UK Based Fansite for Singer Elena Alexandra Apostoleanu aka INNA.
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ALT SOUNDS INTERVIEW - JUNE 2011
Inna is the hottest new dance act to emerge from the European music scene. Currently touted as the most successful Romanian artist in the entire world, Inna release her debut Hot later this month after her single of the same name previously earned her a UK number one in the dance charts.
With a long career in the UK and America ahead of Inna after conquering numerous European countries, AltSounds caught up with the fast emerging star to talk about her album, David Guetta, rock music and to ask just when we can expect to see her in the UK......
Altsounds: Hi Inna, you're just about to release your debut album Hot over in the UK - what can everyone expect from it?
Inna: Hello! Yes, it's true and I'm really excited I’ve gotta admit it. This album is a must for everyone who loves dance music. Those tracks will keep you on the dance floor for sure! To quote what a fan tweeted me some time ago: “there's obviously no party without your music”.
Altsounds: Not many people over these shores have heard too much about you yet but you are already really big in such countries as Iceland, America and your native Romania - do you think the UK will take to you once your album is released?
Inna: Well, I hope this is going to change soon. I'm planning to visit you folks more often from now on. However, a lot of British fans are following me on Twitter and Facebook and one of the most active fan clubs is made by a girl from the UK.
Altsounds: Having already achieved a lot of success in Europe, it is perhaps ironic that your songs Goodbye and Sorry failed to reach the pre-selection stage of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 - how much was that a set back for you?
Inna: It is ironic, isn't it? I love those songs but unfortunately the musical climate in Romania at the time wasn't very friendly for pop-rock. I felt bad because they were unsuccessful but I didn't give up.
Altsounds: Do you think your musical style is suited to Eurovision?
Inna: Dance music is definitely not suited to Eurovision. In my opinion, [poppier] songs similar to Sorry or Goodbye are more likely to stand a chance in the competition.
Altsounds: Your real name is Elena Alexandra Apostoleanu - why do you call yourself Inna?
Inna: It's short, easy to remember and has a very special meaning to me. It's a nickname from my grandfather, I was really close to him.
Altsounds: Dance music is not really a major genre over in the UK like it is Europe. We have only really embraced the likes of Bassshunter, Cascada and September over here - why do you think dance music finds more success in other European countries?
Inna: Maybe in the past. Now you see dance influences everywhere. David Guetta is producing tracks for the top pop artists so dance music is getting around. I think that dance music finds more success in other European countries than in the UK mainly because the UK market is more selective and that's a good thing.
Altsounds: You are assigned to the Clubland brand in the UK (All Around The World Records). Is this likely to enhance your reputation over here together with your album release?
Inna: I'm really happy with my UK label. They have put a lot of effort into breaking me in the UK and I'm really grateful for their support.
Altsounds: How did you end up on their roster?
Inna: To be honest, I don't know exactly. I think they heard Hot and picked it up from my Romanian label.
Altsounds: Where did you get your first taste of music from and what made you want to become a dance singer?
Inna: From my family, my mother and grandmother more exactly. Since always I wanted to become a singer but I never thought I'll be a dance singer, but it feels great to know that millions of people are having fun on your music!
Altsounds: As a teenager you were in a pop rock band - what happened to that?
Inna: From my mother and grandmother. I used to go with them every Sunday morning to sing in the church choir. Later on, my mother took me to singing classes. I can't say I wanted to become a dance singer. I just wanted to become a singer. I've released a couple of pop-rock songs but they were unsuccessful. Then, my producers, Play & Win, composed Hot and that’s how it all started. I was pretty sceptical about Hot, to be honest.
Altsounds: Would you say that your voice is more suited to the Euro-dance music you perform than it ever was pop rock?
Inna: I’m not Sure. I love to sing and decided to take the dance music road…
Altsounds: Many of the songs on your new album have only one word titles like Love, Amazing and Hot - is this a conscious thing?
Inna: It's just a coincidence. The titles express very well the message of each song.
Altsounds: Hot was your debut single in Romania. It has already reached number one in Spain, Hungary and Russia - how special would a number one album in the UK be to you?
Inna: A number one album in the UK would literally be one of the best things [that] ever happened to me! However, I'm realistic, I know I'm not there yet. Hopefully someday I will top your album chart!
Altsounds: Hot was released in the UK in 2010 and reached number six in the charts (number one in the dance charts) - this must surely give you some confidence ahead of your album release?
Inna: Of course it gives [confidence] but just a little because it's not the same thing. A single is a single, an album is an album. It will mean a lot to me if the album does well in the charts.
Altsounds: Tell us how you came to collaborate with Romanian DJ and producer Bob Taylor on Deja Vu....
If you could work or duet with anyone at all in the world who would it be?
Inna: Well, Play & Win made the track for Bob Taylor and I liked it a lot so we released it together. I'd love to work with a lot of artists but if I must pick just one, I'd say David Guetta because I respect what he did for dance music.
Altsounds: You are already working on your second album I Am The Club Rocker - how long until we can hear that over in the UK?
Inna: That's true, but we don't have a release date yet.
Altsounds: There was previously speculation that you would announce some UK tour dates for June 2011 - when are these to be announced and what cities are you looking forward to visiting?
Inna: I see that you're very well informed! Yes, I definitely will visit you guys more often. My management and my label are trying to schedule the tour dates so we will announce them soon. I'm really looking forward to performing in the UK, no matter what city.
Altsounds: Are we likely to see you taking part in a Clubland tour any time soon?
Inna: I do hope so!
Altsounds: You are considered the best Romanian act worldwide - how big a title is this and do you find yourself under pressure to live up to expectations of your home country?
Inna: It's very flattering! I'm deeply honoured to be called that. The only pressure is coming from myself because I know there's room for self-improvement.
Altsounds: How bright is the Romanian dance music scene at the moment?
Inna: We're on the right track, that's for sure, but it's only the start of a long journey. We need to work hard to prove ourselves. I'm really happy to see how many Romanian acts are doing well on the European dance scene.
Altsounds: You are only 24 years-old and have already picked up a number of awards from the likes of MTV and RRA - do you ever feel overwhelmed by your early success?
Inna: At first it was unbelievable and all seemed unreal. I don't know if overwhelmed is the right word because every achievement, every award gave me the motivation to work harder and aim higher.
Altsounds: How successful do you believe you can become in the UK and globally?
Inna: Very successful, I hope! With God's help and my fans support, I will succeed!