SORAYA - THE INTERVIEW (New album, Eurovision and lots pop type stuff)

You are pretty much an icon in Spain. And have a growing cult following from London to Sydney. How does that feel?

Very proud, I love to hear from my people from all over the world. To see how they follow my career and to share thoughts!

With the release of Dreamer, your most recent release, the title of the Spanish Queen of Pop was yours! Was that your intention?

No, that wasn’t my intention. With each new project, I always try to take a step forward in my career as a singer, not to win titles but to improve as a professional. That is a must for me.

Listening to all of your albums, its clear you love pop music!

Hahaha yes, to tell the truth, pop has always been a genre of music that you can adapt to any moment, it always makes you happy and always gives you the chance to dance along. Maybe it’s what I’ve grown up with and what I most listened to.

Yes! So Soraya: the teenage girl! Growing up, who influenced you the most?

The ones I most listened to, that I sang along to in front of the mirror, were great voices like Celine Dion, Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey.

With the 5th album being another an extreme pop explosion... Do you look at international artists for inspiration?

To be honest, I pay attention to people who are very different to me, people from outside Spain… I travel a lot, which allows me to see and listen to new musical styles. Lately Sweden is a country that has given me a lot, musically speaking. But I don’t let myself be influenced. I know that my style is very personal, I don’t like to copy. I want to bring something new to music. Kylie is another of my favourite singers, perhaps not for her voice but certainly for her elegant and very well crafted presentation. I had the opportunity to be with her at a festival in Paris and she is charming, a real angel.

For me, your break-out album Sin Miedo was amazing. What was it like recording the album?

Sin Miedo
was my first quality step into electronic-dance music.
I took the world of the dance floor very seriously. There were mostly Spanish-language tracks, something well received in my country since I normally sing in English. It was my origin in electronic music, we chose mostly foreign tracks and some were translated into Spanish. The visual impact was also very important. I surprised people with my short platinum-blonde hairstyle that has since been widely copied in my country. It was an album that brought me much happiness and a great tour.

You can hear that! So what was your favourite memory of that album?

The Sin Miedo video, recorded in a cemetery with a cinema camera and the photoshoot for the album, by the photographer YOYE who managed to find me the image that was perfectly suited to the musical style I had found.

It includes the song Angel Caido written by DJ Sammy which was my all time favourite from that time. It's a big epic dance song that hints what your next album was going to sound like. What was your favourite song from that album?

I really enjoyed a lot of great moments with ‘Para Ti’. I loved singing and dancing it on tour, I think it is very rhythmic and incredibly catchy.

Mouths dropped when you performed La Noche Es Para Mi. It was clearly a winning song! And then the result did not reflect this. It was a massive shock throughout the world. What did you make the entire Eurovision process?

We knew that La Noche Es Para Mi was the perfect song for Eurovision and so we entered it into the national contest. It seems the country agreed as they selected it to represent Spain in Russia that year. The experience was generally positive, I got to live unforgettable moments of great musical quality. Without a doubt it was the most incredible stage I have ever performed on in my seven year career. After nearly four years, I am over the result, which wasn’t great but the experience was worth it. 300 million viewers watched me that night and there’s no better
publicity than that.

With your recent album, Dreamer, it was like a big massive statement that you were back and ready to dance. What was your approach when starting to record Dreamer? Was it always going to be a dance album?

Every record is a step forward in my career and I force myself to always give something more, better quality, better presentation. The style was a natural evolution from Sin Miedo, but this time including Spanish and international DJs.

Are there any songs recorded for Dreamer that didn't make the final cut?

None, we put in all those we believed to be the best. For this new album released in September, I’m having more issues like this: we have so many good songs that I’m going crazy deciding which ones make the final cut.

You performed an amazing Vogue at Madrid’s Gay Pride. How was that?

Performing for the Infinita Party during Madrid’s Pride festival was a luxury: an incredible stage, a fantastic audience, magical costumes… it was a very special day… it flew by, and we’d spent a long time preparing it. I really wanted to make that tribute to Madonna, a great one among the greats.

It was amazing! Will we ever get to buy/have your cover of Vogue? I loved it!

Hahaha, no I don’t think so but it’s a track that I always perform in my most electronic P.A.s, among them those at Amnesia in Ibiza. I always dedicate it to the women on the dance floor.

I live part-time in Chueca and the music I always here in and around the bars and cafes is always your album. How important is your gay fanbase?

They are everything, they are my most exquisite audience, the one that makes me want to outdo myself with each new record and the one that forces me to adopt different carefully designed styles with each performance. My most faithful audience. I adore them. They bring out the diva in me.

Does it upset you then when you see in certain places around the world where freedom is not for all?

Fortunately we’ve made great progress and lgbt people are increasingly accepted. We have normalized this topic in all areas. I never really perceived any difference myself, it has been normal for me for so many years that I don’t understand why some people still insist on seeing something different.

Dreamer – the album – has a much more adult dance sound.

Dreamer is, in my opinion, without a doubt my best record to date. I surrounded myself with very good professionals, I had the time to seek out good tracks, we planned a more electronic concept with a much more thought-out image. Above all I really looked after the details. The album also shows more maturity, each record is a step forward.

Did you want to record an album that made sure every song was a perfect dance anthem?

Yes, every time I make a record I intend to make each track a single. I need every song to be incredible and that the audience falls in love with all the songs. I take a long time deciding the tracks that end up on the album.

Talking of the future, how is the recording and writing coming along for the next album? What can the fans expect?

I am still selecting what goes in since there are so many great songs and I’m going crazy having to chose. I already have the next single for May, it’s called CON FUEGO (with Fire). It’s a track that comes from L.A., in Spanglish, very sensual and very danceable, just right for summer. The image concept is also ready, I just need to record and make it a reality.
I dare to say it is again a step forward in every aspect of my career.

Will it be an extension of Dreamer? Dance? And will it be English or Spanish?

Indeed it is a new evolution towards quality, towards good music. A logical evolution from Dreamer, there will be tracks in English and tracks in Spanglish… we’re even thinking about having a track in both languages on the album.

How do you and your AnR team select songs for the next album?

Very simple: it needs to make my hair stand on edge, from the first listen it needs to have something that hooks me and that has a different sound from what I heard before. The lyrics are also decisive.

Does the next album have title yet?

The title is the last thing I put on my records, it’s the cherry on top of the cake. When everything is ready, the title emerges by itself… it’s the inspiration from all the finished work.

So random question time! Monica Naranjo! She famously did an entire album celebrating the Italian diva Mina, called Minage, that included many covers. If you were to do a tribute to Monica Naranjo which songs would you love to cover? Personally, I’d love to hear you record your version Amor y Lujo or Desatame?

I’ve had the opportunity to sing some of her songs, such as Sobrevivir√©, a difficult song. I think Monica has made many songs great but “Empiezo a recordarte” or “Amame o dejame” perhaps show a more devoted, enamoured Monica.

For 2012 do you think you’ll go on a tour? Touring your six albums?

Without a doubt, always on tour!! This tour will have more exotic sounds, motivated by the song “I believe” from the movie Mirror Mirror for which I have sung the theme song. It’s a track with Bollywood touches that has marked a watershed in my career.....


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