Five Questions: Esmeralda Vascellari (Lady Sometimes Records)
Esmeralda is the founder and owner of an independent record label in Rome, Italy called Lady Sometimes Records.
In 2015, I was planning a month-long stay in Rome to spend time with friends, make music, and immerse myself in Italian culture. My Roman friends had their ears to the ground for potential sublets and I perused the listings on AirBnB. During that perusal, I came across what looked to be a wicked cool flat right near the Vatican. While I flipped through the photos, I saw a record player in the living room, an acoustic guitar next to the couch, an upright piano tucked in the corner, and an adorable cat named Orfeo. I dug deeper and read through to the host's profile page to find that she owned an indie record label. I Googled that label quicker than water pours out of the nasoni and saw that the music she releases is in the same niche ballpark as the music I make. Needless to say, I booked the shit out of that flat and got to live and write music with Esme and her boyfriend Marco (who happens to be an insanely talented musician) for a month. Pretty awesome how things work out. Meet Esmeralda.
The questions were asked in English and answered in Italian. My Italian is garbage, so I recruited the translation skills of my wonderful friend Eva Di Tullio.
Who is the most important person in your life?
My father. Specifically because he represents my roots. He’s the person I came from. I recently reevaluated our relationship and that has been important for my growth. With him, I can see the beginning of my life, my growth, and at the same time when I look toward the end of his life, I can understand and imagine mine. I can feel more like his father. Which is an essential thing for my own growth: Becoming an adult and leaving my adolescence as well as the self-assertiveness that comes from your parents from an emotional point of view and also from the professional side. One that is connected to so many other aspects. Like his continued evolution which is impressed in his life and because of that, I can see it in my life every day. I think that this is an important thing to me as a human being and a future parent.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Being able to live alone. I am fine on my own and that is a great accomplishment. In the beginning, I was terrified [to live alone]. And for this reason I was attached to many people like my family, relationships, friendships…and I censored myself because of the fear of being alone. Now that I’ve learned how to accept me and others, I feel fine on my own but also with people. I see the difference. It’s a great strength because it’s very important when you feel good on your own and in any place. Not because it is a steadiness but because you know that you can face every single change if you have your own equilibrium. It is very peaceful.
What's one thing you don't know now, but feel compelled to know?
The function of beauty and its limit between my aesthetic satisfaction and another possibility of that beauty. Like if I have to continue to look for it and if I would be ever satisfied. So this role of beauty in the world which I still haven’t understood. I am still asking myself the reason why there is so much beauty, the reason why we are never indulged, the reason why we are still looking for it, but we are not valuing it. So this is a challenge, a very strong contrast between the acknowledgement of the fact that there is so much beauty, which is difficult to see sometimes, and the fact that it is not valued in the right way. So I try to have beautiful things around me in order to understand that and maybe this is the right way to know it.
What's the most memorable pain you've ever felt?
My mother’s death. From both emotional and physical points of view. It happened right in front of me. I was there with her—that was very hard for me because of the shock and the grief that followed. Because for such a long time I have been angry with her and I could not cope. This was a very strong pain because it was not only connected to that moment but for too long it dragged on me, on my life. But at the same time I think that very strong pain makes you feel under pressure: the more you go down the more you go up thanks to the same energy, the rule of resilience. So now, if I compare myself now to my past life, I can tell you that I am up and very happy to have felt it even though it was painful. Our past can only be accepted and never erased.
What will you miss the most when you’re gone?
Music. When I was a child I always wondered what the last song would be that I hear before I die. It’s hard to deal with because I won’t know it! Probably. But I wouldn’t choose if I was forced to. I would rather die in a second just so I wouldn’t have to choose it, and only fate will choose it for me and thankfully I won’t have that responsibility. Music is my greatest passion.