What changes have occurred in your life since we last sat down?
Not that much, mostly a lot of learning and experimenting with new gear and music ideas!
You’ve had a busy 2019; what sort of events do you have planned for 2020?
With the exception of some gigs, I would love to get 2-3 singles out with their own videos and maybe do one as well for Surrounding Me the title song of the EP I released in 2019. More concerts for sure, and some surprises!
A number of live events have occurred in the last quarter of 2019. What has been the difference in the vibes during each show?
The setlist is usually always the same to remove extra stress, like a routine, it feels better for me otherwise I do not feel well prepared for the shows. The only thing that changes a lot from one show to another are maybe the solos and my speeches that I never fully prepare; I just go with the flow on the moment depending on the venue, if the audience is standing or sitting etc.
In a related way, how does the overall performance change when Donna is performing separately or with an entire band?
I would say that when playing solo, it is much more intimate in comparison to with the entire band that brings more depth and dimension.
Americans are oftentimes monolingual. Has there been thought on your end to make different versions of your music to benefit parts of your audience that may solely know English or French?
Good question, I have thought about it on multiple occasions since I am bilingual and live in a French area, yet I have never been drawn to singing in French till recently. I have always listened to English-worded music because it has brought us together (my parents are from Greece and Thailand!) and am not familiar with the French scene. Maybe one day!
How does your Surrounding Me EP differ from your earlier music?
Surrounding Me is less introspective than EP Morphine, in the sense that I talk about more general topics that a broader audience can relate to instead of just expressing my feelings about a specific event that happened in my life. For example, the title song of the EP, Surrounding Me, is about fears, general fears one has since they are born. Babies only fear two things; being abandoned/dropped and noise. Once we grow up, we develop other fears depending on our environment/upbringing, however there are a couple of specific types of fears that everyone has like being/dying alone, never achieving anything etc.
What message did you try to weave into the music and lyrics of Bold?
I wrote this song when I was not feeling well, I was lacking self-confidence and did not feel good in my body and mind. I wrote Bold because I needed a reminder that no matter what, I have to be proud of being here, being part of this world, being able-bodied, being able to express my emotions freely, having freedom of choice and that feeling low is just a natural part of developing yourself to become a better human, I would say. You cannot only have beautiful and joyful moments; doubt and fear sometimes has to creep in, in order to balance everything and force yourself to reevaluate some things or change some habits.
What is the role of the visual in your music?
The main role is to give one perspective about the lyrics/song in general. Every song can be interpreted differently depending on the person, the lyrics are usually broad enough to relate differently.
What sort of political concerns should anyone reading this interview seek to educate themselves to a greater degree?
Climate change has become a political matter and I cannot urge people to educate themselves on that subject. It may not seem like a present urgency for some now, but it is very real for some already… Look at Australia, the reefs, the small islands etc. We need to make changes now. Women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and other minority movements efforts will be undermined if we do not act now. How will we be able to fight for safe workplaces, safe abortions, safe surroundings, if everything is going to slowly go “under water”?
Thanks again for sitting down with us. Do you have any final thoughts for our readers?
Keep trying to find what makes you feel good and shine, the process of getting there can be hard but nothing good happens without effort, trust me. And take care of your health, mental and physical xx