DirectLyrics Interviews Alexandra Stan: On Second Album, New Single "Dance", Speaking Spanish & Romania Tourism!
Ms. 'Saxobeat' herself, Alexandra Stan, is back! It's been three years since she released her debut album "Saxobeats", and now in 2014 the Romanian pop singer feels like it’s the perfect time for her comeback. After signing a new deal with Fonogram Records in late 2013, and leaving in the past a very dark episode in her personal life (which prompted the label and management switch), Alexandra hit the studio to start coming up on ideas and sounds for her sophomore album, and of course start with the recording process. Alexandra’s album #2 has three official singles to date: the first single “Thanks For Leaving” (Alexandra’s first ballad and with the lyrics inspired by that dark episode occurred last year) was released in April, the J-Pop-inspired second single "Cherry Pop" hit iTunes in May and most-recently, the new and third single "Dance" become purchaseable on all digital platforms and streamable on Spotify earlier this month.
Alexandra definitely wanted to bring a new sound for album #2. Nevertheless, she hasn’t fully forgotten about her musical roots. “Thanks For Leaving” was power pop ballad (no ‘saxobeat’), "Cherry Pop" was a J-Pop song (no ‘saxobeat’), however for single #3 “Dance”, Alexandra IS bringing her ‘saxobeat’ sound back and it feels glorious hearing it again! "Dance" is Ms. Stan's official single for the Summer 2014, and just after giving it a quick first listen I knew this is going to dominate Europe’s dancefloors this hot season!
DirectLyrics recently caught up with Alexandra Stan for an exclusive interview, and we discussed everything! From the new music, last year’s dark episode (fortunately, Alexandra’s totally moved on), to the new music, a possible duet with fellow Romanian pop singer Inna in the future, recording songs in Spanish or Bucharest tourism.
DL: 1. Hi Alexandra! Thank you for doing this interview with us!
Alexandra Stan: My pleasure!!
2. Let’s break the ice! Where are you answering this Q&A from today? And what’s your day been like?
Right now I’m on the Cherry Pop tour in Japan, answering these questions while drinking some lemonade! My days have been pretty busy so far; I’ve had a concert last night, so now I just want to relax with you guys. I hope you’ll go easy on me!
3. I was recently in contact with your record label and they told me there is a new Alexandra Stan album coming very soon. Will it be out this year? Can you venture a month?
Yes, that’s true, I’m launching a new album this year, quite soon actually. We’re not revealing the launch date yet, but it’s safe to say you won’t have to wait for TOO long.
4. How far are you into the recording process of the album? Almost 100%-done?
Yes, the album is almost done, we’re working on the final touches right now. I really like the result and I’m so eager to launch it.
5. You have enlisted the help of new producers for your second album. Alex Cotoi, Sebastian Jacome or Erik Lidbom. What does it feel like to start working with a new group of people?
Working with new people is always good, it can become very creative. It comes with a new positive vibe, you get to have new experiences. I enjoyed the studio hours and I loved working with these amazing people. When we’re all there in the studio we have so much fun that it doesn’t feel like work. That’s why we work till sunrise, almost every time.
6. Before we continue, there is something we’d like to ask about very quickly. Last year was a bad year for you personally. We don’t want to get into the details with you at all, but only want to ask you... have you totally moved on? Are you a tougher woman now? Loving to feel FREE again?
Difficult experiences like that always change you and the beautiful thing is that you get to choose how you let them change you. I had to take some time to figure everything out, in both my personal and professional life. And with the help of my friends and family, I made the right decisions, chose my new path and became stronger in the process.
7. The first single from your second album was the ballad “Thanks for Leaving”. It is very powerful record with a very straightforward “you did me wrong, stay in the past!” message and I think it is Alexandra Stan's first proper ballad too. The inspiration of the song seems pretty evident. Was this an easy song to record and what are your feelings like when you perform it?
This might sound like a cliché, but I expressed myself best through my work. “Thanks For Leaving” is a song that I had to do and had to sing, it carries such a strong emotional message for me. It talks about how important it is sometimes to just let go of things and move on. I feel like I’ve done that. I know others relate to the song’s message too, so I do hope it has helped them do the same.
8. The second single was “Cherry Pop". The song (which you co-wrote) definitely has a J-pop inspiration and the music video too! How did the J-pop influence come about? Do you like J-pop music personally?
It’s true, “Cherry pop”is a J-pop song! It’s a music genre I haven’t approached so far, but one that fits my style. I find J-pop music very energetic, it’s got such a positive vibe to it.We all got pretty excited when we first thought about doing a J-pop song and we’re all very happy with the result.
9. The third single from your upcoming album has just been announced and premiered. It’s called ”DANCE”. “Dance” sees the return of your famous ‘saxophone’ sound. Are you happy to bring it back? (For one moment I thought you were going to leave it in the past!) Who produced/wrote the song?
Oh, I’m really happy to have the Saxobeat vibe back, I missed it! I just love the sound of the saxophone in ”Dance”, it brings a certain charm to the song.
The song has a very nice story actually. Last year I was in Paris and I just began humming the song, then singing it. It was amazing, the lyrics got stuck into my head! It got further developed by my team at Fonogram Records, Alex Cotoi and Mika Moupondo, both awesome producers and part of my team.
10. “Dance” sounds like a bona-fide European summer smash. It's my favorite single out of three you've released so far. And a perfect release for the summer! What are your expectations with the new single? #1 of course?
I am confident that this song will be appreciated by Alexandra Stan fans around the world. We’re actually starting to get proof of that - “Dance” reached 1st place on the iTunes Dance Chart in Japan a couple of hours after it was launched. I am very happy with this song!
11. I was surfing through YouTube the other day and saw an interview where you spoke in Spanish! I didn't know you speak Spanish! That's amazing! How did you learn that? And when will we have a Spanish/Spanglish song by Alexandra Stan, please? Has that ever been discussed?
Haha, believe it or not, I learned Spanish from watching TV. As a little girl I kind of loved watching Spanish soap operas. Funny and true! I also speak a bit of Italian, which I learned from watching movies. I wouldn’t say no to singing a song is Spanish, actually…
12. What are your Top 5 songs of the moment?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I love listening to new stuff, and it’s also part of the job description! If I were to choose the first that pop into my head… Sia – 'Chandelier' (and boy, that video is amazing!); Arctic Monkeys - 'One For The Road'; Y’akoto - 'Without You'; Jason Derulo - 'Wiggle'; and Drake - '0 to 100'.
13. There’s a question I strongly want to ask you. Just as curiosity! Alexandra Stan and Inna are Romania’s biggest pop stars. Romania should feel proud of both of you. Do you know Inna personally? Would you be open to record a duet with her in a future if the opportunity arose?
Yes, I do know Inna; we’ve met at different concerts and other events! I really respect what she’s been doing lately and would definitely be open to a collaboration!
14. You celebrated your birthday last month (June 10). Happy belated birthday! What did you do that day? Got any special present?
Thaaank you! I chose to spend my birthday with my family and close friends whom I don’t get to see as often as I’d like. It was a relaxing day I enjoyed it to the fullest. I got a lot of awesome and meaningful presents. I love presents that carry sentimental value, they’re the best!
15. I've never been to Bucharest and I think I should! What would you say to someone who hasn't been to your country yet?
I`d tell them that Romania is a country that is worth visiting! Everyone who comes here raves about the nightlife (and rightfully so!). The scenery in the mountains is really impressive. I was born at the seaside, in Constanta, so I obviously love the beach. The Danube Delta is amazing too…You really should come over, you’ll love it!
16. Thanks for your time, Alexandra! Best of luck with everything! Any last thing you would like to share with our readers?
They should stay tuned because my new album is going to be launched soon. They can follow my official Facebook page, for updates regarding my activities and concerts. I love you all!