Making It Work: Married Musicians On Staying Together While Living Apart
Nilaya Sabnis

When you’re in the entertainment business and constantly on tour, you can go months without ever seeing the inside of your home. If you’re single, it’s no big deal, but for a madly in love married couple, it’s quite a challenge. Just ask Los Angeles-based Canadian musicians Dessy Di Lauro and Ric’Key Pageot. They met while working together on Cirque Du Soleil and have been together for nine years and married for six. Spending the better part of a year apart to pursue their individual career dreams is commonplace in their marriage, but the work they’ve had to put in to keep their bond in tact has only made them stronger.

Right now, Pageot, an internationally-known composer, producer, and musical director, is busy off on an international tour with Madonna, while award-winning singer Di Lauro is living back at home in Los Angeles. Despite their chaotic schedules, together they’re working virtually to put the finishing touches on their new album, due out this February, and providing a shining example of what it truly means to make it work. Read their secrets below!

ESSENCE.COM: What has marriage taught you both about love?
DI LAURO: It’s work! You’ve got to put in the work. You’ve got to be patient.
PAGEOT: You’ve got to communicate. Personally, the way I see marriage is that I married the woman I can’t live without and not just the woman that I can live with. Dessy is my lover. She’s my best friend. She’s my soul mate. She’s my partner in every sense and every form. We have a deeper connection than most.

DI LAURO: Respect is a big thing, too. You have to have a lot of respect for one another. We always communicate with a higher level of respect.

ESSENCE.COM: How do you stay so well in tune with each other when you’re both touring separately?
DI LAURO: For me, it’s really difficult. I’m so used to having him around. Not only are we very connected and strong as a couple, but we’re connected musically as well. So, when he’s not around, I lose out in both aspects. I try to keep my spirits up and keep busy with continuing our music so that when he gets back we can continue where we left off.
PAGEOT: My first tour with Madonna was her Sticky Sweet Tour in 2008. After that tour, that’s when our original work really started to hit another level. We went all in, and everything was going really well. Then, earlier this year, I got a call to go back on tour with Madonna, and I almost didn’t take it because I’m honestly really happy working with my wife and staying at home. A lot of people don’t like to be with their spouses 24/7, but for me it’s the opposite. I’m happier when I’m with my wife and doing the things we do. I can’t wait to get back to what we do as a couple, as writing partners and as partners in crime.

DI LAURO: The distance has been the toughest part in our marriage. I know it’s difficult for him, and it’s very difficult for me. We have to work very hard to keep our connection fresh. Distance pulls a lot of people apart so we do our very best to really stay connected at all times.

ESSENCE.COM: Has marriage surprised you in any way?
PAGEOT: Before we got married, everyone was saying that when you do, there will be less sex, you won’t do things together as much, and things will change. The only change for me has been that I have a ring. We have the same relationship we had before we got married. I married my best friend. There really were no big surprises.
DI LAURO: The stigma people attach to marriage is surprising. People told us that our whole world would change, we wouldn’t be close and we’d start fighting. None of that happened!

ESSENCE.COM: Are there certain ways that music plays a role in your marriage?
DI LAURO: If something inspires me, I’ll pass it on to Ric’Key right away. Our home is our office, so we’re constantly writing our own music and creating music together.
PAGEOT: Music, for us, is a spiritual bond. I’ve always noticed that when Dessy and I finish writing a song or going through an impromptu jam session, we really feel the connection between each other. And, that’s not only the music that’s bringing us together, it’s the spiritual connection we have for each other. Spirituality brings a stronger bond to a marriage. We have a marital, spiritual and musical connection. You put them all together, and that’s a very strong connection.

ESSENCE.COM: How do you keep in touch when you’re away?
PAGEOT: We speak at least twice everyday, whether it’s by phone or Skype, it has to be at least twice a day.

DI LAURO: We use our iPhone Facetime a lot so that every night his is the last face I see.

PAGEOT: Yeah, sometimes we just fall asleep looking at each other. It makes a huge difference. Sometimes we don’t say anything to each other, we just go about our business with the cameras on. But it just makes such a difference.

To hear Di Lauro and Pageot’s new music and keep track of their upcoming album, visit their website now.

Loading the player...