Meet Our Writers: Italy’s Dimitra Gurduiala!

Dimitra Gurduiala
Dimitra Gurduiala
Get to know Atwood Magazine‘s writers in our special column where they become the interviewees, sharing their personal playlists and talking about their experiences covering music!

Dimitra Gurduiala has always been a great mixture of anxieties and uncertainties. Born in Moldova and moved to another country at a very young age, she always struggled to understand who she was, what really made her… Her. Over time she began to assemble the pieces of the puzzle, and she finally understood. Just as we are all (in part) the people we have met over the course of our lives, every song we have ever heard becomes part of us, if only in small part. We may have heard it once and totally forgotten about it, but it is always there in a little corner of our mind, in our soul.
Stream: Atwood Writer’s Playlist: Dimitra Gurduiala




Meet Our Writers: Dimitra Gurduiala!

Dimitra Gurduiala

Where are you from and where are you based?

Dimitra Gurduiala: Hi! I’m from Moldova, a beautiful Eastern European country (and with great music!) but I’ve been living in Italy for 18 years now – for the moment I live in Turin, but I won’t deny that I would love to move out somewhere abroad. This whole cultural mix has influenced me quite a bit. I grew up among Depeche Mode, Italian classics (such as Celentano and Battiato), and Eastern folk music. Music has always been a part of my life thanks to my parents and grandparents, especially. We danced at every possible opportunity and hummed something even while working in the garden, doing laundry, or cooking. It’s always made our lives a little lighter, in short.

How did you get into music writing?

Dimitra Gurduiala: Pretty randomly! I’ve always loved writing and wanted to find some webzines that would push me to practice and improve my writing. I sent my application to the very first online magazine I ever wrote for (an Italian one), and they assigned me to the music section. From that moment, I discovered a world I would never be able to escape again.

I started slowly but quickly realized how ideal an environment it was for me, something I realized even more when I had the honor and opportunity to join Atwood Magazine, something I am still grateful for. This piece of media still manages to remind me every day how good it feels to write about music. This is not at all taken for granted at a time when music is increasingly seen as an industry or as a means of making money, instead of a pure and simple expression of someone’s soul.

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:: INTERVIEW ::

Who was your very first concert, and who have you seen most recently?

Dimitra Gurduiala: Not counting the ones my parents took me to when I was little (I don’t remember them at all, unfortunately), Marina in Milan in 2019! I had been there alone standing in line since 11 a.m., but I met a lot of people with whom I have had the pleasure of still being in touch. On that occasion, I also got to listen for the first time to Allie X, who was the opening act. It was such a phenomenal concert, listening to songs I never thought I would get to hear live (like “Savages”) was unreal.

The most recent concert, however, was Hozier, July 17 at the Teatro del Vittoriale on Lake Garda. One of the best concerts of my life, the first place contends only with Depeche Mode I think. If Hozier holds any concert near you soon do yourself a favor and get a ticket, you will never be the same after listening to Unreal Unearth live!

Who are two or three of your favorite up-and-coming artists right now?

Dimitra Gurduiala: First of all underscores, in my opinion, is an absolute must for anyone who wants to dive into the hyperpop world. I heard about her in a Cavetown interview, and have since looked out for her and then in love with her art. Then I would say NoSo, another queer artist with impeccable writing, who sings about love, insecurities, and the struggle one can experience as an Asian-American person. Finally, I would say Balming Tiger, a self-proclaimed “alternative multi-national K-pop band.” It’s much, much more than that! They are creative, they are energetic, they experiment a lot but never stop having fun.

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:: INTERVIEW ::

What’s something you’ve learned from working as a music journalist?

Dimitra Gurduiala: Never take anything for granted. Usually, before I begin any interview, I try to make sure that the artist is comfortable, and that if any of my questions annoy or make them uncomfortable we can safely move on to the next one without any problem. It might seem like something insignificant, or it might even seem like I’m asking strange and personal questions (they’re only strange in a good way, I swear!), but in reality, I’ve come to realize that precisely because artists are human beings like all of us they have had all kinds of experiences, and maybe talking about certain things that to someone from the outside seems harmless might hurt their sensibilities. We must treat everyone with respect and trust, whether it’s our neighbor or the artist of the century.

What’re your favorite moments covering music? Can be from interviews, reviews, in-person events/shows, anything.

Dimitra Gurduiala: There’s no specific moment, I guess, but maybe that thrilling feeling you get when an artist tells you that you asked them a great question. Maybe they say it out of politeness or maybe not, but for a journalist it’s always a great compliment, especially coming from an artist who does a lot of interviews.

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:: INTERVIEW ::

If you could ask one question to any artist or band, who would it be and what would you ask?

Dimitra Gurduiala: As a big, big fan of Greek and Latin literature, I have a physical need to talk to Hozier about it. I wouldn’t know what specific question to ask, but a conversation about, for example, the Persephone myth and Ovid’s “Ars Amatoria” would be genuinely mystical.

Can you please explain why you chose the top 5 songs on your playlist?

Dimitra Gurduiala:

  • King And Lionheart” –  Of Monsters And Men: Those who know me know that my nickname on Instagram (and beyond!) comes from this very song, to which I also dedicated a tattoo. It is such a touching piece, it always manages to make me cry even though it has been ten years since the very first time I listened to it. It is the only song with which I have ever had such a strong emotional connection, so strong that it has become a part of me.
  • Trenuletul” – Zdob si Zdub: If you watch the Eurovision Song Contest, you will immediately recognize this wonderful track. I love Moldova, even though I have not lived there for years it has been and will forever be part of my identity, as well as its fun music. And then, come on, we need to spread much more love for folk music!
  • Hot Patootie” – Meat Loaf (from The Rocky Horror Picture Show): I discovered Rocky Horror when I was 14 years old, and from there I was never the same. It got me into the world of musicals, made me fall in love with Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon, and opened my eyes to the whole world of sexual freedom and beyond. I watch it every year now, and every time it happens I feel like I’ve unlocked a new part of me. This movie and its soundtrack are a perfect way to continue to discover who I am and what I want to be, in a fun way that no other musical in my opinion can replicate.
  • Pedro” –  Raffaella Carrà: For those who do not know her, Raffaella Carrà was a pivotal figure in Italian history. She was a famous Italian showgirl, singer, dancer, and television author. She immediately became an icon for her class and willing to break taboos in Italian television, such as when in 1970 she performed on the big screen with her belly button out – until then, no one had ever dared to do so. Or again, often in songs such as “Tuca Tuca” and “Tanti Auguri” she claimed the sexual freedom of women, so much so that she sings “And if he leaves you, you know what you do? You find another better-looking guy who has no problem.” What’s more, she also stood up for LGBTQ+ rights, becoming an important figure outside Italy as well, to the point that a plaza was dedicated to her in Madrid. Raffaella Carrà has been our brightest star… I cannot help but celebrate what Italian culture has given me by naming her in this playlist.
  • World In My Eyes” – Depeche Mode:  Depeche Mode was a huge part of my childhood. On one hand, my father would blast them on car trips to Moldova. On the other, there was my brother who, when I was nine years old, made me learn by heart their lyrics to learn English. I can never, ever be grateful enough for the impact their music has had on me. Just think of how, when I had the honor of seeing them live for the first time this summer, I cried for two hours straight. Which has only happened with Of Monsters And Men so far. The loss of Fletch was a heavy blow, but I will hold all three of them in my heart forever. That’s why I chose “World In My Eyes”, a song that the group now sings on tour in Fletch’s honor, as well as one of my favorite Depeche songs.

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