Jonh Lima, known artistically as Dionliim, is a talented musician who captivates the public with his unique interpretations. With a diverse and emotional repertoire, Dionliim brings timeless classics to life and reinvents contemporary songs on his YouTube channel.
Dionliim enchanted with her cover of the song “Wuthering Heights”, by Kate Bush, presenting an engaging version of Angra. Standing out for his versatility, the musician also offers his audience personal versions of contemporary songs, such as the cover of the song “Não tô dando conta” by Rosa Neon. Through his interpretations, Jonh Lima preserves the original spirit of the compositions, leaving his mark on each one of them.
Dionliim is preparing to release a new version of “At Last” on her YouTube channel, a classic immortalized in the voice of Etta James. His interpretation promises to convey the sweet and passionate touch that the song requires, accompanied by visual projections that intensify the emotional atmosphere, a hallmark of his performances.
His stage name is Dionliim. How did you come to choose this name and what does it represent for you?
Hey! Firstly, I want to say that I am very happy to share some of my passion for music. “Dionliim” appears without the intention of being an artistic name, but always with the intention of being unique and striking. My name is John, but I didn’t always like that name (believe it or not!). As a child, I believed that the “correct” thing was to have a common name, like the people around me. I still hadn’t met another John. I remember that, once, a childhood friend wrote my name in the simplest and most literal way he could find: “Dion”, I loved it and kept that name in a fun place in my memories. In 2018, I felt the need to change my name on social media, hence Liim (from Lima) appeared to complement Dion, in that mood of trying to find an available user.
What are your plans and goals for the future? Are there any specific projects you are currently working on?
I need to be more diligent in my covers project. The format I idealize is to prioritize songs that favor my falsetto or have a disco feel, mainly international hits immortalized in popular knowledge. So, you might hear a bit of Abba, Irene Cara, Donna Summer, Aretha, Bee Gees in my voice, but I also like to move through romantic ballads (Etta James, Whitney, Kate Bush, among other artists).
What artists or bands have influenced you the most on your musical journey? And, what do you do to improve your skills as an artist?
I grew up absorbing a lot of influence from gospel, artists like Lydia Moisés, Eyshila, Fernanda Brum and even the now extinct Grupo Voices. I believe that my musical perception owes a lot to the a cappella group Pentatonix and Grupo Rouge. To this day I try to reproduce the harmonies of his songs. I couldn’t fail to mention Beyoncé’s Pop, she is everything and much more. I have a lot to work on when it comes to stage presence, but I try to work on it as best I can in therapy and participating in Karaoke around the city.
In addition to online platforms, have you had the opportunity to perform live at events or festivals? If so, what is the experience like playing in front of an audience and how does it differ from performing your music online?
I haven’t had the opportunity to sing in front of a large audience in an “official” way yet. I still see music as my “master hobby”, so much so that I am quite happy to accumulate victories in the Karaokes I usually attend. Because I have “Leo” and “Virgo” in my birth chart, I tend to be quite a perfectionist. Maybe this limits me too much. I like to deliver well-designed and executed material, I love working on visuals, and this issue brings a fine line between delivering robust materials frequently and releasing more elaborate materials, letting the timing of the art guide me.
In addition to covers, do you also create musical compositions? What is the creative process behind each song/video released?
Look, my dream was to have come with the gift of composition already from the factory, but it’s still something new for me. Maybe I stand out more in music production. I even have some things written… including a very “crying” song that I took from myself in a very intense process of overcoming a crush. Who has never suffered for love, right girls? These are the times when we try to make art.
His interpretations are marked by authenticity and emotion. How do you connect with each song you perform?
Music fills us with feelings, right? This is undeniable! Putting a voice on a song or recording a video are delightful processes, and these feelings that are expressed in singing make for a true, deep and clear interpretation.
Your artistic journey seems to be a fusion of diverse influences. Is there a specific technique or approach that you employ to give each interpretation its own identity?
In fact, I often say that I’m rediscovering my influences. I believe that’s why I take the opposite route when visiting these music classics. I spent my adolescence in church and had no access to pop culture; I practically lived in the gospel bubble. Imagine, I discovered the Spice Girls just a few years ago!
His new cover of “At Last” is an iconic song that has been covered by several renowned artists over the decades. How did you prepare to reinterpret this classic song and make it your own? What was your approach to bringing something new to such a well-known song?
I would have loved to have used a new instrumental, with a new feel, but it didn’t happen. I believe that what makes my version different is the way I record my voice; My nasal falsetto adds a certain touch of originality! Not to mention that I love making different melodies with background vocals, I always add something new to my recordings. Ahh, it’s worth remembering that I create and record everything alone at home, having fun in my own time.
You should primarily look for songs that favor your falsetto or have a disco feel. How do you choose the songs you will recreate? Is there a specific label or is it more a matter of emotional connection to the music?
As I mentioned previously, my choice of repertoire has a lot to do with this “time travel” that I propose to make. Evidently, my connection with the chosen music is something super relevant when making the decision; I spent months singing “Wuthering Heights”, I spent time studying the lyrics and their references, I watched interviews, I learned a little about the career of an interpreter. It is, in fact, a dive into the universe of music. And about the falsetto, of course we won’t use it, besides being a comfortable region for me, most of the original voices are women’s.
Considering your online presence, you want to present live. How do you imagine the dynamics of performing on a live stage will differ from the experience of sharing your music across digital platforms?
Yes! I think it’s very difficult to just be a “digital singer” today. I wanted to test this modality. (lol) Unlike virtual presentations, live performances require tact with the audience, flexibility and, of course, a lot of vocal technique to sustain the entire show.
His choice of sky projection to accompany his rendition of “At Last” suggests a specific visual connection. Could you share a little more about how visual aesthetics and atmosphere impact the way you present music?
Ahhh! It’s very beautiful, right? Even I was surprised by the final result of the video. The choice of the sky references the lyrics of the song, which in turn talk a lot about being in love, perceiving the blue sky, being in the clouds with this new love. Everything is interconnected: my statuette, my makeup, the earring that references the cover of Etta’s “At Last” album, the toast of a glass when the song talks about lonely days… I’m very proud of these visual connections.
In relation to your artistic journey, how do you feel that each cover you release contributes to your evolution as a musician? Is there anything you learned or discovered while working on “At Last” that has impacted your approach to future projects?
I think with each project you’re getting more used to the pace of producing and promoting a song. It helps me come up with new advertising ideas and create those organic strategies. Regarding my experience with “At Last”, I need to mention the non-linear way of singing that the song required; In a single phrase, I sang with a low falsetto and ended up with a high falsetto, a big challenge (lol), but it was cool, it’s really good to explore.
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