Award-winning filmmaker, musician and writer, Dr. Franziska Apprich - a professor of communication and media studies at Canadian University Dubai (CUD) - has added another credit to her creative portfolio, teaming up with Canadian singers Etienne Cousineau and Allan Nicholls to write two unique songs that celebrate art and music.
Dr. Apprich has penned the music and lyrics for a song called I Love Art, to be performed by Cousineau, one of the original stars of La Voix, Canada's adaptation of the international television talent series, The Voice. In a separate project, she has also teamed up with Nicholls, a BAFTA nominated writer who has collaborated with the likes of Cher and the Rolling Stones, to produce a song about the art of songwriting itself.
How did you get to write a song for The Voice contestant?
I was a musician before I became a professor. I always wrote songs about love. Some of the songs became successful. In my early years as a composer I wrote one song every day. I thought my days as a composer were over- but life can still surprise you. A friend, Sylvain, introduced me to Etienne. I loved his style. He was an opera singer in a commercial TV show. I sent the song and the next thing I know was that I received a video of Etienne singing the song on the other side of the globe, Canada.
How does it feel to have your music heard by millions? What is the inspiration behind the song?
As a communication professor I love to connect with people. Music is the best way to connect with people. It touches your soul. I want to be part of people's lives. I want them to forget about the every-day life problems which we all have and stop for a second to remember what is truly important.
The inspiration of the song is the love of art. I had written another song for Etienne first but Sylvain insisted that it should be about the love of art in different languages.
Is this the start of a new chapter in your career, or are you going to remain at the Canadian University Dubai?
I have been writing songs my entire life. I love my students, I love music. I think both can inspire each other- without giving up on the other.
How did you end up in Dubai and how long have you been here?
I was looking for a new adventure. I had lived in London, Ireland, Paris, Berlin, New York. I love to travel. Dubai is a city where everything is still possible. This country has given me more than any other country I lived in. It is open, kind, inspiring. UAE people I find kind and loyal.
I am originally from Germany - but my grandmother was Italian. I am a mix and I love it.
How do you find the music scene over in Dubai? Are there many creative outlets?
There is a great but small music scene in Dubai - and funding is limited. I love the art galleries in the industrial area. It would be great if we could organise more exhibitions in collaboration with musicians. There are a lot of cover bands, but original content is rare. We are working on it.
Will you ever perform with Etienne?
I think my days on stage are over. I like to be 'the girl in the dark'. I admire performers from the backstage area, watch the reaction of the audience and go home on my own kowing this was an amazing evening. But at the same time you never know.
By David Light
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