Kety Fusco received an invitation from the United Nations to perform at the fifth Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Global Festival of Action. The festival, held virtually this year as a result of the pandemic, will take place March 25–26, and features over 300 speakers from over 60 countries. The 2021 SDG festival is centered around the themes of gender equality, climate action, sustainable finance, and poverty and inequality. Fusco will perform atop a snowy mountain from her home in San Bernardino, Switzerland, as part of the climate action platform. She is one of only 10 musical artists to perform at the festival. Her performance will air on March 25 at 8:05 a.m. EST. We reached out to Fusco to learn more about her upcoming event.
You’ve been invited by the United Nations to perform two songs from your debut album at the upcoming SDG Global Festival of Action. Congratulations! Tell us a bit about how this came to be. How did you receive the invitation?
Thank you so much! As with all things, it was the consequence of a lot of work and commitment. Two years ago, I was lucky to have been noticed by Sugar Music, a great independent record label that believed in me by making my work known to a network of insiders and publishing my debut album, DAZED. For promotion, I then started to collaborate with some booking agents that allowed me to tour all over Europe and draw attention to the live potential of my project. Thanks to them, I gained the connection with the United Nations who fell in love with my music and gave me this great chance.
What is the theme of the Global Festival of Action?
The Global Festival of Action was organized to raise awareness, start a dialogue, and exchange opinions and thoughts on various issues and objectives promoted by the U.N.
Which two songs will you be performing and what is their significance?
I will play “Rubato” and “Medusah” from my album DAZED. I will be playing from a snowy slope in San Bernardino—the Swiss village where I live. “Rubato” is undoubtedly the track that tells most of my classical background. It’s perfect for “warming up my hands” because it starts slow and is a bit repetitive, like a slow ascent towards the sky that is abruptly interrupted by a powerful electronic beat, giving way to a real cascade of arpeggios. The second one, “Medusah,” is the track that turned my career around. Thanks to this track, I was noticed by Sugar Music, nominated for the Electro-Dance Award, Best Emerging Talent Award, and Creative Award at Swiss Live Talents, and planned a tour of more than 60 concerts in Europe. It was the track that launched my life as an independent musician. As a result, I can make a living from my craft, playing and doing what I like to do with art and music. “Medusah” is a minimalist composition with Eastern influence. It’s all based on the same scale, and that’s also its strength. I decided to play them in the snow because some sand from the Sahara desert has fallen, brought by the wind, giving a light veil of color. This makes us feel so small but, at the same time, involved in matters that seem so far away.
Your performance is being presented under the theme “Life on Earth.” Tell us about the importance of this issue to you.
This theme is about how to protect and promote the sustainable use of our ecosystem. I live in a mountain town at 1,700 meters (about 5,500 feet) above sea level. It is a town that bases its existence and operations on its relationship with the land itself, respecting and protecting it. It is a town between the Alpine chain from which two sources of water depart, one going to the sea in northern Europe, and one to the sea in the south. It is symbolically the connection of two ends, and for me it symbolizes something that starts from the ground and goes back into the air, creating an infinite circle. Everything is closely connected, so we must be aware of it and do our part. When you are in close contact with nature, you realize how necessary and important it is, and how these places, like my country, are now rarer than you think.
You often include the ideas of nature and gender equality in your performances. How do you effectively incorporate these ideas?
Nature and my support of women are represented during most of my performances through visuals that stimulate the mind of the viewer. These visuals show women in their complexity and beauty with moments that are easy to watch. There are some visuals where the viewer is confronted with feelings that might touch places in the soul that sometimes we pretend not to have. One of my visuals was published for the World Day Against Violence Against Women, and describes the female figure and its many facets as something to always fall in love with. In my work, even if instrumental, I always try to convey strength and make people understand that a woman can do anything. I try to fight against every stereotype and against female abuse.
Nature, on the other hand, is found in the way I approach my compositions. My producer, Aris Bassetti, is a member of the Swiss Award-nominated band Peter Kernel and the multi-awarded label On The Camper Records. I worked with him to not “think like a harpist” when I wrote the record. I tried to completely distort the instrument, which unfortunately, is often considered “old” in the modern era. I wanted to write music that could evoke a certain kind of unspoiled nature, and that could caress the top of the mountains and the waves of the sea but at the same time, be as fresh and turbulent as the north wind. Nature makes me feel strong, just like my music.
How do you encourage other performers to incorporate subjects they are passionate about into their performances?
For me, being a musician isn’t just about playing music and being a good performer. It’s more than that. It’s the best excuse for me to take the time to try and understand the world and everything that has made me the person I am, while also dealing with socially relevant issues. This continuous research has led my performances to reach a dimension that currently completes me.
Where can we view your performance on March 25?
You can watch my performance on the Global Festival of Action website at 8:05 a.m. EST.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
If you would like to follow all my projects, tours, and new compositions coming up, you can visit me on my Instagram page. Thanks to everyone!
To learn more about Fusco, visit her website.