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Interview mit Sally Shapiro (English version)

„I don't know any other Swedish musicians.“

Sally Shapiro is Sweden's new disco princess. Her first record, Disco Romance was released on April 27th. Critics are comparing the singer with the voices of 1980s Italo-Disco sound. JUSTmag asked Sally Shapiro how she sees herself with regard to this comparison, to the 1980s and to the Scandinavian music scene.

What was your motivation to make an album that sounds exactly like back in the 80s?

A love for the 80s music, of course!

What kind of music did you listen to back then?

Mostly the Swedish equivalent of italo disco, like Lena Philipsson. It was just a few years ago, when Johan Agebjörn (my producer) presented it to me and which made me discover the Italian genre.

Was there any recent inspiration, like the electro-retro musicians of W.I.T., Kiko, Miss Kittin and the like?

Personally I can't say so, but I think Johan would say yes.

I read in a review of your CD that you are „the reincarnation of Valerie Dore“. I would agree with that, would you?

Well, our first track „I'll be by your side“ was very inspired by Valerie Dore. And her track „Get closer“ is maybe my favourite italo disco track.

The cover of Disco Romance has got an Italian flag on it, and the title is similar to those of Italo-Disco classics…can this album be seen as an homage to this music or rather as a satirical quote?

An homage, but an homage with a glint in the eye. We love italo disco but it's difficult to take all aspects of it 100 percent seriously…but it would be too much to call it a satire.

Do you see yourself in the connection of a Scandinavian music tradition?

No. I don't know any other Swedish musicians, we're released on an Austrian label and so on.

According to the press info, nobody has ever heard you sing live. How did your colleagues find out that you had the perfect voice for their music?

I don't like singing solo in front of people, but I like singing together with people. I and Johan were singing Christmas carols together, and that's when he said I had an italo disco-sounding voice.

Have you written any of the lyrics?

No. But I sometimes give instructions to Johan how I want them to be.

You said in an interview, „sometimes I think I'm a fairy tale character“. What character would that be and what is the story?

Ha ha, that was just a joke, because it was difficult to take the interviewer seriously.

How did you choose your pseudonym „Sally Shapiro“?

Don't know, it was Johan's idea, he said we needed a pseudonym because all original Italian singers in the 80s used pseudonyms…

How does it feel for someone like you to have people from all over the world asking you questions?

It can be difficult to answer them sometimes…but it's very flattering.

Is there any chance that you start giving live concerts?

I don't know…so far I've been too shy but maybe it will change some day.

Thank you for your time.

Katharina Litschauer