IVA
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IVA

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"AN EVENING WITH IVA"

A
former opera singer whoÕs quite at
home covering U2? It surely
doesnÕt get odder than that
(singing psychologists notwithstanding, of
course). Well, to say that Iva is a bit of a
Ôone offÕ would be putting it mildly.
We get together around the table at a
friendÕs flat - that friend is Nina who runs
Havana, and weÕre joined by NinaÕs fella
Manex, who just happens to be IvaÕs
producer and manager. All very cosy as
we sit around the large table supping
beer, smoking cigs and shooting the shit.
Iva, it has to be said, is a long, long
way away from being unattractive. She
is, in fact, a babe. She also turns out to
be petite, natural, friendly and blessed
with a huge smile. She says ÔhiÕ and I
feel like IÕve just had very expensive
melted chocolate poured all over me...
Later, listening to the eponymously
named album, IÕm surprised to find that
Iva has written six of the eight tracks. IÕm
also surprised to learn that the first track
Maybe This Timeis written by none other
than Bai Kamara Jnr, (that guy gets
everywhere!) who also duets on the
track. The third shock is the discovery
that the CD also features a cover of U2Õs
Where The Streets Have No Name. Now
that takes balls! But more of that later...
I
va began as a singer at the tender
age of nine on the opera stage and
later pitched up at venues such as
New YorkÕs Lincoln Center and the
Aspen Music Festival. Yep, sheÕs
American, but her family originally
crossed the Atlantic from Sweden (sheÕs
now based mostly in Stockholm after
heading there on a Fulbright Grant, no
less). In 2002, Iva dived headfirst into the
mainstream by singing during NBCÕs
Late Night With Conan OÕBrienshow.
With the broad range of her voice - and
the dizzying heights it can reach - the girl
decided to use it by writing her own
songs. As she says: ÒIÕm a huge fan of
the Beatles, Sgt Pepper, and the way
[producer] George Martin mixed
classical sounds with pop. I love that
andI want to make music thatÕs
sophisticated and beautiful.Ó
A
t this point, Manex explains that
he met Iva at the TV showÕs
Christmas party and, soon after,
they started working together. He makes
a comparison to Bjork and I mumble
something about
ÔAbba-esqueÕ
production values
as the CD plays
on, expecting to
get shot down in
flames. Not a bit
of it. ÒYes!Ó they
both cry, as the
pair are definite
admirers of the
Benny and Bjorn
way, thank God.
Manex then goes
on to wax lyrical about IvaÕs vocal
abilities: ÒThereÕs not much she canÕt do
with her voice,Ó he says. By this point I
donÕt need convincing and, popping
another beer, IÕm just waiting to hear how
she tackles BonoÕs Streets...
T
osay IÕm surprised would be
putting it mildly. IvaÕs vocal
phrasing is different from BonoÕs,
so I immediately ditch preconceptions.
The underlying beat of Streets... is some-
thing everyone who has heard the song
will remember - itÕs relentless and, guess
what, itÕs perfectly suited to a dancefloor
track. Iva and ManexÕs finished mix is,
in fact, a potential disco classic.
Balls of steel indeed!
I let Manex describe the mixture of
songs on the rest of the CD: ÒI like to call
it Ôorganic-electro-operatic popÕ. She
uses operatic embellishments to
enhance the pop style.Ó He compares
IvaÕs pop voice to Madonna and her
operatic high notes to Mariah Carey. Fair
enough, I reckon, with a bit of Sutric
chanting thrown in. Manex tells me we
can all hear the album for free from May
15 to June 6 on www.ivasound.com.
Also, Iva will be performing live at two
Brussels gigs soon - June 7 (10pm) at
Havana and June 10 at Concert Noble
(8pm), to celebrate the June 6 launch of
the new CD. Great news, canÕt wait!
An Evening With Iva - UP FRONT


Discography

Dreams EP - Coming out 2009

IVA - DEBUT 2006

Streaming on her website
In the itunes store, through 'the orchard' distribution deal

In stores in Belgium and Sweden

www.ivasound.com

Maybe This Time and Govinda Hold On on Radio PANIK, Brussels 104.5 FM
You can also go to IVAs myspace page for a smaller sample of her music.

http/:www.myspace.com/ivasinger

Photos

Bio

Sincere, sensual, and sexy, IVA is a “shinning star” with the voice of an angel. Her sound is charged with purity and soul and her stage presence elegant and electric. Originally trained as a classical singer, she began her career at age nine on the operatic stage and evolved to performing at prestigious classical venues including New York’s Lincoln Center and the Aspen Music festival.

IVA broke into the mainstream when she sang on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2002. Inspired to experiment with more popular means of expression, she started writing her own songs to match what she knew her voice could do. “It was obvious to me that rock and classical music belonged together. I was weaned on George Martin’s production of The Beatles, specifically “Sergeant Pepper”, where he seamlessly mixed classical forms and sounds with the band’s pop melodies. He arranged their songs like chamber music. I wanted to make music like that: stylish and in-style, sophisticated but beautiful, and inexpressibly appealing to all listeners.”

At the show’s Christmas party she met producer/songwriter Manex Ibar, (“three to tango” soundtrack, Ulu, Lettuce, Soulive, and Sony Music exec) thus beginning a rich musical collaboration. “I knew I wanted to work with IVA because she had the fascination of Björk and the authenticity of Emmy Lou Harris in her voice with the conviction and charisma of a star,” Ibar says. “Because of her solid classical training, IVA can do almost anything vocally, but she is tapped into a sound that is entirely her own”.

IVA is a siren with a quality somehow ... otherworldly.

It began with a voice, a powerful voice born into a small town girl. It developed into a voice with a sound all its own, moving seamlessly from pop goddess to opera diva.

In the sacred language of the birds, IVA means “The Vehicle of the Spirit of the Trinity”. And to IVA, it means the connection each person has to the sky above and the earth below. “So often we forget our connection to the ground beneath us. That is how we have lost our balance with mother earth. But with our wings in the air and our feet on solid ground, we can live our dreams."

2008 is a big year for IVA. She’s been working in the studio writing her second album with platinum songwriting and production team Kbros (Jenifer, Nolwen LeRoy, The Sounds, Peter Joback). She’s also been performing as a singer and actress, appearing in a two week run of the Civilian's "Paris Commune" at New York’s Public Theatre, one of the top venues for downtown theatre, in a commercial for Bon Aqua water in the Nordic Countries, and performing her music at the World Cafe in Philadelphia, renowned gateway for breaking artists, as well as the United Nations where she sings to open their seminar and art exhibition "Unlearning Intolerance" hosted by Christie Brinkley. In August she is gearing up for the launch of her first single, "Dreams", in Sweden, written and produces with Kbros, who in addition to platinum sales in Scandinavia and France also wrote the breakthrough album for Jenifer, the first artist to win France's Star Academy (Mercury, 900,000 copies sold). In December she'll open at the Royal Opera of Stockholm as Tamar in "Batseba", working directly with composer Sven-David Sandström to create a role that will showcase her singular ability to bridge opera and pop.

In 2007 IVA had similar breakthroughs. She had her first "cut" for Arielle Dombasle at Sony Columbia, France, “Ou tu veux, quand tu veux” written with French Artists Molecule and Nemo. She worked and continues to work closely with Swedish celebrity voice coach and singer Kishti Tomita (Swedish "Idol" judge) to find her own sound, and her unique talent as a songwriter and lyricist landed her the attention of major labels and publishers, being tapped as top liner by Universal, Sony, Murlyn and EMI, and working with producers such as Max Martin collaborator Lasse Mårtén at Decibel Studios (Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Backstreet Boys), and songwriters Lorenzo and Henrik Nyander. As a result of these collaborations, IVA will have cuts on the albums of up-and-coming artist Brandur Enni, a Farrow Islands star breaking in Sweden, and Swedish Nashville Country artist Ulf Charlez.

IVA was the first artist to be signed to Vurse Artist Management and Productions, to be managed globally to develop the IVA Brand. Her music and her lifestyle reflects her love and respect of the earth and she works closely with brands that share these Green ideals. She wears only ecological clothes for all of her appearances, designed by Ekovaruhuset and Ecological shoe designers PJUX. She’s also partnered with the Green Cross in Sweden to create a series of concert experiences that honor a sustainable lifestyle.

IVA sang constantly as a child and her parents got her started professionally at the age of nine, starring in children's roles at her local opera company. Her voice won numerous competitions and landed her in t