19 February 2014 /CENK ERDEM, İSTANBUL
Canada has produced many superstars in music, including Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Shania Twain and Alanis Morissette. Its latest offering is Ima, a brand new superstar of love songs, who also enjoys singing Mediterranean songs, just like the legendary Dalida.
Born Marie-Andrée Bergeron, Ima made her breakthrough as a singer with her 2002 debut album, “Ima.” Her third album, “Smile,” includes jazz classics and immediately reached platinum status after its release in 2007. "Smile" stayed on Canadian music charts for over 60 weeks.
Ima will visit İstanbul and Ankara next week for two concerts and she will also launch her 2011 studio album “Precious” and her 2012 compilation “Best Of 2002-2012” in Turkey.
“I love Turkey and its people! Very warm and open to discover new sounds and be touched by music,” says the 36-year-old singer, whose last visit to Turkey was in May 2012.
Before her concerts — in İstanbul on Feb. 25 at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall and in Ankara on Feb. 27 at the MEB Şura Hall — Ima spoke to Today’s Zaman in a recent online interview:
Your 2011 album “Precious,” which is being released in Turkey this year, is full of hit songs from the history of pop music. How did you pick the songs for the album?
It’s always been a pleasure for me to sing old songs. This album is a journey to the soul/blues/disco songs by popular male artists of the end of the ’60s and beginning of the ’70s. Choosing the songs wasn’t easy because there are so many great songs, but I had my favorite ones and I wanted to explore another side of my personality and wanted the songs to be about love. It was a challenge to perform those songs, especially from the point of view of a woman. But it was still so much fun.
Your latest album opens with your cover of Rod Steward’s famous hit “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” Do you love disco-flavored songs and dance?
I love to dance. It’s such a pleasure to sing songs and make people want to dance and have fun. That’s the greatest gift of music. Like Madonna says, “Music makes the people come together.”
Your album has many songs from the ’70s pop music scene. What do you love about the ’70s?
The fashion, the clothes, the feeling of liberty, people were so open to discover and experience the world. I wish I had lived in that era. But instead I’m singing it.
On the same album, you also cover the legendary Bee Gees song “How Deep Is Your Love.” What does love mean to you?
Love is all we need! Love is the centerpiece of my life, the reason I’m alive, I sing.
You’re working on a new album these days.
I am going to launch my seventh album in Canada. It includes songs that I wrote. I will perform three of these songs in my concerts in Turkey, too. It’s a different style of music. I always need to reinvent myself and my music so this new album is called “Love moi” and it has many influences like French, jazz and folk with a touch of Spanish and English. It is very much like a Pedro Almodovar movie soundtrack.
You’re coming to Turkey for two concerts, but this time you’re accompanied by a TV crew from Canada. Can you elaborate on that a bit?
It’s a Canadian TV show that follows artists that have international [careers]. They accompany the artists while they’re on tour outside Canada. They will follow me everywhere [in Turkey] and I will show them how beautiful İstanbul is and how great the people, the food and the culture in Turkey is.
You will perform in İstanbul on Feb. 25 and in Ankara on Feb. 27. What kind of surprises do you have for the audience?
[The concerts will be like] a journey in the jazz world, blended with pop/soul/disco/world beat flavors. I’ll sing in five languages — French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish. I am so excited.
You’ve been to İstanbul before. What do you love the most about İstanbul?
The food and the people. And of course the Bosporus, the architecture, the old mixed with the new and the Grand Bazaar! I can’t wait to go back!