Jacqueline Wong speaks to classical singer Carly Paoli on family, music and her role as brand ambassador.
The appointment of Carly Paoli as the latest brand ambassador and ‘mezzo soprano in residence’ of BEDAT & Co is an embodiment of the philosophy of Madame Simone Bedat, the founder of the brand who believed that functionality and beauty were not mutually exclusive. The 25-year-old British singer made her international debut last September at the David Foster Foundation Gala where funds were raised for children in need. The following month, Paoli made history as the first artist to perform at the International Women’s Foundation Courage Awards, earning praise as “the voice of an angel and an effortless beauty” from former American Idol judge, Paula Abdul. At the lunch of BEDAT & Co’s 2015 Novelties Collection at Starhill Gallery, Paoli promises to represent the brand as she would her family, “With love, pride, respect and loyalty. “
This is a big role for someone so young. How did you prepare for it and how has the experience been so far?
I have always been very passionate and serious about what I do. My dream as an artist is to be on stage, not only to sing but to tell stories and create different atmospheres. And right now, I have a big responsibility to keep the legacy of Madame Simone Bedat alive by incorporating her romantic and inspiring story into what I do on stage. It has been an absolute whirlwind but amazing experience. An opportunity to perform with my childhood inspiration David Foster, was definitely the highlight.
Who has been an influential woman figure in your life?
Throughout my life, my mother has been my backbone. She has supported me through my ups and downs as a performer. She would be the one pushing me and saying, ‘Come on kid, keep moving. You will get there one day.’ I never gave up on my dream and she certainly did not give up on me. She is my best friend and essentially my manager. I wouldn't have been able to get there without her.
When do you feel you best embody the essence of a woman?
The privilege of a performer is putting on beautiful princess gowns, something all women would dream to wear. It is lovely to be able to do that, get made up and I feel absolutely complete to put on my Bedat watch. The Extravaganza that I have on is the perfect finishing touch. The flower design embodies the idea of femininity beautifully.
Classical vocalists tend to give the impression of being very proper. What do you enjoy doing when you decide to let you hair down?
I am a very family-orientated girl. I love spending time with my mum and dad. And I always enjoy my time back in Italy, where all my Italian relatives would gather to cook, eat, sing and dance together.
You are working on your debut album. Tell us a bit about that.
All the music on my album is very Carly Paoli. It has the theatrical elements that I love and has a classical technique of singing. Each piece tells a different story and they are very cinematic and epic. I aspire one day to be able to put one of these pieces to a theme of a film Bedat & Co as opened the world for me to meet a lot of very talented people. For instance, O spoke to David Foster and we will have more collaborations in the future.
How has you time in Malaysia been?
You have a very colourful culture. It is exotic yet cosmopolitan. It has everything. I’ve spent about a week here and tried a lot of different food. I even had something spicy for breakfast and I found that I am able to take the chilli. That impresses lots of people. But this isn’t my first time here. I’ve been to Malaysia before to perform at a wedding. I visited KL and the beautiful Pangkor Laut Resort. That was a year ago now. I cannot believe how far I’ve come and I’m very excited for what the future holds.