We caught up with Chiara Oldano, Italian born, French raised and London based singer-songwriter to find out about her musical career to date, including her time studying at Tileyard Education, and her recent appearance on The Voice France.
Hello Chiara! We already know quite a lot about you, but for anyone that hasn’t come into contact with your music, how would you describe yourself in a sentence?
A soul singer bursting into the world of dance music!
Tell us about some of the best things you took away from your time Tileyard Education.
The environment at Tileyard really allowed us all to thrive as developing artists, and I loved being able to collaborate with so many talented musicians all in one place. I got to meet really incredible people during the masterclasses; I am a huge fan of 80’s music, and being able to study under someone like Martyn Ware and being mentored by Charlie Arme and Neil Hughes from Tileyard Music, is really an honour. They are absolutely inspiring! Also having the opportunity to perform on campus on a regular basis, and receiving a bursary for the first time in my life, from the wonderful Aston Microphones! It just feels amazing to be so supported by the wider Tileyard community.
I also kept in contact with some amazing people that I continue to work with today on some very special projects, so keep your eyes peeled!
And what has life been like since you finished studying?
Unfortunately in the middle of our Masters year, the pandemic hit! But it didn’t stop me from making music and continuing to pursue my goals as an artist. I had to start making music over zoom, which at first seemed like an impossible thing to do, but it turned out to be surprisingly productive and I ended up writing a LOT of new music which I am super excited for everyone to hear soon.
Despite the difficulties, there were also some silver linings. I received two exciting calls, one from Tileyard Music asking me to sing on my first ever DJ track, Somebody to Love by Molow, which just reached 1m streams – a first for me! And a very unexpected message from a casting team member, who turned out to be asking me to audition for The Voice France 2021!
Most excitingly, we’ve heard about your recent appearance on The Voice (France)! What made you apply for the show?
When the opportunity for The Voice arose, I was really very surprised. In fact, to tell the truth, I didn’t believe it at first, I thought it was some kind of joke! I don’t think I fully realised it was serious until the moment I found myself on set in front of the four chairs, and when a coach turned around my heart jumped. I realised that when you see it on TV you don’t truly understand what it’s like to sing on this set, but the stage is so iconic and legendary that being able to stand there really does have an effect.
I had thought about TV shows before but since I started songwriting, I thought it probably wasn’t the way forward for me, and above all, I did not think I would get to this stage as there were thousands of people in the running. But when an opportunity like this presents itself, it would be a big mistake not to take it.
What was the audition process like?
It all started around June. I received my first communication via Instagram, and the team requested three videos where I was performing live. Around a month later I received a call from the production team inviting me to the first audition in Paris. When I eventually found myself in the room, no one told me that the whole casting team would be present, so around 10 people were watching and judging! They said I’d probably get an answer within a week, but when I left the room, a member from the casting team called my name through the door, jogged toward me and whispered to me “Just between us, you’re in!” It was really crazy! So I came back in September for another audition where I picked my song with the production team, two weeks later for a rehearsal with the band, and finally one week later to what they called the final audition where I had to perform for ITV and Universal France. I received a call a few days later confirming that I will be participating in the Blind Auditions !!
It might seem like a long process but it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and we were very well looked after by the whole team. And I learned so much about TV along the way!
How did it feel to be on live TV?
Overwhelming. Honestly Unbelievable. The idea that there would be over 6 million people watching you perform definitely added to the stress. It was so surreal and really intensely thrilling. Those who know me definitely realised that I was very nervous. I have been performing live for years now but nothing compared to the emotions and feelings that I felt during the blind audition. Nonetheless, Florent Pagny hit his red button for me and I was over the moon. He was the coach I dreamed of, he is a legendary French singer, through his voice and his presence. I will be forever grateful for the experience.
Tell us a little more about what the next steps are in the contest?
The next step is the battles, where two contestants go head to head in a sing-off. But after that, I am not allowed to reveal anything since the rules of the game have slightly changed this year!
What are your big aspirations for your music next & how can we follow your journey?
At the moment I am working on a special project with a Swedish producer, Hannes Andersson, and I can’t say more except brace yourselves for the “return of the SYNTH!” (haha).
I also discovered that I love collaborating with House and Disco producers and DJs and this is something I would love to pursue further.
Watch Chiara’s feature on The Voice here.
Photo by Bureau 233 / ITV / TF1