DeLaurentis is a French-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer and interpreter, who can trace some of the origins of her own music career to watching her father play music. As a young girl, she understood that music notes would spring up and fly away from her arms, hands and fingers — that music was essentially a part of her.
After spending several years studying in the conservatory, DeLaurentis returned home, where she began working on material with keyboards, sequencers, computers and other electronics. Inspired by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Max Richter, Brian Eno, Oneothrix Point Never, and Laurie Anderson, DeLaurentis developed and honed a lush and cinematic sound featuring modern and vintage analog synthesizers, piano, loop machines and arpeggiators paired with her ethereal vocals.
After developing her sound, she relocated to Paris, where she released her first two EPs, which featured some attention grabbing videos. Several tracks off those early releases wound up being placed on commercials and American TV shows. Building upon a growing profile, DeLaurentis began working on the material that would become her full-length debut Unica in a spacious and luminous Paris studio, where over the next two years, she intensified her relationship between her instruments and modern technology. As for the album, Unica is a concept album that tells the tale of the fusion between woman and machine. While Unica finds DeLaurentis collaborating with Dan Black, Yaron Herman, Daymark and Fabien Waltmann, the album prominently features a track recorded with artificial intelligence, supervised by Benoit Carré, a pioneer in A.I.
Late last year, I wrote about the album’s incredibly cinematic first single “Life,” which featured shimmering, Giorgio Moroder-like synth arpeggios, soaring strings, skittering, tweeter and woofer rocking trap beats and DeLaurentis’ ethereal and plaintive vocals singing lyrics that draws from one of the more famous lines in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “It is a tale/Told but an idiot, full of sound and fury,/Signifying nothing.” Seemingly inspired by Thematically seeming as though it were influenced by Spike Jonze’s Her or Steven Spielberg’s AI, “Life” tells the tale of Unica coming alive and bursting out from the screen that contained her. The song goes on to have the fictional DeLaurentis and Unica meeting each other and observing each other with curiosity — and a bit of fear of what may be next for both.
Unica‘s latest single “Be A Woman” continues a run of densely layered and incredibly cinematic material. Centered around looped classical-like piano arpeggios by Yaron Herman paired with arpeggiated synths, soaring strings, handclaps, soaring vocal harmonies the arrangement serves as a sumptuous and satiny bed for the French artist’s plaintive vocals, which manage to express awe, confusion and fear — within a turn of a phrase.
“I got the idea for this song after a hypnosis session, where I relived the same scene 3 times. First in a subjective way, then in a meta position (by being outside the scene, in observation) then a third time by imagining a double, a new version of myself that would take me by the hand, getting me out of this situation and took me to Sunset Boulevard where we would rollerblade towards the beach and the sunset!” DeLaurentis says of the inspiration behind the song — and the album. “This double is UNICA, the one I call my digital sister. It was in this state of hypnosis that I first met her. In this initiatory journey, she guided me and whispered to me these words “You’ll be more than kings, more than gods… you’ll be a woman” in reference to the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling “you’ ll be a Man, my son!” but in a feminine version. I had the chance to collaborate on this song with the talented jazz pianist Yaron Herman where during an improvisation session he had the idea of this piano arpeggio. This sequence of chords evoking momentum, awakening was the ideal ground to illustrate our rollerblading descent with Unica on Sunset Boulevard. And also with the English producer Dan Black with whom we explored all the roughness and sounds hidden behind this arpeggio. Using multiple effects pedals, we re-recorded analog synths (oberheim / prophet) in arpeggiator form by playing them back in amps, with old RE20 type mics. The goal was to bring as much life as possible to the digital parts by integrating randomness into them and giving rise to what are called ‘happy accidents.’ These so-called ‘human’ errors. This piece is therefore the result of a long musical and philosophical reflection and of beautiful human and artistic encounters.”