Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music and who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?
It’s difficult to explain, but what drives me is music itself. Of course I’ve been inspired by so many different artists, but they didn’t instil in me a desire to pursue music. Rather, they showed me how beautiful music really is. I was introduced to, and fell in love with Classical Crossover music when I first heard “Con Te Partirò” by Andrea Bocelli. Josh Groban took me further into the genre, and it soon became a part of me. These two artists are the reason why I am now a classical crossover artist. As far as producing music, I would say my mentor and friend Ronald Cauvin, who performs under the name, Kauvon, has always been my inspiration. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I would not be able to produce this album without having learned from him.
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
Having to juggle my career as an attorney and making music has been a challenge for years. As a result, I have focused my talents on making music, rather than performing it. I hope to change that with my new album “Me And My Piano”.
Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?
“Me And My Piano” is comprised of 16 songs. In addition, I am releasing some singles in French and Italian, separate from the album. I am proud of different songs for different reasons. I am particularly proud of my version of the Elvis Presley song, “Can’t Help Falling In Love” because of the musical arrangement and my vocals. I’m proud of my vocals on two other songs in particular; two duets: “Share My Life” featuring a wonderful artist named Kajessa, and “By Your Side” featuring another great artist named Tze Liew. I am so proud of the lyrics on the songs, “Someone Who Really Matters”, “Confide in Me”, “Reject Your Solitude”, and “Nothing Is Forever”. I’m also proud that I’m able to sing in Italian with my song “Una Vita Di Amore” and in French with my song “Toi et Moi”. I suppose I’m most proud of my song “I Hope I See You Again”. It’s the only song on the album with just one instrument, the piano, yet it is a perfect example of how music can be an avenue to express our deepest emotions.
Which particular works do you think you perform best?
Without a doubt it has to be “There’s Always Tomorrow” and “Confide In Me”. I think the message that these two songs convey really touch me to the core. There’s so much emotion in the lyrics and where they came from.
What do you do off stage that provides inspiration on stage?
I hope to be able to answer this question one day, because right now I don’t perform. I hope this album, “Me And My Piano” touches enough people. If it does, there is a chance that it can lead to performances.
What do you feel needs to be done to grow classical music audiences/listeners?
Music needs to be promoted as an art form, not just something you listen to. It starts with education, and I think that music programs in schools need to be funded to promote awareness. Once a person really listens to classical music, then there is an appreciation for how the piano is played, how the strings enhance the sound, and how the percussions add intensity. In addition, vocals can be appreciated as an instrument, and lyrics can mean something. To me, liking just one genre of music doesn’t make you a fan of music. Too many people only listen to one genre. The effect is that your mind is not receptive to anything that sounds different to what you are used to. There is such beautiful music out there, in so many different genres, from so many different cultures, and different languages. Classical music has to be among the genres that we listen to. There’s just too much art in it for that not to be the case. That needs to be conveyed through exposure. How about field trips to classical performances and concerts?
What is your most memorable concert experience?
I’ll answer this question as a fan, not a musician. There have been many, but the most recent was watching Fernando Varela sing “Nessun Dorma” with David Foster on the piano at the Miami Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami. It was just such an outstanding performance.
As a musician, what is your definition of success?
Easily it is lovers of music as an art form appreciating my music. My dream is to perform to a large audience, and for people to just be touched by the songs that I write. Success is for someone to say that one of their favourite classical crossover artists is Ayenn Legagneur Stark. It’s that simple.
What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?
Make music for the art of it, perform it from the heart, use it as a way of self-expression, and always use it to touch people. If these are your goals as a musician, you will always make beautiful and meaningful music.
Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?
I would like to be composing and performing as a career.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
For my family to be healthy and happy, and for me to be able to make music.
What is your most treasured possession?
My baby grand piano that my wife bought me for my birthday.
What is your present state of mind?
I’m happy. I have a wonderful wife, and two wonderful daughters. I have good friends and family. And I get to make music.
Ayenn Legagneur Stark’s new album ‘Me and My Piano’ is released in winter 2021. His first single, “Una Vita Di Amore”, is out now
Ayenn Legagneur Stark is a Classical Crossover, Classical Pop, Pop Opera, and Adult Contemporary artist prepared to contribute to those genres with his soaring debut album, “Me and My Piano”. Inspired by the music of artists such as Josh Groban, Katherine Jenkins, Andrea Bocelli, and Jackie Evancho, “Me and My Piano” ” is a collection of beautifully crafted songs written on his piano, and brought to life by talented and gifted musicians from different corners of the world. With an appreciation for sounds, instruments and the art of music as a whole, the multilingual artist’s experimental and innovation-driven classical style is sure to capture the attention of people from all over the world.