I had the pleasure to interview my dear friend and talented songstress Lidiaana this past February. Catch up with Lidiaana as she embarks on the next stage of her music career. It was so nice to see what she's up to, and to find out more of her life story. Be sure to comment and share, and check out her music. I hope you enjoy.
E: Hi Lidiaana, so great to meet you. So can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
L: Hi Ekeisha thank you for having me. I am Lidiaana and mainly known for being an R&B/Soul singer and songwriter but also produce, do live events and I’m an entrepreneur! I am Eritrean, a proud African. I was born in Germany but feel more connected to my African roots. I travelled around Europe as an exchange student [Italy and France] before deciding that London would be the place for me. Here I could learn English, and not be too far from my mum and family in Germany. There’s no way she would have let me move to say America. After a year I fell in love with the place, began studying and seven years later I’m still here!
E: How as a young girl did you find leaving your mum and your family, thousands of miles away?
L: Living on your own and being independent is pretty hard. I like to be around my family all the time. But, here I’m focused on music and my career. I feel more productive if I’m on my own.
E: Amazing story. How did you find growing up in Germany, did it influence your music in any way?
L: Growing up in Germany was wonderful. I am from a small city in the south of Germany, Stuttgart. The city of Mercedes Benz and Porsche. I got first into musicals and theatre productions as a young girl and later into Gospel music, where I would perform in various churches. I was lucky to have musical neighbours Hip Hop duo Les Sans Mono. They -performed conscious lyrics joined with neo soul and hip hop sounds, whilst being accompanied by live instruments. Since 15 they supported and helped me to get myself out there. My older sister Ella, listened to a lot of R & B and Soul, artists such as Erykah Badu and Mary J Blige therefore inspired my musical development. Here in London I found my own voice and style, I learnt how to use my voice tone and pitch wise. Now, my music ranges from R&B/Soul, to Jazz, to African R&B.
E: From Germany to the UK, did this experience help you as an artist?
L: Speaking about my days living in Germany I can tell you my life story in 2 hours. London, I can go on forever. Living alone, one is much more in touch with yourself. When having any problems there’s no family to solve them for you. So you feel more independent career and self-development wise. I can write about a lot more experiences now being a young lady, compared to growing up in Germany. So you feel more independent career wise and self-development wise. This really inspired many songs I’ve released recently (Album-‘How Often). For example feeling sad constantly inspired ‘Depression’ and ‘How Often’ came about when I was falling for the same type of guy (wrong guy). I can write about a lot more experiences now being in my early twenties compared to growing up in Germany.
E: I’ve been listening to your debut album ‘How Often’ and love it I must say. It has soul. What inspired the tracks?
L: Since my last release ‘Adey’, where I worked with other Eritrean songwriters I feel like I have grown so much and can write more honest music about my experiences. I have decided to go back to writing in English and to perform more Soul/RnB music than to traditional/Eritrean music. A lot of songs were inspired by my family, such as 'Noah's Lullaby' which is dedicated to my sweetest nephew Noah who was born in 2012. It is produced by my good friend and Swedish Music Producer El Campeon. I love how it turned out. 'To the sky' is a song that was produced by Torontonian Music Producer OverNitte. We -recorded this song whilst chatting on Skype about our amazing holiday in Toronto 2012. From listening to the track you can tell a lot is just my vocals mainly adlibs. I think in general this album is honest about my feelings and very 'me'. That’s why my album is the way it is.
E: That’s great. The album is very varied but still manages to flow well. I like your recent releases what inspired them?
L: My cousin, Samuel Mekonnen, who is a talented actor from Toronto suggested to do more ambient singing similar to ‘The Weeknd’, and to create more airy and atmospheric sounds. Also, I tried to include a lot of my 'real' feelings into it. From haters, that I have in my life, to the people, that used to be in my life and left an impact, to my future wishes that you can gather from "The one for Me' and 'Do You'.
E: So, as well as making the music there’s the shows. What does performing mean to you as an artist?
L: If your fans can see you live it’s a new experience for them to see you. Nothing beats being on stage, it can’t be captured in song, photos or video as it is happening live right there and then. The face to face experience doesn’t compare to anything else. I understand now what it is to create a show the behind the scenes work that goes into it. Also I’m so lucky to have my beautiful ‘Afro – Lidiettes’ to perform with supporting me; sharing the energy. Once you do what you love, nothing else matters and all your worries go away.
E: What is your direction for your next release?
L: Currently I’m listening to a lot of music, from unknown artists to commercial. I like a lot of different music, and influenced by a lot. People say this can confuse your fans. But I believe just as things changes in everyday life so can music; Artists can reinvent themselves. I’m writing and listening to a lot of other artist’s music and will continue to and go with the flow until I find my direction.
E: You started your own label how do you balance being an artist with entrepreneurship?
L: It is quite a lot but Studying Commercial at University Of Westminster we were always made to develop our business skills on coursework and projects. ‘Segenita Group’ is the company name. All of my singles I have released have been through the label ‘Segenita Records’. There’s ‘Fusionita’ which is for live events and ‘Segenita Productions’ for creative who make videos and produce and my charity ‘The Lidiaana Foundation’. It’s difficult to work on everything with being an artist and entrepreneur but eventually I will build a team and work on everything at the same time and have my enterprise!
E: The future is looking bright! Where can we the readers find you?
L: Well get off at Willesden Green Station and then…. (laughs). Just kidding. You can find me and all my social networking sites at www.lidiaana.com. Follow! Subscribe! Like! Love! Share! Comment! ...Thank you Ekeisha, I have really enjoyed chatting to you - Wishing you and all the best.
- Ekeisha E