Welcome to our #StayHomeEdition where we virtually shoot and chat with our muses from the comfort of their homes.
Meet Valentina Ploy Giardullo (@valentinaploy), a 26-year-old singer and songwriter based in Bangkok.
Growing up in a small, quiet town in Italy, Valentina’s life took a full 180 in the past 2 years when she spontaneously moved to Bangkok. Not only did she release 3 smash singles that were on the same Spotify playlists as Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, she’s also been on 2 major stages: The Voice Thailand and Miss Universe Thailand. She’s got a sweet voice and the sweetest soul … Read on to hear her story.
🇮🇹 || How It All Began || 🇮🇹
Can you please tell us a bit about your background?
I was born and raised in a little town called Sorrento in the South of Italy. It’s very different to Bangkok – they’re like 2 different worlds!
In Italy, I studied a bachelor’s degree in Languages and Modern Culture. Afterwards, I started my master’s degree in Languages for International Cooperations because I’ve always been passionate about the humanities.
After a year, I had to transfer to an MBA at Stamford University because I suddenly had to move to Thailand for my music career. It all happened so fast! [smiles]
Do you still get nervous when you perform?
Yes! In my blind audition for the Voice Thailand, I couldn’t control my voice or my facial expressions – it was horrible! [laughs] Last year, I decided to sign up for an acting class to overcome my shyness. Even now, I still feel a little nervous but I try to meditate and think positive thoughts before going on stage.
Any upcoming projects?
👋🏻 || See You in Life || 👋🏻
How did you get into songwriting?
When I was young, I was very shy and didn’t talk much. I kept a diary where I wrote everything I felt or everything that I wanted to say but couldn’t say with my voice. So when I started playing the guitar, it all came very naturally. It became my way of communicating.
When I sing, it’s like sharing my personal diary with the whole world. I’m literally opening up my secrets for everyone to hear … it can be quite nerve-racking!
What’s the story behind each of your 3 singles?
All 3 songs come from my personal experiences. Actually, these 3 in particular are about 3 different relationships I’ve had in the past.
For See You in Life, I wrote this when I went back to visit Italy. There, I met my ex-boyfriend who I was with for 4-5 years and this stirred up some of my feelings … so I ran back home to cry and wrote the lyrics.
With Wire, it was a little bit different. Because I was in a long-distance relationship, this was about the risk and uncertainties that normally surround this type of relationship. You never know if it’s going to work out so I felt like I was dancing on a wire.
Let Go was written from a totally different perspective on love. It’s about wanting to let go because you’re tired of all the little things about being in this relationship … but in the end, you can’t let go because you love them too much.
What motivates you to keep writing songs?
I think I cannot live without it. I know that sounds so cliché but I’ve literally been doing this all my life. I express everything that happens to me in this way. It’s my favourite hobby, it makes me feel happy, free and light.
I’ve only been a professional singer for a year and a half, and even if I never became one, I’d probably still be writing songs. Before all this, I was literally just a normal girl writing out her feelings in some lost town in Italy. In a way, I guess I always will be.
What advice would you give to young aspiring musicians?
Listen to your feelings and just, you know, go for it. It’s important to be yourself and do what feels right to you. With everything that I’ve done, initially, I was always very scared but I did it anyways. Have courage, give it your best shot and never give up.
💛 || Up Close & Personal || 💛
Any new routines in your stay-at-home life?
I’ve turned my home into my own personal office.
I’ve started working as a languages teacher. My students are from all over the world … sometimes I need to teach Italian to someone British and Thai to an Australian. So I have to teach every language using another language all the time.
I’m also singing, songwriting, you know, the usual …
Has there been any pieces of advice that has stuck with you?
Oh yes, I don’t even have to think about it, it’s like my #1 philosophy in life [laughs].
My dad told me “MPC” – it’s in Italian and something he just made up, but it means “Manc pa cap”. It’s like saying “whatever” so like, don’t stress, don’t put negative things into your head and just ignore stuff that’s not important so you can prioritize the good stuff.
In your own words, what is love?
Love is everything. I think love is when you would never choose anyone else over the person you love, no matter what. Even if someone isn’t perfect, you learn to accept them and love them for who they are, and you want them anyway. Nobody else. It’s just that.
What qualities do you look for in a partner?
Ooh la la! [laughs] I think it’s important for people to truly be themselves, be natural. Also, they have to be positive, humble and have emotional intelligence. EQ is a must.
Top 5 favourite songs of all time?
I have so many! This is the hardest decision in my life … [fake cries]
1. Fast Cars – Tracy Chapman
2. In the End – Linkin Park
3. Wonderwall – Oasis
4. Lights On – Maggie Rogers
5. See You in Life – by me! Because its changed my life. [laughs]