10 THINGS WITH IRINA SHAPIRO
RM: How did you get your start with singing and acting?
IS: It seems like I haven’t stopped since I was born! I’m joking but to tell you the truth, I started when I was 8 years old in the school choir as a mezzo soprano and was the soloist every time. It gave me experience in being responsible for the whole team of singing boys and girls – definitely a cool feeling!
RM: Typically when we think of talent coming from Russia, we tend to think of the successful athletes and Olympians. What is the climate like for entertainers like yourself?
IS: It’s a different world being an artist in Russia, than here in the States. I want to say that there is a different standard in Russia for everything that touches the music industry, different responsibility in respect to the fans, and different musical demands. The level of performing, the show standards, and the market of selling yourself to the public are also totally different. Here in the American market, people are able to build their careers in their own unique way and try to color it differently than others. Artists in the USA also work really hard to share their intentions and beliefs with their audience.
RM: Who have been your musical inspirations and which artists would you like to emulate your career after?
IS: I grew up on both sides of the world of music. From Europe I loved artists such as Queen, ABBA, Roxette, Lisa Stansfield, Andriano Celentano, Slash, dance music, and many, many famous DJs. On the other hand, some of my favorite American artists include Jon Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston, Cher, Stevie Nicks, Aerosmith, Gloria Estefan, Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, Barbara Streisand, and the list goes on and on! I don’t necessarily want to emulate them, but they definitely have made my musical adventure even more interesting. I call my style, Blond Bon Jovi in a Kylie Minogue skirt.
RM: How involved are you with writing and producing your music?
IS: My music and lyrics are my history! What I write comes from my heart, which I love, because it’s a unique feeling. I believe that real writers can write on demand as well as capture inspirations and magic energy in the moment. I write all my songs from scratch and collaborate with some talented songwriters. This is very important because they explain to me, as a foreigner, how to use better phrases. They also come up with great ideas about inverting Russian meaning into American language. In the process you can exchange feelings to make a spicy combination!
RM: We know that you’ve had success from home and other parts of the world. How has your music been received here in the U.S.?
IS: People like it! I’m so blessed that Americans are really interested in Russian flavor, and they want know me more! I’m so blessed to bring this joyful energy to my American fans – they’re the best! They treat me so well and I’m very excited to share more music with them in future!
RM: Your latest single, One Last Kiss, has picked up a lot of steam on the Billboard Club Play chart! Was that song for someone in particular?
IS: Each of my songs has the story behind! So yes, it’s about someone in particular. I believe people who love me will be positively infected of my crazy fun energy. I want my fans to be confident in themselves, be real, be happy, and be in love with every moment and every second! That’s the most amazing feeling. Americans call it butterflies in their stomach, I call it a “Honeymoon” in each second!
RM: Which artists/ musicians would you love to collaborate with?
IS: Hands down Jon Bon Jovi, Bruno Mars, and Sting.
RM: You’re very fashionable and edgy. Who are some of your favorite fashion in your personal closet?
IS: There are so many! I love fashion! What you wear is basically a language that you want to speak to the crowd! Everyone can read it and I vote for people to express themselves every day! I personally love a glamorous, Rock & Roll style that’s sexy, but not too much! And of course classy, always works for me!
RM: Do you have any guilty pleasures that we don’t know about?
IS: Hmmmm…driving really fast and listening to crazy loud music – especially “Have A Nice Day” by Bon Jovi.
RM: We wish you well with the new album. What other projects do you have coming out in the near future?
IS: Soon I’ll be launching my casual distressed denim line. It’s for some crazy people like me who want to look sexy and divine any time of a day!
“One Last Kiss” video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEJabSHfepk&feature=c4-overview&list=UUg5f87xuqlv-EqvruYbgXgQ