issue #24: Origins
Caleido’s interview with Bluem (Chiara Floris), songwriter and producer, is the cover story of Issue #24, entitled: Origins. Welcome to Caleido, an inspirational diary, that narrates many stories: about creative people, trends, travels, objects. / Read the Editor’s letter here.
Diay of: @sailorbluem
Intervista di Marco Cresci
1. In the new single “angel” you mix Italian and English in the singing, with a hyper pop drift; while the music mixes with Sardinian tradition. How do you manage to make this union between present, past and future so natural?
It has always been a very natural process for me. In fact, I’ve lived all my adult life in London, having moved there when I was eighteen, so the influences I absorbed in this city in the long run were as important as those from my childhood and my Sardinian roots.
2. Your music lends itself to be used in fashion spheres: in fact, your songs have been used by @antoniomarrasofficial and @etro , while “Adele” is also the soundtrack of “OTHERWHERE,” a visual creation by NARĒNTE @lucioarufrancoerre . Filmed in Sardinia, it portrays the island’s culture in a contemporary key, while holding on to tradition. How did this collaboration come about?
It is a collaboration that I had hoped would happen for a long time, I had been following Lucio and Franco’s (NARĒNTE @lucioarufrancoerre) work for more than a year when they contacted me. They had a visual project in mind that would represent what they do and include their talents, and they decided to involve me musically.
3. Did you choose the song together?
By that time I had already started working on the new tracks and proposed “Adele,” which they were immediately happy with. It was also nice to be able to be a part of the video personally and watch them work; I feel that we have a common goal in the way we use our roots and tradition, and beyond that, a beautiful relationship was born on a personal level.
4. You are Sardinian but you live in London: these two cultures come together in your songs. Do you think distance has brought you closer to the traditions of your Sardinia, or have you always had this connection?
I have definitely always had a very strong connection with Sardinia: it is the only place I lived before moving to England and, through my family, I absorbed its traditions in a way for which I am extremely grateful. Certainly leaving it, however, was a crucial event in the way I then approached and appreciated it and used it within my creative projects as well. When I was a teenager I had a period of “rejection” towards Sardinia: I felt caged and had the perception that it was a place that could not give me everything I was looking for at that time. In a way it was true, and certainly making a leap to a city like London on the one hand filled gaps and on the other revealed a strong need for what I had always had. “Night,” especially in its visual part, was born out of this very feeling of nostalgia.
5. How does one of your songs come about? Are you instinctive or do you like to take notes maybe in a journal?
It depends, there is rarely a standard procedure and indeed… In my last project I pushed myself a lot to try to work in different ways than usual. I don’t really like to stay in my “comfort zone,” I always feel the need to evolve, to change. I have always been a lone wolf in the creative process and even now most of my work is done at home and in solitude. However, I have opened my horizons more to collaborations with others, tried to put aside control freaks for the artistic sake of the project but also for the sake of my mental health. I know that I have a very strong vision and that makes it so that even when someone else intervenes, you then still achieve what I had in mind. I have a notebook in which I jot down lyric ideas, while from a composition and production point of view I almost never keep anything in writing, I work by various steps in a very instinctive way.
6. Visuals are a key part of your music. For your first album, “Notte,” you worked with Finnish photographer @jasminefarling, whom you brought to Sardinia to introduce her to and capture your origins. Which eye did you choose for this new artistic course?
In this new project I worked with two wonderful artists, @valeria.cherchi on photography, and @idalissner on digital covers. Both have a lot of experience and very strong artistic identities so a relationship of extreme trust was immediately created. Valeria then is Sardinian and an artist I have admired for years, so it was great to see our two worlds come together. Jasmine had been incredible, considering it was her first time in Sardinia when she came to shoot, and being Finnish she came from a very different background. She also contributed in her own way on this record, and we have a great bond of friendship that will still lead us to do more collaborations in the future. However, I would also like to mention @icloudiospanu, with whom I worked and work on the live visuals, which played a very important role in the performances.
7. In addition to music, you have another passion, which is pole dancing, and last year you hosted a program for the Milanese broadcaster @radioraheem.milano that was titled “Music for the Body.” Do you live these two passions as something inseparable?
Meanwhile, I can announce that from March 2023 I will resume with my selection of “Music for the Body” always for @radioraheem.milano and I am very happy about that. Pole dancing has been a discipline that has transformed me for the better in so many ways. It requires a great deal of dedication, perseverance, but also courage. It has changed the way I approach many things in my life and has made me rediscover the importance of movement and relationship with one’s body. It is also one of those disciplines that really shows that each of us is unique and has different ways and times of growth, and that comparing ourselves to others never makes sense.
8. Have you ever thought about incorporating this discipline into one of your live shows like @fkatwigs?
I reserve a good part of my week to devote it exclusively to training for this very reason. I would love to be able to incorporate pole dancing more and more within my project, and it would certainly be great to have the opportunity to bring it into live performances.
9. Where do you take refuge when you want to be alone in London and Sardinia?
There is one place in London in particular that I have always used to reflect and spend some time in solitude, a small beach along the river in Rotherhithe… But I also love so much to get lost walking, without paying too much attention to where I am. I prefer parks because I always need a dose of the natural environment, and I have to say that London has many extensive green spaces within the city that allow me to disconnect. In Sardinia there is a place on the west coast where I have spent most of my summers since I was little, Gutturu ‘e Flumini.
10. what is one object in your home that you have never given up and would never give up?
More than to an object, I am linked to an element: fire. In my childhood in Sardinia, fire has always been present, in the fireplace for warmth but also and especially for cooking. It is an element that has always fascinated and comforted me at the same time. Here in London I keep it present through candles-I have developed a great passion for handmade candles and there are really a lot of people here who are dedicated to this. It’s hard for my house to lack a flame.