These days, we often hear the phrase turned cliché ‘you can’t have it all’ as a justification for underachievement. Very recently, I had the chance to talk to Aret Kapetanovic, British singer/songwriter, actress and producer. Getting to know Aret proved me that concept wrong once again. Through nurturing talent, passion and perseverance, she does have it all.
First thing I found out sitting down with Aret, apart from the fact that she is an intelligent and extremely beautiful woman, was that well…she wasn’t always Aret. British born Emma Komlosy, Aret is the daughter of famous Patti Boulaye, one of Britain’s most famous black entertainers of the 70’s and 80’s and Hungarian father Stephen Komlosy.
Although coming from a showbiz background, Aret started achieving a different type of success from a very young age, by being the British Junior Backstroke Champion. As a child, she always used to sing along her parents’ eclectic music. Though she never took singing lessons, she was already starting to develop a passion for Blues and Jazz sounds of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Later, whilst paying a visit to her Grandparents in Nigeria at the age of 18, she became the first mixed race model to win The Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria contest.
As opposed to what one would assume about such a multitude of talents, success and good looks, Aret didn’t start developing a career in show business until much later. She dedicated the next few years of her life to studying law at University of Westminster in London. ‘Poetry and words had always been my passion and yet, even though I came from a showbiz background, my African heritage meant that the focus was on education and not creativity.’ she now recalls.
Due to a continuous, burning passion for lyrics and melody, by her second year of university Aret already will have written numerous songs. Fortunately, her roommate being her only audience did not suffice anymore. She decided to sign up for an open-mic style performance in Leicester Square. ‘That performance was probably the most terrifying 20 minutes of my life’ she told me, looking as if she was still afraid of what might happen.
During the performance, her potential was acknowledged and she was soon signed to a management company and received a publishing deal. Modestly, she told me she owes her current success to that night and having the chance to work with amazing, world-renowned writers and producers. She has had songs featured on the albums of Will Young, Peter Grant and Eg White. On the producing side, she now writes for Film and Commercials, with an Advert running at the moment on French Television.
‘I think that the highlights of my career so far have been performing at the Royal Albert Hall, The London Jazz Festival, The Leicester Square Theatre, appearing alongside Bryan Ferry, Peter Gabriel and opening for The Sugababes in Marbella.’
Having the opportunity to write with various artists and producers, she would define her writing style as ‘diverse’. When it comes to her singing manner, she said that ‘While I can sing in many styles, my natural vocals have a Bluesy quality to them that probably led me to feel an affinity to singers such as Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.’
When it came to future plans, she confessed to be writing some exciting music at the moment for an upcoming album, which she describes as ‘a fusion of pop music with the big band sound’. She has also recently signed a residency agreement with The Flute, a luxury Champagne bar in London, where you will be able to hear her from May. And as if May wasn’t bringing enough already, she will also perform at the 2012 Chelsea Flower Show with Angus Murray and Jazzswing. The Future Vintage wishes her the best of luck and we look forward to hearing her perform.
(The Future Vintage Magazine, 30th April 2012)