Martha Rossi Interview
Martha, for those outside of Italy, would you like to introduce yourself, what is your connection with Queen?
MR: Hi everyone here on Queenonline. I’m Martha Rossi, I’m 23 and I’m a singer. That’s what I always wanted to do in life. I started singing when I was 5, this was my dream and I’m working hard day by day to keep it alive. My connection with Queen dates back, professionally speaking, to the auditions for WWRY Italy in 2009. Brian, Roger and Jim Beach came to the final auditions in Milan and they chose me to play the role of Scaramouche. I felt much honoured, it was more than a dream come true!
Were you always a Queen fan?
MR: I was brought up listening to Queen music, I owe this to my father who was a big fan of the band. I still remember the day when, as a little kid, I first fell in love with Queen. I was playing my fairy tales tapes and suddenly, among these tapes, I bumped into a Queen one : I was hooked! Soon afterwards I began to learn and sing these songs. My father couldn’t believe it. That’s how it all started!
What is the most enjoyable part of being part of We Will Rock You?
MR: In my daily life I’m very much similar to Scaramouche, I’m a “rebel chick”, I’m definitely not a “gaga girl”. Therefore I find it quite amusing to be Scara on stage. The part of the musical I truly adore is the final one with Pop at the Seven Seas of Rhye and then on the way to Wembley. There’s a great chemistry between us, I guess the audience can understand how much we enjoy doing this show.
You have covered 'We Believe', a Brian May written track from the Queen + Paul Rodgers album The Cosmos Rocks, what drew you to that song?
MR: When I first listened to this song I was very impressed and I loved the meaning in it. Brian was trying to convey a very important message to the world out there. I wanted to share the same message in Italian. Nowadays there are too many songs which are trivial and meaningless, I think it’s up to the artists to try to give a positive answer through music. Music is a powerful way to communicate ideas, it can help to create a new perspective and improve the world we live in.
Brian has openly praised your version of the track, was he involved at all in the production?
MR: I’m still very touched by Brian’s words. These days it’s hard to find someone like him. I mean someone as competent and caring who encourages you to pursue your musical career and who understands what music means to you simply by listening to just one song. Brian has always been very kind to me. As he said in his video message Brian was told about this project right from the start, he only played a little part in it, he was mainly involved in We Believe, nonetheless we kept him updated. I can only be grateful to God for this experience which has taught me a lot and for being allowed to work with some special artists who are great and humble human beings first of all.
Did you get to see Queen + Paul Rodgers when the last toured in 2008?
MR: Unfortunately I couldn’t make it as I was working too. However, I managed to see the Kharkov concert at the cinema. I know it’s not the same thing but I enjoyed it very much and when I saw Brian performing “Love of My Life” I felt so moved that decided to cover this song. It was the first Queen song I ever covered.
Were there ever any other Queen songs under consideration?
MR: Honestly I didn’t consider any other Queen songs for this EP. My mind was set on We Believe because I immediately felt in tune with the message of this song. It perfectly summed up what I thought and believed in too. Besides this, as I said earlier, I’m also very fond of “Love of My Life” . I recorded this song just for my fans in the past. I know that, just like any other Queen song, it’s impossible to do better than the original version. However I always do my best ,as I do in the musical, to put all my passion and the emotions I feel while I sing these unforgettable tracks which have touched so many people throughout the years.
The track appears a bonus tracks on a mini album you have just released, what are the other tracks that are included?
MR: Before I talk about the other songs I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have worked with me on this EP: starting from Raffaella Rolla (Brian’s trusted translator and songwriter) to the legendary bass player Neil Murray, from Gatto Panceri (another excellent Italian songwriter) to the lead guitarist of WWRY Canada and Italy Tristan Avakian. I feel honoured to have been given a chance to work with these great artists and dear friends. As for the album, it can’t be summed up in a musical genre. Basically it’s pop rock though, for instance, “Life goes on” is a dance track, “Musica Sarà” is a ballad, etc. Let’s say that these tracks are about my life. They describe my experiences, my temperament and all those aspects which sometimes people can’t get. I hope this EP is a first step to introduce myself and to show who I am both in human and in artistic terms.
Are you planning on playing live to promote the release?
MR: We’re definitely thinking about planning a tour or some live dates to promote the album in the future. However it’s early stages right now, there are other priorities at present. Stay tuned !
Who else do you listen too or who else influenced your solo career?
MR: There are many singers and bands who influenced me. Certainly Queen and the Beatles played a big influence on me but also Céline Dion, Pink, Christina Aguileira, Alexia and, last but not least Katy Perry who I recently saw on tour in Milan, she’s really amazing.
Another big influence was played, though in a different way, by my family. I owe a lot to them, especially to my father. He has always supported me and given me wise suggestions. He taught me that music had to be loved and studied in connection with other subjects and forms of arts. Culture, education and music are equally important and interconnected. The world of an artist is not only about music. Thanks to my studies in literature, photography and other subjects now I’m more able to describe my life and my passions through music.
Queen celebrate their 40th Anniversary this year, they really are a band that any musician would look up to, it must be rather nice to be linked with them?
MR: As I already said, I still can’t believe it. Things evolved so quickly in my life in the last couple of years. Two years ago I was a young girl full of dreams and hopes, I had studied and was studying hard to gradually grow and make my way. Brian, Roger, Jim Beach and all the people involved in the production of WWRY acknowledged my talent and made me realize I was doing the right thing. I can’t thank Queen enough for their trust and encouragement. This means a lot to me and it makes me even more determined to improve and do better day by day. I will always look up to them and feel privileged and thankful for their blessings.
What is next for you Martha, more solo work or back to the stage?
MR: My main goal is to work on my solo career. Obviously there are also other projects under consideration but right now I’m moving my first steps with my EP which has just been released. I’ll be working hard and do my best to keep my dream alive and share with people my passion and love for music. Music is my life and …. as the title track of the album says “Music Will Be”.