Q: You have quite an interesting background, tell us a little bit about how your musical career got started.
IRÈNE SCHRADER: My love for music started when I was around five years old and began learning how to play the classical piano. I played in jazz and rock bands throughout middle and high school, and from there on developed my own solo style that you can now detect in my songs! I was also lucky to be exposed to different musical cultures thanks to my Chinese, German, and French background. I think it has definitely helped me understand how to musically convey different moods and vibes.
Q: In your own words, how would you describe the music that you typically create?
IRÈNE: I would describe my music as a balance between indie-pop and singer-songwriter. Although my style is still evolving, I would say that I tend to be drawn to soft pop sounds.
Q: Did any real-life events occur in your life that inspired the “Happy Encounter”?
IRÈNE: Last summer, I came back to Paris to live there after having left for 10 years. The exciting process of forming a new social circle and positive relationships during those sunny days was a feeling I wanted to capture in the song. “Happy Encounter” is about feeling optimistic about a new connection without any pressure.
Q: I love your voice! Who are your biggest musical influences?
IRÈNE: Thank you! It seems like my musical influences constantly change these days—as of recently, I’d say the artists that are playing a significant role in innovating and shaping my style are (off the top of my head) Ariana Grande, Jhené Aiko, Doja Cat, Mac Miller, David Bowie, and Laufey.
Q: Tell us about how the song came to life and how producer Matthieu Le Goff helped guide “Happy Encounter”?
IRÈNE: Matthieu is a super talented friend and musician who gave me the initial beat to “Happy Encounter” after I had sent him a few chord progressions. The process of writing the song was super chill, as I was coming up with lyrics and melodies without worrying much about whether they sounded poetic or “smart” enough. All I wanted was to have fun with it, and for listeners to feel light listening to the final version. He gave me consistent feedback on my flows and ideas, which helped tremendously because I completely trust his music taste. We ended up with something we’re quite proud of, and look forward to putting out more music together!
Q: What is coming up next for you?
IRÈNE: I am currently working on an EP and audiovisual projects with other talented artists! I also hope, depending on the pandemic, to start performing live again by fall.
Interviewed by Stephanie Pankewich
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