If 2012 was the year the dance world first met Irina, 2013 is the year the Russian singer will become synonymous with a slick synthpop sound that has swept America. Her debut single, “Something About You,” stormed the internet over the summer of 2012--racking up over a million views in just six months since it debuted. Now, the Moscow-born singer, currently based in Los Angeles, has her sights set even higher with a new Dave Audé produced single and video dropping this year.
“We liked each other so much that I wanted to work with him more,” she said of her experience with the Grammy nominated Audé, who remixed her “Something About You” and co-wrote her forthcoming single “Last Kiss,” along with dance music star Luciana Caporaso.
“Dave brought inLuciana and her husband, so we all worked together,” Irina recounts of the experience in the studio. “We had such great chemistry and the song came together quickly.”
“Irina has some great rock and pop sensibilities about her and I have found that she takes full advantage of it as a vocalist and performer,” says Audé of Irina. “As a producer you like to see that kind of passion and energy from people you are working with.”
Irina hints that her song with the famed producer/DJ, known for his many remixes and production work with pop artists, is “amazing” and that she’s excited to share the offering with fans this year from Las Vegas to Miami (the performer plans to play club dates around South Beach’s Winter Music Conference and also 2013 engagements in Sin City).
“I love performing live,” the beauty says, recalling her homecoming show in Moscow at the ‘Ello’ Festival at Gorky Park, where she performed to tens of thousands last year.
“It was a great experience for me,” she said. “The crowd was very warm towards me…they were screaming and shouting.”
Americans will likely also be screaming for Irina live in 2013 as well, if teaser shows in Los Angeles at bars such as West Hollywood famed gay bar Mickey’s are any indication (early reviews were strong in 2012).
“I’m Aires and it’s all about fire for me,” she laughs.
So who is the mysterious blonde who lit up the internet and continues to surprise pop and dance fans across the United States?
Born and raised in Moscow to a very
cultured and intellectual family, Irina was encouraged to follow her dream from
a young age, and she began taking the first steps towards harnessing her
talents, starting with dance and music lessons as a child. Irina explains: “[it was] all I’ve ever wanted
my whole life.”
In order to support her true passion, Irina first pursued a career in psychotherapy. Though her work as a therapist partly fulfilled her lifelong desire to “bring happiness to people, even when they’re broken,” Irina felt she“had to start living out my own vision” which was a music career.
Cue a move to Los Angeles, a city where the singer feels a spiritual, creative and professional embrace.
“LA is a very particular city for making music,” she says. “All the creativity is there…. Los Angeles has the most talented people working in show business and it gives me a lot of space to create.”
And while Irina has lived in Miami and London in the past, she says “LA has changed my point of view….there are so many styles of music and there is every kind of shelf in this industry and each shelf has its audience.”
And while Irina has been soaking up Los Angeles’ myriad sounds lately, make no mistake: the diva’s formative years were informed by international DJs playing Moscow long before ‘EDM’ became popular in America.
“It was crazy,” she says of Moscow’s club scene in the 1990’s. “For me, I grew up listening to and dancing to Erick Morillo, Bob Sinclar, Scooter, Prodigy, Paul Oakenfold and Sash…I’ve been listening to these DJs for ages…I was more into euro techno, but always completely dance music. “
She name checks Robert Miles and East 17 as two other influences.
Irina’s love of dance music led her to develop a passion for GLBT causes, and she remains an ardent supporter of GLBT causes in both Russia and America, despite Moscow’s often cold shoulder to gay and lesbian openness within the music world (many popular stars in Russia are still not able to ‘come out of the closet’).
“It’s ugly because they have to hide it, people shouldn’t have to hide it,” she says of the current climate in Russia for gay musicians. “Everybody has the right to love each other if that’s what they like….who cares, nobody should punish you for that.”
Accordingly, Irina has not only contributed to GLBT causes, but she has also stacked her team with friends, who happen to be gay.
“I work with a lot of gay people and they have the most interesting points of view of what we are creating in my career,” she says.
Luckily for fans, both gay and straight, Irina worked hard in 2012 to establish herself as a force to be reckoned with on the scene in The U.S., tapping top talents to help her realize her goals such as groundbreaking choreographer Mikey Minden (known for his work with the Pussycat Dolls) and vocal coach Ron Anderson (who began working with her immediately after training Tom Cruise for his upcoming role in the film adaptation of jukebox musical ‘Rock of Ages’). Their work together has thrilled countless boosters on You Tube via her debut music video.
Irina’s team, driven by the star’s unquestionable drive, is a larger part of her vision for an international dance music takeover, and she even flew her new friends over to Moscow to show them that vision at the Ello Festival in the fall of 2012.
“I brought all my American dancers with me,” she said, “it was their first time to Russia and they loved it.” And fans in turn loved her, leaving Facebook comments and You Tube comments by the thousands.
“I’m a very social person,” Irina says of her networking online, where she answers fans on the social networking websites.
“Music is my life,” adds the former songwriter for Russian pop stars who is now striking out on her own.
“This is all I want now, is to perform,” she says, hinting that she has some surprises in store for 2013.
“I grew up loving rock music like Guns & Roses, but actually we might even convert a Bon Jovi song into a dance version, because I also loved Bon Jovi,” she says with a smile before adding: “I also love Kylie Minogue.”
With the energy and strong songwriting of anthemic rock songs coupled with the sex-soaked synths of dance/pop titans such as Kylie, there is no telling how far Irina can go this year.
“When you are following your dreams and not looking back, you are getting stronger,” she says, adding that the most powerful manifestation of her dreams is performing her music live.
“When I feel the energy from fans it’s the most amazing feeling in the world,” she coos. Her fans, growing in number every day, feel the same, and are riding along with Irina’s Russia to America adventure, every step of the way, as 2013 unfolds.