Following his success in Europe, Vlashent Sata had another memorable performance in New York. Born in 1983 in Tirana, Vlashent Sata is a Albanian-French singer-song writer, author, composer and performer. Vlashent started his singing career very early at the age of 5. At the age of 6, he started to learn the piano, encouraged by his father Loro Sata, a musicologist and lyric tenor singer. He has received several awards in the many shows and contests.
At age 15, after a few tours abroad as a singer and pianist, Vlashent learned the guitar by himself and started composing his first songs. In 2002, he moved to France to continue his piano studies and completes all the conservatory cycles with excellence, first in Bordeaux, then in Paris with professors and Soloists of international renown like Denis Pascal and Romano Pallottini. Trained in classical music and with his desire to pass on his knowledge that Vlashent obtained a teaching diploma in 2011. He is currently teaching at the « Gabriel Fauré » and « Paul Ducas » conservatories in Paris.
In 2012 Vlashent performed his own compositions in Paris for the first time singing and playing the piano and continued his success with concerts in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Besides performing his own creations, he also collaborates with artists from ECM such as Elina Duni and gets involved in other contemporary performances at the piano, the guitar and percussions.
His first album « HANA », came out in 2016 and is a huge success, making him a national star in his country of origin. Supported by Sacem, as an “Artist of the World”, Vlashent Sata is invited by the French embassy to perform for the release of his album.
Vlashent reached international success by performing in many festivals world wide. In June 2016 was invited to the « La Matinale Culturelle de France Musique » and performed on the stage of the Palace, in Paris, for the Balkan’s Festival.
Intrigued by the quality of his music, his lyrics and his talent as a performer, French broadcasts such as FIP, France Inter and RFI started playing titles from his album «HANA». They are quickly followed by radios all around the world and his music is heard in Montréal, Hong Kong, Dubai, Barcelona and many other places. His songs talk about childhood, hidden gardens, life treasures, first friendships, games, family, love, and challenges that have yet to come.
In august 2017 Vlashent Sata founded “Zâ Fest”, a crossroad festival between arts with the goal to make people together in the heart of the magical alps of Albania, in Theth.
Meet the Artist: NY Elite Interview with Vlashent Sata
NY Elite: Tell us a little about yourself as an artist.
Vlashent Sata: Being born into a family of musicians who sang together every Sunday, I believed that music was an integral aspect of every person’s life; and that it was commonplace to experience fairytales, stories and adventures, all of which take place in one’s imagination as a journey within a fantasy. Since then I have understood the importance of storytelling, and the beauty of listening to a captivating story.
Through my music I seek to capture the essence of people, the most humane, fragile and vulnerable parts which bond us together.
NY Elite: How did you get started and how would you describe your music?
Vlashent Sata:I am not certain how my music essentially began. I think that when I was a piano student at the Bordeaux Conservatory in France, and loneliness was a loyal companion of mine, an Albanian who had left his homeland not solely motivated by his studies, I began to improvise on the piano each thought which contained my journeys towards my friends and my first home, my longing for my aging parents whose company I could not cherish each day, the shenanigans with my friends, my desire to jump in the sapphire waters of the Ionian Sea or to admire the magnificent Alps and the feeling of smallness which accompanies it. I translated the nostalgia into melodies, which carried me through my journeys. Yes, this is how my music began. And what kind of genre? I can say it has a little of everything: a little folk, a little pop, with careful attention paid to the melody lines considering my classical music background, hints of jazz. But to be honest, I think it is simply music.
NY Elite: What does art mean to you?
Vlashent Sata:For me, art is the dedication and love one devotes to create something. Being an artist is not a status, but rather a way of being. I think someone is an artist even if at first glance it appears that he or she has created something insignificant; however, it is the way in which the artist has created it which makes all the difference.
NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?
Vlashent Sata:I am currently working on various projects. One of my plans is to release an album with a band as well as a solo album, but I am not sure which one will be released first. I am also collaborating with contemporary ballet and will be composing music for the theater and films. We are preparing for a live music performance during which time painter is simultaneously painting.
This summer I will be holding the second annual “Za Fest” Festival in Theth, Albania. The festival was an idea of mine, which was ultimately designed to revive the Albanian culture, but also to merge different cultures. And there was no better setting to hold this festival than in one of Albania’s greatest gems, Thethi. The first annual “Za Fest” drew approximately 2,000 spectators from various parts of the world including New Zealand, the United States, Canada, and of course people from Europe and Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro.
The festival was a success and left quite an impression on those in attendance that they are eagerly awaiting the second annual festival.
NY Elite: Where was your last performance?
Vlashent Sata: My last performance was in New York, and I can safely say that it was one of my most memorable performances of my career thus far. My performance touched the audience, which was reflected in their displayed appreciation and love. I feel privileged because it was a selective audience of not only foreign dignitaries and Albanophiles, but also Albanians from the New York community which is worthy of admiration and respect.
NY Elite: Where would you most like to perform and tell us about some of your favorite projects you have been part of.
Vlashent Sata: For some time now I have served as a promoter of modern Albanian culture with my album “Hana”, which is available on Spotify, Apple Music and all platforms.
What is notable about this project is that SACEM, the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music in France support the album, and various prestigious World Music radio stations around the world broadcast it. It is equally noteworthy that I am identified as an Albanian-French artist who performs in Albanian. As such, a small nation like Albania, which has suffered tremendously, may now pride itself in being represented around the world by one of its very own sons. I have performed in various European countries as both an ambassador of Albanian culture and as a world artist, and I am blessed that many have warmly welcomed my music.
For instance, I have met many people who have revealed that my music has made them travel within their world, and that it connects them to something unexplainably different.
NY Elite: If you could try a new genre of music, what would it be?.
Vlashent Sata:Piano solo, multi-instrumentalist solo, and collaboration with contemporary musicians, DJs, etc.
NY Elite: Do you enjoy writing music and/or lyrics?
Vlashent Sata:I do both. In fact, in my creative process, music and lyrics are simultaneously conceived. They are so intertwined, that it is impossible to separate them from one another.
NY Elite: Do You Have a Formal Music Education / Training?
Vlashent Sata:I began taking piano lessons at the age of five. I then went to France to study and specialize in classical piano.
NY Elite: Do you play any instruments?
Vlashent Sata:Yes, I play the piano, guitar and percussion. And I also sing.
NY Elite: What hidden talents do you have?
Vlashent Sata: Acting, I think. I love acting, and dancing, and painting. Am I getting carried away?
NY Elite: Who Are Your Musical Influences?
Vlashent Sata: Although I did not listen to classical music much as a child, it now accompanies me throughout the day. Around the age of 15 I listened to Lucio Battisti, an Italian songwriter, who was a great inspiration in my path to becoming a songwriter. I recently became acquainted with Radiohead and it has been difficult to listen to other music groups. In my opinion, Radiohead is the most important and original artist since the 1990s.
NY Elite: What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?
Vlashent Sata: I recall a correspondence between Rilke and Kappus, where the latter, who deeply admired Rilke as an epitome of German Romanticism, expressed doubt in his ability to be a poet. Rilke responds, “if you doubt yourself, then let it go, do not write any further. But if after some time, you cannot sleep, something bothers you and you need to write, it means that you are intended to write.” I think that any person contemplating pursuing any career must look within themselves, their very own essence, and only there will one discover what makes one truly happy to pursue. I think that whatever one chooses at that moment will make them happy regardless. The essence.
NY Elite: What can we expect from you in 2018? Any tour plans?
Vlashent Sata: I am excited to explore the possibility of writing in other languages, such as in English, so that I may reach a larger audience in order to transmit my art everywhere in the world, and to give my maximum. Presently, I am working on a tour in Germany and some concerts in France, Albania and the United Kingdom. It is possible that I may also tour in some states in the United States, and I profoundly hope that this last possibility becomes reality.