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Andreea Verde

I met Andreea a  while ago  ( some good years)  and I must tell you how lucky I (still) feel to have met such a complete artist! She is a sensation, a friend and a true inspiration . She’s only 27 and works as a journalist, a model and stylist and not the least, as a singer.

SAHB is so delighted to share this interview with wonderful Ms. Verde  and  to welcome her in Copenhagen. Very soon!

Enjoy,

Ana 

SAHB: Can you please tell me your name? Why Verde?

I’ve been Andreea Verde for more than 8 years, although my real name is Andreea Lupescu. Verde means green and I became Andreea Verde when I died my hair like this to match my eyes. It all happened 10 years ago when I was still in high school.  It was my name day, so I thought the teachers wouldn’t expel me on that particular day. I was a bit shocked to discover they liked it so much that they allowed me to wear it. So, this is how my Green Period began. Like Picasso, who had his Blue Period, when he painted essentially monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors.

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Photo by Valeriu Catalineanu

SAHB: What is your morning routine? How do you start your day?

It’s different everyday; I still discover my routines and myself. At the moment, I love waking up with music from jango.com. You can just type in names of certain artists and the website finds similar bands, and sounds creating a great playlist. I take a fast shower. I like my mornings sweet. A bit of chocolate or crunchy Speculoos usually do the trick. I sometimes make some sandwiches to go – for the office.

The action moves to my bedroom where I decide I’ve got nothing to wear. After this, I usually realize how late I am, so I end up choosing a black dress. Sometimes I don’t have time for make-up, so I just put on lipgloss and run. Of course, it depends on the days and on my schedule. But you know what? I think I actually hate having a routine.

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Photo by Valeriu Catalineanu

SAHB: Where did you grow up?

I grew up mostly in Bucharest, between blockflats, imagining a parallel universe with my dolls who were all princesses. In the summertime, I used to go to my grandparents’ country house. I remember playing outside a lot , inventing games, and ALWAYS falling asleep with a bedtime story that had to have a happy ending.

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Photo by Valeriu Catalineanu

SAHB: What was your dream job when you were growing up? What about your first job?

I have this really old memory with me being 3 years old and wanting to become a TV reporter. Mostly because my parents seemed to admire the TV lady while watching the news, so I wished I was like her. I remember finding her voice really calm and relaxing. I used to fall asleep ‘to the news’; it was such a sweet sleep. I also wanted to be a singer, but I was very shy. When I sang Christmas carols for my family, I turned red instantly. Then, my ‘Agatha Christie period’ started and all of a sudden I wanted to be a detective. I still dream about being a detective, haha!

My first real job was as a fashion-editor for TimeOut Bucharest, a well known magazine in Romania.

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Winter Ghost by Studio Andrei Ivan

SAHB: What is your job title at the moment?

I am a journalist for Metropotam (the most important going-out site in Bucharest), the lead singer of Dekadens and the image of LaChatterie (Designer Isabelle Vijiiac’s brand).

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Photo by Cristian Vasile a.k.a. Bucuresti Optimist

SAHB: Besides being a journalist, you worked as a teacher at the University of Bucharest? How was it?

I had the most wonderful mornings with my students. I used to make all sorts of games at my classes: debates, forum-theatre exercises, I even published some of their texts in Ambition Magazine (I was editor-in-chief at that time) or  helped them find jobs in television. I was teaching Mass Media, PR and Crisis Management. I’ve never been a morning person. But I enjoyed teaching so much that I didn’t find it hard or complicated at all. I remember arriving at work sometimes after a long concert with only 3 or 4 hours of sleep.  I always entered the classroom with a cup of coffee in my hand- my students told me (later) that this was my trademark.

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Photo by  Andreea Retinschi

SAHB: What do you think made you fall in love with singing? What was the switch?

I have no idea. One day I realized that singing really made me happy. I used to go to the Botanical Garden in Bucharest with some friends and we would sing for hours. It was enough for me to see la vie en rose. Then we went in a camp in Prague where we worked with improvising. We started singing and I composed my first ever song on the spot – Rome, without you. That was the moment I realised that I could also compose, not only sing covers.

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Photo by Felicia Simion Photography ; Outfit: Lachatterie

SAHB: What do you find the most challenging about your carrier as a singer?

It’s challenging to always be in a good shape and mood at the shows. You must be creative, ready to start something that you have no idea what it will lead to. Choosing the outfits. Always bringing something new to the stage. Focus. Forgetting about yourself or your personal problems. Never knowing how many people will turn up. It’s a series of surprises and sometimes it’s not easy to handle all of the pressure.

…and, of course, rehearsing a lot. Composing. Finding inspiration. Translating inspiration.

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Photo by Felicia Simion Photography ; Outfit: Lachatterie

SAHB: What type of music do you play and if you could play with any international artist out there, who will it be?

For the moment, I have 2 acts: an acoustic one with bossa nova flavour for small venues and fashion events, and an electric one (indie-rock) for big stages and outdoor festivals.

I would love to play with the artists I connect with. Being a journalist helped me meet international artists, and I can easily tell that I had really good chemistry with Liset Alea from Nouvelle Vague, for example. I’m curious about Florence, Bjork or Matt Berninger from The National. Oh, and The xx and Daft Punk.

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Photo by Felicia Simion Photography ; Outfit: Lachatterie

SAHB: Tell us about your last video? Whats the idea behind the story?

It’s a dark poem of a twisted love. Black and white. Directed and filmed by Carina Toma – actually, it’s her first video ever. It feels cinematic and it has some Nymphomaniac influences. The original song is a pop one by Bronski Beat, that used to be a hit in 1984 –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smalltown_Boy. We changed it completely, you will see. The are many stories to be discovered, but I guess the main idea is to NEVER believe what you see at first sight.

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Photo by Felicia Simion Photography ; Outfit: Lachatterie

SAHB: Tell us about your favorite concert? When was it, where and why is it so special to you?

All of them made me experience powerful connections with the audience, which is the most important thing for me. I will give you 2 opposite examples:

  1. Iasi, Romania, 2010

The club where we were supposed to perform  changed its address without a public announcement,  and we were the first band to perform in the new space.

Long story short: people didn’t know about the new address, went to the old one and we had 5 or 7 people in the audience. It was one the most powerful concerts ever, I remember them dancing and singing, even the bartenders were really enthusiastic. It was a memorable night as well as a challenging one, because we played for 2 hours.

  1. Toronto, Canadian Music Week, 2012

We played in Toronto where people didn’t know DEKADENS or our songs. The club was really crowded, everybody was dancing, the lights were blue and they started singing loud some of our choruses, although they’ve never heard it before. I felt so good to be there, it was a very international crowd: Polish, Canadians, Americans, and Germans. The energy we felt that night was amazing and for us it was a first.

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Photo by Felicia Simion Photography ; Outfit: Lachatterie

SAHB: When do you feel the most creative?

When I am very happy or when I am really sad. It depends. When something really gets to me. It can be a story or just a stranger. Or a painting or even a song. You can never tell. You just know it when it happens. Like love.

SAHB: How does the fast pace of today affects the process of creation?

I often feel that “I am running out of time”, that I am constantly late and that time has changed. It’s faster that it used to be in my childhood. The result: I sometimes get scared and I have the writer/singer’s block. But, luckily, it doesn’t last long.

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Photo by Felicia Simion Photography ; Outfit: Lachatterie

SAHB: Speaking of inspiration, what inspires you in your everyday life? What is the best medium for you to create in?

I love being outside. Travelling. Looking at cities from above. Meeting new people. My trips and the interesting people that I meet are the most important source of inspiration.

SAHB: Tell me more about the collaboration with Lachatterie? When did it all start?

We met. We smiled. She said: I can give you 3 outfits for your next concert; you can change them really quickly, in a few seconds. Wow, I thought, I’ve always wanted to change my outfits like this. This happened in 2011. We discovered that we had the same vision. As simple as that. Later on, we became friends. Like in the movies. Now my friend creates my outfits for the events that I attend. Besides, we both love that type of cinematic beauty, such as: Monica Vitti, Sophia Loren, Anna Karina, Marlene Dietrich, Jeanne Moreau.

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Photo by Jim Rosemberg Photography from Paris.

SAHB: I know you are quite a fashion sensation in Bucharest. What is your favourite designer and how long does it take for you to put an outfit together? Whats the process?

LaChatterie aka Isabelle Vijiiac is my favourite designer, she makes all my stage outfits and we have a strong relationship. Sometimes is beyond us: I dream a dress and the next day she shows me a draft of something similar. It’s that kind of rare thing: she reads my mind and she’s really talented.

What’s the process? For example, for the last gig she created my outfit in…80 minutes. It was because some weird things happened that day and we were running late: ‘Isabelle, you didn’t have much time for me lately, this is an SOS! I need some new amazing dresses!’ and she delivered, as always!

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Photo by Jim Rosemberg Photography from Paris.

SAHB: What is your favorite clothing item at the moment?

The LaChatterie Dress. There is no question about it.

SAHB: Are you planning an European tour soon? Tell us more!

I am planning a lot of “European things” for 2015. But it’s a work in progress; you’ll be the first to know, I promise

SAHB: What is that something that is so important to you?

Good energy. It may sound silly, but every time I get to a place with a bad vibe or with negative people I start feeling small and useless. I guess I am very empathetic. It’s very important for me to be surrounded by people whom I can connect to.

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Photo by Jim Rosemberg Photography from Paris.

SAHB: Do you feel that right now your creative dreams are being fulfilled?

Yes and no. No and yes. Dreams are always changing. Now I feel fulfilled, the next second I want something else. But I guess this is life: always wanting something else.

I want more, that’s for sure.

An old obsession:

The Blower’s Daughter just started in my playlist. Closer is one of my favorite movies ever and, probably, the oldest obsession. Best dialogues ever. Great play. I even bought the book from Amazon. I think I know the lines by heart.

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Winter Ghost by Studio Andrei Ivan

SAHB: Do you have a mentor? Whats the best piece of advice that she/he has given you?

Mister Lazarescu was my high school mentor – the literature teacher. He taught me to love books, to improve my writing skills, to always want more, to treasure good taste and elegance. He encouraged me to act in theatre plays, to go to literature contests and to do whatever my heart tells me to.

Another important person is Carmen Cazacu, my French teacher, with an amazing sense of fashion. Her outfits were always perfect, were always telling stories. I guess that was the time that I fell in love with dresses and old-movie divas.

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Winter Ghost by Studio Andrei Ivan

SAHB: Tell us about the perfect weekend getaway.

Oooh, any getaway can be perfect with the right person(s). It doesn’t matter the place, although it’s always nice to see the sea or the mountains. To have that perfect view of freedom.

SAHB: What would be your advice for someone who is looking to break into the artistic world?

Everyone is different and everyone has  different goals. Do you know what you want? Then go for it! Just like that.

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Andreea with her best friend, the talented  photographer – Andreea Retinschi.

SAHB:You’re holding a dinner party and can invite 5 people – who’s coming (dead or alive)?

I will tell you the first 5 names that come in my mind, because otherwise I’ll change my mind for hours. You just have to know that if you ask me the same question in a few days, I might give you a different answer. Today my answer is: Salvador Dali, Richard Linklater, James Joyce, Frank Sinatra, Marcello Mastroianni.