INTERVIEW: Irena Hart
By Cyrus Rhodes
I recently had the privilege of reviewing the latest CD from Ukraine born Irena Hart entitled Heart Strings (2011). From start to finish this latest release is a rock solid production. It’s extremely likeable and danceable - and will suck you in like a drug. It’s strength the impressive songwriting, modern-day marketability and infectious vocal presence by Hart herself. Make no bones about she is a marquee talent and one would be wise to keep a watchful eye on her over the next several years.
"will suck you in like a drug"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
IMD How would you describe your music and overall writings style?
IH I am a self taught musician and a song writer. I write from the heart and create my best work. When I least expect it. Typically I write the lyrics first and then find the melody – but I have a few songs where I did the opposite and one that came to me in a dream complete with music and lyrics. I can put my lyrics to many musical styles and I have done that. I love to experiment and allow the creativity to guide me. I also tend to have a positive outlook on life and so my lyrics are generally positive.
IMD Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?
IH Jewel, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Madonna, Linda Perry
IMD What was the first song you ever wrote?
IH “Out of Time” – It is about wanting to escape from the life that you know. I have it recorded in a Rock and Roll style.
IMD So you’re originally from the Ukraine?
IH Yes, I was born in Kiev and come from a musical family. I speak Russian and have written some Russian Hip Hop songs. I moved to USA when I was 12 – right to CT – it took me 3 months to be able to pronounce the word Connecticut – after that it was all down hill from there.
IMD What’s the main thing you want fans to take from your music?
IH To follow their hearts and to believe in love.
IMD What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
IH I love going to concerts and it is very difficult to just pick one, but in August of 2010 while on a national tour that I was actually on for Harmony4kidz – I met Bob Dylan’s stage manager and lighting manager and was invited to watch Bob Dylan’s concert that happened to be right down the street from where I was staying. I got to see Bob Dylan right from the control booth in a small outdoor theater in Jackson Wyoming underneath a star lit sky. Bob Dylan, who is one of my favorite artists, was really on that night and the experience was truly unforgettable.
IMD Is there a song that stands out on this release as being your favorite on your latest album?
IH I really love this album and practically every song on it, but if I had to choose my favorite, I really like the song “Almost” because I like the beat and I can listen to that song over and over again.
"I love connecting with the audience and to feed off their energy"
- Irena Hart -
IMD I really enjoyed the title track “Parallel Dimension” and “Deeper Everyday” could you tell us a bit more about those pieces?
IH They are both based on true stories. “Parallel Dimension” is about someone I had a really wicked crush on but we were only acquaintances and led separate lives. Every time we would speak, I felt as though time stopped. It was a really powerful feeling, so I had to write about it. “Deeper Everyday” was also influenced by a love interest. I was performing at a show and he walked by the stage. The idea for the song was born at that very moment. I wrote the song a few days later - remembering the feeling of that moment. The song is a story about what I wished for us to have if we would ever end up together.
IMD Can you tell us what you like most about performing live?
IH I love connecting with the audience and to feed off their energy as I perform each song. I love to make the audience laugh and to draw them into the story of each song. I love it when the people relate to what I am singing about and talking about. I love to see them having fun and enjoying themselves. I enjoy performing with other musicians on stage – it is truly a natural high.
IMD How is the Music Business in your neck of the woods? What’s the best and worst things about working in the LA area?
IH I actually live in CT and perform in CT and NYC. I did a lot of my videos and photo shoots in L.A. and the producer of Heart Strings lives in L.A… I love L.A. very much and L.A. definitely loves me. I always get a very good vibe when I come to L.A. for my music. Personally, I think L.A. is the best place for an artist to be because there is more work there and you can gain more experience quicker in L.A. I also like the way everyone is really relaxed as opposed to NYC. As for my neck of the woods, CT and NYC – being an independent artist in general requires a lot of perseverance. NYC is full of opportunity and you have to be in the mix and put your music and your talent out there, if you want to make progress. I am always thinking of what’s next and what else I can do to push my music career to the next level.
IMD What’s next for Irena Hart? Any major touring?
IH I am working on my next album at the moment. I have a few music video ideas as well. I love making music videos, by the way. I also have been working on a screen play, entitled Bermuda Road. I just finished another round of edits and it is really taking shape. It is a feature film and I am very excited about how it is turning out so far. I am also excited about working with Popcore Entertainment and Rick – we will be promoting Heartstrings single in Long Island area starting in February and we have some cool surprises for Valentines Day. I have a new duo act, Valiante Hart – and we are working on some new styles of writing and performing as well.
Interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
Copyright © 2012
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