The moment I fell in love with Valentina was during her interview with William Lee Adams back in April 2013. He’d asked her off-camera a rather complicated question about her transition from The Social Network to Chrysalis, and how that re-invention shaped her preparation for a possible Top 3 placing in Malmö. In response she lifted her head, touched her chest and boldly stated, ‘I am Valentina Monetta now’. You may think it’s a carefully scripted remark. But we now know Valentina well enough to know that such moments are borne out of pure spontaneity. The woman speaks from the heart.
Since then we’ve embraced the many sides of Valentina. She’s welcomed fans and media with open arms. Her three-time participation at the Eurovision Song Contest has showcased three very different sounds, and although she only advanced to the finals on her most recent attempt, her previous offerings have become fan favourites.
‘Sensibility’ is Valentina’s sophomore album, and her second collaboration with Eurovision maestro Ralph Siegel. Speaking about her collaboration with Ralph on this album, Valentina says, ‘I’ve found my voice. I’ve found my happiness. Ralph believes in me’. And this is what is so endearing about Valentina. She’s engaged us on her personal journey for three years, and we’ve felt her pain when things didn’t go as well as expected. Her perseverance and tenacity is what led to the creation of the wiwibloggs Valentina Monetta Awards (VMAs).
When ‘Maybe’ advanced to the finals this year in Copenhagen, it was a celebration of all the hard work she and her team had put into their entry—and into Valentina. At the first semi-final press conference, Valentina got a rapturous applause, and that day marked one of the happiest days for many attendees, myself included. What was a routine press junket turned into a historic event. One that no one would forget. Valentina was glowing with humility and gratitude. She said many things, but the one that stuck out the most for me was ‘Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I believe in you and me’.
Sensibility review — Valentina Monetta
Recorded over several weeks in San Marino, Italy, the UK and Germany, ‘Sensibility’ is a testament to Valentina’s broad artistry. Tracks like ‘Guardami Ancora’ and ‘Il Coraccio Per Amare’ show us a different Monetta. She sounds supple and sings with clarity. On these two Siegel tracks, Mauro Balestri pens the lyrics. Through Valentina, he’s found the perfect vessel for his poetry.
However, Valentina demonstrates her own songwriting talents. ‘Il Vento’ is a self-composed reggae track. ‘Per Te’ and ‘Molto Di Piu’ are two other self-written standouts. On ‘Viaggio Samba’, she teams up with her brother Vincenzo Monetta—a bossa nova artist—and with her voice coach, Joshua de Cadenex on ‘A Kiss’. The title track has a hip-hop version, and there’s an Italian version of ‘Maybe’ on there too.
‘Sensibility’ is a personal album. Valentina’s voice soars on some of the tracks, and on others it deepens and narrows. Through interviews, we know that Valentina is less concerned about vocal techniques and camera angles. She’s committed to delivering her heart and soul. This album is a reminder of her evolution.