24/7 VALENCIA: 1. Tell us something about your background and musical experiences whilst growing up…
BÁRBARA GRAMAGÊ: When I was a kid, I remember myself passing all my free time imagining myself performing in videoclips and on huge stages. I think it was because the background in my family was very artsy, my father loved music and sang well and my mother also loved singing, plus my grandfather was an amazing painter who always supported and inspired me and I remember knowing from a very young age that I wanted to be a singer…
2. What are your musical influences?
My musical influences are sooo many, that when asked this question, I like to name four of them (which in my mind are the four of the day) and although, I know I am skipping many others that inspire me daily, I think that from the four I name, people can get an idea of what my sources of musical inspiration are and have been. So, today, I will say Chet Baker, Lauryn Hill, Kase O. and Nathy Peluso.
3. Do you play other instruments and compose your own songs?
I play piano at a very, very standard level (meaning I can play chords and not much more) and it helps me understand music and develop as a musician. Also currently I am not thinking of composing the whole harmony of my songs, which I did in the past, on my single “Blind”. At the moment the guys from @paranoyzmusic are the ones behind the beats of my upcoming projects, but before there were some other producers including @outtacontrolstudio or @khalisun.
4. Describe your experiences of performing on television and on bigger stages…
I have performed on TV, but have to say that it was already some time ago. I remember that, at 19, I was very nervous and to be singing in such an environment… it impacted me in some way. I don’t know how I would react now singing on TV, but I guess in a much more mature way. As to singing on bigger stages, the experience has been just amazing. In the beginning I thought I would be as nervous as on TV, but soon I realized that it was even more stressful to sing in front of 100 people than in front of 10,000. It is like, although a big crowd can impress, the faces get more blurred so it becomes a little more impersonal.
5. What do you most enjoy about more intimate concerts?
What I enjoy the most at intimate performances is being closer to people’s energy…to see the faces, the expressions, if they are enjoying it, being able to talk to them after the show…it feels like a more direct way to share the experience with them and, actually, it gives you the chance to feel more connected to your audience and value that without them, you wouldn’t be there either.
6. Is video an important part of your concept as an artist?
Yes, video is an important part of my concept as an artist. In fact, I think that nowadays there are so many good projects out there, that, for most people, just listening to the music is not enough. I believe that the visual part, helps the audience to get to know you better and understand your message.
7. What have you most learnt about singing from your music teachers?
The thing I have most learnt about singing from my music teachers is to leave all the thinking aside when I am on a stage, for that you study and practice. Also, not to get stuck in making minor mistakes and get frustrated, to get over them and get strength and knowledge from them.
8. Is there an emotional difference between singing in Spanish and English?
Yes, there is an emotional difference between singing in Spanish and in English. When I sing in English I feel like it’s a safer place to express myself since, some people, (like my parents) are not going to completely understand the message and it gives me a little more confidence. But lately, I find it healing to go out of my comfort zone and sing in Spanish so everyone who speaks it can also understand part of my message. I become stronger from realizing that it is okay to express whatever I want.
9. Could you tell us more about your ‘PEACHFUZZ AND I’ record?
‘Peachfuzz and I’ is about the changes and phases you experience when meeting someone, and establishing a sentimental relationship with them. Like, for example, the insecurities that are normal to feel in the beginning or when you are feeling sexual. But there is an exception and it is the song called ’13’. This one is about when I was thirteen and the things I used to do and how my mother would teach me some valuable lessons for the life that was yet to come.
10. Can you tell us something about your new single ‘All That Jazz’?
Yes, ‘All That Jazz’ is the kind of track that you compose in 10 minutes because you’re so inspired. The beat was the pulse and part of that process because I love jazz and it contains a sample of Coltrane and Ellington’s version of Body And Soul, which I love. The language is ‘Spanglish’ and it speaks about my innermost thoughts when I’m turned on. However, I’m also trying not to approach it from the point of view of getting immediate pleasure..but as a moment when you connect with another and communicate in that way, and always from an empowered and loving perspective.
11. What is your new song, ‘Cuando no quieres Oirte’ about?
‘Cuando No Quieres Oírte’ is about those things that we decide to turn a blind eye to because they make us uncomfortable, but in the end they end up coming out either in the form of us exploding because we can’t take it anymore or in the form of trauma, because we have overcome our blindness. More specifically, what the subject is about is how, at times, I have acted as a catalyst with the people around me, making them see their discomfort, which, at the beginning, often results in uncomfortable moments. Thankfully, later we tend to be grateful for these difficult moments because, deep down, they have been a catharsis that has led us to free ourselves from a burden.
12. Do you have a concert soon in Valencia?
Yes, on 21 January I’ll be at ‘Radio City’ with LiveXmusic in their live music sessions on Fridays at 10pm. It will be a concert with a band, in which some of my songs like ‘All That Jazz’ will be played, as well as versions of very lively R’n’B songs in English. The band that accompanies me is wonderful and I need to name the guys who are Manu Linois on guitar, André Walker on drums and Kevin Reierson on bass, a marvel!
Interview by ’24/7 Valencia’ team
Article copyright ’24/7 Valencia’
Bárbara Gramage and band
Calle de Santa Teresa, 19
Here is a link for tickets: https://entradium.com/events/barbara-gramage-valencia