Kristina Maria is a Canadian born, multi-gold artist who broke onto the pop scene in 2010 under the management label, Lupo One Entertainment Inc founded by famed manager Vito Luprano. Luprano was a key player in the success story of artists such as Celine Dion and came out of semi-retirement after hearing the Kristina Maria sing. The list of writers and musicians that have worked with her on her latest and debut album, reads like a who’s who in the music industry.
Kristina is about to introduce her brand of pop and R & B to the UK, with the release of her new song, You Don’t Have the Right to Cry. She sings in English and in French, she has been nominated for a Juno award and she has several top 10 hits under her belt in her native Canada.
It’s time that we got to know her a little bit better in the UK and here is our interview with Kristina Maria.
Hi Kristina, how are you today?
I’m great, thank you. So excited to be sharing my music with the UK!
You’ve had huge success in your native Canada, can you tell the UK what your musical style is all about?
I like to think of myself as being unique and I want to show that through my music. Each song I write is inspired from a day in the life of Kristina Maria. I love to make music that people can relate to. My sound can be versatile but mostly pop-R&B.
Who are your musical influences?
My musical influences are Whitney Houston (at the beginning of her career), Celine Dion and Christina Aguilera. I found that I gravitated towards the powerhouse vocal artists and I would try so hard to imitate them.
You’ve got a new single out – You Don’t Have The Right To Cry, can you tell us a little about this?
It’s a very empowering song about when your boo leaves you then tries to get back with you and you’re like: I deserve better than that.
Did you have fun shooting the video to the song?
I had such an amazing time shooting the video. I got to show off my incredible band and these two beautiful dancers who expressed the lyrics to the song in such a moving way. It’s such a touching song and I feel like the video is a perfect visual representation.
You’ve been nominated for several awards, including a Juno nomination for pop album of the year with your first album, Tell The World – alongside the likes of Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen, what did that mean to you?
Words cannot describe how excited I felt. I was so proud because my team and I worked so hard on my album Tell The World and it felt incredible to know that our hard work had been recognised. It was like a pat on the back that everyone needed. Let’s be honest, being nominated alongside Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen is just mind blowing. I still get chills thinking about it.
From your song Move Like a Soldier, proceeds from the song go to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (M.A.D.D Canada). What is the reason for supporting that particular charity?
I had watched this program about drinking and driving the night before I went to the studio. I walked in to the session feeling inspired. I just wanted to write a powerful song about wanting to fight for someone who abuses alcohol and bring them out of that dark hole. The video clip for the song was perfect and so my manager and I felt like it was so fitting getting involved with M.A.D.D. Whenever someone purchases the song off of iTunes, a portion of proceeds goes to M.A.D.D. Canada.
How different is your second album, in comparison to your first?
I feel like I’ve grown so much since my first album. I wanted to keep the same feel as Tell The World but make it bigger and better. Also, in this album, I show more of my vocal skills and I put my left finger on one ear, with the other finger waving like Mariah Carey while singing, (laughs)!
What was it like working with Laza Morgan on Co-Pilot?
Well, Kristian Lundin had approached me with the song Co-Pilot with Laza Morgan’s vocals already on it and had wanted me to write a new melody and lyrics to the verses. The song has such a cool groove to it and I wanted it to be a fun party song. I met Laza in Morocco and he’s a very nice guy. I couldn’t be happier to have done a duet with him.
Co-Pilot’s French version, featuring Corneille, earned you a record deal with France’s Wagram label. Does it feel different for you to sing in French, compared to English?
Singing in French is very different than singing in English. It’s funny but I really enjoy doing both. I speak French fluently but Canadian French is not the same as Parisian French. They say I sound cute, I say I sound like a trucker (laughs)!
You’ve worked with many incredible writers. Who has been your favourite to work with, or who have you learnt the most from?
I feel so blessed to have worked with the incredibly talented people that Vito Luprano, my manager, introduced me to. With each person, I have learned so much. There is this producer in particular that I feel like has become my mentor in the studio and his name is Kristian Lundin, he is incredible. With the help of him and Vito, I feel like my writing, vocal and studio skills have improved drastically. Still today, I continue to learn and grow.
What’s your favourite song to sing live and why?
Pump the Breaks is my favourite song to sing live. We collaborated with Michael Jackson’s lead guitarist, Orianthi and the song is just amazing. There’s something about the grunginess and guitar sound that gets my adrenaline going.
What is the best gig you’ve done to date?
My favourite performance to date was two years ago with a bunch of other artists in Agadir, Morocco for the Tolerance show. I performed in front of 300,000 people by the beach. It was such an exhilarating feeling!
What is your ultimate goal as an artist?
My ultimate goal is for me to keep doing what I love more than anything in this world, music! I just want to be happy and have fun and perhaps one day, God willing, travel and meet all of my fans.
What has been the highlight of 2014 for you?
Sharing You Don’t Have The Right To Cry, with you guys. I love that song so much and I hope that y’all with love it too! I came to England for a few interviews and I look forward to doing more.
What do you hope that 2015 has in store for you?
Well, I would love to come to the UK and do a promo tour. I’m so excited for what the future has in store for me.
You Don’t Have The Right To Cry is released in the UK on 17th November 2014.