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New Star Statements / Inna Modja

 

 

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www.innamodja.com

 

 

 

 

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Inna Modja

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Inna Modja

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Inna Modja

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Inna Modja

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Inna Modja



 

Photocredit: Marco Silk

 

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Biography - Inna Modja

 

Inna Modja has feline eyes and a velvety voice full of soul.  The 2nd album of this young song writer and singer is due to come out on November the 7th, 2011, and she has already offered us a catchy little single to rock the summer away: FRENCH CANCAN, MR SAINTE NITOUCHE.

 

This soon to be released album, LOVE REVOLUTION, is a little less acoustic than the previous one, and uncovers a new dimension of the singer, who's managed to keep her fresh outlook, but often with a touch of melancholy. Inna Modja opens a colourful range of musical cravings that are simultaneously crazy and impressive, powerful and instinctive, with orchestral arrangements and the intimate sound of a piano and a guitar. Be it an effort to rehabilitate love, or a look into happy and unhappy daily events affecting the lives of each one of us, LOVE REVOLUTION is the work of an inquisitive, sensitive and creative artist. Some of her new tracks even blend some French to her English lyrics, something she hadn't yet dared to do.

 

Inna was born in Bamako in Mali, and quickly developed a lively and playful temperament, a bit on the wild side, so that she could fit in among her 6 siblings. Her father is an Oxford educated Malian diplomat who spent many years in the UK and collects albums by Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Ella Fitzgerald or Billy Holliday.  Her mother is from Guinea and loves traditional African music, such as that of Myriam Makeba, but also the work of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. As for her brothers and sisters, they grew up to the sounds of disco and pop music, before discovering the 90's US rap, Soul, Hard Rock, Jazz and Blues.
Not hard then to understand why music is so important to Inna.


The entire family moved to Ghana, where the wild little 6 year old was enrolled in many activities, such as karate lessons, painting classes, dancing and music school, in an effort to channel her exuberant energy, and the house quickly filled up with the songs she learned at choir. The nickname "Modja" was given to her by her mother and means literally "Little Pest" in Peul. It stuck to her and she finally chose it as her artist's name.


After some years the family moved back to Bamako. By then, Inna is an outgoing and friendly young teenager who's writing her fists songs. At 15 she has mastered her voice, which has taken on some deeper tones, and dreams of becoming a singer. She decides to knock at the door of Salif Keita, the famous Malian singer, who's taken aback by such audacity. He rapidly falls under the spell of her willpower and her voice. He sends her to see the Super Rail Band De Bamako, a band of senior swingers, of which he himself is a member, and to the musician and singer, Habib Koité. In the midst of all these artists, she rapidly learns the way a band works and how various instruments interact musically, as there are no musicians in her own family.

 

At the age of 18, Inna moves to Paris to study literature and languages before turning to business studies. At the same time she's recruited by a big modelling agency and works as a model for 8 years. In Paris and New York, having met graph artists who initiate her to Street Art, she goes from glass painting to painting on walls!


Today still, living in Paris, she has kept her passion for various forms of art and expression, and when she's not busy writing songs, she's off somewhere shooting short movies with her friends. There is however one final challenge she must overcome before fully becoming a singer. She has to learn to free her soul and body from an ancient wound. Unknown to her parents, she underwent excision at the age of four, like her sisters. Inna does her very best to get by while living with these horrific memories. This situation soon proves to be unbearable, but a surgical operation gives her back her physical integrity and opens a new direction in her life... Some years later, she becomes one of the patrons of Tostan, a humanitarian organization that fights to improve the lives of African women.

 

In 2007, five demo tracks convince Warner to sign on the young singer. Her first album, EVERYDAY IS A NEW WORLD comes out at the end of 2009 and the name, music and voice of Inna Modja quickly become a revelation at the crossroads of pop, soul and folk music. Some time later she makes the acquaintance of Alexandre Azaria, a musician and song writer with whom she records, in 2010, a cover version of Life, the hit song by English singer Des’Ree, written with the help of Prince Sampson who will send Inna a little congratulatory note. She then gets Alexandre to work on some of her songs, with no particular purpose in mind, just for the love of music. Their collaboration will lead to a true complicity and finally to an entire album.
One day they write a song together. The next, they enjoy a glass of saké or a cup of tea, while chatting and listening to the old Blues, Rockabilly and Motown classics.


Alex Azaria, who played in a variety of bands, such as Le Cri de la Mouche, Niagara or Indochine, has since made a name for himself writing the scores for many films. The collaboration of these two artists is rich in harmony and spontaneity, and gives rise to the songs that make up this album. "Alex trusts in my instinct and I have much admiration for his talent. While recording in the studio I have learnt to let my audacity run free" explains Inna.

 

In a mixture of pop and brass band sounds, the song Big Apple was written by Inna on a grey morning full of cross-Atlantic yearnings, and blends gospel choirs and guitar rhythms. In Emily, the lyrics talk of an encounter in a train with a young woman and her daughter who miraculously survived the earthquake that killed their entire family in Haiti.


French Cancan, Mr Sainte Nitouche, is the first song of her second album and the hit of the summer of 2011, revealing a mixture of pop and soul sounds: it's a perfect remedy to gloom. It's both mischievous and refreshing, with lyrics in English and French. Inna also takes pleasure in playing with the words and lyrics of her songs. The title Kinks In My Hair (a reference to her natural style), is a statement of her pride of being herself in a overly standardised world; Ex-Girlfriend is about clingy ex-girlfriends, whereas  You Love Me, reminds us that loved ones are never alone, even in the most difficult moments.
The album LOVE REVOLUTION will warm your spirit and your soul and is sometimes reminiscent of the music of Morcheeba and  Macy Gray…

 

StarStatements.com möchte sich bedanken bei:
Inna Modja
&  Antoine Pretet ( WARNER MUSIC FRANCE )

Frank Gerber

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