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:: Spotlight :: Interview with Emilia de Poret

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

She is a Swedish pop star. She is married to a French Count, whom she met in Perugia, Italy. She has also graced Australia with her presence for most of the last three months, promoting her single “Pick Me Up”, and is set to release her new album soon.

With a strong showing in her homeland Sweden, and with a recording deal in Japan, Emilia de Poret has focused on a big push in Australia to widen her support, knowing that Swedish acts have a strong heritage in gaining Australian fans.

Her recent trips to Australia have also seen her gain further exposure in the social scene, attending several major events in Melbourne and Sydney. She has been a delight for photographers because of her looks and fashion sense. Emilia attended the recent ARIA Awards in a lovely Michelle Jank design and was eye-catching at the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Importantly, in her short time, she became an ambassador for the Alfred Hospital’s Melbourne Cup Pin & Win, where monies received go to critical care at the Melbourne hospital. Also, just prior to returning to Sweden, she co-hosted the popular television show Video Hits with Fuzzy.

After a very successful single launch in Sydney, I had the opportunity to meet the delightful Emilia and spoke to her about her musical career and future.

Tell us a little about your background and growing up in music?

I live in Stockholm, Sweden and am married to a Frenchman. Everyone in my family has been musical. When I was very little I would be singing at home – even before I could talk. It’s a language that has come very naturally to me. We had so many singers and musicians in the family – a rich history. I then discovered jazz as a teenager. I’ve grown up having done many live performances and feel confident on stage.

Tell us about this rich history of music in Sweden?

We are discovering new artists all the time. When I was growing up, the Government gave all children free music lessons. The numbers were enormous for singing and piano lessons and it was a great thing. It set a high standard. When the weather was cold, kids were staying inside learning and practising music. It’s a natural thing to communicate with your friends in that way. It is a different musical language to the USA, for example. Therefore, there are lots of opportunities for young singers and musicians. There are many studios and much talent emerging from Sweden. Look at some artists like September and Robyn. They are amongst many artists doing well across Sweden and Europe, plus international territories.

Tell us about your push into Australia?

I love the music scene in Australia. I’ve been working with Haydn Bell, who has been instrumental in the success of The Veronicas. He helped associate me with many support people and it has worked well so far.

Do you plan to target other international markets in 2009?

Yes, we’re starting 2009 with a push into Europe. I recently got a recording deal with Universal Music in Spain. I have a similar deal in Japan too. There has also been a good initial response from the USA. I did a showcase for the Sire Records boss earlier this year and he was impressed.

On your upcoming album, you’ve worked with longtime friend Arnthor Birgisson. Tell us about that association?

Arnthor and I went to the same music school together and he has been working with a number of big artists over the years, including Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson and Enrique Iglesias. He mentioned to me that I hadn’t asked to work with him. I had never really thought about it, but we then tried a song to get the vibe right. It proved to be very easy to work with him. We share a lot musically and it worked out really well. He is a great musician and producer. It is very inspiring to have this special relationship and it is important to me.

Your first single in Australia is “Pick Me Up”, released through MGM Distribution. It is very catchy. Tell us about the song?

When I lived in New York I was inexperienced and young. I was out of control somewhat. Then I met an older guy. The song tells of that type of relationship – that love won’t last forever but it is good at the time. He was an exotic and dangerous man. With all that, it is still a catchy and commercial song. It was a strong experience for me.

Is that typical of what we might hear on the album?

The album brings out my personality, with songs of intensity and energy. You’ll hear beats and guitar, with one track containing massive strings with modern beats. Most of the album is written by me, but I’ve been fortunate to work with several great songwriters.

What other singers do you admire?

Stevie Wonder is a favourite of mine, as is Roberta Flack. I also love old jazz singers. I do have great admiration for Madonna, Janet Jackson and Kylie Minogue for what they have been able to achieve. Of the current artists, I have taken a liking to Sneaky Sound System – their full-on electro pop sound. I was amazed with how good Connie and the guys were when I went to their album launch in Sydney a while back.

How important has the Internet been to you?

The Internet is very important. I want to be involved in the whole process. As this is my third album, this has always been a part of my music and the marketing side – being very hands on. The Internet is at the forefront. I promote my music as much as possible. I do regular blogs about various aspects of making music.

What are the plans for the next twelve months?

I certainly hope to come back to Australia early in 2009. I’ve loved it here and I want to know the country better. I’ll have more releases, with the album being a priority. I’ll also look at touring Japan and Germany – good markets for me so far.

“Pick Me Up” single is out now through MGM Distribution.

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