Interview: Serena Ferrara about Kemana, her project with Simone Mor.
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My father has always played (not professionally, but he would have wanted), so I grew up with this passion. If I hadn’t become a musician I would have been a psychologist for sure
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love practicing yoga, being in nature, swimming, and reading. Once these were my sources of inspiration. A year ago I became a mother and I have less time for my hobbies, but my child is a great new resource of creativity!
How long has your band been around?
Me and Simone started playing together in 2017. After writing some songs we involved Daniela, the cellist. Luca arrived only in 2019, before recording the album.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I live in Milan and Simone in Brescia, two cities of Lombardy, in the north of Italy. Surely, this is an area culturally very rich, but I take my inspiration from my origin. My parents are sicilian and the poetic of that land is unparalleled.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Simone lived for a period in Bali, Indonesia. So when we were looking for the album name and we wanted one that musically sounded we looked into other languages. We say that our music doesn’t have a defined place, but it’s traveling. So Kemana is born, an Indonesian word they use asking someone “where is he/she going”.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
I have two memorable shows. The first is for the location. We played in a yurt, in the middle of a wood. It was a magic experience...
The second was some weeks ago, for the album release. We hadn’t played for 2 years, due to the pandemic. Everybody was full of energy and joy, musicians on stage and the large audience!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Every place in which there’s attention by the audience. But I admit I prefer plying at the open-air
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
First of all a great line up of voices. Bobby McFerrin, Zap Mama, Stevie Wonder....Then Richard Bona or Avishai Cohen on bass, Pat Metheny on guitar, or Pino Daniele, Jack De Jonhette on drums...oh no, I have so many... It’s so difficult :)
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Try to be creative and write your own music, without fear of criticism (those will always be) and sabotage of the artist in you
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Portami la Luna. It’s the only love song I wrote in my life :) It was the first anniversary gift for my husband
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I love play Mulai while the most requested I think is A Pedi Nudi
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Everything usually starts simply from improvisation
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Every place, every culture, every history has got is own beauty. Sharing is always an enrichment.