MUSIC-NEWS: You were a Eurovision singer up to 2002. On returning from a great success (in the lead up to the last vote), you shocked a Nation on returning and launched yourself as , Ira Losco the rock chick. How did you manage to do that?
IRA LOSCO: Well , my first love was always alternative music and rock. The chance to represent Malta came by fluke when I was asked to sing songs for Maltese composers, which seemed to be the only outlet for Local artists at the time. Thank God this has changed and local music is being given the appreciation it deserves. So all I was doing when I came back was being me! So I guess I managed by dishing out the genuine truth! There’s nothing better than honesty and a lot of people welcomed it!
MUSIC-NEWS: 2007 / 2008 were outstanding years for you and your Team. You dominated the Maltese music scene with some memorable performances. How would you describe these years in one sentence?
IRA LOSCO: They were years of very hard work, determination, picking ourselves up when we were down. The industry in Malta is still in its very early developmental stages. So, sometimes it’s very frustrating.
MUSIC-NEWS: 99 % of the Maltese public have always wondered why you are not a Signed artist abroad after your Malta achievements. Is there anything planned beyond Malta in 2009. Malta and Gozo hold their breath for your answer Ira?
IRA LOSCO: Being signed to a record label is not what many think it means. The label has to put you on the shelves to actually distribute your music outside our shores. There are a lot of technicalities that a layman would not understand, so it can be very frustrating to answer questions such as this one. To give you a simple example. A band like 'No Doubt' was signed to a record label for 10 years,..10 whole long years , before an album was released on their part. Also one cannot ignore the crisis the music industry has been in for the past 5 years!!! IT makes it all the more difficult to infiltrate any market. It’s not as easy as just living in a territory you want to break. Nonetheless I was signed to Sony/ BMG and had had my music released in Germany . The music industry has changed drastically this last year. Just to give you an idea my management were asked to fly to MILAN as they offered something very interesting but to our surprise the Mother company went through a complete re- structure due to the change of model adopted in the record deals. The industry as we knew it 2 years ago has changed drastically so thankfully my management have adopted a new structure and strategy to keep up with the imposed changes.
MUSIC-NEWS: Your recent concert in launching your new album 'Fortune Teller’ was an enormous success. This must have taken so much hard work. How do you handle all the pressure?
IRA LOSCO: I guess it’s just knowing that I’ve always wanted to do this. One must also keep a realist approach at all times. Pressure is there if you create it for yourself. A bit of stress gets the job done, but letting it control your life is detrimental. Moderation in everything is the key to success.
MUSIC-NEWS: During the last few years, you have had a huge success in Malta. Being the best selling artist of all time has also made you the idol for thousands of local fans. Are you close to your fans or are you the type 'Get away from me’ singer?
IRA LOSCO: I have always been approachable, I love to talk in general, so when a fan or anyone really strikes up conversation with me I engage in it full heartedly. Just yesterday for example a woman, plastered me with wet kisses. I just think it’s lovely that people have that appreciation for any artist. I love people, my character has always been like that. It’s always nice to feel the support from those who follow your music. So I’m definitely NOT a 'get away from me’ singer.
MUSIC-NEWS: Recently you headlined a YMCA huge gig in Prague, news of which we exclusively published. Being a headliner sounds Glitzy to me. Was it what you thought it would be?
IRA LOSCO: It was all I thought it would be and more. There were youngsters from all over the world, so it was the perfect opportunity to keep increasing my fanbase. The audience were amazing, the setting was beautiful and The Artful Dodger was playing at the After Party, it was quite wicked. Being given a chance to headline festivals with more than 1000 audience abroad is extremely hard.
MUSIC-NEWS: Official photos of late show a lot more of your band than just Ira Losco the rock star, by herself. We also noticed that you had a recent change to your band. Will this mean that in 2009 we will have an 'Ira Losco band’ rather than Ira Losco on the billboards / magazines?
IRA LOSCO: Even though I have an album titled 'Fortune Teller’ I’m not one to make predications for the future! I’ve just always believed that to have a band who share the same love for the music and stage as you do, is vital. To have session musicians there just for the ride on the band wagon or just there for the money does not impress me. The change in line up was due to differences and ego, which plays no part in my outlook towards music. If someone has an ego, it’s not going to be me, I can assure that and it’s not going to be any of my band members. Thank God, we don’t have that problem, we’re just a bunch of friends enjoying the music and performing!
Some members and our team and crew go back 4 years now so its quite like a family really.
MUSIC-NEWS: Rumours spread fast in Small Islands such as Malta. A current rumour is that 'Fortune Teller’ was not as successful in the record shops as were your other albums. Is this telling us that your Album is suffering from the Global economic downturn or from illegal downloading / piracy? Or is it telling us Something else?
IRA LOSCO: Well that’s a new one! Hehehe Fortune Teller is actually better than Accident Prone in Sales and in radio chart placings . Its been only 3 months since the release and normally an album takes 2 years to maximize and peak. The figures compared to Accident Prone show an increase of 30% to date but there’s another year to go . I have diverged to a somewhat different style to Accident Prone possibly not as commercial , but I’ve had a string of number 1s since its release. 'Something to Talk About', 'Don’t Look Down' and 'Idle Motion' the first three singles shot straight to number 1. The global economy depression is of course going to affect us all. Normally entertainment and leisure will be the first to get a blow and of course the mess the music industry is in we’ve never had before so one can only speculate that the times ahead will be harder than ever. BUT this will make me fight even stronger as after all one cannot put LOGIC into the equation of music .
MUSIC-NEWS: Malta Music Awards and Bay Music Awards 2008. Your expectations are?
IRA LOSCO: Just to enjoy the audience and performing my music to them on the night. It’s incredible how years ago locals would actually laugh at anything hailing from Malta, now it’s changing and it’s amazing to see a local audience react the way they do when we get on stage.
PLEASE ANSWER ONE:
If Ira Losco was not a singer she would be ,,,.
*A car mechanic playing 'Driving one of your cars’ on the radio while working - or
* A nurse at Mater Dei National Hospital working in the ward 'Accident Prone’ - or
*Sitting in the middle of Republic Street in Valletta as a 'Fortune Teller’ - or
*TV chat show host with her show called 'Something to talk about’.
IRA LOSCO:The last two sound like me!!! I’d love to be a 'Gipsy Girl’ adds to the mysteriousness, and I have so much to say all the time,so the TV host could also apply,as for the other two,yes 'Accident Prone’ pretty much sums it all up,I’d get myself into terrible messes hehehe!!
MUSIC-NEWS: Well Ira Losco has proved many times to our Team at Music News Malta that she is a real superstar in The Maltese Islands. We look forward to seeing her export her music Internationally more often. We will be behind her all the way..... www.iralosco.com