(born Gala Rizzatto
, September 6, 1975) is an Italian pop singer-songwriter. Dance cult artist known for her minimalist look and haunting voice, Gala has sold over six million records worldwide. Her debut album Come Into My Life
included the multiplatinum singles "Freed From Desire," "Let a Boy Cry" and "Come Into My Life" which reached the Top 3 on charts across Europe, South America, Russia and the Middle East, and continue to be fixtures in clubs today worldwide.Early lifeNamed by her parents after Salvador Dalí and Paul Eluard’s muse, Gala Dali, Gala left Italy at 17 to attend art school in the Boston, MA. In 1993 she moved to New York where she graduated from The Tisch School of the Arts and used to photograph the underground scene of artists and club-goers in the city.
1996–2001: beginning of a music career
In exchange for a photo of a European DJ, Gala recorded her first demo. Written in New York and then mailed overseas on a cassette tape, her first demo of the song "Freed From Desire
" became an international pop classic. It was recorded in London and was released by Italian independent label Do It Yourself Records.In 1996, Gala was voted Best Female Singer of the Year
in Italy by the official monthly magazine Musica e Dischi. In July 1997 she was awarded the "Italian Dance Award" as the best pop-dance artist of the year. Gala has achieved Platinum recording awards in France and the Benelux and a Gold record in the United Kingdom. The same year she was nominated for the Best Dance Act
at the Mobo Awards in the UK alongside: The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers and Orbital. In July 1997 she won Best Foreign Artist of the Year
at the Midem in Cannes, France.Between 1995 and 1998 Gala performed on the UK’s BBC Top of the Pops, France’s Taratata, Les Années Tubes, M6’s Hit Machine, MTV Germany, as well as performing in venues such as Bercy Stadium in Paris and Las Ventas in Madrid.Her album Come into My Life
was released in 1998, with 4 singles charting in the Top 20 across Europe, selling over 6 million records worldwide by 1998. The director of photography for Gala's second single Let A Boy Cry was Luca Bigazzi, most recently known for his work on The Great Beauty with Paolo Sorrentino.In 1998, while performing “Let a Boy Cry” on Taratata, she met Prince’s manager Steve Fargnoli who began representing her. The same year she signed with Universal Records in Italy. After Steve Fargnoli’s unexpected death in 2001. Gala broke her contract with Universal Records and returned to New York.
Settling in Brooklyn, Gala set out to redefine her sound, her life and her career, re-emerging as an independent artist.In 2005, "Faraway
" was released in France by EMI and Greece where it reached #1 on the iTunes chart and #6 in the national charts. “Faraway” was co-produced by Cash Money Records musician/producer Kevin Rudolf. It was featured in a Bod Man perfume TV advertisement, aired on MTV, HBO and was covered by Greek Idol winner Tamta.In 2005 Gala appeared on Pink TV and on M6’s Fan De. In 2006, she performed in the Mega PANN party at the Central Studios in Utrecht.Utrecht.In 2008 Gala formed the label Matriarchy Records, based in Brooklyn, New York teaming up with producer Marcus Bell, drummer Deantoni Parks and guitarist Joe Friedman. The result of this collaboration, Tough Love
, is Matriarchy Records debut album released digitally worldwide on September 6, 2009.Gala independently produced four music videos for the Tough Love album. The video for the song "I am the world, the world is me
" was shot in collaboration with the Italian / Argentinean painter and writer Sebastiano Mauri, incorporating his video installation "The Songs I Love To
".In 2009 she performed two nights at the Ethias Arena. In 2010 Gala performed at the Highline Ballroom in New York, at the Palais des Sports and at the Antique Theater in Arles. The same year she was invited to perform as the headliner at 24h velo de Louvain-la-Neuve, second largest beer event in Europe organized by the students of the Belgian University of Louvain-la-Neuve.
In 2011, Gala performed the new single "Lose Yourself In Me
" at the show Dance in the Summer
in Beirut, next to Taio Cruz, T-pain, Dev and Dash Berlin. The event was organized by MixFM Radio and Lose Yourself In Me reached #2 on their top 10 before the song had been released and later ranked #1 in Lebanon RFX Radio for 3 consecutive weeks.The worldwide release of the Lose Yourself In Me single occurred in May 2012 through Gala’s independent label Matriarchy Records. The song has been played, among other stations, on Fun Radio and Radio FG in France. It has been on high rotation on Impact FM and Radio Antipode, and has entered the “new releases” on Belgium’s Fun Radio.The "Lose Yourself In Me" music video was produced independently by Matriarchy Records in collaboration with The Masses. It was directed by Alistair Legrand brother of Victoria Legrand from the band Beach House. The video featured full LED suits and krump dancers from Los Angeles and was choreographed by Gala. After its release, the video was featured on the home page of Dailymotion, Yahoo France, The Huffington Post, The Mediateseur, and Vogue.In 2013 Gala shot a video for the song "Taste of Me
" choreographed by Benoit Swan, Artistic Director of New York’s avant guard dance company Cedar Lake, and directed by New York-based French director Alexandre Moors (Kanye West’s "Runaway", Blue Caprice). Gala's video features Alvin Ailey dancer and choreographer Abdur Rashid Jackson. The Taste Of Me video appears as a one single lateral dolly shot that follows five dancers including Gala interacting in an organic dance that constantly moves forward.Inspired by her favorite director Alfred Hitchcock, Gala wanted to shoot a video that felt like a single take. Another reference was Eadweard Muybridge and his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion and in motion-picture projection. Different choreographers among Gala's favorites (Parsons, Bob Fosse, Mark Morris) are also subtly referenced in the choreography.
In November 2013 Gala released single "Taste Of Me
" with a music video exclusive featured on popular British music website Digital Spy.. She went on to release the deluxe version of the single "Taste Of Me
" which included remixes from Bimbo Jones, Starkillers, Almighty and Hoxton Whores, and was supported by a selection of Behind The Scenes
music videos. The single was launched with a headlining show at the Highline Ballroom in New York in January.
Sochi Winter Olympics 2014
Gala was asked to headline at Medals Plaza in Olympic Park during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The performance was broadcast live on Europa Plus TV, a Russian music channel. As a gay rights supporter, Gala performed her new single "Taste Of Me
", as well as the controversial "Let A Boy Cry
". She released an open letter to her fans in recognition of negative press surrounding the Olympic Games in Russia.
- Keeping Up With The Kardashians (ep902), January 2014 - Lose Yourself In Me
- Real World: Ex-plosion (ep8), March 2014 - Taste Of Me
- Real World: Ex-Plosion (ep11), March 2014 - Happy Without You
Gala has also worked as a songwriter for classical musicians like Salvatore Licitra and Marcelo Alvarez on the album Duetto
and Mario Frangoulis. She remains an avid photographer, with many of her photos appearing on her official website.