There is something special about artists. It’s not just the work they do that attract people to them but also, their journey which inspires others. While many people complain about their jobs, an artist spends days and nights trying to work on their strengths and weaknesses and trying to present their best selves to the audience. One such artist is Cristina Lizzul.
Cristina Lizzul is an Italian actress who has spent her life studying acting. No doubt, she is great at it. She believes in the power of wisdom and is trying to spread the same message with her new EP Percipience. She loves colors and is inclined towards spirituality.
CelebMix had a chance to talk to her over a Skype interview. Here is the interview:
Tell us something about yourself and your journey so far.
I am an actor and a singer. I am an artist, you know. I create art. Whether I am on sets, whether I am in the theatre, or in the studio writing. I am always working on something. Aside from that, I support body acceptance issues. Something I am trying to do throughout my craft is to build a strong, confident and a powerful woman, something like Beyoncé and Demi Lovato does.
For how many years have you been singing?
I’ve been singing and acting for 15 years. Professionally 10. I knew I wanted to be an artist when I was about 5 years old and it all started in school with music classes and singing classes. I’ve not told this in any of my other interviews but I used to not to talk when I was a kid. I was extremely shy, I think it was selective mutism and through art, I found my voice.That’s when I started performing and that’s how I gained my confidence.
I always sang but never really took it seriously. But when I was 10, I decided that I want to be an actress so I started working for it, to pursue it professionally. I used to sing just covers, singing for fun but ever since I’ve moved to LA,about three years ago, I kind of went back to singing and take it more seriously.
Cristina, you have been brought up in both LA and Italy. You have lived both the cultures. Has this mixed culture influenced your music or is still influencing?
Absolutely! Now my music is primarily in English but I definitely wanna explore born in San Diego, raised in Italy and now I am back in States. So, I am half Italian and half American. My music is very west coast because I am around a lot of rappers, a lot around that kind of ambience.I am right now inspired by that moment. But whenever I come to Italy, I listen to Italian music, I am like ‘Ah! I need to do something like this’, it depends on what I am around. It’s a continuous process. I am always trying to work on something, always trying to get my content out.
You are an actress and you have spent quite a lot of time studying acting. You’re still studying it. Tell us about your acting career
I focused on acting primarily. I know this isn’t what you’ve asked but people ask me all the time if you consider yourself more of an actor or more of a singer. My answer is both except that I am trained in acting. I worked way more on my acting that on my singing. I considered myself more prepared as an actor than as a singer but to answer your question, I’ve been training for about 10 years. I am a method actor so, I train with the members of acting studios and I’ve trained in Naples, in New York, in Rome, and in LA. It’s like a muscle, it’s like going to gym. I feel like when you stop; it’s now that I’ve been focusing a lot more on music, I still go to auditions but I don’t go to acting classes that much so it’s like when you stop going to gym but you have to keep going. It’s hard.
I am a method actor so, I train with the members of acting studios and I’ve trained in Naples, in New York, in Rome, and in LA. It’s like a muscle, it’s like going to gym. I feel like when you stop; it’s now that I’ve been focusing a lot more on music, I still go to auditions but I don’t go to acting classes that much so it’s like when you stop going to gym but you have to keep going. It’s hard.Both music and acting, both the aspects of the industry are vast so if I wanna perfect one of them, it’s hard. But I am living it. I am happy in the studio and I am happy on the set. So, I am just living it.
You said you were shy as a kid. You named it selective mutism. Each and every artist has his/her own kind of songwriting process. Some do it in groups while other prefer writing alone. Would you like to tell us about your songwriting process?
I have to be alone.People can be in the room but I need a space to write. It’s difficult to write in studios with people. I only go to the studio to record. At home, I have to be alone. If my boyfriend has broken up with me and I am depressed, I try to translate that mood into my song. I wrote a song last night. I find a beat online depending on the artist I am inspired by. Right now, it’s R&B, artists like Sza, Jhené Aiko, Ravyn Lenae and Party Next Door. I listen to a few of them (beats), singing to it and trying to come out with it.
It’s basically setting your emotions out of your body and putting them on paper. It’s the same with acting. At the end of the day, it’s all about taking what you are feeling inside and bringing that outside.
Please tell us about your musical influences. You seem to have quite a lot.
I listen to everything. The only music I don’t listen to is Screamo. It’s too much for me. I listen to Italian music, quality music. I love classical music, reggae and I am a big fan of Jazz, the 1920s Jazz. I’ve been in LA for 3 years and most of the crowd and most of my friends, they are mostly rappers. The west coast vibe, you just put on a tee and a jacket and take a cigarette, you know. It’s that kind of vibe. But you never know, it might change tomorrow. I might start enjoying something else. I might do a different genre but my musical influences are Sza, Jhené Aiko, Ravyn Lenae and Party Next Door, Rihanna, Yarah Bravo, Renato Carosone, The XX, Édith Piaf and, Amy Winehouse.
I thought Rihanna was more mainstream but after I heard her at VMAs, I saw that she put so much passion into her work, I respect that and I adore Beyoncé.
Rihanna is admired by music lovers for her authenticity. Her music is seen as authentic. When you say that you have been in a type of ambience where everyone is a rapper, there is a kind of theme, same pattern visible. How do you bring something original out of it?
I don’t try to mimic, to be someone I am not. Everything I write about is something I went through. It’s can’t be more personal than that. more unique than that.So, I write about my personal life, what goes in Cristina’s life. It’s a kind of a diary. So, people are actually reading my secret diary (laughs).
You said that you write about your personal life. In one of your interviews, you mentioned that if you are writing about revenge, you’d write to ‘move on’ or to ‘let go of the person’. Now there are singers like Adele who does that. They don’t directly attack or name the person but there are others who do name or mention the people who have hurt them.
What do you think about it? How do you approach emotions?
I think that’s exactly the reason why I do what I do. That’s the beauty of art to me. It’s not only to give something. It’s not about the money at the end of the day. To me, writing a song or performing or whatever it is, it’s the only way to help me go through what I am going through. As humans, to go through pain is something we have to deal with every day whether it’s loss or whether it’s breakup. I am a very sensitive person so, for a person like me that takes things so harshly and to heart, I have to find something that could heal me. This is what Percipience, the EP was for me this year. Just seeing something come out of ashes, I have a tattoo for it. Just seeing something come out of nothing , of pain or even of happiness because I don’t just write about pain. (laughs) Yeah, that’s what it means.
So, your EP Percipience, it’s an interesting name. Did you come up with it?
Yes, I did because wisdom is the biggest lesson I’ve learnt this year. The initial title was “Young and The Wise” but then, I changed it to Percipience. When you go through stuff, sitting and meditating about it in a rational/emotional way, I think it can get you through the problem. Even Media talks about revenge.
I remember a long time ago, when my first boyfriend broke up with me, I was like I am so pissed and I wanna take revenge, so I did something really bad to him. When I think about it three years later, now I am 21, that is so stupid. Revenge is not the way to go for you know and I believe that we should all practise being good people and do good deeds especially in the condition the world is in right now. So, yeah, through wisdom you can achieve everything, it’s the thing you need to get through life.
All songs in your EP would be your favorite because you wrote them but is there any song from Percipience that is your personal favorite, a song you’d recommend to the listeners?
I would say Advice. I would say Media but right now, it’s Advice. It’s a song I can play in any mood I am in. It kind of puts me in a better mood when it says “Don’t waste your time and figure it out”, it’s one of those songs that helps you get your shit together.
You said that your songs talk about body acceptance and body image issues. Now, there is a whole discourse that women are objective. This can be seen in the music industry as been. People who are concerned see that a man might not need to change over the years that is, he can remain the way he is and still be admired but the same cannot be said for female artists.
Britney Spears still have to prove that she is THE artist, the same is with singers like Nicki Minaj. What do you think about it?
You mentioned Nicki Minaj. I read one of her interviews where she said that when Lil Wayne goes into a building and tells everybody to fuck off or tells everybody to be in their places, to wake at 6 AM, to work and says things straight, he is the boss. But when Nicki, she walks into the room and says, “Let’s go, let’s work”, she is a bitch. I do agree with that. Unfortunately, we are just made different as man and woman, the chemistry between man and woman is different.
I was actually thinking about that as I was listening to “Side to Side” by Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande.The song talks about sex and I was like “Man! These ladies are going there” and then I thought, why are that male rappers talk about sex and no one says a thing about it but when a woman talks about it, she is a whore? I really don’t have a definite answer and I don’t know what side to take on but I agree that women are objectified in this business. This is the reason why I am a part of this movement of bringing out a strong, confident, powerful woman. And, this portrays different things.
Media has gone better these days. It’s no more a stick figure but everyone is getting a boob job, a lip job so, the key is to promote strength, health, and confidence.
Beyoncé is your inspiration right especially Lemonade. In one of the interviews, you said that you wanted to start a fashion blog because you were inspired by her. So, have you started the blog?
I haven’t actually. I have my web designer, I made him make a website for me, the webpage is there for months now. I have so much on my plate. I wanna do fashion/art blog so now when I go back to LA, I am going back on September 4th, what I am gonna do is decide all the projects that I want to work on and invest all of myself in that. The fashion/art blog will happen. I don’t when, though.
You’re going back to LA, back to work. So, what are your plans for rest of 2016?
I am going to work on my next project which is a visual album like Lemonade. Basically, what I am trying to do is mix different forms of art, mix acting, singing, filming as I have studied filming and songwriting, mix them into a group. Because I branch out from different aspects of the art, I want to see what I can create, to see what I can come up with.
Cristina mentioned one more person who has been a great source of inspiration to her. The person is Priyanka Chopra. She said that she aspires to be like Priyanka. Priyanka has indeed established herself on both national and International platform. Cristina has made a name for herself as an actress and it’s time for her to do the same as the singer. We wish her all the luck in her future endeavors.
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