I absolutely love it when someone I never heard about reaches out to me out of the blue, from somewhere miles and miles away and asks me to do an interview....
These are good questions.
I don't know if the answers are good too, but they are real and they come from the heart.
Here's the link and the interview:
.JAMES STRECKER: If you were asked for 50 words for an encyclopedia to summarize what you do, or have done, in the arts, what would you say?
GIULIA MILLANTA: I could say that I write songs, make records, perform, tour…blah blah. But I should say that I’m not sure WHAT I have done and probably only time will tell…once I’m dead! But I can tell you HOW I have done it: I have always done my best to be honest and to keep my art sincere and personal, original…mine only. All I’ve always wanted was (is) to be used by music to touch someone’s life and make a difference on this planet. “
JS: What important beliefs do you express in or through your work?
GM: I believe that we should look at things from different points of view and always go deeper. It doesn’t really matter what we talk about as long as we come up with something that’s the fruit of our own thoughts and not just repeating something we heard somewhere and didn’t even really understand! Humans are very fragile and we can die any minute but we also are very powerful and we need to use that power for the good”
JS: Name two people, living or dead, whom you admire a great deal and tell us why for each one.
GM: Hard to name only two. I admire Jesus even though I’m not Christian and I don’t go to church. He was a rebel, outspoken and fearless, but also compassionate and an advocate for the poor and the weak ones. We need more people like him today.
I admire everyone who fights with dignity for what they believe in no matter the obstacles.
JS: How have you changed since you began to do creative work?
GM: This is too hard! I need a life time to answer your questions!! Can I check back with you when I’m 94??? Being an artist is an amazing journey. One of the hardest, I must say.
You constantly have to battle your inner monsters, deal with your pain, your insecurity and your vulnerability and display them for the rest of the world to see…AND you gotta be honest about it!
JS: What are your biggest challenges as a creative person?
GM: See above! Honesty in the face of your fears and vulnerability is a hard job. But without honesty there is no art. It’s just ego-driven bullshit. (Oops. Can I say bullshit???)
JS: Please describe at least one major turning point in your life.
GM: There have been many: my degree in Medicine, which made me realize I didn’t want to be an MD, my father’s death, which put me face to face with death and mortality and sickness, moving to the States and starting over in a much bigger pond than the one I used to swim in (Italy)
JS: What are the hardest things for an outsider to understand about what you do?
GM: Good one! I’m not sure an outsider will ever understand…
The hardest things for an independent musician is I do 5 jobs in one: I manage my career, I book my shows, I keep my internet profile updated, I perform …AND of course, in all this, I need to find the time and space of mind to write and create.
Once I do all this: I release records that everyone listens to FOR FREE!
JS: How and why did you begin to do creative work in the first place?
GM: How? In my room at 15, with a guitar and a piece of paper.
Why? Because. You don’t decide something like this. You just do it …It’s like eating and going to the bathroom. You have to. You don’t choose to.
JS: What haven’t you attempted as yet that you would like to do and please tell us why?
GM: Sky dive. Cross the Atlantic on a boat. I haven’t had a chance, yet.
JS: What are your most meaningful achievements?
GM: Sitting down with my guitar and/or my laptop to write and practice, every single day.
Each day I get to do that, despite how crazy life gets, that’s a huge achievement!
JS: What advice would you give a young person who would like to do what you do?
GM: Don’t do it unless you really can’t picture your life any other way.
JS: Of what value are critics?
GM: Tricky one. The world is full of critics. Every person on Facebook considers himself a critic nowadays. Art is personal.
JS: What do you ask of your audience?
GM: Be open minded. Leave your phone in your purse/pocket…
JS: What specifically would you change about what goes on in the world and the arts?
GM: Not sure. Artists were always necessary for the development of society, whether they were understood and recognized or not. Most of them were discovered after they were dead….”don’t it always seem to go that we don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone?”
JS: If you could relive one experience from your creative life, what would it be and why would you do so?
GM: The past is gone. I want to live the next one…
JS: Tell us what it feels like to be a figure who is presented somehow in the media. What effect does this presence have on you?
GM: Honestly, none. I always do my best whether it’s only for myself, for 3 people, or 3 thousand. I want to be the best I can possibly be, whether the world sees it or not.
JS: Name two places you would like to visit, one you haven’t been to and one to experience again and briefly tell us why
GM: I want to see Yosemite park, I haven’t been there yet and I love overwhelming Nature! Then I would love to go back to Barcelona where I used to live in 2005-2006.
JS: Please tell us about one or more projects that you have been working on, are preparing, or have recently completed. Why do they matter to you and why should they matter to us?
GM: I released my fifth record Moonbeam Parade last year. I’m still touring it. It has been super well received by critics and audiences.
I am working on 2 new projects, one I can’t say anything about, yet, the other is a new record.
They matter to me because they are my babies! If they didn’t matter to me, why would I be an artist?
Why should they matter to y’all? Not sure. If fact they shouldn’t!
The world doesn’t need a new record…but some of you might need to hear my records.
Through the years, every time I would release something new, someone would always come to me and say: “Thank you for that song (or that line or what not) ‘cause I really needed to hear that!”
It happens a lot, every record, every show……
It can happen to you…
JS: Let’s talk about the state of the arts in today’s society, including the forms in which you work. What specifically gives you hope and what specifically do you find depressing?
GM: Faith is necessary. Hope is not. “Grace can never arrive if hope is there” said Martha Graham.
Hope means that you want the Universe to unfold according to YOUR plans…it doesn’t happen that way.
Faith is the energy that moves us. It is necessary to even get out of bed.
What I find depressing is the lack of curiosity, depth, and culture in our society.
JS: Finally, what do you yourself find to be the most intriguing and/or surprising thing about you?
GM: Please don’t make me answer this.
It’s not for me to say.
I live inside myself. I know myself. If I made this journey about myself I would be bored as hell and I would be a presumptuous arrogant, self- centered fool.
What is surprising about me -it’s not about me, it’s about life around me!