Q: “Change” is a powerful environmentalist anthem that fuses Alternative Pop and Middle Eastern sounds. Walk us through the creation of your latest single.
INANNA: Hello all! Thanks so much for having me! I feel “Change” is the song that represents my genre the most so far. My history with alternative pop, my passion for belly dance and Middle-Eastern sounds and the eco-message have come together in a very harmonious way in this piece. This song was actually written quite fast, I remember I had the idea for the chorus in my car and I recorded on my phone not to forget it. I started with the ethnic riff at the beginning, and everything else came easily. And what made this song so powerful was Joshua Williams’ production and mixing, enhanced by Costis De Viant’s guitars, Donavon Lerman’s Middle Eastern drums and impeccable mastering by Scott Olivier. I feel so grateful to be surrounded by such amazing and dedicated professionals. We finished recording it in January 2021 and I have been focused on its release and the music video production since then.
Q: How can music spread awareness to environmental issues and animal exploitation?
INANNA: Arts are an incredibly powerful tool to raise awareness about environmental and animalist issues. That’s why I decided, for the time being, to dedicate all my song to these topics. Arts have the possibility to connect on different levels of consciousness, have the power to show the invisible, and to give a voice to those who haven’t got one. Arts have often seen or talked about social, historical, environmental issues before they entered the general discourse. Through my music I would like to invite, to inspire, to lure people into a realm where humans, animals and nature can live and thrive together. I would like to show people that we can make the better choice for nature and animals every day, and be proud of being good ancestors for the generations who will come next. And one artist alone makes art, many artists together can create change.
Q: What sparked your passion for environmentalism?
INANNA: I have always been passionate about nature, traveling and I’ve always loved animals. I traveled a lot with my family when I was little and there has always been a lot of appreciation for the natural world and other creatures all around me. I decided to become vegetarian in my teens, and I became vegan about 3 years ago after discovering what happens behind the scenes in the dairy and egg industry. This eye-opening shift made me want to do more for animals and the environment, I felt that eating vegan, recycling, avoiding plastic wasn’t enough. I wanted to speak up, help other people to make the connection and shift, to make them see how many wonders we are losing or mistreating, and inspire them to care.
By 2019, with all the youth protests and Great Thunberg’s speeches ringing in my head, the urgency for change had become so strong that I couldn’t even think about making music that was about something else. I just needed to put my music at the Earth’s service. There’s no more pressing issue right now, that involves ALL humanity, regardless of color, gender, religion, culture… This is our home. And the time has come to save what can be saved and take care of our planet for real.
Q: The music video for “Change” is stunning. It features so many interesting fashion looks as well as amazing choreography. What was the inspiration behind this music video and these futuristic fashion choices?
INANNA: Thank you so much! Alex Bordoni, the director, had the idea to involve futuristic elements for this video. The future of the Earth is at stake, so I found it proper to have a futuristic reference. What I loved about this production though, was the ancient and the futuristic mixed together: the spaceship is a pyramid, the costume is a spacesuit with some belly dance / Egyptian elements. My music project is definitely all about the future of humanity and nature on Earth, but at the same time – through the mythological imaging and style – it wants to honor the ancient, especially ancient knowledge and more balanced ways of being integrated with nature that we may have forgotten.
This video powerfully mixes the archaic and the future, and for this I have to thank the director Alex Bordoni, the amazing VFX by Yhellow and the incredible costume designer Aygul Maktusova. They have been an amazing team!
Q: Which scene was your favorite to shoot and why?
INANNA: I had a lot of fun in all scenes, but I particularly loved the dancing scenes with my dancing mates. The light in that moment (right before sunset) was fantastic, everything was glowing and the golden costumes looked incredible. There was a really magical atmosphere at that point and we knew we were going to make something really beautiful.
Q: How do you incorporate your passion for nature into your music and visuals?
INANNA: Nature is and will always be present in my music, lyrics and imagery. And now more than ever because of the urgency for change. I like integrating nature images or symbolism related to the ecological message in every video, and each song talks about a different environmentalist or animalist topic. And until we find a better balance with the natural world, until animals and lands need a voice, I will keep giving one to them.
Q: What’s your opinion on the environmentalist music scene and what do you see in its future?
INANNA: About 2 years ago, when I started this project, I did some research and I didn’t find almost any fully environmentalist music projects (where all songs are dedicated to this), but only a few environmentalist songs out there. In the last year / 6 months, I have a seen a significant change in the way arts are starting to speak up for the planet and in all the new movements, associations and institutions that are being created these days – all wonderful projects connecting music and the earth, or arts and the Earth. I hope there will be more and more, it means we are really creating a movement that will hopefully revolutionize things.
Q: What advice do you have for people interested in living an environmentally-conscious lifestyle but don’t know where to start?
INANNA: Thanks so much for this question! We are all in the position to do something to create a better future for nature and all species. The absolute first thing we can all do to have much less impact on land, carbon emissions and animal welfare is to choose to eat a plant-based diet and living a plant-based lifestyle. Animal agriculture does not only provoke immense animal suffering, but it is also one of the leading causes of climate change. If we all chose a plant-based diet, the land could provide much more food for everyone. But if we keep deforesting to have grazing cows or other animals for a population of 7 billion, that is not sustainable. Currently we brutally slaughter more than 70 BILLION land animals each year, and if we count fish and seafood it goes up to TRILLIONS of animals a year, which is much more than all humans that have lived and died in ALL history – only in one year! This cannot be sustainable. Organic/grass-fed or not, killing this amount of sentient beings each year is no good. So choosing a vegan diet is extremely powerful, and it’s in our hands, we can do the better choice and make a difference every single day.
Of course, avoiding the use of single-use plastic, choosing hybrid or electric cars when possible, flying less and avoiding excessive consumption in general are a huge help too. But we can all do something, starting from what we put in our plates.
Bigger changes have to come from governments: we have to stop using fossil fuels and transform factory farms into plant-based farms. We have to stop farming through monocrops and move towards regenerative agriculture. We have to stop hunting/poaching, make laws who protect nature and animal’s rights. Many of these decisions have to come from above, but we can help by making our voices heard, choose other products and lifestyle, and vote for the right people.
Q: What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
INANNA: A renewed awe for the wonders, joy and riches that nature and animals bring to this planet. A rediscovered connection with the natural world and us as part of it, not above it. A respectful attitude towards all other creatures, human and non-human animals. And pride in being together, creating an alliance of people who stand up for the Earth in a delicate moment. The honorable feeling of being part of those who decided to not stay silent, not give up, and to be remembered as those who did something before it was too late.
Interviewed by Brynn Hinnant