“It’s a beautiful day today in California!”
That’s how our chat with Australian singer, Gabriella Cilmi (pronounced chill-me) begins. And it just kept getting sunnier. Blast got to spend a few moments with the 17-year old who has already become famous in her home country of Australia and across Europe, and we learned that the singer is down-to-earth, interested in American culture and has the talent needed to become a big hit in the U.S.
“I really haven’t toured around the U.S. so its nice to have a sort of fresh start or clean slate her, I am older now and I know what I am doing and I have done it in Australia and Europe before. I am looking forward to traveling America like you see in movies where you’re traveling on the open road and see cactuses,” Cilmi raved.
Cilmi is an Australian but is of Italian descent. Since she was young(er), she has expressed interest in music but was told she did not have the discipline needed for a music career. Not accepting the criticism of teachers, she joined a band performing cover songs by Led Zeppelin, Jet, Silverchair and others.
“I listen to different things. Growing up I listened to Led Zeppelin. I love Kings of Leon and Jett, and I would listen to them when I went to school,” Cilmi said. “I love listening to old blues stuff too, so I love different things, and I guess I’m a mixture of things. I love Blondie and Stix, so maybe my genre is ‘popular glam rock.'”
While singing at a community festival in Melbourne, Warner Music executive Michael Parisi was amazed with the singer’s vocal abilities. Parisi brought Cilmi to major records labels in the U.S. and the U.K. where she was offered record deals at four different companies. Finally in 2004 she joined Island Records UK.
While working on her debut album Cilmi co-wrote singles for the Australian movie Hating Alison Ashley. In December 2007 her ‘Sweet About Me’ single broke on the radio as a Top 100 hit from her Lessons to Be Learned CD.‚
“Gabriella possesses every attribute that music fans across the world are hungering for,” said Monte Lipman, president and CEO of Universal Republic. “U.S. fans are about to see first-hand what European audiences have been raving about, whether it’s her poise, her passion, or unbridled ability to deliver a song like you’ve never heard it before — Gabriella is this year’s breakthrough artist.” ‚ ‚
The album will be released in America on March 17, with her single already being played in radio and featured on VH1’s You Oughta Know.
“If I can get my album recognized here too it would be amazing. People are hitting me up on MySpace, so it’s really cool to have that reception too,” Cilmi added.
For such a happy-go-lucky young woman, it seems hard to believe Cilmi has already won or been nominated for artist of the year awards or hailed by publications like Britain’s Q Magazine. But what the girl lacks in stuffiness she makes up in creativity. Her voice is reminiscent of blues legends like Etta James and similar to today’s sounds of Duffy.
“I write everything from personal experiences, everything that catches my attention influences me and I like to write on that and use music that inspires me to make old things new, ‘Sweet About Me’ is a nursery rhyme about people who never want to grow up so if you don’t want to grow up listen to it,” she added.
Whether or not she gets the attention divas like Beyonce and Britney do in this country, one thing will remain the same: Cilmi’s abilities and friendly manner, which has already survived European media scrutiny and temptations of the music industry, are unchangeable.
“Just check out my MySpace, I’m obsessed with my MySpace page and I answer all my messages, I swear!”
In cue with her joyful spirit Blast is giving away a special Cilmi pack, so check our contests page next week and enter to win by March 28!