Songwriter and actor, Luca Chikovani is full of ambition and courage. Born in 1994, he has so much to tell, to do and dream that a single song or a full movie wouldn't be enough. Anyhow, we tried to capture his essence through this exclusive interview!

‘We need to live all experiences to the fullest, so we’re ready for anything.’ He obtains very clear ideas, and isn’t afraid to express them. Even, if it’s sometimes costed him. At 25 years old, Luca Chikovani is a well-known Youtuber and songwriter. He also is making a name as an actor. We could all learn a thing or two from him. With a passion for British style and sound (David Bowie, above all), an indissoluble bond with his native country, Georgia, and a crush on Roberto Benigni, he's getting ready for the Hollywood life. Let’s get to know this artist who makes fans go crazy, both on Youtube and at the Cannes Film Festival.

Luca Chikovani

Songwriter and actor, Luca Chikovani is full of ambition and courage. Born in 1994, he has so much to tell, to do and dream that a single song or a full movie wouldn't be enough. Anyhow, we tried to capture his essence through this exclusive interview!

‘We need to live all experiences to the fullest, so we’re ready for anything.’ He obtains very clear ideas, and isn’t afraid to express them. Even, if it’s sometimes costed him. At 25 years old, Luca Chikovani is a well-known Youtuber and songwriter. He also is making a name as an actor. We could all learn a thing or two from him. With a passion for British style and sound (David Bowie, above all), an indissoluble bond with his native country, Georgia, and a crush on Roberto Benigni, he's getting ready for the Hollywood life. Let’s get to know this artist who makes fans go crazy, both on Youtube and at the Cannes Film Festival.

Luca Chikovani

I'm a person who loves people, I love sharing my energy and happiness, and there's nothing more beautiful than knowing that a simple gesture can change someone’s day. For me, none of my fans will ever be a simple number.

Luca, thanks to the covers of the songs by Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes and others, you've become a very popular Youtuber. This success led you to acquire a record deal and release your first album. Let’s rewind and go step by step. How and when did you approach music?

I started approaching music when I was little, I was born in Georgia, where music is part of the culture and people. Everyone dances, sings and plays instruments. When I was about 14 or 15 years old, I found on YouTube some video covers by Justin Bieber, Conor Maynard and others, and I said to myself ‘why don’t I try it too?’. You have to imagine that, before the advent of YouTube, it was very difficult to get noticed and find an audience. In thanks to social networks, I was able to start. I shot various videos in my bedroom and would share them. Then, overtime I started getting more and more views.

As an aspiring singer you’ve tried a path that, however difficult, has now become a fairly common practice among younger generations. You’ve opened a YouTube channel to share ideas and experiences, and communicate your music, without filters and rules, but also with the probable contraindication to remain unheard. What led you to make this decision?

Precisely, as I was telling you, YouTube was the first platform for people who wanted to say something, who wanted to show their talent or look for a different possibility than the already existing media. Obviously, this path involves the exposure to a wider audience and, consequently, also to the wickedness of people. Let's say that, when I was younger, I received many comments that weren't easy to digest. In my opinion, it could be dangerous for someone who doesn't hold their own emotions. My fortune was that I’ve always been convinced of my path and dream. So, I've always tried to pay a little attention to these comments. Over the years, I’ve always tried to show my professionalism and these negative comments have decreased more and more.

Let’s now talk about talent shows. What’s your opinion on them?

As for the talent shows, I think they’re a good launching pad, another way to get known. It's obviously a much faster way to make yourself known, almost instantaneous, but at the same time I believe it can rip artists off. Many times when an artist reaches fame through TV shows, they get it in no time. This means that on the one hand the artist struggles to recognize the great work that's behind the construction of success, on the other hand they continue without any fear of making mistakes. We’ve heard of many singers who’ve disappeared after some TV show, because they're used to rely on other people and not to build everything by themselves. I’ve always believed that it’s necessary to work hard and build success from the ground up, without counting too much on others. As there will never be anyone who cares as much as you do about your dreams. Yes, I’ll admit I’m being a bit drastic (Laughs, E.D). However, I think we must fully commit to our own success and live each experience to the fullest, to be ready for everything.

In 2016, you debuted the album ‘Start’, a music project with songs written in English only. Can you explain the reason why?

Yes, my first album with Universal Music was released in 2016 and none of us expected such a positive result. We reached the third position in the list of the best-selling albums in Italy, according to the FIMI ranking ( the official ranking of the best-selling albums in Italy, E.D.). It seemed impossible, as we didn't have much support from Italian radios because the songs were in English. I've always listened to music in English and I became used to hearing songs, and creating music with English sounds. That said, the main reason for my choice has always been the want to succeed in creating an international career. I've always dreamed of traveling the world with my music. In Italy, as soon as you talk about something like this, they try to cover your wings and demoralize you, but I think it's time to get rid of this wall of fears we have about the international market. You have to risk it, you have to jump or you’ll always be similar and at the same level as the others.

During the in-store tour for the promotion of the album or for other meet and greets, you’ve been able to get in touch with your fans, seeing their faces and learning their names. How’s it interacting with people who are used to seeing you only through a screen?

I think in-store tours are one of the most beautiful parts of my job after concerts. Every person who supports me is really important to me. Without my fans, I couldn’t have gotten anywhere, so I really owe everything to them. When I was little, I was also a fan of some artists, and now I know the fans excitement and how important this is to them. Many times, artists forget about this and only see fans as numbers. For me, none of them will ever be a simple number. I'm a person who loves people, I love sharing my energy and happiness, and there's nothing more beautiful than knowing that a simple gesture can change someone’s day. For the album, I toured for 1 month all over Italy, hitting as many as three cities a day and numerous meet and greets every day. Around 200 to 300 people would attend each one. Yet all of this never made me feel tired for a second. Indeed, I still remember that my manager was always exhausted, while for me it seemed that only a few minutes had passed (Laughs, E.D.).

In 2018, you starred in the film 'Happy as Lazzaro’ by Alice Rohrwacher. If music is your first big love, how would you define acting?

It really happened by chance, I got lucky that Alice was watching MTV while my music video was in rotation. After a few days, she contacted me saying she had seen all my videos on YouTube and wanted me to do the casting for her movie. It all happened by chance, , I didn’t even know what part I was going to be doing in the audition, and in the end I was casted for the role of Marquis Tancredi.This experience was the most memorable one and will stay with me forever, not for the success it had or for winning at the Cannes Festival, but for how it’s changed my world views. I brought the film to many countries around the world, with debates and conferences, and this allowed me to re-evaluate my vision of the message the film wanted to convey. After having spoken so many times about this film I understood how much our society is crumbling, based only on economic and consumerist values. We live in a materialistic society, that deceives people by making us believe our happiness depends on objects, machines and goods that don't really make us happy, but only momentarily. So, I completely changed my goals: now, I dream of being able to become a great singer and actor, and help talented children who need financial support. I'd love to create scholarships in Georgia and invest in culture and youth. I really hope to be able to help, because this actually makes us happy, being good.

In the film, you play the role of Tancredi, one of the two protagonists. You used to film vlogs or music videoclips, containers inside of which you do nothing but show yourself, so what did you feel when you saw yourself projected on the big screen, while playing a character who's not you?

It was really difficult, and it was even more difficult to get used to letting someone else direct me. I've always been a hot head, always convinced of my ideas and behaviours, and this led me to encounter some teamwork-related difficulties. Fortunately, I've been working on it for some time now and I think I've improved. Thanks to YouTube, you learn to set lights, record the audio, shoot the video by yourself and choose the editing cuts and the music to be inserted as background. Video editing is a solitary and foresight work, completely opposite to the actor's work, when you just have to think about acting. In the beginning, I had problems with Alice, because I ‘self-directed’ and didn’t trust others. In the end, I felt really complete and relaxed to see that everyone had a specific role, while I could concentrate on mine. As for seeing me on the big screen, well, the first time was a nightmare (Laughs, E.D.). We saw the film for the first time at the Cannes festival, so you can imagine how I felt, I fell into the armchair...

Happy as Lazzaro' was one of the movies in competition at the Cannes festival 2018. For a debutant, I guess the moment of the red carpet was the most feared. Can you describe that episode?

I can't define the emotion I felt. At the beginning, I was afraid of feeling out of place, because I had always played the role of a singer and, instead, I was going to participate in one of the most important film festivals in the world. Luckily, I was with the other actors and we were like a big family, actually everyone was dying of fear (Laughs, E.D). We all supported each other! On the red carpet I was able to meet international actors that I never could have imagined, and we received compliments from all of them. I still remember when Benicio Del Toro complimented for my interpretation, it was surreal. Then, I spent a whole day with Roberto Benigni, because his wife Nicoletta Braschi played my mother in the film. It was incredible for me to meet Roberto. You should know that, in Georgia, he's a legend, everyone loves him, but above all my grandmother loved him and Nicoletta. Unfortunately, she left me a few years ago and you can't imagine how my heart breaks when I think about the fact that I can’t tell her that her nephew starred in a movie with Nicoletta. I wished she could see it.

Many singers have played leading roles in one or, more rarely, more films. Keeping in mind your versatility and even your image, would you define yourself as an Italian Jared Leto? Do you think that, in Italy, it's possible to build a career along this dual track?

I really like Jared Leto, although I have to tell you I’ve always appreciated the skills of David Bowie. I’ve drawn inspiration from his style in the last few years, as I've always felt a bond with him. I know it may sound crazy, but ever since I saw him as a child I felt like I had known him for a long time. I believe that, in the art field, you have to wander, there are various ways of expressing yourself and many times one thing doesn’t allow you to express what you want to say to the fullest. I love the idea of ​​making films, because when you act you create a new personality or soul that's then incorporated into the person you're enriching with experiences. I really like the idea of ​​becoming a new person every time. We're very attached to our pride and I'm the first one to make this mistake! However, in the last year I’ve grown to understand how important it is to get involved and create new characters that can enrich your personality. In Italy, unfortunately, it isn't very easy to conceive the fact that an artist does both music and cinema. Let's stop with these mental walls, we can do whatever we want, just believe in it!

In the last period, you’ve been systematically traveling for work reasons. Fill our curiosity, listing what can’t be missing from your suitcase.

This year, I've had the great fortune of being able to travel around the world, discovering new cultures and great friends. To be honest with you, I don't bring so many things with me when I’m traveling, because I don't like to wait for the suitcase to arrive at the airport. I always travel with a handbag. I was lucky enough to work with Prada, so I always bring their elegant suits for me to wear on the red carpet. I add some face masks (the Korean ones, because I discovered they're among the best masks in the world). As I'm a very friendly person and a party animal, at every film festival after party I give my best. So, the next day these masks save me a little from looking like a vampire or a zombie. I had to be honest (Laughs, E.D.).

You’re originally from Georgia, a country in Eastern Europe of which we know little. Are there any particular traits or habits that you inherited from your homeland?

I love my country and I'm really attached to Georgia because it gave me a lot. The thing I'm most proud of is our culture and respect for people. I have very much preserved the Georgian way of behaving with girls. I've never seen such a respect for women as there's in Georgia. I can say that , in Georgia, women are like gold, and that there’s always been a very strong female culture and influence. In fact, we were the first to have a woman emperor, a woman king and not an empress or a queen. I learned cordiality and respect, and I'm proud that these customs are still maintained there. I wish I could do something in the future to help my country and dedicate myself to my people.

On the occasion of events and catwalks, you’ve always shown off an elegant style, even if not very accustomed wearing a tie! Can you tell us which outfit best expresses your personality?

To be honest, all my purchases are made in vintage and second-hand shops. I love to find clothes that were fashionable in the 80s. I have never been a person who follows fashion too much, I just follow my style. Many times I dress elegantly, with a British touch, and of course, British boots can never be missing, the first rule of all.

Try to make a life balance. To date, what has remained intact and what has changed in that very young Luca, known by all as Chiko, who was making funny videos in his own bedroom?

Today, I can say that over the past two years I've grown a lot. The film in which I starred has changed me radically: it’s changed my point of view on society and on the true values and objectives that we must set for ourselves, but I think it's normal to change from time to time. Growing and changing our personality doesn't mean getting lost, but means letting go of our ego and giving space to new possibilities. Sometimes in life you have to contradict yourself, it seems strange but this will serve to make a broader assessment of what surrounds you. Never say ‘I do this because I am like this'. This sentence was one of my biggest problems. Be water and adapt yourself, every time, according to the vessel you're in. Be fluid: this will lead you to experience life according to different points of view and grow spiritually.

Think big for a second: tell us which singer you dream of collaborating with and which director you'd run for without thinking twice.

I’ve always dreamed of being able to work with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, but there are so many artists that I dream of even having a 5-minute jam. Another artist I follow a lot is James Bay. As for cinema, I dream of being able to act alongside Jim Carrey because I started imitating him as a child: I know every move and joke of every scene in his films. As for the directors, I'd love to get to know, I'd say Martin Scorsese, as he’s the executive producer of our film Lazzaro Felice, and then it’d be a dream to meet Quentin Tarantino! Obviously we’re talking about dreams, , don’t think I’m demanding this (Laughs, E.D). Finally, a great dream would be to act in a fantasy or science fiction film, in order to live a reality that I could never experience in everyday life.

Let’s conclude with some little spoiler. Anything new on the horizon? A new song or movie?

Right now, I'm working a lot on new music, I'm trying to carry out a personal research on the frequencies and the neuronal activity they create, so expect something new and experimental! Unfortunately I can't tell you anything else for now, but surely there will be a great evolution in comparison with my first album. As for cinema, I can tell you that this year I'm thinking of taking a plane and trying it all out in the land of great cinema, Hollywood...wish me luck!

I dream of being able to become a great singer and actor, and help talented children who need financial support. I really hope to be able to help, because this actually makes us happy, being good.