In-Grid describes the jump from jazz to dance music, shares her life values from the perspective of her qualifications, and depicts mad things that happened to her onstage.

in-grid interview
source: In-Grid’s facebook page

Her first music memories are tightly tied to the silver screen. Her parents used to own a movie theatre, and Ingrid would often help them in her free time. That was the place when she was surrounded by soundtracks. “Composers like Vangelis, Ennio Morricone… and also Flashdance, Footloose, Staying Alive soundtracks,” she describes her first influences. The first album she has ever got was a rock one, though – and it was “The Final Countdown” by Europe.

I remember I asked my father to buy their album for me because I was in love with the song called ‘Carrie’,” she reminisces. “I was already a romantic little girl.”

The namesake of Ingrid Bergman soon started practising in a church choir. Later, she prepared the broad repertoire of jazz standards to perform in piano bars. She unexpectedly dived into dance music from a boat somewhere in French Riviera. That’s how she started using her non-native language to write lyrics, which she described as a formula that worked well.

I wrote my first song in French because I was in France on the sailing boat when my label asked me to do it. It was a hit, so I kept on singing in French. I’ve got many songs in English, though,” she admits.

The singer doesn’t have any role models. “I like to build up my character according to my feelings. To be unique and with my own personality,” she says as she explains the rules of her life: to be down to earth and ready to give love to who deserves it.

Musically, she picked the artists that set her on the right track and had a big impact on her straight away: Sade is the lounge artist that she admires the most and when it comes to dance music, she was influenced by Madonna, George Michael and Michael Jackson. In jazz, Billie Holiday became her biggest inspiration. Ingrid pointed also to her album – “Blue Moon” – as the one which she would use to describe herself. She defined herself through the eyes of an Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore as well, with “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” as her life-changing film. The singer doesn’t confess any extravagances, but she considers her love for burlesque music and acts, along with her passion for hats, to be her guilty pleasure.

Besides being an artist, Ingrid was also a scholar. Nevertheless, she didn’t pick anything connected with arts and bravely went for philosophy as her degree choice. Why did she want to embrace the secrets of the universe, existence and other matters that are difficult to describe and resolve? There is more than just one reason behind it. “The search of the human mind, the need to understand more about human’s behaviour and interest for the different approaches to life and the meaning if it,” she explains. Nevertheless, her dissertation summed up both areas which she is keen on. “Mimesis as Make-believe” by Kendall Walton inspired her final writing on representational arts. The theory of the key role of imagination in deciphering the true meaning of art is the one that she strongly associates with, picking the book as the one which defines her personality well.

So what qualities the singer-philosopher would put together as the ones which definitely help with surviving on the way per aspera ad astra? “Firstly, being humble, professional, always studying. And trying to improve. And a bit of luck, of course,” she says. “Secondly, a bit of irony that I always use during my performances.”

The latter may be a treat that lets her cope with all the awkward situations, which happen onstage, with a dose of humour. The performance during Air Show in Radom in 2006, when the vice-president of the city decided to complement her performance with his drunk attitude and God-likeness, wasn’t the only one. “Every show is a different story. I’ve had so many funny experiences in my career that it’s really difficult to pick the best,” she claims. She does love the unusual places to sing: performing on the boxing ring or in front of aquariums with sharks isn’t something extraordinary for her. One of her favourite memories is dancing the tango with Sylvester Stallone. He showed up to one of her gigs and was lucky enough to be called on stage.

I was searching in the middle of the crowd, what I usually do, for a sexy man to dance to ‘In-Tango’ with,” she reminisces. Another memory wasn’t that pleasant, though.

I did a great show years ago in a Chicago theatre for the Polish community. In the end, I invited everybody on stage,” she relates. Obviously, the effects of her reckless exuberance can be easily imagined: “People were so enthusiastic and happy that they pushed me out of the stage. I fell down and was rescued by a bodyguard!” she says.

So far, the vocalist recorded 3 dance and 2 lounge albums. This year, she teamed up with a French producer again to record “J’adore”. How would she describe her comeback record?

It’s very dance-like and perfect for the upcoming summer,” she says.

Kasia Kwasniewska

Editor in Chief

Loves reading, watching films, eyeing (and producing) good design, listening to music and stuffing her face with chocolate whenever the opportunity arises. Cooks from time to time, and drinks far too much coffee to be a normal human being. Liked my work? Buy me a coffee!

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