Loriana Valente: Intertwining Music and Art and Creating a New Virtual Reality World
By Sujany Baleswaran
Deemed as an unstable profession, many of us grew up in a society that steered us away from the creative industry. Loriana Valente was born with a passion for music and art but her time at high school broke her away from everything she dreamed of. After experiencing an unpleasant marriage and losing her child 5 years ago, just one week after delivery, Loriana had her first drum lesson. Releasing her pent-up frustration, her passion for music was born again. The activist and performance artist based in Germany breaks the convention of performance and captures the beholder with her intertwining of music and art, creating projects that the world has never seen before.
You created the world’s first virtual reality musical-film art performance. How did this come about?
Yes, that’s right. To be precise: I developed this VR musical, and it’s still in a developing process – as the script has more retouches, and the different Virtual Reality Worlds have to be animated and created. Let’s say it like this – I gave birth to the idea and the rough cut of the show. Hopefully, the debut will take place soon in the future. I came up with this idea because an old friend of mine introduced me to the VR world. He’s a filmmaker in Germany. That was roundabout three years ago. During that time, I had a wonderful and unique house in Germany, where I designed and held monthly live events – living room concerts in that house, and I opened the house to the public. The special feature of this concert was that I invited another artist to my house to make murals (paint my living room walls) while the band was playing. So, the audience could listen to the live concert AND watch an artist paint my living room wall at the same time. My living room got more colourful after every concert. I never knew what they were painting. They painted what they felt during the concert whilst listening to the music. The audience had fun. German TV channels also visited my place to film everything and make a documentary out of this event. They did it, but their filming method didn’t capture the feeling and the emotions very well. PLUS, you couldn’t see everything or every detail on camera. So, my old friend and I decided to film one of the events with a 360-degree camera, so the audience can watch it with VR glasses from wherever they are in the world and be in my living room at the same time. That was in 2018. Now, of course, technology has advanced even further, and we can create new worlds and realities. Technology moves so fast. My aim is to make this world a better place and to show people that dreams can come true. A grey world can all of a sudden appear in rainbow colours (if this makes sense) if you believe in it. And we all have an effect on this planet – regarding topics like climate change, politics, etc. I want to show people, with the help of music and VR, that we are responsible for our own worlds and that together we can change the world. But we have to start with ourselves and be role models and inspirations to others. Little changes can have a ripple effect. And THIS, you can show perfectly through VR and music. People will listen more when music and visuals are in combination. It’s like good music, with good vibes and a good film with great storytelling altogether. And it’s new. It’s time for a change in the music and film business! Change is always good.
You started your music journey 5 years ago when you lost your child. Can you tell us more about the thoughts and feelings that led you to begin your music career?
I was born with a passion for music, dancing, and dreaming. I loved being in my little room as a child, dancing to music, and imagining myself in front of a big audience. My microphone was my older sister’s deodorant spray or my brush. I was into music since I can remember. I went to school in Germany, and when I started high school, my music skills – I call them my wings of music – had been broken. I stopped singing when I started high school. I had to adapt myself, and it was a very difficult time for me. Music wasn’t seen as something that you can do as a profession. This is what society (included my parents) told me. You are born as a singer, or you are not. You can’t practice singing. You can’t act like this – you can’t act like that. I was always a bit different from everyone around me. I suffered a lot, and I went through an unpleasant marriage and lost my child during pregnancy. When I lost my child during pregnancy – that was the most painful experience of my life – I knew THIS was my wake-up call. This was when I was born the second time. That was the day I knew I had to change my life and do whatever I want to do and not what others wanted me to do. I lived for the expectations of other people and society for more than 20 years. My child opened my eyes. So, one week after delivery, I was in so much pain, and I couldn’t go to the gym yet as the doctor told me not to. I had to let my frustration out – so I took my first drum lesson one week after delivery. And this is how my musical and artistic journey re-started. And here I am now, with a published pop music album and music videos. I am thankful for everything God gave me on my journey here on earth.
You work with both music and art. Does music influence your art, or does art influence your music?
It’s an interesting question. For me, music is art, and art is music. One can’t exist without the other. It’s all about creating. It’s all about discovering new emotions. It’s all about letting go and living for the moment. But I would definitely say that it’s music that influences my art. My art of being, living, performing, writing, thinking.
What is your most favourite and the most challenging part of creating an artistic piece, whether that’s art or music?
My favourite part is the joy behind it – being like a child, letting go, and being lost in the process while creating everything. Furthermore, I love learning new things and sharing them with the world. I just love being creative and being organized at the same time. I love the surprise behind the process. You never know what’s going to happen next, who you going to meet, what you’re going to learn. You have to go with the flow of the universe to receive the creative gift God has given you. Just listen to your heart, and the art piece develops on its own. The most challenging part of creating a piece of art is getting in touch with ALL emotions. When I say all, I mean all – even the uncomfortable emotions. With every art piece, you get to know more about yourself. You get to learn more about your feelings and your WHYs. You analyse and reflect on yourself. You get uncomfortable. And after a time, the more you get used to feeling uncomfortable, you get comfortable with the uncomfortable. You overcome your fears. That’s uncomfortable and comfortable at the same time. You learn to be grateful for every tiny step.
You have incredible talent as both a songwriter and artist. What does your creative process look like?
To be honest, my creative process is different every time. What I need every single time, just in case I want to capture a moment or a thought, or I want to work straight ahead, are my iPhone, my MacBook, my notebook, my post-its, and my fountain pen and pencil and pen. I need my headset, my studio headphones, good food, positive energy around me, healthy drinks, and finally, music or silence depending on the mood. Of course, I have morning routines, but that also varies. It depends on what stage I’m at or what I’m concentrating on – dancing, meditating, breath work, writing, journaling, vocal warm-up. One thing I will always follow: NO phone in my bed in the morning! First, I take care of myself and my dogs (go for a walk with them and feed them), and I say thank you, pray and say hello to the sun. Then, the day can start.
What advice would you give to other artists looking to start a career in music or art?
Music and art come to you naturally at the right time and the right place. It’s a gift which you treat like your baby. You protect it, you feed it, and you take care of it every day. It grows naturally. Love the process – not only the result, and have fun with it! Another very important piece of advice would be to surround yourself with the right people. Be the positive vibe and attract the right tribe. Learn every day and get yourself, good coaches, in dancing, singing, acting, business coaching. Success is no coincidence. Talent is nice to have, but not enough. Be the right package, embrace yourself, and believe in yourself. But most importantly: take action at the right time and never let money stop you. Invest in yourself, and especially at the beginning, spend your money on the right things. Buy yourself equipment, not the newest handbag or shoes. Spend money on equipment, coaching, and lessons. Be ready for the transformation because your life will definitely change the moment you commit to that special gift of art and music. If someone tells you you can’t do it, you prove them wrong! Be brave, be strong and own it! I definitely believe in the power of art and music and that we can make this world a better place with those tools. Therefore, I created an artist program. It’s called From Dream to reality – How to Become a Published A.R.T.I.S.T. It’s a formula with 6 modules, and we work 6-12 weeks on it, with the goal to publish your own first song or album. I take my customers by the hand, and I teach them everything I know and everything I’ve experienced in the music and art industry. I share my knowledge and help other people reaching their goals and turn their dreams into reality. Art is powerful and doesn’t have any limitations.
What’s in store for you in the future – do you have any dream collaborations or solo ambitions?
Learning, shining, growing, and focusing on my dreams. Taking care of my family and my family life and being healthy and grateful for every day the creator is giving me and my family. My goal is to create and expand my beautiful online business for A.R.T.I.S.T.s, make more pop music, write more songs and get into the acting world. I’m heading for Los Angeles this year. My goal is to live with my family and my dogs in L.A., create beautiful art and music pieces for the world, spread awareness, bring joy and laughter to people and use time on earth as effectively as possible with the right tribe. My dream is to create something really crazy with my dream collaboration artist, Lady Gaga, and to perform together with her on the biggest stages in the world and inspire other people. Who knows – maybe I will get to know her, and we will continue creating the virtual reality musical that I invented. Finish developing this virtual reality music world with her and other creatives and professionals would be amazing!!! I just want to create something new for the world, something no one has ever seen, that would be amazing!