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  Katarzyna Nosowska speaks:  


"Life is not a tube of paste " Bookmark and Share

December 2011

One of the most respected vocalists in Poland, Katarzyna Nosowska just released her latest solo album "8". She debunks myths about herselves, explains why she does not like politics and reveals from what she darws positive energy in a short one on one with Agata Żurawska from Polska Times.

For many Poles you are almost a cult figure. It's a nice feeling?
I hope that labeling me as a cult figure is closely linked with the fact that my work brings the people in a good mood. I believe that while listening to my music I feel that I take care of them. If I am important to people that is nice. Besides that, I think the label is a bit unjustified, because what I'm doing more outside of singing my songs?

What can we expect from your new solo album, "8"?

It is, as usual, an important album for me. I try to talk about what is dear to me, what I know well, and in fact in itself I am the only topic. This CD is a photographic record, without retouching, events and emotions that came to me over the last two years. This is an attempt to throw off these emotions, confined in a small form of verbal and musical output. And all of this to go on with live and gather more experience.

Compared to your previous albums that seemed to suffer from chronic depression, this one is quite positive.
Of course! In one song I even express admiration of life. Slowly, timidly trying to refute the myth that I am a person permanently depressed and searching for the dark sides of reality. This is not entirely true.

So Kasia Nosowska also has happy face?
I am happy and I can admire my surroundings as a child. Just because a couple of times I wrote a sad text somehow got me stuck with the image of a somber person. When I was younger I said that I was sad and really, I'm just so in a sense. I feel that I am deprived of a protective layer. This makes everything I experience really going through me. Reality touches me hard sometimes, because life is not a tube of paste. I'm oversensitive, but that does not mean that these sad moments are interspersed with moments when it really is wonderful.

On your latest album, I found the song "Poland" most interesting. It describes the lady, a metaphore for Poland, as "a patchwork of regions". Why the combination?
I have the impression that we want to unify on a national scale. Some say that "unity" and "Poland" are two words that are together, and I think it's not entirely true. Our country is not composed of a homogeneous mass. Polish people and the Polish regions are individuals and each one is different. And hence this patchwork.

Nowadays the fashion is among artists to express themselves on political issues. Why do you seam to avoid these conversations?
I am not at all interested in politics. First, I do not know much about it, and I do not want to know. Politics does not interest me, unless it affects me in a direct way. In general, I feel that politics corrupts the people who come in contact with it. Even if they are righteous and ideologically sense full, their agenda changed as if they took a sip from the poisoned source. I pity those people who are having a pushing force in the world of politics.

In view of the new album, a tour coming up?
From mid-October to the end of November we toured Poland. In December, we play a few gigs with Hey (Kasia’s band), then I am going on a trip for myself.

What region of the world are you going to?
This time I'm going to Vietnam with my family. In Asia we were last year, and Vietnam was one of the stops of the journey. Since we then spent very little time in each country, we want to turn to investigate it further.

These trips give you energy?
Whenever I come back from a trip to another part of the world, for some time I stay under its spell. I'm happy then and regularly just go out into the streets and want to say "hello, life is great."

Above is a translation of an interview from Gazeta Wrocklawska, for the original click here. For more info on the new album see our review or about Nosowska go to her page.

  Jeanne Mas speaks:  


"I take everything serious except myself" Bookmark and Share

July 2011

Jeanne Mas, the interpreter of the 80’s hit ‘En rouge et noir’ is back with Bleu Citron and back to her electro-pop sound, both melancholic and danceable. Mischievous and laconic, the singer responds to questions from Fleur de la Haye of RFI Musique from her home in Arizone USA .

How did you end up in Arizona?
I moved to the United States in 2005. I lived three years in California and then, during a stay in Arizona, I felt I had found "my land". What made me from France was the lack of artistic freedom. I found it here.

What is the title of the new album Bleu Citron about?
This album was born as a refuge in times of distress. The colors are symbolic. The blue is hope, purity and communication. The lemon is this acidity that we take of the vitamin.

Writing the final version, how was this album was conceived?
The only major step in writing an album is to feel the urge to do so. Then, for this album to be as sincere as possible, we do not let others get involved too. I surround myself with people susceptible to defend what I want to do, but I'm the only one to decide everything.

You have entrusted the arrangements to two young Ukrainians. Who are they and how did you work together?
Both artists wanted to stay in the shadows. In Ukraine, they mostly make film music. I do not know much about them. The communication went through email. Their talent is essential to me. My office has contacted them after discovering their work on the web. We bought the rights and I started to work. The vocals were sent by file and mixed in their studios.

Why this return to your old sound after a detour through country (Be West in 2008) and dance (The Missing Flowers in 2007)?
I did not feel the 80’s side when writing it, I chose the arrangements that made me creative and I worked on it. My albums are a reflection of my life and my life, there is never anything repetitive, so rock, country, disco and pop: who cares, as long as I take people in my travels. If the sound of the album remembers of my 80’s years, fine. They were magical.

Each of your albums, which follow closely enough yet, we talk about your "comeback", how do feel about that?
That's funny. It is probably that for some part ... I really am coming back

In the ballad ‘L’Aigle blanc’ you sing, "Let me live with my illusions." It is a personal cry from the heart?
Is Illusion not the source of our freedom? I could not live without the illusion that everything is still possible.

The clip of the title ‘Les dimanches’ was "home made". How was that being achieved?
The first video shoot was a disaster. We had a script ready: the scene, the costumes, the beautiful actress, who had already played one of my short films, and we finally found the young actor. I wrote a simple comedy around the theme of seduction. The actress, her partner and draw meaningful kiss, made blockage and abandoned its role and set. It took me a while to rework the script and I'm directing. We had a lot of ways, a small team but all great people. It was very nice. I love to laugh. I take everything serious except myself.

You have decided to do without the services of a record label for this album. Is this really a good choice in terms of visibility?
It's easier. Since I am independent, I learned to do many things and I like that. Bleu Citron has a distributor that offers the same exposure that a major and then there are the sales through the web: Itunes, Amazon ... All is well.

A tour is planned?
Um, too soon to tell you more.

Above is an excerpted translation of an interview from RFI Musique, for the original click here. For more info on the new album see our review or about Jeanne Mas go to her page.

  Josipa Lisac speaks:  


"People said I was abnormal" Bookmark and Share

June 2011

When somone has been in the music scene for 42 years it is easy to mistake and think that everything we know about her. But when it comes to Josipa Lisac that might turn out different. In 2010 and part of 2011 Josipa Lisac perfomed with the Ulysses theatre group in the improvised play 'Pijana novembarska noć 1918´. Croatian newspaper Nacional caught the singer and asked her some intimate questions about her motivations doing a theater piece and more.

Are you sorry that you are no longer present in the theater or on film?
Not that I did that much. With Karl Metikoš I played in the rock opera 'Gubec-beg " - in which Josipa plays the role of Jana - At the turn of the decade I even played in the film directed by Sasa Vojkovic 'Tri metka za susjeda Gerbera' (Three bullets to the neighbors Gerbera). But why I did not act more? To hire a person like me, you must be very brave. I love challenges and risks. Like in Los Angeles I sang in a jazz club two to three songs and a director looked at me and called for an interview. Not that anything happened, but he recognized something in me. And beautiful Mani Gotovac who I have known all my life often said, "Josipa, you're living theater." She had the idea to participate in the " Splitskom akvarelu " while she was Split, but it never came to that. I'm quite demanding of the theater.

However, your performances are a kind of theater.
Yes, I have to improvise. I never write things down on paper. It's like stand-up comedy. Just recently I participated in Vincenti in Istria, in the castle Savičenta and I told what I had to go through to get there. Well, that is witty, I love humor above all else. On the islands there are a lot of funny people.

With theater Ulysses (the theatre group she toured with in 2010) you led an almost communal life. How's that for you?
My first encounter with them was several years ago on the island. I came there for his peace and quiet. They wake up late, wakes up one in three in the afternoon, the other wakes up at five, the third woke up just before the show, and the fourth did not sleep. They are not as boring as I am, I go to sleep immediately after the show. But it's a bit of a hippie commune. I need nine hours of sleep in peace so to sing beautifully. I'd like to drink a glass of wine or a fine drink, but if you perform the next day I'll leave to that. In this group they can drink a whole bottle of brandy and perform even better. Amazing. But they respect me for who I am.

Does that mean you do not have vices?
Good god, I'm not perfect. But today's life style I just do not desire. Compared to today's lifestyle I might live in a "slow motion", but this is my normal rhythm. You know, I would be happiest to be teleported from your living room to the stage. When we think of it, if that technology is realized, it would be very helpful to me. Traveling is very difficult to endure and toures are challenging. When compared to sport, my concerts are like a biathlon. In the two hours I go through various costumes, there are four octaves, and the rhythm jumps up and down, and everything must be perfect if you want to convey emotional messages. I want to transfer the message to people I do not call the audience but also my friends.

Are your HRT beginnings in the choir maestro Dinka Fia responsible for your perfectionism, self-confidence and freedom to experiment with musical styles?
These experiences were extremely valuable. We sang a difficult repertoire, from the processing of old songs by Monteverdi madrigals and "War Requiem" by Benjamin Britten, to koledarskih songs. I sang in the choir of seven years, maestro Fia was extremely tough but it was very, very good. It is so fascinating to hear each of us and developing our range of voices. I was a contralto. There was not much praise. It was then that humility was a virtue and not like today when some even considered a weakness. I often wonder how some people are so arrogant, why so many of us want when so little is needed to truly be happy.

Allthough you dislike career compromises, you're not fleeing from collaborating with young people with a very different musical expression?
I love cooperating, among the first was the cooperation with Bajagom called "300 na sat",  and with Dinek I made this duet 'Rušila sam mostove od sna', and hen we have the group Boa with whom I recorded 'Kao mir'. I want a collaboration to have a meaning. Sometimes I have to thank for a cooperation, it's nice they thought of me but it would not have worked. I'm quite picky.

Have you ever felt that someone wanted to misuse a duet for personal gain?
No, not in one of the named acts did that out of greed. The remix of  "Na na na na," with Recimo Cubismo was a hit, they were made famous by it, the whole year people danced to it. But we did not anticipate that at the start. Or when I was called by this wonderful sweet rapper Marin Ivanović Stoka and he offered me a collaboration on the song " Ritam grada ". When I heard it I really liked it. And he's such a sweet guy, so it was a collaboration. And the cooperation with maestro Igor Kuljerić was one of the most valuable. We reworked the Karlovy compositions for symphony orchestra in 1994.

Is it hard to be ahead of time?
Somehow I learned to deal with that. For example, the early 80s I appeared in the media with fitness and posed with a dumbbell. People said I was abnormal. It took 15 years, the mid-'90s and now it's a part of life. It's become a business. The album with maestro Igor Kuljerić '94 was a noverlty. Six years later Joni Mitchell released an album with symphony orchestra and she get´s a Grammy.

Do you remember when you were first given the title of diva and how do you respond to that?
This is a newer term, and I don´t really like. I have my name and it is much stronger than diva. It´s a bit of a hype to call singers diva´s. I have my own name thank you very much and it says it all.

You decided early on not to be a mother, but you are often in the company of young, I saw you on your web page you get e-mails from 15-year-olds.
Of course, young people like me, I deal with ´cause I understand them. Maybe they are detained with their parents and open to where their feeling takes them. I get letters on various topics where my people confide in me. Feelings are important. Young people are honest, they want love, be loved. And to experience love is the greatest reward. I love you today, even more than I loved yesterday, or about 20-30 years.

Above is an excerpted translation of an interview from Nacional, for the original click here. For more info on Josipa Lisac go to her page.

  Raf speaks:  


"Nowadays we think in terms of numbers and less in human factors" Bookmark and Share

June 2011

On Italian pop-singer Raf new album it's all about numbers. The actual ones and the ones they symbolize. Julia Zichella spoke to him about his vision on the latest developments in music and how he looks back on his own career. And of course his new album 'Numeri'.

For starters, the title of your album 'Numeri'(Numbers), what does this mean?
I told Frankie (Hi NRG, ed) when I suggested him to participate in the song, I said "Look, I wrote this song, this is part rap, I have a title, called ‘Numeri’”. He understood from the title what I meant with this song and started to write. We used to do statistics, we are used to count, to make surveys, nowadays we think in terms of numbers and less in human factors. There are increasingly forgotten identities, histories, cultures that are behind those numbers. Identities, histories and cultures that seem increasingly unwilling to share, learn and understand. I always use keywords to give the title to my album, numbers seemed to me the key word of our time.

In the song that gives the title to your new album, you work together with Frankie Hi NRG (as said), but also with Nathalie, why them?
Frankie is an old friend and having a important part of this song, I turned to what they consider more close to my way of looking at life, I felt comfortable entrusting in him. Nathalie instead is one of the most interesting voices in the Italian music scene in recent times, it is also interesting to her as a person, and the fact that she came out of a talent show is proof that, sometimes, even by those shows come up with real talent.

What do you like the music that's out there?
A little 'everything and a bit of nothing’, I love great music old and present. The nineties, began a sort of "pretty hard," but nothing more. I have no specific references. It is difficult to imagine, at least for those of my generation, to find ourselves as a reference to the younger generation. But the use of music changed/ Now you sell a few records, you enjoy composing and writing it, and then it is increasingly exposed to free use and it becomes disposable. Consequently, the musical productions of today are less deep, less thought about, except of course some things, but they are niche projects.

Given these changes in the music scene you have kept the same approach as always?
I can not work in another way and I would like to continue working that way. Like me who grew up with vinyl, with a different approach to music, can not but feel a sense of discomfort today, as if we were missing something. But I would like to continue along this road, I do not know for how long (laughs) because they are no longer a kid. At best, you can change course, if you feel you can not help but make music, you can do it in another creative direction, but with the same methods, do not ever change yourself ... the idea of ​​turning out singles and upload them on a network puts me in a sense of anguish.

In the lyrics for the new album I feel a strong personal growth, which then translates into a growth in composition. It 's that feeling correct?
Look, I do not know. All I know is that I want to look for a profound change in particular behavioral level, I think it is necessary, especially today in a society that continues to run towards something elusive, becomes more and more greedy. And all this to meet the needs of everyone. We are captured and drugged by everything that’s available and for this we are slaves. I simply believe that we should all take a step back and try to appreciate the true and ancient values within us all, because I see no other possible solutions.

Returning to the album, musically it is a very direct and serious album.
You know, when you have to make choices as an artist you have two possible solutions: taking into account of what will be the audience that listens to you or just don’t give a damn. In my love for music, which is strong, I sometimes wonder if do not limit myself in what I write and taking the audience into consideration. Sooner or later I'll think I will try not to take this into account, but for now still I obliged myself to make an album that is Raf and lives up to certain expectations. I take into consideration the audience, but with the same love and respect for myself, getting the songs that I like. A bit best of both worlds.

But you worked like that in the past, getting styled?
When you're a kid you do not realize the mechanisms, then when you grow up and begin to think and you say "wait, these compromises are too heavy," and so you feel sick every time you promote a record, or singing a song that you can not hear properly yours. It becomes frustrating if you have love for the things you do and, despite everything, would you rather give up. And then you assume the risk of doing different things, or give up. Luckily I'm still happy with my music and I am still satisfied.

One of the new songs is ‘Born to the needs of others’, is that about this time?
I will deliberately not be to specific in this response. Let’s say that at the initial phase of my career I had to record and share with co-authors. I was a boy who came from the Cantine Rock scene and he wanted to live rock ‘n roll, and to do so I tried to discover this world, one of pop music. In this cooperation I was the used because when I started they were much more experienced than me and then all those songs, the fruit of that collaboration was almost forced upon me, it was not exactly what I wanted. Then from a certain point, say from ‘Cannibali’, I slowly learned to work out my own style of making music.

Above is a translation of an interview from PopOn.it, for the original click here.

  Yelle speaks:  


"It's just our philosophy of life: enjoy, have fun" Bookmark and Share

April 2011

Doing their electro-pop routine across stages in Europe Yelle found the time to answer some questions from RFI’s Nicolas Dambre. Yelle, consisting of singer Julie Budet backed up by notorious sidekicks Jean-François Perrier, aka GrandMarnier Destable and Tanguy, alias Tepr. Known for their energetic performances the band answers what is gets them going

Julie explains: "It's just our philosophy of life: enjoy, have fun. Yelle was feminized and it became my nickname! "

Yelle's first album, Pop-up, was a lightfooted album with lots of talk about boys, unrequited love, parties ... wrapped in an electro-pop dance tune, very synths. ... 80s.
After three intense years of touring, the trio locked up three weeks in a cottage. Julie recalls: "We needed to find our balance without putting too much pressure on us to return home, in the routine of daily life: drinking coffee, grocery shopping ..."

For this second album, Yelle has worked with the German producer Siriusmo. As the trio, the producer of techno is a child of the Net, naturally the internet helped their collaboration. "If the club music inspires us, we remain in a pop format" Tepr explains. GrandMarnier adds "pop is full of stress in its construction. There must be something strong, an instrument, a chorus, a rhythmic ... It must be purified, it is much more difficult than adding tracks. The song ‘Drop it like it's hot’ by Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams is a stroke of genius as it is clean! "

Tepr and GrandMarnier and have an interest in American rock, but the former also listened to labels like Warp and Ninja Tune, and the second was recently interested in Caribbean music and French popicon Etienne Daho. Julie recalls: "I listened to many songs, rock or traditional Breton music as a kid. I remember the first album of Daft Punk purchased by my brother, it was a big slap."

Why is Yelle so successful outside France? "Maybe because we came up with spontaneous songs and a lot of energy on stage. This kind of music, sung in French by a female voice a little high pitched, it was not there at the time of the first album " is Julie’s analysis.

In France, Yelle seems more elusive. The explicit-lyrics-could turn teens first degree, or second in adults. "The words sometimes include a double meaning, the apparent naivety is often, on songs like Unillusion the reality of human ties, or switches off the sun, which evokes the end of the world"  GrandMarnier says.

Still, almost three thirtysomethings still demand the soul of a teenager. "Adolescence is the discovery of freedom, while keeping the safety of parents, they are full of insights. But more than an adolescent group, I think we're a girl group" believes GrandMarnier.

Click here for our review of 'Safari disco club'. Above is a translation of the interview from RFI France, for the original click here.

  Marianne Rosenberg speaks:  


"It is about life as it presents itself to you" Bookmark and Share

April 2011

Last month we saw the vibrant show of Marianne Rosenberg at the Huxley Theatre in Berlin. And she pulled of a stomping show consisting mostly of material of her new album 'Regenrhythmus' laced with some material from 'Luna', 'Uns verbrennt die nacht' and 'Spiegelbilder'. The people who turned up for a schlager show had a tough time especially with the more cynical and dark lyrics of the new songs. Prior to the show Manuela Kay had a brief one-on-one with Marianne for the gay-website Siegesäule.

Your new CD is so very sad. So I was amazed that the first single "Rette mich durch die Nacht" quite atypical for music's and is billed as "Disco-Fox."
Marianne responds: Well, as Disco-Fox I would not describe it, not at as disco ... It based itself on the international market, to Katy Perry or those sounds. If you say though, this song is not a typical for the album, you hit the nail on the head.

Had to be so, because of the old hit-Images?
What can I say? Yes, we had to! Actually, my heart in the album is exactly the opposite. This is the perspective from which I start walking now - and be content. There are only three or four songs about love. The rest is about life as it presents itself to you, what tears you off everything and acts in effect, against itself. I also mean myself. But something like environmental policy. What we have we achieved is ridiculous! Who would have thought that we discuss today again about nuclear power plants and there are demonstrations again.

We have both worked in the late 80's. With Marianne Enzensberger you put together the show "Rouge et Noir. No one wanted to believe that the "Aunt Pop" made such a cool show.
There were also hardrock fans present at the show. It was a time of self-awareness helped by, for example, Rio Reiser. He knew all my LPs what surprised me totally. I then thought: my goodness, with all these fans I cannot stop me. Since I did not wanted to be just an image of Marianne I’d taken musical route not an image, so I could meet people who looked at me for my music and without a picture in their head.

The text of the promo company to your album you're standing, "the best friend of the lesbian scene" - is that true?
The times I leave open the question whether I am the best but I'm sure a girlfriend.

Do you have lesbian experiences?
No, I've never been a woman in love. I would not mind, actually I have only found it logical, as I have grown up am so. There was a time in my career where many thought that I'm gay because I had no husband. But I had no husband, because I never had the opportunity to do so. I was never alone, I was always on tour. I did for Bravo even thought of a. I had to really remember, so I can describe the plays again right at the next.

The song " Verliebte Jungs" on the new album is a song about gay love?

Yes, I have never made songs for the gayscene. At that time songs like ‘Ich bin wie dü’ (Marianne’s international hit of 1976) were not written by myself but could be explained as a gay theme. That is now for the first time an explicit song about gay men. A very young first love, who still believe, that try to keep it up.

Click here for our review of ''Regenrhythmus'. Above is a translation of the interview from Siegesäule, for the original click here.