Juno Valdez: ‘Guiltiest pleasure? Egg, bacon and sausage breakfast buns’

Commercial lawyer by day and editor, writer and recording artist by night, Marilyn Formosa goes by the alias Juno Valdez when channelling her artistic and musical works, chiefly her latest summer dance pop release This is Your Life featuring Toby and David Cassar Torreggiani

Juno Valdez
Juno Valdez

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

As I am usually woken, most often I ask for five more minutes to go back and continue my dream.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Within every adversity, there is the seed of an equal or greater benefit” – my dearest late Nannu Peter.

What do you never leave the house without?

A plan.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Empath – Writer - Dreamer.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Having earned the respect of my peers in the local music scene, in a tie with editing biographies that form part of private collections.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Egg, bacon and sausage breakfast buns.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Where there is life, there is hope.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Studio time, to record my songs.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

That if you want something, you need to go after it and make it happen for yourself, every time. Waiting for someone else to first validate your ability to do something or get somewhere, is rookie mistake number one.

Who’s your inspiration?

In history, Winston Spencer Churchill because he was at once an artist, a writer, a most articulate beholder of wit and the English language and also an obstinate, extravagant and endearing leader who shaped world history.  In recent pop music, I think Dua Lipa broke the mould and very much created one of her own and I love almost everything she does in terms of style, song-writing and sound. Similarly over the years Lady Gaga has consistently done the same. Then the staple standards Hozier and John Mayer.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Re-emerging effectively in the local music scene after a six year hiatus – as a re-invented artist (Juno Valdez) and in a different genre (electronic pop/dance/soft house).

If you weren’t a musician what would you be doing?     

Studying world history, travelling to study archaeology as relative to the dinosaurs, and writing and publishing books, which I still hope to do someday.

Do you believe in God?

I consider myself very fortunate to be able to answer this question as ‘Yes, categorically’.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Winston Spencer Churchill.

What’s your worst habit?

Procrastination.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Like most people: hyper, hoarse, emotional (according to my husband, also annoying) then probably sick. These days I try to only exceptionally allow for treacle to be poured into the proverbial piano.

Who would you have play you in a film?

From the perspectives of others as collected over the years... Salma Hayek.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

The absence of respect, the base quality from which all else emanates.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Circle of Life – The Lion King.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My gold lion charm and necklace given to me by my parents as a birthday present many years ago.

What is your earliest memory?

Telling my parents that I didn’t like being inside the Notre Dame because it was dark and smelt overwhelmingly of incense (I was one year and 10 months  old.)

When did you last cry, and why?

Last week. I am extremely sensitive and somehow seem to collect feelings from everyone I meet and talk to.

Who would you most like to meet?

Hozier (Andrew Hozier Byrne).

What’s your favourite food?

A childhood favourite, Nanna’s fenek moqli bic-chips, that is rabbit, slowly marinated then fried in plenty of wine and garlic and served with homemade french fries.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

To me, social media (beyond Facebook) is a big black box and I am still trying to understand how it makes the world a better place or us better people.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

To England as a contemporary of Charles Dickens.

What book are you reading right now?

The biography of Princess Margaret – ‘A Life of Contrasts’ by Christopher Warwick

If you could have any superpower, what would
it be?

Helping people quickly - Mathilda style - by closing my eyes and just thinking about it.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Feel that I have lived a life worth living.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Nikki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, Eminem.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

In the shower is strangely where I do my most useful song writing, so there I sing whatever I am trying to write or re-work at any given time.  When I’m working out, the music is usually whatever is on the instructor’s playlist but if I can choose then good old rock anthems like AC/DC.

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