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Interview with Romanian Singer INNA

Arabian Moda x Inna Singer

The dazzling Romanian singer and songwriter INNA has paved a way for many Romanians to follow their hearts and be who they dream of becoming. The 34-year old iconic singer chatted with Haider Rifaat of Arabian Moda magazine about pushing boundaries in music, humanitarian work and the most rewarding collaborations.  

by Haider Rifaat

Inna, share three things we don’t know about you.
I cut my own bangs. My shoe size is 34 (European) and I don’t know how to cook!

How was it like growing up in Romania?
It was nice. I am from a small seaside town called Neptun. I had a nice childhood and I played a lot! I was an energetic child. I believe Romania is a very beautiful country!

Tell our readers how you started out in the music business?
Music was a part of my life ever since I was a little girl because my mom was a singer and so was my grandma. I sang in the church choir then started taking canto lessons after participating in festivals and music competitions. After a while, I began singing pop and rock, and later released the song Hot under the name INNA. The rest is history!

Having studied political science, why did you decide to embark on a music career? Was singing your passion?
Singing was my passion for sure from my early years. But on my way to becoming a singer, I had a lot of moments where I wanted to give up. I also believed it was important for me to focus on my education, so that is why I chose to study at a university.

You are regarded as the most popular female artist in Romania. How have you helped your home country’s music industry and all the aspiring Romanians who wish to take up singing as a career?

Maybe for some of the aspiring artists, my path was an inspiration. Regarding the music industry, there are also artists from Romania who have managed to have their songs played on international radios and in concerts.

Arabian Moda x Inna Singer

Why aren’t Romanian artists so well known internationally as you are?
I don’t think I am the right person to answer this question. I think music is important and so is the team you work with and the label that represents you.

What issues do you primarily see for Romanian artists, be it actors or singers active in the show business?
Romania is not a big country. It is also not a big industry if we talk about music or cinema. But we have some artists, music productions and movies that have managed to conquer international markets. It is a big struggle for sure because of the competition but I think it is worth it!

What kind of scuffles did you have to put up with in your initial years as a Romanian artist?
It was difficult to come from a country with not many artists who were famous or songs that conquered the charts. But with the support of international labels, radios, television and of course, the music I worked on, I managed to gradually become the artist I am today.
Have things in your career progressed as you had hoped?
Some things went even more amazing than I had expected. I didn’t have big dreams. I couldn’t dare to have big dreams in the beginning of my career but now I am happy for my achievements and of course, am willing to do more.
Do you feel that competition has turned out fiercer in the modern age of music as opposed to about 20 or 25 years ago when social media was not as active?
For sure, the competition is fiercer today but I believe that one thing is super important; to continue to work, to stay focused and follow your path.

What is your take on social media and the impact it has had on launching new talent?
Social media helps nowadays to discover new talent. If you post several covers on YouTube and you get viral, label representatives can find out about you. You can get signed and become an artist.

How would you classify your music style?
Dance, pop, EDM with some Latin vibes for some of my songs.

Out of all your past collaborations, which one has truly stood out for you in terms of visual aesthetics and musical compositions?
I believe each one of my collaborations were important to me because they were perfect for that moment in my career. So, I appreciate each and every one of them from J Balvin to Pitbull, Daddy Yankee, Yandel, Reik, Farina, Sam Feldt and Dannic.

Arabian Moda x Inna Singer

Is there a new album in the making? What details can you disclose?
I had three amazing weeks in Dance Queen’s House, a project where I worked with producers and songwriters on new music. I also shot the entire activity and posted it on a daily vlog so that my fans could be a part of the journey. So, stay tuned! New music comes out on Friday, November 27!
What is your songwriting process like?
I get in the studio with producers and songwriters, we choose a beat and we start creating the lines. We choose a concept for the lyrics and record and write until we find the perfect match we feel is good!
Let’s talk a bit about philanthropy. What humanitarian work do you champion or have undertaken in the past?
I support UNICEF in fighting for children’s rights, Save the Children Romania for equipment in hospitals for the newborns and Let’s Do It, Romania! – the biggest national cleanup action in Romania to get rid of garbage.
In your view, what key social issue needs to be seriously addressed in your home country?
Investment in education, eradication of poverty and pollution.
To sign off, what do you hope to accomplish outside of music that you probably haven’t yet?
To have my own family!

Photographer: Andrei Via

About Haider Rifaat: a writer for Arabian Moda, South China Morning Post, OK! Pakistan and Good Times magazine. He is an actor and also the creator and host of Pakistan's first web talk show - The Haider Rifaat Show. He can be reached via instagram and twitter.