INNA is an international EDM phenomenon from Romania. Her house-influenced dance records have made clubs, speakers, airwaves, and concert-goers around the world come alive for years.
For the European icon, it all started with a hit 2009 record called “Hot.” In 2012, INNA became the first European woman to reach 1 billion YouTube views. She currently has over 3.5 billion views on YouTube—that’s more than Madeon (311 million), Flume (981 million), Kylie Minogue (820 million), and Diplo (960 million) combined.
Not bad for a singer from a small seaside town in Romania.
Stats and facts aside, INNA just wants to make people happy through her music. Although the nature of dance music is predicated upon making people feel and express emotion, INNA’s songs send a special kind of dopamine to the brain. With each note and lyric she transfers some of her happiness to listeners like an electric current, like when she released her seventh studio album Heartbreaker, which was written and produced in three weeks during the pandemic.
In an exclusive interview with EDM.com, INNA sheds light on the album, the EDM scene in Romania, and the sultry music video for her single “Maza Jaja.” She also tells us about how she deals with bad moods, avoids controversies, and operates as a multilingual artist.
EDM.com: How are you doing and how is life in Romania right now?
INNA: I’m fine, thank you. Right now, life is getting step by step back to normal. We no longer wear masks on the street. Restaurants, theatres, and cinemas are open. Shows are starting and this is really exciting for us, as artists.
EDM.com: Congratulations on the release of Heartbreaker! Can you tell us what elements make the album a special one in your discography?
INNA: I am happy about Heartbreaker. It’s a special project we did in a very crazy way. Three weeks, one house, talented producers and songwriters who are my friends, and my team from Global Records.
We all gathered and started working on music, but we also had fun and documented every day on my socials. It was a crazy ride, but at the end of it, I have 10 songs and one album that I’m proud of.
EDM.com: The music video for “Maza Jaja” is finally out—what can you tell us about the record?
INNA: It’s one of the songs that also got such good feedback from the public. It was also one of the songs that I wrote super super fast and we all started dancing like crazy. We loved it instantly!
EDM.com: Where was the video shot?
INNA: We shot the video for “Maza Jaja” in Dubai, where we also shot the video for “Flashbacks.” We had so much fun, it’s one of my favorite videos I did recently.
EDM.com: Your music videos are so creative! Do you play a role in the direction and aesthetics of your videos?
INNA: I’m so glad you say that because I am very involved in the creative process together with my amazing team from NGM Creative! I love our brainstorming sessions, but I also love to be surprised by their cool ideas and concepts. It’s a dream teamwork.
EDM.com: You have such a lively personality and lifestyle. How do you deal with low moods?
INNA: Thank you so much! I have bad moods as well, rarely, bad days. But I try to stay surrounded by my friends, nice people. I try to go to the studio and transform this mood into a song maybe. I do things I enjoy like skateboarding, walking, maybe going on a spontaneous trip, or watching a movie.
EDM.com: You’ve been a public figure for over 10 years and have brought nothing but good vibes to the industry. How do you stay out of controversies?
INNA: I just focus on my music, my mission, and my plan to make people happy through my songs. And because... this is who I am! I love to travel, to love and feel loved, to focus on my passions. These are my main priorities. So, no time for controversies.
EDM.com: Let’s talk about the music scene in Romania for a bit. Other than yourself, what Romanian EDM artists are making waves in the country?
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INNA: Minelli, Sickotoy, Vanotek, and Bastard just to name a few. Really happy for them, they have been working really hard in the past years.
EDM.com: For readers who would like to visit Romania, how can they experience the rich EDM scene in the country?
INNA: Well, in Romania, we have festivals that are big like Untold, Neversea and SAGA Festival that will take place this year in Bucharest for the first time. If the pandemic eases a bit, you can enjoy great shows here in Romania. Hopefully, we’ll meet soon in my country!
EDM.com: How many languages do you speak? And how do they influence your music?
INNA: I speak English, Spanish, Romanian, a little bit of French. I also speak a few words in Italian, Arabic, and Russian. It helped me create music in different languages than my native one and it also made me connect easily to different countries and people. It’s amazing how music brings us together.
EDM.com: Do you think the treatment you receive as an international dance artist differs from that of your American and British counterparts?
INNA: I am lucky to have a lot of support for me as an artist and for my music as well. I tend not to focus on this, I believe a good song changes everything, a worldwide hit. And I’m working for this.
EDM.com: Since the release of “Hot,” you’ve made the world dance. Although you’ve always wanted to make music, were you always focused on creating dance records?
INNA: It just came out naturally this way because I am very energetic. I love this genre, it suits me and I worked with a lot of producers who were inspired to create dance songs for me.
But I have always experienced and tried different genres. I wrote an entire album in Spanish that is more Latino, I did features with DJs and artists, because music is universal and I love to taste its flavors.
EDM.com: We know you’re always working on something new. Are we getting a music project from you this year?
INNA: Yes, for sure. Actually, I’ve been working a lot in the studio for new music. In the past month, I released a lot of songs that I hope you’ll enjoy listening to. The first one was “Cool me Down” with Gromee, the leading Polish DJ… a summer song.
After that, I released “Oh My God,” a song I wrote and recorded during the lockdown. I also shot the lyric video then but it didn’t see the light until now. And of course, a big collaboration with Alok and SOFI TUKKER that I’m still super excited about. It’s titled “It Don’t Matter” and it’s a crazy song that makes me dream of shows on big stages.
EDM.com: If you weren’t making all these exciting dance songs what career path would you have followed?
INNA: Well, I studied political science, but for sure, I wouldn’t have followed this career (laughs). I am passionate about photography, makeup, hair styling, fashion, and I love to be the voice of characters in cartoons.
EDM.com: What countries do you look forward to performing in once the global pandemic eases up a bit?
INNA: I would travel everywhere. I am super excited to get back on stage, to travel the world, meet my fans and maybe go to countries I have never visited before. I really miss my fans, their energy and how the music brings us all together.
EDM.com: You travel a lot and you’ve spent time exploring many parts of the world. What are your top 5 travel destinations?
INNA: Costa Rica, Maldives, Japan, Mexico, Spain, USA, and many many more.
EDM.com: Your Instagram is filled with so much great content. What are your tips for taking perfect Instagram photos?
INNA: Really appreciate your kind words! I am really passionate about Instagram and also taking pictures so I’m trying to come up with cool ideas, to enjoy all the places I travel to, the people I meet, the great experiences I live in my life. I don’t know if I have any tips—just make sure you have a good camera or phone, imagination, and some ideas that represent your style.
EDM.com: What’s one thing everyone assumes about you that isn’t correct or true?
INNA: That I have plastic surgeries (laughs). Actually, I answered a lot of myths about me in one of my vlogs from Dance Queen’s House on YouTube. Enjoy!