Tomorrow, Romanian female superstar, INNA, will release her second single, titled “Iguana” from her fifth studio album, “YO”, following up previous single “RA“. We’ve been following her career since 2008 when she dropped debut single “Hot”, so it’s been a true honour to interview her about her upcoming LP, which is set to be released in 2019.
INNA’s real name is Elena Alexandra Apostoleanu, and she has been building her career for over 10 years. She gained international fame from her debut single “Hot” which charted all over the world and led to success with songs “Amazing” and “Sun Is Up”. Over the years she’s featured stars Flo Rida on “Club Rocker”, Daddy Yankee on “More Than Friends”, J Balvin on “Cola Song”, Pitbull on “Good Time”, Alexandra Stan and Daddy Yankee on “We Wanna”, Eric Turner on “Bop Bop”, and The Motans on “Pentru Ca“, whilst featuring herself on Carla’s Dreams’ “P.O.H.U.I.”, DJ Bobo’s “Everybody”, Pitbull’s “All The Things”, Sam Feldt’s “Fade Away“, The Motans’ “Nota de Plata“, and Dannic’s “Stay“. In the past two years she has released the singles “Heaven“, “Gimme Gimme“, and “Ruleta” featuring Erik, all of which have over 100 million YouTube views. Overall, her channel has 2 billion YouTube views with “Yalla” being her most-viewed video with over 300 million views. To date she has released four albums “Hot”, “I Am The Club Rocker”, “Party Never Ends”, “INNA”, and “Nirvana“. Her fifth studio album, “YO”, is set to be released next year, it has spawned the first single “RA“, and tomorrow will see the release of the second single “Iguana” after her teaser of the music video a few days ago; these releases are in collaboration with the record label Roc Nation. “YO” also becomes the first album INNA had creative control over, having written them herself, and will be her first full Spanish-language album.
We had the amazing opportunity to interview INNA about her single “RA“, her new single “Iguana”, her upcoming album “YO”, her career to date, her merchandise, being a part of supergroup G Girls, and being a coach on Vocea României Junior. She reveals all in the interview below.
Hi INNA, thank you for taking the time out for this interview. How are you today? What have you been up to recently?
Hello, thank you for this interview. I’ve been busy, travelling a lot, promoting the first song from my album “YO” called “RA”. I started the promo tour in Mexico, with interviews, radio shows, TV shows and a show at Estadio Azteca. After that, I spent a few days in Los Angeles, right now I am in Vegas, getting ready for the Latin Grammy Awards. I’m so excited! This year, it’s been great: a tour in the USA, Canada, shows in Mexico, working on this album, new music and sound.
Your brand new single is called “RA”, can you tell us more about the song?
“RA” is the first song I released from “YO”, a song I consider my mantra, about ending a toxic relationship and moving forward. It’s a different sound, with a powerful video and I hope it’s a good start for my fans to understand this new chapter in my career.
For our readers who don’t understand Spanish, what is the song about?
It’s about a woman who decides to let go the relationship she’s been involved and move on to a new chapter with courage and open soul.
What does this song mean to you?
It’s my mantra, as I said, a song about self-confidence, power, faith.
Can you tell us what it was like to write the song?
I worked in the studio with David Ciente, the producer of the entire album and as I said in the trailer of the album, it was like a universe I knew I had inside coming out in words and lines and music.
A lot of people have noticed that this song is more of a ballad in comparison to your upbeat club tracks. Why did you decide to choose this new style?
I didn’t decide this, it just came out naturally. I heard a beat, I started mumbling words and lines and working and working, it turned out this way. David did his magic.
You also recently performed the song on stage at the 2018 Telehit Awards in Mexico, how was that?
Yesss, it was amazing, celebrating 25 years of Telehit together with Mexican fans who are amazing and extremely loving. I had a great time and I am really grateful I was there.
The single has been released by Global Records under exclusive licence to Roc Nation. How did Roc Nation get involved?
I started the collaboration with Roc Nation for this album “YO” and I am extremely excited and honoured about this partnership and their full support in promoting my work and music.
The music video has been directed by NGM Creative’s Bogdan Paun, what is he like to work with?
Bogdan Paun is an amazing director, it’s a pleasure to work with him, it’s calm, creative, nice and together with Alexandru Muresan, the DoP, the videos turned out great. It wasn’t easy, but I am excited about the results. Can’t wait for you to see them all!
What are your thoughts on the music video? What story does it tell?
It’s a simple, clean video, but strong and empowering.
The song is taken from your upcoming album “YO”, can you tell us more about it?
The album includes 11 songs, it will be released in 2019. I shot 11 music videos for each song. I am really excited. The other songs, besides “RA”, are “Iguana” (next release), “Te Vas”, “Contigo”, “Fuego”, “Locura”, “Si, Mama”, “Sin Ti”, “Gitana”, “Tu Manera”, “La Vida”. Totally new sound, music!
What five words would you use to describe this new album?
Sensitive, YO, artsy, real, love.
What can we expect to hear on the album? Will there be more ballad tracks like “RA”, or should we expect some more upbeat club tracks like your previous hits, or should we expect something totally different?
The tracks sound differently, some are more ballad, others more energetic. My next release is gonna be “Iguana”, on 30th of November. Can’t wait for you to hear it! It’s crazy!
What made you decide to record a full Spanish album?
It just came out naturally. I was in the studio, with a cerveza, listening to some instrumentals from David Ciente, I started with some lines and then, it turned out really easy to write the lyrics in Spanish.
As you said, there will be a music video for each of the tracks on the album. Each one involves a different character. Where did this idea come from?
Yes, I shot 11 music videos for each of the songs from the album. Some of them are already edited and I love them! They are an important part of who I am.
Since “RA” is the official first single from the album, that leaves “Me Gusta”, “Pentru Ca”, and “No Help” as stand-alone singles, we’re sad to know they aren’t a part of an album – just like “Heaven” wasn’t officially included in an album. How come you decided to do that?
“Pentru ca” and “No Help” were not in the vibe that the whole album has, I felt I would release a material that sounded in a certain way. You will understand when you will listen to the whole album!
Talking about “No Help”, this song was released before “RA”. Can you tell us more about that song?
“No Help” is part of the sound my fans are used to. It’s a dance song that reached 18 million views on my YouTube so far, my fans love it! I shot the video in Morocco and Los Angeles.
Are there any plans for it to be released in the UK? And, as for that matter, we still haven’t had the “Nirvana” single release in the UK either, are there plans for this track to also be released here soon?
For the moment, no. But let’s hope we will meet more and more next year.
You recently wrapped up your US & Canada tour, how did it feel touring over there?
It was great, I had a great time, enjoyed it a lot!
Any plans to tour anywhere else? We’d love to see you back in the UK.
I would love to come back in the UK. Hopefully in 2019!
What’s your favourite thing about being on stage and touring in different countries?
Different people, a lot of good energy, love, happiness, different cultures. It’s an amazing feeling and I am grateful every day, for my life.
That reminds us. When you were in Turkey back in May, the stage collapsed. We felt for you on that day, and we’re so sorry it happened to you. Can you tell us what that experience was like?
It was scary, for a few seconds, I didn’t understand what happened. It was kind of shocking, also thinking it could have been worse. But I am grateful it turned out this way, with no other severe injuries. We learnt something from this ugly experience: to pay even more attention to the stage at soundcheck to make sure these kind of incidents won’t happen again.
We know how much you love gigging all around the world. What cities and countries do you hope to visit next year?
I cannot wait for my shows in Australia! I would love to tour in Brazil, Argentina, India.
Is there a place you haven’t been yet where you would love to go and perform?
I would love to perform in Brazil, Argentina, India. In 2019, one of my dreams will become true: I will perform in Australia!
Last year you performed at many festivals including Gran Canaria Pride, can we expect you to perform at more festivals soon?
Yes, I will perform at festivals in 2019! 2018 was full of shows and festivals, I had a great, great time!
This year also saw you return to Vocea României Junior (The Voice Kids Romania) for the second season. What’s it like being on that show?
It was beautiful, intense, with tears of joy and of sadness, but overall, a good experience!
This year, Maya Ciosa won, who was on Andra’s team, this means you haven’t won the show yet. If you were to return for a third season, would you be even more competitive?
I would promote the same values to my kids from my team: to enjoy music and the show, to learn as much as they can, to have fun and to work and work and work. They are super talented kids, some of them write their own music, Voicu from the first season is the main actor in an HBO TV series. I am really proud of them! Love you all, if you read this!?
Talking about that show, the first season saw you had your team join forces for the song “Kids In Town”, which we still love today. How did that come about?
Yes, I wanted to offer my team a gift, a song we performed together and also with LORI, team’s vocal coach who worked alongside, she is amazing. Also, the kids sang it with me on stage at Hard Rock Cafe in Bucharest. They were super happy! I plan to do the same thing with my team from the second season!
Talking about supergroups, are there any plans for G Girls to come together again and release a new song and music video? We simply adore “Call The Police” and “Milk & Honey”.
Wow, thanks! That’s so nice! Yes, I think we will release a new song in 2019! People enjoy G Girls!
You’ve worked with some top names in the past, but recently you’ve worked with big DJs Sam Feldt, Sak Noel, and Dannic, and we loved the Marco & Seba track. Are there more collaborations to come?
I have some collabs planned for the Romanian market. For the international market, I will let you know as soon as they are confirmed.
Other big names you’ve worked with include Flo Rida, Pitbull, J Balvin, Alexandra Stan, Juan Magan, Antonia, Daddy Yankee, amongst many others. If you could release a song with someone you’ve worked with before, who would it be and why?
Well, tough decision, really. I would say J Balvin for this new album and sound.
You also released “INNA Nirvana” T-Shirts on your website, which follow-up your “I Am The Club Rocker” t-shirts, do you plan to release more merchandise in the future?
Yes, sure. I work on new items in my merchandise collection, inspired by “YO”, the songs, the visuals of the videos.
Back to your new music and “YO”. Where did you come up with the name of the album?
I worked on this album in the past two years a lot and I feel it’s a part of me, about feelings, emotions that were inside me all this time and they were about to be released.
When I thought of the name…I felt there was no other name better than “YO”. Me.
Have you decided which song will be the second single released from “YO”? And what can we expect from it?
“Iguana” will be released on 30th of November, a song full of passion and energy, about love, of course. Can’t wait for you to hear it!
We can’t wait to hear it. What has been your highlight from 2018? And what has been your career highlight over the years?
I think the partnership with ROC NATION from this upcoming album “YO”. The release of “RA” and “Iguana”, my first two songs from the album “YO”. My USA and Canada tour.
Over the years: my concerts all over the world, collaborations with international artists like J Balvin, Yandel, Daddy Yankee, Pitbull, some of my songs became hits and conquered the charts, judge at The Voice Kids.
And, finally, your love of your fans is so lovely to see, do you have a message for all your Club Rockers around the world?
I love you! Thanks for your love and support! It’s been an amazing journey and you’ve always been there for me! Stay tuned for what’s next, because I have a lot of music!
We can’t thank you enough INNA for taking the time out to answer our questions. We cannot wait for the release of “Iguana” tomorrow and your new album, “YO”, next year. You sure have got us excited for next year, what with the new album, new merch, a possible G Girls track, another song from your kids from the second season of Vocea României Junior, more tours, and more features. We’re so ready.
INNA’s “RA” is available to download and stream right now through Global Records under exclusive licence to Roc Nation. The second single, “Iguana”, will be available tomorrow, with an accompanying music video released at the same time. As we all wait for the new album, “YO”, which will be released next year, why not listen to her hit songs, below.