About Me

Interview with Stream of Passion

To say that Marcela Bovio is one of the greatest influences in Symphonic Metal, and even in other music genres, isn’t enough.
The multi-talented lead singer of Stream of Passion, who also lends her voice to many other bands such as Ayreon, Mayan, Dark Horse | White Horse, shared with Metal Imperium news concerning the latest EP Beautiful Warrior (2023), useful tips on how to achieve success as a singer, and a bit of her work throughout social media.
A flame that keeps burning within, Marcela always pushes forward to the next step, proving that practicing and hard work always bring results. Nevertheless, Stream of Passion’s EP was clearly written from the heart, and showcases a brand new turning point in the band’s history and music, especially after nine long years of hiatus when A Way of Our Own (2014) came out.

M.I. - Born in Monterrey, Mexico. When was the first time you moved to Europe to work with Stream of Passion?

I actually started working with Stream of Passion a few years before I actually moved to the Netherlands. So, we were sort of a long-distance band already from 2005, I think. It was 2004 or 2005, I don't remember, but after I recorded with Ayreon in The Human Equation, with Arjen Lucassen, he invited me to write an album together, and that’s the first album we did in a long distance. So, I moved to the Netherlands in 2008, but we had been working together for a couple of years before that.

M.I. - Your musical background is classical and lyrical, but what was the spark that triggered you into Rock and Heavy Metal? According to your bio, it was around the age of 17 when you started to play some cover songs.

Yeah! I started listening to rock bands and alternative bands like The Cranberries and I really liked it. For instance, You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette, and seeing this woman I was like: Oh, that's nice. And for some reason I started listening also to some metal. There was a radio show in the middle of the night in Monterrey, and I heard a couple of bands there that, to this day, are my favorite things like Immortal from Norway and My Dying Bride. I really like the idea of having this sound that is very heavy, but with female vocals, and very dramatic. That's it, and I started listening to some of those things and then I started meeting people that also like the same music and the rest is history.

M.I. - Your influences are very diverse, from rock to jazz, gothic, and even world music. Should these genres always be combined in the music you create, or should we leave jazz to jazz players or Heavy Metal strictly to metalheads?

Well, I like the idea that some of it sort of leaks like very slightly into everything that I make, which I think is something that makes making music a little bit more interesting. But then again, I battle with the idea that, for instance, in Stream of Passion we know what it is, right? There's a certain expectation of what it should be, and I cannot make a jazz metal with Stream of Passion, because it has to be a certain way. So, my debate is I like bringing little influences, but there is also an expectation that I sort of like taking into account, I suppose.

M.I. - You are also a proficient violinist. The perfect combination to achieve that sound in symphonic metal. However, you started as a bass player but rapidly moved to singing. Do you still miss the good old bassist days?

No, because it was just a few rehearsals, and only because there was no one there who could play the bass in the band. No, I don't really miss it. I think vocals are definitely my thing.

M.I. - It’s been three years since COVID-19, but also cancer-free. Musically speaking how did it impact your projects and your future career as a musician?

Well, I think for one part it made me want to be more vulnerable and more transparent with the things that I write, which is something that I think I am now, and it's kind of nice, because if everything fits closer to the emotions, then it's something that I really like. And for the other part, I am way more grateful of what I have. I'm someone who was always looking for the next goal and the next achievement. To be honest, I don't worry that much about that anymore. I try not to worry about that as much anymore and just enjoy what I have.

M.I. - You are quite active on YouTube with covers, guitar sessions, and much more. Many musicians aren’t that active on social media like you. Aside from being an important tool to reach out to a bigger audience, would you consider it as a future career?

I think it's part of the whole experience, right? I see it as a way to bond with people. I get very excited when I post the cover from a band that I love and then I have people that also love this, like I do. Or an acoustic version of a song, and then I see people that you know that I know that follow me and they come back. Yes. I love it too. So, it's a way of enjoying it but I don't know if I have the skills to be a professional.

M.I. - You are a vocal coach at Metal Factory, in Eindhoven, but you are also a private vocal coach. Care to share a few hints and tips to achieve success?

Practice a lot. So, it's going to be the boring tip list ever, by the way. Practice a lot. If someone tells you that you don't have a nice voice, slap them in the face or ignore them, because there's no such thing as beautiful voices and ugly voices. It's what we do with the instrument. I'm convinced that everyone can learn it, but it takes a lot of time, a lot of patience and a lot of discipline and a lot of not being embarrassed, because especially in the beginning if you listen to a recording of your own voice and it's like “I don't like it!”, it sounds different.
Being able to listen to your own voice, so recording yourself a lot and listening and actively listening to what you want to improve. I think that's also very important. It's just like any other instrument and I believe way much more in hard work than in natural talent.

M.I. - You lend your voice to many different bands such as Stream of Passion, Mayan, Dark Horse | White Horse, and even participated as a vocal guest in other bands. How easy or challenging is it to you to pull the right voice sound for that band, when creating a new album?

With the risk of something a little bit arrogant, I think nowadays it's quite straightforward for me to put a certain voice. There are things that I always find challenging, like for instance, we recently had shows with Ayreon here in the Netherlands, and I'm doing backing vocals for most of the songs and Ayreon always asks me to sing really high notes and really high classical notes. That was a challenge but I take pride in the fact that whenever I'm writing melodies or I'm writing vocal parts for a project that I always write them in function of the project, and not in function of myself. It's not about me showing off whatever, it's about what fits the project best.

M.I. - On Stream of Passion, you used to work with the labels InsideOut Music and Napalm Records, but the latest EP that came out in September 2023 is independent. Any particular reason why?

Let me just say that actually already quite a few years ago we left Napalm Records, because we didn't believe that they understood what we wanted to do. So, actually the album before the last EP, we had already released independently. We did that also through a crowdfunding campaign, and it really opened our eyes to the possibilities of doing stuff like that, because not only did it give us the financial means to be able to produce the album, but it created this beautiful sense of community with our fans that really felt like I'm part of this, I made this happen. I will never forget the moment when we launched that campaign for our album, aware of our own, and I think we put it like this: oh, we're never going to make this and then, in 10 days or 11, the strength of the fanbase behind us felt really amazing, and then we have everything under our control. It’s not like you have your first baby, and then you hand it over to other people to do things with it now. We probably would continue to work that way.

M.I. - This EP was clearly written from the heart, and after a hiatus it brings back that symphonic and melodical sound the fans were hoping for. Any upcoming album that we may expect?

We don’t have really any concrete plans of continuing. We’re not writing right now, but I think definitely we will at some point. Right now, we just finished releasing this EP, and promoting it, and we're just enjoying it. I'm enjoying a little bit of peace, on this world tour with Blind Guardian. Maybe next year.

M.I. - If you were not a musician, what career would you consider pursuing?

I know, actually, for a fact that I would be in IT, computer systems and engineering, and I actually do a little bit of it on the side. I guess I would be a full-time computer nerd.

M.I. - Would you like to share a message with our readers and your fans?

Yes, of course! Hi! Thanks for reading and thank you for your support all throughout the years. We really hope that you enjoy this EP, which is released because, like you said, it really comes from the heart and we love to see that people understand it and embrace it. We really hope you like it.

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by André Neves