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A growing voice in Paris ... introducing Kristiana

Updated on March 9, 2016

Singer/composer Kristiana from Germany

Kristiana performing at the famous Parisian cabaret Trois Mailletz
Kristiana performing at the famous Parisian cabaret Trois Mailletz

Kristiana is an up-and-coming singer and composer from Germany who is building a promising musical career in the City of Light. Kristiana has a strong stage presence – she’s uncommonly tall for a female singer, standing at 5-foot-8, and has wholesome good looks and a brilliant smile. The 20-something has an intriguing wide vocal range and sings in perfect English, as well as French and German.

Kristiana recently performed at the famous Aux Trois Mailletz cabaret in Paris, standing out musically as well as physically in the venue set in a low-arched cave. Kristiana’s signature song at Trois Mailletz was "99 Luftballons" (“99 Red Balloons”), the 1984 hit for Nena, sung in German.

Kristiana is currently singing in various shows across Paris while working on her own compositions and studying at two Parisian conservatories.

Most notably, Kristiana has been singing in the jazz opera “Don't Worry, Be HaRpy,” which is headlined by internationally-known French harpist Isabelle Olivier. The show (named after the Bobby McFerrin-composed and a cappella-sung hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”) features four singers, including Kristiana, and seven instrumentalists – with a future version planned to incorporate a big band and gospel choir. The show has been playing in and around Paris during 2015 (as well as Chicago) and will extend into 2016 in Paris.

In Paris, Kristiana has been performing at Bliss restaurant in Paris Les Halles and the famous Le Relais de la Huchette piano bar in the city’s Latin Quarter, among other places. “Kristiana’s stage presence is very natural and elegant,” says Jean-Marie, the franchise piano player at Le Relais de la Huchette, who performs as a duo with Kristiana. “And off stage, she is very polite, maybe the politest person you’ll meet.”

Kristiana has also been singing with Camille Bertault, a well-known Parisian jazz singer, at the Sunset Sunside jazz club in Paris as back-up singer as well as with the touring big band “Blasorchester Moersch” from Germany as their lead singer.

In 2013, Kristiana founded the “chill/deep house” musical group Eskayp together with electronic musician Stefano Tucci. The collection of original songs features Kristiana’s vocals and includes such songs as Freaky Edge and Have You Ever. The album can be characterized as deep house or electronic pop with influences from the minimal and chillstep genre. Eskayp’s debut album can be found at https://soundcloud.com/eskaypers.

Kristiana’s latest project involves forming a high-energy jazz group called Kristiana's Jazz Oblivion. The group made its debut in Paris in late 2015 at the L'Etage performance venue and is currently in the process of recording. The group’s repertoire is a mix between rearranged jazz standards and its own compositions.

Kristiana (full name: Kristiana Roemer) was born into a musical family in Frankfurt, Germany. Her father, a native German, was a doctor, but he played guitar and piano as a hobby. Her mother, an American, was an accountant who also served as part-time music director at the international Trinity Lutheran Church in Frankfurt, playing organ and piano. Kristiana’s two sisters also played instruments. “All the instruments were taken, so I had to be a singer,” Kristiana says with a smile.

Kristiana was born to be a singer. “Before I was talking,” Kristiana says, “my mother says I was singing made-up songs. Since singing was so present in my life when I was young, singing was like speaking. I thought singing was something you did naturally. It was a revelation to me, when around 7, someone from my church said they couldn’t sing. Singing was something I always had in me.”

Kristiana sang in her church’s choir starting at age 9 (including being a soloist) and during her teenage years, sang vocals in various bands. By age 17, Kristiana was singing at the local bars in Frankfurt when she met up with Alexander Kleonov, a classically trained concert pianist, and they formed a duo and played around town. “Alexander was a huge influence on me,” Kristiana says. “He was my musical mentor and source of guidance.”

After graduating from high school in Frankfurt, Kristiana went to the Christian-oriented Concordia College in Minnesota, USA. There, she sang in the jazz choir and church choir under classical vocal instructor Lucy Thrasher, and became interested in Broadway musicals and music theater. Kristiana’s stay in the USA was short-lived, however, as she returned to Frankfurt after one year to tend to family matters. Back home, Kristiana enrolled at Goethe University, where she earned a degree in economics while taking personal musical studies focused on classical voice. She also toured the Frankfurt bars and venues with jazz pianist Gabriel Maglo during this period and continued her work with Alexander Kleonov.

As part of an exchange program at Goethe University, Kristiana visited Paris and was drawn in by the music scene in the City of Light. Instead of remaining in Germany, Kristiana intrepidly decided to move to Paris and landed a job at the Trois Mailletz cabaret, run by the well-known owner/director Jacques Boni. At Trois Mailletz, which has a history of famous alumni, Kristiana sang traditional and popular music and also chanson and cabaret music. “I came to see owner Jacques Boni unannounced one night,” she says, “and Jacques said, ‘Go up on the stage and sing.’ I was hired on the spot.”

“Kristiana found her place really quick at Trois Mailletz and everybody took her in with open arms,” says leading Trois Mailletz singer, Pascal Toussaint, a male soprano. “Kristiana understood right away the spirit of the house since it is a place where all the cultures are represented; she was mostly singing German pop music. The audience got a charge of seeing her on stage. She's an easy going person … but she's eager to learn and take on challenges.”

While in Paris, Kristiana learned about the rich tradition of Parisian conservatories and she enrolled in a public conservatory under prominent American jazz singer Sara Lazarus and a second school known as IMEP. Kristiana studies music theory and practices voice training.

Kristiana describes her singing as having the characteristic of “multiple voices”. “I have a wide vocal range,” she says. “I’ve been described as having a high range sounding ‘young and sweet’ and a low range that can sound mature and even dark. But I don’t like to be categorized. I let each song take its own form.” Generally, her voice can be considered having a smooth and fragile sound with a dark and melancholy timber.

In addition to her singing career, Kristiana has “always been a fan of Broadway shows, film and theater”, as such, she has been in about 10 short films and feature films in France and Germany, mainly in roles involving young women coming of age. Other interests include philosophy and literature as well as writing her own poetry and short stories.

So where will this flurry of activity lead Kristiana (who has a Web site at http://www.kristianaroemer.com)? While she’s full of ambition, Kristiana is not in a rush to attain all her aspirations all at once; she’s content to enjoy the ride and let her promising career develop at its own pace.

“I go with the flow of life,” Kristiana says. “I don’t like to have too detailed of a plan. As long as you continue to pursue what you feel driven to do, then good things will happen – also in a way that you probably didn’t expect.

“I am the biggest fan of performing live. It’s the most magical thing you can do, it's living in the moment. I will continue to sing live and compose and write my own music, developing and share it with others around me. Everything comes in its own time. I’m willing to wait for the right opportunities to come along.”

“Before I was talking, I was singing"

- Kristiana

"Kristiana's Jazz Oblivion" Debut in Paris in 2015

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