Last night as thousands tuned in to watch the final episode of the blind auditions for The Voice of Switzerland we were interviewing our very own expat candidate. After Brandy Butler last year, it was June Grey’s turn to woe the judges, with her rendition of “Me and my Chauffeur Blues” by Minnie Memphis accompanied by her ukulele.
We asked her to tell us a little about herself:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small city south of Rome called Aprilia, nothing special…. But I spent all my weekends in Rome, because my grandma used to live there, so I consider it as my second home. I love it, it is the Eternal city, you never get tired of Rome.
When did you know that you wanted to become an artist?
I think I learned dancing before walking and singing before talking! In my head, when I was a child and in my room, there was always a little star that needed to come out. I remember playing Michael Jackson songs in my tapedeck and dancing and singing out loud like crazy. It was the best feeling in the world. It still is.
When did you first arrive in Luzern?
Well…. The very first time here was in December 2008 and it was love at first sight. It was Xmas and the town was a parade of lights, colors and Xmas songs… I felt like I was in one of my childhood fairy tales. It was ice cold and snowing, amazing I felt like I could have live here forever… and here I am!
What brought you here?
My heart brought me here. I fell in love with this amazing man who still is my partner. I can’t think of a better reason to move to another country than to stay close to the person you love… and snow… snow is a super good reason to decide to go live abroad.
What were your first impressions?
When I came here everything was new and different, I was blown away.
I remember clearly, before moving here, that I used to walk around and breath in this fresh air and look at these new streets and be thinking “wow, one day all this will be so familiar, all this will be home” and that is what happened, now this is my home and I don’t feel like “an Englishman in New York”, I feel like this is my place to be right now.
Have you been able to flourish as an artist here?
Switzerland is really the Nation of Music, there are so many opportunities here to play and so many people play an instrument which is amazing.
The only obstacle is myself, always busy with something else: first university, now my job… that’s why I am participating in The Voice, because I want this to be my chance to shine, when I am on stage I am myself, I am June 100% and I think that Switzerland can give me the chance I have been waiting for all my life.
Does Luzern inspire you?
A lot. Luzern is a city that has so much to offer: the people, the colors, the lake, the sky, the mountains…everything is so romantic and full of charmed. You can meet a lot of people coming from any part of the world, and probably this is the thing that inspire me the most, looking at the people.
Who is your musical inspiration?
Well…tough question….. I have had a lot of musical influences in my life, from classical music till rock and roll… Too many artists inspired me, I can’t name just one…
Where is your favourite place in Luzern?
My favourite place in Luzern is the wood near my house. I go there to walk my dog, to run and sometimes even to play the ukulele. I feel in peace when I am there, all my worries and problems simply disappear. I can walk there for hours and never get tired and the best thing is watching the season changing the forest, is like being always in a different place.
What is your favourite restaurant/bar?
One of favourite bar is Bruch Brothers, I love it because we go there with the theatre company (Lucerne World Theatre Company) after rehearsals and because they do a very cool jam Session once a month and I always enjoy myself so much. My favourite restaurants are the Mirch Masala in the city center and the Thai restaurant PunDäng in Emmen.
Where can we next see you on stage?
Friday 14th I will be performing at the “Scala” in Wetzikon, I will be a guest performer during Lilly Martin’s concert.
And afterwards I will be at the Luzerner theater on the 21st of March for the town’s multilingual event. Luzern ist Mehrsprachig, but unfortunately this is already sold-out.
Any summer tips of things to do in Luzern?
Enjoy the lake and the river, do a lot of picnics, go out with the dog and party all night long… ahahah just kidding! I am looking forward to the Blue Balls Festival. Look out for me because I will be surely playing in the streets of Luzern!
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