Have you heard of Cristina Scuccia? She’s a 26-year-old Italian nun with a gift for singing, famous for winning The Voice of Italy in 2014, then going on to release an album including a music video to her own rendition of “Like a Virgin.”
Recently, she came to Japan to give a performance, and we were lucky enough to visit for ourselves. We have pictures and the full video of not just the sister singing in her divine voice, but also her giving a “mini confessional” by listening to problems from the audience and giving life advice.
Sister Cristina’s performance took place on March 9 at YouTube Space inside the Tokyo/Roppongi Hills Building. Her focus was on promoting her album, especially the Japanese version that includes her cover of the English version of “Ue o Muite Arukō” (“My First Lonely Night“), but she also gave a great live concert consisting of three songs, as well as giving audience members a chance to confess their sins and ask questions.
▼ Here she is first coming in, introducing herself in Japanese.
▼ And posing for about eight-thousand media shots.
▼ Then finally getting down to business belting out the tunes.
Here’s the full video, with some translations of the more relevant/interesting parts below:
(Her greeting everyone in Japanese.)
Announcer (A): So what are your first impressions of Japan?
Cristina (C): It’s a country with a wonderful culture. Everything is so organized and orderly.
A: Have you tried any Japanese food?
C: I’ve had sushi before in Italy, but I’m looking forward to trying the authentic Japanese version here.
A: Ah, so you haven’t had any yet. Well please give it a try! We’ve also heard that you’ve been singing since you were a child.
C: I’ve loved singing ever since I was little. My passion for singing gives me energy for life.
A: Did your love of music have anything to do with you choosing to become a nun?
C: When I decided to become a nun, it was like I was hit by lighting. I was hit by God’s love, and it was so powerful I had to do something to respond to it.
A: We heard that at the beginning, there was some resistance against a nun singing pop music.
C: Yes, I was conflicted at the beginning too, wondering if faith and music can go hand in hand. But after working as a missionary in Brazil for two years, I came to the realization that faith and art can work together, that they are one in the same.
A: How did you feel first appearing on The Voice?
C: I felt like that! (the pop) I was very nervous at first. I was worried about whether everyone listening would accept the message I was trying to convey. And when I finally ended up winning, I don’t think it was myself that won necessarily, but rather that message I was trying to convey to everyone instead.
A: She’s cute, isn’t she!
C: Thank you.
A: So we heard that you’re donating the profits from this worldwide hit album of yours?
C: Yes, the profits will all be used to help with the social work that the order I belong to does, as well as future projects to help children and families around the world.
A: All right, so our last question: what kind of singer do you want to be?
C: I want to be a nun who sings, that’s all.
A: Well please continue to keep singing then, we love hearing you.
C: My singing is all thanks to God, so I will keep going for as long as I have his blessing to do so.
A: Thank you very much. We’re looking forward to hearing you more.
C: Thank you.
A: That’s the end of the questions, but now we’d like to have a “mini confessional,” where Sister Cristina can respond to problems given to us on Twitter and from the audience. Our first question is: “What should I do when I’m feeling depressed or frustrated?”
C: When I’m feeling down, I know that my whole body is down. I’m looking down, I feel bad inside, so what I try to do is look forward instead. I recommend looking up, keep walking forward, and trying to change your perspective a bit.
A: Thank you. Our next question: “My father recently passed away and I can’t get over it. What should I do?”
C: That is certainly a difficult time to go through. But thinking about it another way, your father is now at peace in Heaven. Like I said before, it might be best to try not to look down and focus on your own problems, but perhaps look around at the problems of others around you. Trying to help them and making them feel better will help you feel better as well.
A: Thank you. Next question: “No matter what I do, I can’t stop eating chips before I go to bed. What should I do?”
C: Maybe you should try eating something less oily than chips, like vegetables perhaps. If you eat oily things before bed then you probably won’t sleep well, and since I don’t think you want that, focus on being healthy instead. If you really want to eat those chips, then maybe enjoy them during lunch instead.
A: I think you’re giving the people who asked these questions a lot to think about! By the way, do you eat chips?
C: At the order we make lots of food with potatoes – boiled, fried – so I’m a fan of potatoes in all forms.
A: All right, last question: “I have a 20-year-old son obsessed with anime and not interested in girls. I’m worry I won’t have any grandchildren. What can I do to get him interested in women?”
C: There’s no need to worry. He’s only 20, so he still has plenty of time. I think that love is something that can come even if you’re not out actively looking for it.
A: Ah, what great answers. Thank you so much everyone who shared their troubles with us, and thank you Sister Cristina for taking the time to answer them.
C: Thank you.
(Live concert starts)
“Somewhere Only We Know”
A: Thank you very much. So everyone, what did you think of Sister Cristina’s live concert? Thank you for such wonderful music! Would you like to say something at the end here?
C: I feel very privileged to be able to come to Japan, and I’m very happy to have met you all here today. It has been a wonderful experience. Thank you all very much.
A: Thank you! Let’s give her a round of applause. One more time, that was Sister Cristina!
C: Thank you very much. Bye bye!
If you like what you hear, then feel free to order a copy of her CD. Like she said, all profits are going to a good cause, though getting to hear her sing is more than enough of a good cause in itself.