M¥SS KETA does not need an introduction -or a man-. We had the privilege and pleasure to talk with the only post modern Italian diva before her upcoming show at Berghain this week. She lives in the present, she wants it all. A life and an interview in CAPS LOCK.
KALTBLUT: You are a performer, the music is just a part of M¥SS KETA. What is the idea behind your work?
M¥SS KETA: MY IDEA IS TO LIVE, SING AND DREAM EVERYDAY OF MY LIFE AS IF IT WAS NEW YEAR’S EVE IN COURMAYEUR
KALTBLUT: M¥SS KETA comes across as a headliner on the post modern Italy. What is your interpretation of being Italian?
M¥SS KETA: M¥SS KETA IS ITALIAN AND IT CAN’T BE OTHERWISE. I LIKE TO SHOW THE COUNTRY I LIVE IN FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES, FROM THE CLICHES TO THE CONTRADICTIONS. I WOULD NOT SAY THAT MY TARGET IS STRICTLY ITALIAN, I THINK THAT WHAT I SING IS NOT LIMITED BY LANGUAGE OR OTHER BOUNDARIES, BUT MY MAIN INFLUENCES AND ROOTS ARE FROM THE “BEL PAESE” AND I REALLY LIKE TO PLAY AROUND THESE IN MY WORK.
KALTBLUT: You seem to take the opposite of Mainstream Italian pop culture. Do you face prejudice? And how you deal with this?
M¥SS KETA: AT THE BEGINNING IT WAS SURELY HARD, IT IS DIFFICULT TO CREATE SOMETHING ATYPICAL AND “LABEL FREE”. BUT SLOWLY PEOPLE GOT TO KNOW ME AND UNDERSTOOD THAT I WAS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANTED, EVEN IF THEY WERE TOO AFRAID TO ASK.
KALTBLUT: Italy is currently experiencing a conservative political climate, what is your response to it?
M¥SS KETA: WE ALL NEED TO BE FREE MORE THAN EVER BEFORE. ESPECIALLY NOWADAYS, I THINK IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO SPREAD THE RIGHTS AND NEED OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND TO FIGHT FOR THAT.
IN THIS PRECISE MOMENT, WE ALSO HAVE TO FIGHT ALL THESE FAR-RIGHT FEELINGS AND IDEAS, AND THIS IS A MORAL DUTY FOR ALL OF US. A LOT OF FREEDOM ACHIEVEMENTS ARE BEING RE-DISCUSSED RIGHT NOW: OUT OF ANY DOUBT WE HAVE TO DEFEND THEM ALWAYS.
KALTBLUT: You like to portrait the politically incorrect. How is your perspective of a future post M¥SS KETA?
M¥SS KETA: I DON’T LIKE TO THINK TOO MUCH ABOUT THE FUTURE, MY VISION IS MORE PRESENT-ORIENTED. I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW.
KALTBLUT: Expression often comes from oppression. What do you choose to be loud about?
M¥SS KETA: I CHOOSE TO BE LOUD AND PROUD REGARDING EVERY ASPECT OF MY PROJECT – I EXAGGERATE THE VISUAL SIDE, I EXAGGERATE THE MUSIC INTERPRETATION, I EXAGGERATE THE PERFORMANCES, BECAUSE I LIVE MY LIFE WITH CAPSLOCK ALWAYS TURNED ON. EXPRESSION MEANS TO FEEL FREE OF BEING WHO YOU REALLY ARE, WITH NO LIMITS AND NO MENTAL CAGES.
KALTBLUT: Where does your power lie on?
M¥SS KETA: PROBABLY MY POWER COMES FROM MY HEART AND MY VAGINA.
KALTBLUT: Art seems to be often elitist and disconnected from people, on the other hand M¥SS KETA is relatable yet smart. Do you take in consideration your audience when you create?
M¥SS KETA: M¥SS ARRIVED WHERE SHE IS THANKS TO THE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVED AND CONTINUE TO BELIEVE IN HER, AND THIS IS SOMETHING I HAVE TO BE GRATEFUL OF. WHEN I CREATE I DON’T LIKE TO OVER-THINK STUFF, I PREFER TO BE INSTINCTIVE AND TAKE IN THE ENERGY FROM THE PEOPLE AROUND ME, MY FANS (“KETAMINI”, THEY HAVE A KEY ROLE IN MY WORK) AND FROM MY FAMILY MOTEL FORLANINI.
KALTBLUT: Is there such a thing as a message on what you put out there?
M¥SS KETA: BE STRONG, BE YOURSELF, BE… UNA DONNA CHE CONTA! (WHICH IS ALSO THE NAME OF MY NEW BOOK OUT SOON! )
KALTBLUT: Female stereotypes are all over the industry and you seem alienated from this. Has it been difficult?
M¥SS KETA: FINALLY IN THE LAST YEARS MANY GOOD CHANGES HAVE APPEARED ALL OVER THE INDUSTRY; PERSONALLY I ALWAYS FELT MORE FASCINATED BY THE CHARISMA AND THE ATTITUDE RATHER THAN THE PHYSICAL APPEARANCE.
KALTBLUT: What inspires your aesthetic style?
M¥SS KETA: MY REFERENCES COME FROM A LOT OF DIFFERENT INSPIRATIONS, BOTH ITALIAN AND INTERNATIONAL. SINCE IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO LIST EACH OF THEM I CAN SUM UP MY AESTHETIC STYLE AS IT FOLLOWS: I’M A TRAGICOMIC LATE NIGHT TV SHOW CO-DIRECTED BY FELLINI AND LYNCH.
KALTBLUT: You are getting more famous every single day, is it difficult to
maintain an undercover character?
M¥SS KETA: NO, I JUST HAD TO GET MORE MASKS AND SUNGLASSES.
KALTLBUT: Which artists are you following at the moment?
M¥SS KETA: CAZZURILLO, YVES TUMOR, CONNAN MOCKASIN, VINCE STAPLES, MY BELOVED TIGA.
KALTBLUT: You work in a collective, how much of M¥SS KETA is yours only?
M¥SS KETA: EACH COMPONENT OF THE COLLECTIVE MOTEL FORLANINI PUT IN THIS PROJECT A PIECE OF WHAT IS THE FINAL RESULT. WE DISCOVERED THAT WE CAN BUILD SOMETHING FABULOUS, SIMPLY COMBINING OUR EXTRAORDINARY TALENTS. THE BOUNDARIES BETWEEN WHAT IS YOURS OR MINE ARE POINTLESS WHEN YOU WORK IN A COLLECTIVE, FUCK THE OLD IDEA OF CAPITALISM!
KALTBLUT: What does it mean to be a woman in 2018?
M¥SS KETA: IT MEANS TO BE A HUMAN BEING WHO IS GOING THROUGH VERY HARD BUT INTERESTING TIMES. IT MEANS TO LIVE A TIME OF CHANGE, A TIME TO FIGHT AND PRETEND WHAT WE HAVE ALWAYS DESERVED.
All pictures by Gianluca Normanno