A COFFEE WITH
CHIARA PARRAVICINI: “I WAS BORN THIS WAY, DETERMINED TO DEDICATE MY LIFE TO THE ARTS”
Name: Chiara Parravicini
Profession: Singer and Actress
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
LATINNESS: Do you come from a family of creatives?
CHIARA: Well, my family has always been very artistic. I was always surrounded by distinct forms of art. My grandfather was a well-known Argentinian actor named Ignacio Quirós. He was a theatre actor, and later he did television. My father also had a band, so basically he was a musician, and my mother restored art paintings, always very artistic, so it was always a part of me. Yet since I was little, I would watch movies, and always yearned to be an actress, and I would listen to music, and wanted to sing…I don’t know, I was born this way, already knowing I wanted to dedicate myself to art.
LATINNESS: You portrayed the character of Yam in Disney Channel’s Soy Luna, and immediately upon finishing, launched your first album. Tell us about that crossover from acting to singing.
CHIARA: Well, in Soy Luna, my character also had a musical aspect because she played guitar and sang, etc. like I do. Also, I always knew I wanted to create music, so the day I went in, I knew that when it ended I was going to record my first album. The transition was difficult because I was coming from one project where I was working 10 hours a day, every day, throughout three years nonstop. It was hard because I stopped being part of one project at a moment when they were still on tour, and said ‘OK, I’ve made it until here,’ and I went about producing my album. It was a very beautiful, very introspective process.
LATINNESS: When launching your first album Wilder, what made you decide to record in English?
CHIARA: Because I grew up with two languages. All my schooling was in English, except for Language and Argentinian History, it was all in English. I grew up with those two languages and traveled to the United States frequently as a child, as well, and the American culture was always a part of me. All the music I would listen to was in English until I was 18 years old. I would listen to all the British or American musicians, and I wanted to pay tribute to that music I grew up with. That’s why it came naturally for me to do it in English.
LATINNESS: Lloro was your first song in Spanish?
CHIARA: Yes, truthfully, I’m really happy to be able to sing in my language. It connects me much more with the people that follow me since so many are from Latin America. So, yeah, it’s really beautiful.
LATINNESS: What would you consider your big break until now?
CHIARA: Well, definitely Disney because it was a trampoline that launched me into the entertainment world, that was my big break. From then on, we continue betting on finding new acting projects that I find interesting, and continue to work on my distinct art forms, as well.
LATINNESS: Between your acting and musical projects, is there one in particular you are most proud of?
CHIARA: To be honest, I’m proud of everything because it all required distinct skills and distinct facets of myself. With Disney, I’m proud to have been selected out of so many people, and of all the hard work I put in during those three years of filming and touring internationally. Then with my album, truthfully, of the musicians who recorded with me, for me it’s an honor that they wanted to be part of this project, and that we are now close friends. Truthfully, I’m proud of everything I do.
LATINNESS: How did you select your impressive band?
CHIARA: We selected it together with my manager, Tomas Merello. Well, he has worked in the music industry much longer, he contacted them, and it occurred to him who could potentially work, and to be honest, wow, he bet on some really sick musicians.
LATINNESS: When I met you in Argentina, I was surprised by your simplicity and humility as a person. I remember you were with your mom, and both of you were so sweet and friendly. You started at a very young age in an industry I imagine is complicated to maneuver. How do you remain so grounded?
CHIARA: I think because of my life philosophy, which is that we are all human, we all make mistakes, we all suffer, and truthfully, we are all the same, regardless of what we do. Being famous doesn’t make you superior, you see? It’s a big mistake, and it’s easy to make that mistake. Actually, I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it, and it’s like no, it’s not about that. I have another perspective. Maybe it’s because I distanced myself a bit from the world, and I see how small we really are, and we are all human. That’s my philosophy. No one has any reason to believe they are superior to anyone else. And that’s how I stay grounded. Also, being connected to nature has always been a big part of my life. I always want to have my feet on the Earth, literally, and to be able to connect with what is essential. That’s what keeps me human. Obviously, it’s also the work of my parents, but a lot of my experience, to have lived it up close, maybe it influenced just the opposite in me, and made me realize what I wanted and did not want. That’s the point of living.
LATINNESS: Can you walk us through a day in your life?
CHIARA: Most likely, I’ll wake up and have a delicious breakfast. I don’t like to wake up too early because I’m not a morning person. I was, but not anymore. I used to wake up at 5 AM, and I don’t want to do that again. Probably on a normal day, I’d go to the studio and work, meet with my manager, we’d have meetings or work on new music. The studio is a big part of my day. I also like being alone at home, I turn on candles and relax a bit, and perhaps, play the guitar or watch a show on Netflix. I love a bit of alone time and seeing my friends. That’s what I’d do on a normal day.
LATINNESS: You’ve traveled the world thanks to your work. Is there a country you consider your favorite?
CHIARA: Truthfully, France fascinates me, I think it is one of the prettiest countries to travel around during summertime. To go first to the South of France, then spend a few days in Paris. To be honest, it amazes me. Also Italy drives me crazy. I come from Italian descent and all of my family lives there, so I feel at home, and the culture, the food, everything fascinates me. France and Italy are in my heart.
LATINNESS: And in Latin America?
CHIARA: From the little I could discover, I loved Bogota, it seemed incredible. The truth is that I like Colombia a lot, I also loved Medellin. I’ve been to Mexico City a lot and I think it’s a city I’d like, but I don’t know, I’ve traveled to so many, and I have such a terrible memory. During the Latin American tour, I pretty much visited all of Latin America, and I don’t remember. But in Colombia, I had more time to visit, and I loved Bogota. I’d love to go back because I had such little time. We took the cable car to see everything from above, then went to the older part, but really Colombia has a vibe I really like. In general, it has a really pretty vibe.
LATINNESS: Besides music, you have strong ties with fashion. Tell us about your relationship with fashion. Was it born as a result of your career or was it always part of you?
CHIARA: To be honest, it was through my career that I started collaborating with brands that I liked. I always loved fashion and the whole luxury world. It always interested me a lot, but I experienced it more from a distance because I wasn’t really involved in that scene. But it’s like how you know it, my relationships with different brands slowly started developing, and for example, with CHANEL, little things started arising, and truthfully, I love it. Fashion fascinates me, it’s an incredible complement for an artist, and I find it’s a fascinating world. Now people don’t understand whether I’m a singer, an actress or a model. In reality, I’m everything, but people always want to put labels on things, like if you’re a model, you can’t be a singer and writer, and so on. I don’t consider myself a model, I have a relationship with fashion and I’m published in magazines because I’m an artist.
LATINNESS: Where does your love for vintage clothes come from? Is it from your mother?
CHIARA: Yes, I use several pieces from my mom that she had saved and I’ve given new life, and I love it. That’s why I don’t like to throw too many things away, even though I’m tired of them, because then it’s like ‘Oh I had this that I could’ve worn and now it’s in fashion!’ There are things that attract your attention again that you no longer have and you regret. Vintage started to interest me when I began traveling and going to vintage stores in Paris, and later in Los Angeles, also. There is this whole culture that’s really strong of small, local vintage stores with luxury items. I love the idea of giving life to something that for you is new, and I don’t know, it’s a beautiful circle that’s good for the planet also. To not consume so many new things and new production, but instead give new life to things that haven’t died yet. It’s really beautiful, and you can suddenly discover hidden gems and say, ‘I can’t believe it!’ It’s very rewarding. I think it’s more rewarding than buying something new. It’s more beautiful to find something, and say it’s something you came across with and not something you were looking for, perhaps.
LATINNESS: Argentinian girls, like French girls, are known for their effortless style and natural beauty. Can you identify with this? What does beauty mean to you?
CHIARA: For me, it’s all about the vibe, because that’s beauty to me, expressing who you are through fashion and through your personality. Personality is one of the most important assets a person has, I think. And in terms of fashion, it’s like, whatever your face may look like, you can still be the coolest person in the city. I think it’s important to be able to express who you are through fashion.
LATINNESS: Argentina has very cool brands and strong local design culture…
CHIARA: Every day there are more and more brands, more girls creating really nice things, but with a smaller production. With the whole social media world, new brands with talented designers have come to light, and it’s really nice to support that, as well.
LATINNESS: Any favorites?
CHIARA: Aracano Jewelry, he invented a sort of trend from here, from South America, he invented the chain trend, you know? I think he has an amazing talent, he’s incredible. There are a lot of small brands that are incredible. From pyjama designers who work with, what’s that technique called? Broderie. There are more and more beautiful things, and honestly, now that I have to tell you, I’m forgetting…
LATINNESS: What do you love most about the Latin culture? And Argentinian culture?
CHIARA: Of my culture, in particular, and also of the Latin culture, I love the warmth of Latins, the sense of family and friendship, which I don’t think is the same anywhere else. Especially here in Argentina, there is a unity, a very beautiful human quality, I believe. Also, since we are all immigrants- the majority of us- it’s a conglomerate of cultures and customs. Truthfully I love being Latin, and when I travel, I don’t know, I feel super identified with everything. I think it’s incredible, the amount of colors, music, things that happen in Latin America, which is what makes it vibrate differently than the rest of the world. It’s really, really unique.
LATINNESS: Let’s tour your city. What’s your favorite neighborhood in Buenos Aires, and why?
CHIARA: Palermo Chico is really, really pretty. Then there is the neighborhood I live in, which is Vicente Lopez, which I love because it’s always been my neighborhood. I think Palermo Chico is the most beautiful in Buenos Aires. There is also the area where MALBA is, which is a museum. I don’t know, the Renault Museum, all that area is incredible. Recoleta also. Ay, I don’t know, I can’t pick!
LATINNESS: Favorite restaurant?
CHIARA: Probably one that is called Anafe.
LATINNESS: Best coffee shop?
CHIARA: Cuervo Café
LATINNESS: Open air market?
CHIARA: There is not much of a culture of open air markets. Once a year there is a fair called Masticar, which is super. The majority of the restaurants in Buenos Aires have a stand there, and you can go and try…
LATINNESS: Ice cream shop?
CHIARA: Lucciano’s or Shock.
CHIARA: Plaza Alemania or one that I love that has a small plaza on Alvear and a small street that goes down. All the parks in Palermo and Recoleta are amazing, surrounded by buildings with French architecture, very beautiful.
LATINNESS: Best kept secret in Buenos Aires?
CHIARA: The best kept secret is having a friend with a boat that you can take out to the delta. To go to the delta and eat at one of the little restaurants out there is really nice. It’s a river with many small rivers and a ton of small houses and pretty restaurants. From time to time, we stay there and hang out, floating on the river in the boat and just cruising. It’s a really nice way to complement your visit to Buenos Aires because you can see a distinct side.
LATINNESS: Where do you go to escape the city?
CHIARA: To a house in the countryside, also of a friend. I always take advantage and escape to the countryside when I have the opportunity to because I have a lot of friends who have countryside houses very close to the city, like an hour to an hour and a half. It’s a total disconnection from the city. If you have more time, you should also cross the pond and go to Uruguay.
Images: courtesy of Chiara Parravicini