Tuesday, 4 October 2011

I Know You Wanna Say: Corona Interview

If you lived under a rock during the 90s let me tell you about the Hi-NRG Euro-disco legend of Corona: originally sung by Sandy Chambers who was locked in a cupboard for 5 years whilst the gorgeous and charismatic Brazillian model Olga De Souza, with the legs as tall as sky-crapers and the shit-gritting grin that stretched as far as the equator, fronted the act, lip-synced for her life and had everyone's eye out with her enviable dreadlocks whilst spinning round on stage in a cackling frenzy (she's famous for laughing at pretty much everything, and has actually been banned from funerals in her native Brazil and adopted home of Italy). She has been dining out on the batch of hits taken from the landmark debut album ever since (these are the slightly unknown minor worldwide hit Rhythm of The Night, the more pugnacious Baby Baby, the open-to-offers anthem Try Me Out, and the disco-drunk funk of I Don't Want To Be A Star). High ranking album tracks include the heavy demands of I Gotta Keep Dancing, When I Give My Love, I Want Your Love and Don't Go Breaking My Heart

 On the much-delayed 1998 follow-up album Walking On Music, the arrangement continued, as did their fast-forward attitude to sensitive love issues on the singles: the strident groove of Walking On Music, the sumptuous glide of The Power of Love and the energetic mayhem of Magic Touch (they were not massive hits, but continued the same rampant and euphoric euro-dance formula as before). The other track worth mentioning happens to be the best of the bunch, I Belong To You (80s), which sounds like PWL circa 1990 - it almost has the same scintillating elements as Donna Summer's This Time I Know It's For Real, only this time we knew for real she really wasn't singing.
In 2000, Olga released an album called And Me U under the alias of Corona X, but the material was slightly rock influenced and every bit as appealing to fans of their vintage style as that sounds (Diva Incarnate scored it a reasonable 6 out of 10): hidden delights included the Donna Summer-esque I Only Came To Dance, with its timeless marriage of disco yearning and plaintive exhiliration, and the single Good Love, which was accompanied by a slightly more accessible dance remix. Olga also sang all the songs herself and even sounds a bit like that faceless bird Sandy Chambers who had fled for her life by this point.

Olga continued to sporadically release one-off singles (going down a slightly Dannii Minogue-esque route if you will), with the best to comment on being the Spanish-tongued hypnotico dance jam La Playa De Sol, but it was not until last year that Corona came back with a selection of trance-identified dance-pop songs as part of an actual album campaign. It was called Y Generation and ignited the charts in Italy, reaching NUMBER ONE on the Italian itunes dance album charts (you can just imagine the stiff competition - thank goodness Lisa Scott-Lee wasn't releasing anything that week). I was a fan of this album, it kept an obsessed Corona crusader like myself fairly happy, and the seething trance temperatures of the single Angel even produced a True Blood inspired video (Olga's first promotional clip in 12 years), and was number 1 on the Diva Incarnate 'Best Singles of 2010' countdown. The 2nd single Saturday was delivered to itunes with a dollop of decadent remixes, and the final release was called My Song. Once again, the most infectious creation was left as an album track, this time a lust-fueled trance orgasm snappishly called Gimme Love (not saying please is just plain rude if you ask me).  A new song to launch a re-release of the album is on the way...

Hi Olga, thanks for agreeing to interviewed.

Following the mostly pop-rock sounds of And Me U, Y Generation was something of a return to dance music – although it also successfully pursues new sounds, was it a conscious decision to go back to your roots as it were?

Yes, because i love dance music, the dance with good melodies and so I deciced to went back to my roots

The single Angel's video seemed to be inspired by shows such as True Blood with its elements of folklore - what was the overall meaning behind it? 

[Olga did not answer this question]

You also sing a Capella different lyrics to the recorded version...

[Olga did not answer this question]

A lot of people didn't quite understand the product placement for the hair product. 

But in this case jean louis Italy just help to do my hairstyle in the video, so we just put a fast show of their products.
It took more then 3 hours to do my hairstyle in the video, so its was just a thank

The Corona project has endured many changes with regards to the machinery behind it (different producers, record labels, etc): did you ever consider giving up the name and releasing music under your own name? Olga de Souza is an amazing name...

No, I LOVE Corona. . I like changing labels and producers, but CORONA is always my name.

You have been using your own vocals for well over a decade, starting with 2000's And Me U, and I must say I absolutely love hearing it on the new album - it's so expressive and I love the cackles of laughter on Angel. It seems to have improved - is this due to practicing?

Yes, i always study and improve

Will there ever be a chance of working with original Corona songwriters and producers and songwriters ever again?

No, they are old now and i am still young . .ahhh ahhh

Are there any plans to perform, release and promote in the UK again? The UK record label
AATW seems like a good company to release Angel with.

We contated my labels in UK , there was some interest but after . . nothing happen, but we will keep pushing

What has been the success of the Y Generation album in Italy, and what other countries has it been released in?

After ITALY where we had a # 1 on I TUNES DANCE ALBUM IN ITALY , we did Germany, Austria and Swiss, Singapore, Malasya, Greece and we exported some copies in France, Benelux and many other countries.
And Angel the single, with some new remixes, will be released soon in France.

My knowledge of Italian pop is limited to the singers Alexia (Uh La La La), Gala (Tough Love, Freed From Desire and Lose Yourself In Me) and Sabrina Salerno (A Flower's Broken) - they seem to have a huge appetite for female
dance-driven music - what has been the key to Corona finding its most enduring success there?

I think the songs, ITALIAN DANCE means always good melodies, and the italian producers are perfect for the good melodies

It's very hard for international fans to keep up to date with the latest Corona news - will there be
plans to keep fans more up to date on your website?

All please look my new official you tube . . http://www.youtube.com/CORONAOFFICIAL. .
All the updates will be there. There will be a good news soon, with a collaboration with an important dj.

There were so many dance acts and female dance divas in the 90s - do you ever keep in touch with any?

Yes, Alexia, ice mc, Spagna are good friends

My favourite song from Y Generation is the euphoric Hi-NRG trance temperatures of Gimme Love (the productions is ecstatic and very fresh) - are there any plans to release it as a single? And will there be more videos for the project?

I am not sure Gimme Love can be a single. Thanks for your compliments.

What is your favourite song from the new album and why?

Angel and Saturday. I think we create a good groove ! and the new single ( not in the album) is hot.

Does it ever feel strange when people mention songs from the first two albums as being their favourites when you never actually sung on them? For example, I love the song I Belong To You (80s) as it is so glitzy and glossy, and also sounds like a Donna Summer song from her PWL-produced Another Time album (1989), but sadly would never expect you to perform it...

[Olga did not answer this question]

Speaking of Donna Summer, my favourite And Me U song was I Only Came To Dance, which is VERY Donna Summer. Who exactly are your musical influences, past and present?

My influence is all the 70’ disco and also the new wave of the ‘80s and of course the brasilian music.

Have you ever met Sandy Chambers, and how did the agreement to be the face of Corona come
 about, and what were your overall feelings about the arrangement over time?

We were all a big team and big friends

You have successfully fronted the Corona project for almost 20 years - without naming  names, what is the most scandalous, jaw-dropping story about another celebrity you can tell me?

Top secret.

Who is your most famous friend?

Top Secret about the most famous. . my real friends are my fans

Angel was my blog's 'Best Single of 2010' and Y Generation was an artistic triumph. What plans are next? Will you record a new album soon?

The new single . .and a new edition of Y Generation . . stay tunes. . Thank you everybody.

Thanks for your answers Olga x


Steve said...

THOSE were really her answers? Why bother if she's not gonna say anything? At least you tried, I know how much you love her, and the first para was hilarious lol

Diva Incarnate said...

Hey thanks for the comment. I think we need to bare in mind that Olga's first language isn't English - her humor pokes through slightly on one answer, but yes had this been a magazine the interview isn't really printable, but she DOES give us some news about the album being released in France, what the UK situation is, and that Y Generation will be getting its SECOND re-release with a brand new track, so I'm VERY happy in that sense. Olga is apparantly very busy - with my questions I thought I'd ask specific ones regarding her music, maybe I should have asked more general ones, I dunno. Happy to have done it and her team were lovely people to deal with as well.

Mr M said...

Gordon I love that you have basically written career over-view posts on Corona at least 3 times now, and on this blog!, so I know you were excited to get her answers but I must agree she either doesnt speak good English or couldnt be assed. Either way great that you got her to do it but your initial paragraph (it's a WOW monent from me) is so spot on that her answers pale by comparison to the excitement you create yourself. Nice read though and keep up the great work,I also still love your Dannii reviews, shame she is not a pop star anymore.X

Pedro said...

Great to read this Olga interview. Eurodance news are always great. Brazilian eurodance fans thank to DIVAINCARNATE. Corona will do a stop in the french tour "dance machine" and from 09 to 12 (february 2012) will do some shows in Rio de Janeiro, in a party called "Energia na Véia". Double You will also perform in these dates. Maybe a duet? Until now, these are the official dates. I will be there. So, check the future videos in youtube. La playa del sol sung here in Brazil would be perfect. Have a good week and congratulations for the job.

Pedro said...

Corona live in Brazil 2012, Rio de Janeiro:



Pedro said...

Corona live in Brazil 2012, Rio de Janeiro:



Zachary Pisut said...

Have you heard her newish song Queen Of Town? Loves it!

Diva Incarnate said...

I wasn't keen, but Stay With Me was so much fun. I'm amazed we got so many youtube clips of Olga promoting herself around this time in Brazil, what a treat. Bit of a shame there were not the same kind of performances of Angel on Italian TV though. Whilst the songs are now weaker than the first album and the 4 songs on the 2nd that were dance, she's given us a few decent ones along the way to be sure. I'd love her to do the UK Celebrity Big Brother, she's clearly full of charisma.