From A to Bee

Italian singing sensation Benedetta - 'Princess Bee' to her fans - chats with City Times about her career and her upcoming song 'Dubai'

By David Light (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Sat 5 Apr 2008, 11:09 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:43 PM

ORIGINALLY FROM the South of Italy, Benedetta Paravia has a great affinity for the Middle East as the culture reminds her of home. The beautiful Italian singing sensation Benedetta or 'Princess Bee' to her fans (a nickname alluding to the royal bloodline her mother comes from) took time from her busy schedule to talk with City Times about her career and upcoming song entitled 'Dubai.'

For those of you who are not aware, for the last few years Miss Paravia has worked as a very successful model in the Middle East, and was the face of Cartier, Dior, Eduard Rambaud and Clarins. She has also graced the covers of many local magazines including: Layla, Zee, Al Jumila, Arabian Woman, Jumeirah Beach, and Time Out. In 2003 she visited Dubai for a holiday and fell in love with the 'Pearl of the Gulf.' After buying property in Dubai she now spends a large part of the year here enjoying the city which strongly inspired her to create her new song.

Recently, as way of contributing to the end of world conflict, Benedetta has developed a musical project entitled 'Angels' dedicated to the child victims of war. The project hopes to go some way to establishing peace between Palestine and Israel by focusing the world's media on the issue and initiating a flood of donations. These donations will be put towards the building of schools where Israeli and Palestinian children can learn together. Miss Paravia will not receive any economic advantage from the release of the song. The initiative has the support of UNESCO and The Vatican City. In June 2007, she opened the international conference, 'Voices of Arab Women' together with the Italian Ministers and a delegation of women students from Emirates.

For those that don't know you're style of music how would you describe it?

My music is R&B and hip hop with some exotic sounds in there as well. All my songs are in English but this song 'Dubai' is a mix between English and Arabic which has pleased my friends in this country and I have got very good feedback.

When did you decide to embark on a career in music?

I started singing when I was six years old. I also wrote poems. We put on many shows in school, but later on I started to study lyric writing with some fantastic teachers. I sang all through my youth and even when I got my law degree I knew I wanted to sing. I have done modelling and acting but music has always been there. Now it is what I do, I always wanted to do it from an early age.

Who inspires you and who do you admire among your contemporaries?

One of the lyric teachers I talked about was close to Luciano Pavarotti. I actually met Pavarotti here in Dubai many years later! I was so in awe of this man. I saw him backstage and he hugged me. Our music styles are different but he was an inspiration. I admire the music of Alicia Keys, I find her a very good professional. I also like Madonna very much for the way she has reinvented herself constantly. There are many Italian artists who are not well- known around the world but I really enjoy their music.

You've had great success in Italy, where are you hoping to go from here?

The most important project on my album is a song called 'Angels.' I want to help raise a lot of money to build schools for Israeli and Palestinian children and do something for a better world. For ten years I have been involved in trying to do good for the conflict in Gaza, this is my motivation. The conflict continues only a few kilometres from Dubai! We need to get the new generation aware and active. I hope to do that. I am very optimistic about the future. If you want something you can achieve it. Music is the best and fastest way to get a message across to the young people, it reaches all cultural levels. Everyone wants change so we have to push people in the right direction to a better world. The media has a very important role in this also and they should be aware of spreading the right messages to help change.

Has success changed you at all?

I don't think so. I still have my feet on the ground. I am excited that I am able to do something socially valuable for others with my music. I wish to do good or sometimes you can feel useless if you don't do something good. I don't really look for fame. Fame is a double -edged sword; there are parts that are not nice. I would just like to make a difference. I'm still very confident and calm as I always have been.

You mentioned fame being a double-edged sword. This is apparent for stars such as Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. What advice would you give them and anyone else looking to get into the industry?

They should take care of their health first. They need to respect themselves. The worst thing with these two is they got exposure when they were very young and not ready. It's best not to rush your career. You have to be determined and passionate but take it slowly, a little bit at a time and have faith in God. Pray, and you will achieve what you want.

Is God a big part of your life?

Definitely; I have complete faith in God.

Do you ever see your music style changing?

As a musician I can develop my own ideas. I have acted and modelled but music is the most creative aspect of my life. I will experiment with news sounds. I have a great team and we can achieve modern sounds as time goes on. I draw inspiration from my emotions. As my emotions change so will the style. I also get inspiration from travel which always gives me new ideas. I learn from others who I meet on my travels.

What are you most looking forward to in the immediate future?

I will be performing in the Vatican City soon with many big stars such as Bono and Sting to promote mutual understanding between different religions and different cultures. This will be my biggest concert to date; I am very excited and very lucky. I opened a few shows in Las Vegas but always singing covers. This will be the first with my own songs, I'm very proud. I may put on a show in Dubai soon too which is great. It depends on the people's wishes and whether the show includes my type of music which is a very important factor to me. I love Dubai and wish to do something here. 2008 will be a great year for everyone and will bring a lot of luck.

You can find more information on this charming lady and listen to 'Dubai' and more of her songs on www.princessbeemusic.com. Every click on this website will lead to a charitable donation being made in Italy.



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