Our interview with talented fresh-faced and ready, rising pop artist VAN, was announced iHeartRadio’s Future Star last September for her debut single “Lock my love down” which peaked at #26 on Billboard Canada. VAN’s single, was produced by internationally acclaimed producer Tino Izzo (Celine Dion, Bobby Bazini, Garou, Roch Voisine, Jacynthe.)

The songstress took part in an Canada-wide radio tour to promote her debut single and will be releasing an album in Spring 2018.

Hi Vanessa, please tell us about you?

Hi! My full name is Vanessa Maria Piunno, but everyone calls me Van for short. I am 18 years old (always the baby out of all my friends!) and I love all animals. I’m usually a shy person before someone gets to know me but once I open up, I make the weirdest jokes! My favourite colour is pink, but ironically I don’t like to wear it. I have two older siblings (Joey and Andy), I love them but I always wished for a sister… I’m very independent and I just love being by myself ever since I was a little girl.

How did you get started?

When I was quite young, I was signed to an agency for both acting and modelling. I loved it, was a great learning curve where I got to travel and perform. But I always had a thing for singing and the hopes of becoming a professional singer one day. My dad`s a guitar player and he would often bring me to this music store as a kid to buy his strings and I`d look at the walls full of instruments and be awestruck. I vividly remember one day I woke up and told him I wanted to start singing lessons, he brought me there and I immediately started getting private lessons with the owner of the shop – the rest is history! I haven’t stopped singing since. I’m really thankful that my dad believed in me and gave me that opportunity at such a young age.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Passionate, engaging and curious.

Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?

I started off singing and jamming with my dad so he’s definitely been my biggest influence early on. I always knew I had a love for music growing up. It really started off as just a fun hobby, but then I started to take it a lot more seriously when I was around 14.

Who is your biggest fan?

My mom and dad but if I had to pick one…it`s most definitely my mom!

Do you get nervous before a performance?

I used to get a lot more nervous early on but as I got older and more in tune with my performances, I got less nervous. I keep my nerves in check now. I still get the jitters before getting on stage but I think that`s good, it gives me a bit of edge and the more you practice the more confident you get.

Who are your inspirations?

Ariana Grande really inspires me. She is a beautiful person, you can see it and hear it in her music. She`s larger than life. I`m an enormous fan of Justin Bieber, (other than being cute!) he has so much talent as an artist and performer and sets the bar to such a height for all us aspiring artists. I`m really motivated by his talent.

Tell us about your debut single “Lock my love down”

“Lock My Love Down” was my very first single release in 2017, taken from my upcoming album to be released this spring 2018. It was my initiation in this industry and I was so pleased and lucky to have gotten such positive feedback, it’s incredible. I was stoked to actually hit #26 on Billboard Canada and be chosen to be the iHeart Radio Future Star for September 2017. I got to tour the country for the first time and meet such amazing people; it was an unbelievable experience for me.

VAN - Lock My Love Down

And how was working with acclaimed producer Tino Izzo?

I love working with Tino! He really lets me express myself as a singer and doesn’t try to tell me how to sing or tell me to change my techniques. He actually wants me to reinvent things and personalize each performance.

The more I go out there, the more he embraces it. It’s really an enriching experience. I’ve been in sessions with other producers who tried to mold me into their vision and it just wasn’t fun. He’s amazing at what he does and I’m happy to be working with him on such cool material.

Any loves other than music?

I love to have alone time and shop. Yeah…my favourite pass time is shopping, fashion and make up but I`m really more of a relaxed person and love my alone time.

Best advice ever given?

I’m not really sure if this is considered to be advice, but I was always told by my parents that everything in life happens for a reason. Whenever something in my life happens that I didn’t want, I remember that piece of advice and let things take their place. It has really helped me.

Any advice for upcoming singers?

Don’t listen to negative people because the positive is what counts. If you love to sing then work hard and be great.

If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?

I’m fascinated by crime scene investigations so I`d be looking at schools that offer that. I also really like dentistry.

How would you describe your fashion style?

Some days I just like to be very girly and laid back but mostly I oscillate between chic fashion style to sometimes a bit flirty, casual and sophisticated. I use them all to sort of etch my moods. It really depends on how I feel that day.

Five years from now you will be…

Hopefully doing exactly what I love every day.

How important is social media for you?

I use social media all the time. Some people love it, some hate it. I personally love it, because it’s a platform that allows people to get noticed on anything they do. Whether it be art, cooking, or dancing – it’s cool and it’s definitely evolved a lot throughout the years. It also connects us all together in one tightly knit society.

Where we can follow you?

You can find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @VANPIUNNO. Or check out my website, vanpiunno.com

Quote: Never look back in regret…Move on to the next thing!

Food: Sushi all the way!

Drink: Water

City: Toronto

Movie: The Call

Sport Team: Montreal Canadians

Song: Madison Beer by Dead

Photos by Crila crilaphoto.com