplest of things. I tend to bounce a lot, sometimes with endless energy, i get very hyper in the studio or out with friends or just playing with my son. This energy is vital for my writing & recording especially, it’s pure and innocent and it’s without stress and thankfully with this energy I am able to view the world and our existence in a super positive way still.

08. What do you transmit with your music?

Love. Unity. Warmth, Comfort. Light, Higher Light consciousness and HOPE, I hope 🙂

09. The music is the most abstract and intense art, maybe the most authentic. Do you believe that it can contribute to change the world as it is today, how?

Absolutely! I am banking on this. I have seen how people respond just to tone & melody alone within music, so, add conscious lyrics, messages and affirmations for the soul to help give hope and shine higher awareness and this is a very powerful source.

10. Do you want to leave a message to your fans or to whom doesn’t know your music yet?

It’s always great to welcome new music lovers and its been an honour to find new fans and also read the experiences that lead them to me, my music. Somehow this is always quite poignant and never ceases to touch and amaze me. Welcome everyone, I hope the music i create touches your soul with lights, full beam and offers a warm sonic love shelter for even a few minutes .. 🙂

11. What are your plans for the immediate future?

Immediate future plans; I just returned from LA where we finished the programming and production for my forthcoming album, super-uber excited!!!! My new Art website has just gone Live, that ius a mile stone reached and the hard work of many wonderful people and I am super busy with the album remixes and a few select & exciting collaborations 🙂

12. If you could return on yours musical scores, which chord would you change?

I don’t think I would change anything actually. Being a perfectionist has held me back over the years so at this point in my life I would say I am content with everything I have written and everything that has already passed before. I am super excited about my new album and the new projects I am working on though and, of course, I hope to push my own musical & creative boundaries more and intend to continue to produce more consciously progressive music in the future.
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press release by Katia Vit

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