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In addition to recently joining ZENITH, Diamante recently spoke to LandonBuford.com which can be seen below.
What’s your birth name?
Maryanne Noel Fiorentino
2. Date of birth – November 27, 1984
3. Where are you from, and what is your ethnicity?
I am Dominican, and I came from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
4. Please tell us about your parents?
First off, I am adopted. My birth mom from Santo Domingo had 13 children plus my fraternal twin sister Julianna and myself and my brother Michael from a different family.
5. Do you ever wonder about your birth parents and to ever meet them?
I get this question asked quite a bit in my lifetime …Yes, I wonder about my birth parents. Since my adopted parents passed away, my dad passed away at the age of 93 in 2016, and my mom passed at the age of 85 in 2018. I feel a bit of a void to find my birth parents and be someday reunited, but who knows the future? Maybe that could happen. along with my 13 brothers and sisters
6. When was the earliest memory you can remember of yourself singing?
I can’t recollect when I first started singing the music as my sanctuary, where it has been a positive outlet for me to express myself. Music is my getaway out of reality, entering pure imagination.
7. What were you like as a kid? What was your childhood like?
To be honest, very lonely. I had a preexisting diagnosis that wasn’t diagnosed until I was in college, which was a mental illness. Growing up, I knew I was different from every other kid. In school, it is all about conforming. I could not confirm and easily make friends like other kids. I was always teased and bullied and picked on and harassed emotionally and mentally by my classmates because I was different and had parents that were much older than the average parent having children.
8. who is your main aspiration?
I would have to say, my late adopted father, Michael Fiorentino Sr., was one of my first aspirations to sing. My dad was an opera singer, and he had the voice of the great late Pavarotti. My dad wanted to become a great singer, but there were obstacles in his life. I admire a lot about my dad of the struggles he had to endure, what he had to sacrifice, and he had to give up on his dreams to support a family. That, to me, having to sacrifice one dream to support a family, I think in my opinion is very noble and brave of him, and I commend him. I think of all the times he has supported the family, especially financially. My dad will always be with me in spirit on stage. My career my dad will always be remembered in my heart. It doesn’t matter how far I go; I will never forget him.
9. Do you have another great aspiration in music?
Yes, I do. I remember her as if it were yesterday. She was a massive inspiration in my life and best friend, as well as a mentor. I want to keep her in the forefront of my mind of how things used to be in remembrance of her. I met her when I was 12 or 13 at a high school she taught in, where I was raised in Roselle, NJ. It was her last year to be teaching at this high school before she retired. When I first met her instantly, we clicked her just right off the bat without knowing this person at all, but I have heard saintlike things about her and could not wait to get into high school to be in the choir with her have her as my choir director. Her ensemble had over 100 voices, and they all sounded like professional singers. Everybody loved this teacher when I met her, she had a je ne sais quoi about her, and I knew from right then and there she was going to be in my life for a long time. She was just an upbeat, positive ray of sunshine which was the total opposite of the greatest thing this teacher has ever taught me by instilling in me positive. I grew up in a very hostile, toxic atmosphere, and meeting her changed my life for the better. She was the kind of inspiration to encourage me to think I was special and deserved better in life and how I was being treated in school. To see the world in a more positive light to help me change my perspective on life to live a blissful life doing what I do best and living each day the way I was born to do as my true destiny.
10. Where did you come up with the stage name Diamante?
I got the stage name Diamante originally. My stage name was Maryanne Dymond Fiorentino, but that was too wordy to use as a stage name simply because it would never be memorable. I wanted to keep the diamond part of my name because it symbolizes strength and beauty. They are the hardest stones of all the gemstones and simply unbreakable everything I am. However, how it cultivated to Diamante someone, I met who encouraged me to continue my journey to becoming what I am trying to accomplish today. His name is Bruno Arpino, and he was the owner of Bruno’s Pizzeria at the time. Since I had no money to buy anything, he told me to come here and eat, and I will put it on a tab for you, and when you get your social security check, you will pay me. So that is what I did. It fattened me up because of all the fattening food I was eating pizza every day, but his generosity and kindness are an utmost rarity, and that is how I got my nickname from him, Diamante. Bruno is now retiring from the food industry, and his brother took over as owner, but I just loved how that sounded. In Spanish, I am Spanish. It takes back to my roots as well.
11. Where did you go to college, and how was college life for you?
After graduating from high school, I went to a community college. A year later, she was accepted to go to a music school, conservatory in Princeton, NJ, Westminster Choir College. It was quite an experience attending a conservatory. It was an atmosphere of going to a music school that was survival of the fittest, filled with the roller coaster of emotions going to a music school. The experience there was fantastic meeting new people who share the same love for the universal language, music. It was a definite culture shock for me, but we all supported each other as musicians. I had hard times there, but the experience at Westminster Choir College was unforgettable.
12. What kind of obstacles did you have to overcome before getting to this moment where you are now?
When my fraternal twin sister and I were born, we were born malnourished my late adopted mom, when she was alive, brought us to the pediatrician. She was told that we weren’t going to live. Still, my mom did and did not want to feed into that we were severely malnourished babies. She wanted us to live and have a chance at life, which I admired about my mom was the unbelievable unconditional love she had for us three, Julianna and my brother Michael. Fast forward to the present of 2022, I think my past life experiences and that anything that has ever happened to me I take as a life lesson I don’t have any shame, regret, or even grudges to anything that has happened in my life. On the contrary, it has made me a stronger person because it tells my readers and listeners to embrace and never be afraid of who you are and how you grew up.
13. What kind of message do you want to send to your fans as a role model?
The message I would send out is never ashamed of who you are. Don’t feel as if you have to apologize for being different. Embrace who you are and let it shine. Wearing a mask in life and not expressing who you indeed are to fulfill others’ needs in my perspective, go where you are celebrated, not tolerated
14. What kind of difference do you want to make in the world?
The difference I want to make in this world and the mark I want to leave is respect one another’s differences. We all don’t have to like or love one another, but the difference is learning and educating ourselves than making a snap judgment learn to find the good in one another.
15. Where do you see yourself 5 to 10 years in your career as a singer?
Since I have always been an intangible thinker, I would have to say thinking right now. So this question is straightforward to answer. I see myself doing a lot of good in this world, becoming a cheerful inspiring voice to this generation rubbing off my dazzling personality to help people be more positive and never be ashamed of who they are but embrace it.
Traveling a lot would be on my agenda to spreading not to dwell on our insecurities so much we all have them. Having concerts at prestigious venues towards ending the stigma of mental health is something that many of us are going through and are even dying from. I want to address it since I am a survivor of having a mental illness and being diagnosed with it in college. Also, I see myself in the future being a philanthropist by donating money towards causes that are important to me, such as saving the music programs in our schools which is desperately needed the arts are being cut out in school being able to express one’s self is very important I think and giving people a voice feeling as if they don’t have one is my utmost importance in my career as being a positive role model in this industry.
16. you had the opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall. Please tell us about that?
Yes, singing at Carnegie Hall was one of my ultimate goals; singing there, I was the star soloist. I did my first performance advocating for mental health awareness back in October. The concert was set before covid, on October 6, 2019. It was entitled Squash the Stigma, filled with beautiful music and my outstanding fantabulous accompanist/pianist. I have to tell you played so beautifully it was like she was with her fingers aerobics on the piano fantastic to work with and professional at the same time. We just had a great connection, and then I had guest speakers giving their spiel on educating on mental health and how many people are suffering and understanding it with compassion. The only way we can do that is with education. The speakers gave excellent, passionate speeches on their lives, experiences, and mental health perspectives. It was a great success to support the mission to end stigma. As an advocate living with a mental illness, I will continue to strive to advocate in the future in places with such prestige to educate people and put an end to stigma and promote radical acceptance.
17. You had the opportunity to go for top-notch record labels?
Yes, I did. After having my debut performance at Carnegie Hall, I found a music manager and then was auditioning for Disney, Pixar, and with J Records with record producer legend Clive Davis decided to turn
down the record deals for something more that fits me and what I want for my career
18, Hypothetically, if you were to die tomorrow, how would you want to be remembered?
I think this question is a no-brainer. First off, at my funeral, I want people instead of wearing black I want people wearing white to make my memory a celebration, not a loss, but a celebration of what I have done in my life, the people whom I have helped, the places I have traveled and I have taught and also have taught me everybody has an expiration date on this planet. It is the way we live our lives, how we treat people, and how we want to be remembered. Nothing lasts forever, but the imprint you leave behind is there for eternity.
19. if you were president of the US for four years, what is the number 1 thing you do to make this world a better place?
As president, the first thing I would pass a law is to respect one another’s differences and acknowledge their boundaries. as well as, nobody should have to apologize for who they are
20. What pipe dream age do you want to live up to and why?
Right off the bat 125, I think the imprint I want to set in many ways is that I would like to live in people’s memory great wisdom.