Mafalda Minnozzi, is a singer recognized all around the world. She just put out her newest music collection, “Natural Impression,” with Paul Ricci. He is a guitarist and producer. The album blends various types of music such as jazz, Bossa nova and French songs among others.
Mafalda doesn’t just take songs; she adds her own style to them. She wants to get back the feelings she had when she first heard these songs. It’s like making old favorites feel new again.
In our conversation, Mafalda tells how music helped her get away from a difficult childhood when she worked at the family restaurant with mom and dad. She found freedom in singing.
Even though music wasn’t popular in her family, winning children singing competitions in Italy showed she had skill. That’s what made her start with music.
Mafalda’s songs are a blend of jazz, R&B, Samba and African rhythms. She wants to amaze her audience and make every song special.
Mafalda’s new music album and our talk are asking fans not to just take normal songs. She wants people to truly feel the songs they hear.
Listen to Natural Impression below
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What is your stage name
It’s my birth name, Mafalda Minnozzi
Where do you find inspiration?
In nature, in sound around me and how it touches my emotions, regardless of culture or style.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
It was my escape from an oppressive childhood where I was forced to work in my parent’s restaurant from the age of 9. I wasn’t able to have a normal social life or childhood. Music was my freedom.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
The fact that I entered youth song contests in Italy and won them all, made it clear to me that I was chosen to do this.
That was my inspiration.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
I am self taught with no musical schooling aside from a church choir when I was young.
I did study vocal coaching for years for physical control of my instrument. I also studied other idioms so I could perform in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish as well as my native Italian.
How could you describe your music?
It’s derived from jazz interpretations of classics but the style that I go for requires the listener to pay attention.
There are R&B tinges, Samba, Bossa, African elements and French Chanson.
I love these songs so much that I want to recreate the emotion of hearing them for the first time. They can’t be carbon copy or it would be better to listen to the original. My music has an arranging style that is designed to surprise and please. I like to think I can give back something to the composer as gratitude for the gift of a certain song. Maybe they would say, “ Wow, nice! I never thought of that”
Describe your creative process.
Instinctive. When a new song or project is approached, I leave my musical director arranger to his own imagination. He knows my voice and personality like nobody else. Sometimes I will give him an idea and he will record it and fit an arrangement around it. Sometimes he surprises me with something of his creation. I will then digest it and make suggestions or changes, sometime subtle, sometimes drastic. This is why we co-sign all of the arrangements.
Without his theoretical understanding, I wouldn’t be able to get the song on to paper.
What is your main inspiration?
The tingle I get when I song cuts through to my heart
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Oh yes! In the beginning I was like a wild horse with a large vocal range and vocal power.
It took me years to tone it down and find the beauty in the soft vocal colors in my voice. In general, Italian singers tend to show off their instruments (maybe due to our operatic roots) and the result is not always so musical.
My 25+ years living, recording and touring in Brazil has taught that the whisper can speak louder than the full-out belting style.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
What are your interests outside of music?
Cooking, reading, traveling, museums, cinema and of course meeting people. I love to communicate and interact with people even if it is not through music.
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
I would have possibly the best restaurant in Italy or Brazil or New York. Of course it’s only a dream but since I have been doing it since I was 9 years old, I am seriously good at it.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
People taking the profession seriously and thinking that music is there to serve them instead of vice versa.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
Streaming platforms that effectively steal from us.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
I have over 20 albums under my belt. Two of the last three have been predominantly in Portuguese with Brazilian and American musicians. After so many years in Brazil and collaborations with Leny Andrade, Milton Nascimento, Roberto Menescal and others, I got up the courage to express my own impressions of the beautiful music from Brazil. It would have to come from a natural place inside of me. The result is my Natural Impression.
What are your plans for the coming months?
I’m already back on the road. Early January shows in NY, mid January I go to Brazil for shows and the second recording session for my next release. February back to NY through April. April is Germany and Italy ….then when I catch my breath I ask my husband/manager what’s next!
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans
Well the new album I am speaking of is a kind of a meeting of the generations in Rio. The leading surviving composer of Bossa Nova and the leading bassist DJ producer of the younger generation and my faithful Paul Ricci on guitar,,,,,have formed a kind of a garage band. We got together in a room and messed around with ideas and recorded. It’s what Paul Ricci calls an “anti-production” and everyone is really digging it.
What message would you like to give to your fans?
Don’t give up on really listening to the music, whatever it is. Don’t accept mediocrity or AI will be the only source for music in the future