Singer-songwriter Serena Calo aka Dragonfly returns on this global club anthem produced by Korstello Korso, Matthieu Noe & Bruno Dalo. Dragonfly's vocals have been a presence both on worldwide dance floors and as a favorite among top labels and DJs around the world. Labels releasing her tracks include Sole Channel Music, Neat Music, Fabric (London), Stealth Records, Defected, Soulstar, Deeplay Music, Newlite Muzik, and Ministry Of Sound. The Love Is Free package features remixes from Davidson Ospina, Oscar P, Sirkhan, and Ibiza styled club mixes courtesy of Luis Lopez and Kike Bronchal. Susan Rescue reports.
Serena, Congratulations on your most recent release "Love is Free". There's quite a bit of buzz about what's described as a "global club anthem". Tell me a little about the song. How was it inspired?
I was asked by KFK from Paris to write a song for one of his tracks and the original was so summery and fresh and I was immediately interested. At the time I was writing there was a couple in my life where I felt that one was placing too many demands emotionally and monetary on the other and I wanted to write something to explain what Love should really be about. When I heard the track it made me feel those in love feelings which inspired me to write "Love is Free". It was released in Paris and was well received but I felt it needed a bit more commercial appeal and so Oscar P at Azucar liked the vocal and put together a killer remix package and the rest is history!
Your stage name is "Dragonfly". That's calls to mind exotic images. How did you get the moniker and what does it represent to you?
Dragonfly symbolizes many things, Maturity and Depth of Character, Power and Poise, Defeat of self created illusions, Focus on Living "In" the moment and the opening of one's eyes. I take all the characteristics of the Dragonfly and interpret them into my own character as I am always evolving, learning ,changing in that I have different styles of vocal performances and always changing my appearance. How I came about the moniker was actually quite funny. I was looking for a name for myself as an artist because I didn't want it to be known yet that I was a vocalist and I used to wear a belly chain that had a Dragonfly on it one day someone saw it on me and told me that I have all of the characteristics of the Dragonfly so I looked it up and they were right. On top of that I needed something exotic sounding and so it fit!
Considering that you began your Vocal Career with a vocal audition for the High School Of Performing Arts, Fiorello H. LaGuardia in New York City, when did you realize that House Music was where you wanted to be?
Actually I started out as a promoter for nightclubs in New York like Nells, Tunnel, USA, The Grand and had gone to clubs like Red Zone, MKs before that so that's where I developed my love of house. I began a management company to promote upcoming producers and when it came time for me to start singing I was already in that industry so what better way to start.
When you decided to perform and record "Mahal Kita Binago" in Tagalog, and then subsequently to distribute on your own label, did you know you had a hit on your hands or was it a passion project for you?
Mahal Kita Binago was more of a passion project for me. I wanted to do something different that had not been done before and it was also the do or die aspect of my career. I was always being asked if a sang and my reply was always NO because I was focusing on the management aspect of the business and didn't want to confuse the two. One day I had a talk with myself and basically decided that I didn't want to look back on my life and say shoulda, woulda, coulda, and so I just did it! I had no idea that this project was going to do as well as it did.
Have you considered a follow up the success of "Mahal Kita Binago" with a vocal track in another language?
I am actually going to release "Mahal Kita Nagwawasto" with mixes by Abicah Sole, and PolyRhythm. I might also do another tagalog inspired song if time permits.
Did Newlite Muzik come from the need to have your own distribution network or was it inspired by something entirely different?
With the management company, I was representing a lot of new talent which made it challenging so creating the label gave me the necessary outlet to promote these artists and push them to the industry and public.
What is the most fun part of creating a House jam?
I have the most fun during the studio session. I like to work with creative people and work hard but also laugh and play hard. I think being comfortable in the studio helps make the project work better. You can expect jokes and funny out takes in every session in the midst of hard work and constructive criticism.
Who or what can you say has inspired you in the House Music Industry?
I think that everyone I've come to know has inspired me in this business, the mentors, the supporters, the fans and even the haters. Because of them I strive to do better every time. What also inspires me the most are the new talents that are emerging and making names for themselves proving that anything is possible!
Some of your songs are a mixture of Spoken Word and singing. Which comes naturally for you?
Both singing and spoken word are natural for me. If you had to break it down though spoken word is faster to record and a lot of the spoken word projects have done very well for me since it lends to the big room sound. My vocal projects lend to mixed compilations and also do very well for me.
What's next for Dragonfly? Will you take this global hit to the stage and perform live?
I have a few projects coming out "Usual Suspects" with mixes by Joalens Ortega, Pedro M & Electronic Drums, Alvaro and Dean Coleman, I am releasing "Mahal Kita Nagwawasto" with mixes by Abicah Sole and PolyRhythm, and working in the studio with Lopez on a commercial project named "Just Call" which was co-written with A.Salih and finishing a track called "Sin City" with Nyan Nyrine and Sheldon from Montreal.
My latest release "Be There" on Blue Science is featured in Junior Sanchez mixed compilation "Seize the Fewcha" on Nervous Records. Should the time call for me to perform live I will accept the challenge ;o) Any dancers out there feel free to call!
Any other thoughts?
Wish Ultra and WMC would kiss and make up ;o)