When people think of an ‘Ina’ track, do you think they associate you with your up-tempo tracks (“Higher”, “You Make Me Feel”…) or your slower tracks (“Impossible”, “My Hands”…)? Which do you prefer writing?
Ina: I am guessing the uptempo ones… It’s quite stigmatizing writing uptempo, pop songs, and they do get a lot more attention from both fans and haters. I like writing both, but I think I am better and more personal on the slower ones. I prefer writing those. They are just much harder to get cut…
You worked with Darkchild last year and your track “He About To Lose Me” made it onto Britney Spears’s latest album “Femme Fatale”. How did this pairing come about?
Ina: My manager Mark Ellwood is quite the hustler, and got me invited to a Britney writers dinner in LA in 2010. Rodney was there, he had heard “Impossible”, and loved it. He wanted to write, and “He About To Lose Me” was the last song I wrote with him before I went home to England. Britney loved it, and recorded it the next week. Then there was the wait… But it made the record, and I feel like that was such a goal reacher for me. Say what you want about Britney Spears, but she is an icon. I’m really proud of that one.
Did you work on that track specifically for Britney in mind? Did she record any other tracks that didn’t make the cut?
Ina: No, and no
You commonly work with Steve Mac, Arnthor Birgisson, and Quiz & Larossi. What do you think it is that makes you ‘click’ so well with these producers?
Ina: I don’t know! These are really good questions btw! It’s very hard to say what makes certain creative minds work and others- not at all. I’ve had sessions with guys I deeply admire, and then we just don’t click. (I’m not naming no names though… ) But I find that I also make friends with the clicker’s, and that tends to become important, as the collaborations mature better if you can talk freely.
Can you guide us through how a typical song is written? Like one your latest ones like “Notorious” which you did for The Saturdays?
Ina: Notorious… I have mixed feeling about that song. I love the idea, and the track, but the original idea came from “becoming a werewolf” (closer, baby look in my eyes- do you recognize me) I wanted it to be more haunting than pop. I wrote it with Nicole Scherzinger in mind. The Sats did a great job though. I just wish the video director had been more edgy! but some songs work, and some don’t. This is just how it is.
Do you normally start with a song title and concept before you actually sit down and work on a track? Or do you just wing it and start with a melody and the rest will come in later?
Ina: My songs usually stem from a sentence, or a word that I have picked up somewhere. Notorious came after reading the godfather for the 19th time. I read a lot for inspiration. Then, I go from there with the melody, and I decide it’s mood after a few words have been put down in the verse. The chorus needs to come quick, otherwise I lose faith in the song. Thats it!
You’ve written basically all of The Saturdays back catalogue. How would you define a ‘classic’ song of theirs? If another songwriter had to write for them, what rules would you give for what the song should and should not do?
Ina: I wouldn’t. There shouldn’t be any rules. If I had it my way with how they choose songs for that project, I would go with poppy and light all the way. I think it suits them much better. And although they are beautiful ladies, I wish the stylist would put some more clothes on them… it’s a lot of underwear and slinky stuff these days and I don’t know how well I think that suits the songs. But the sats are the sats, and I am me. Although we are quite intertwined, we are not depending upon each other, and I think that is good.
Anyone looking at your discography will see you’ve never written for a male artist. Is there a reason? Do you prefer writing for females?
Ina: I just think my lyrics and melodies are very female… But maybe one day! Who knows!
Which of your songs are you most proud of?
Ina: I am proud of all of my songs. I am most proud of the fact that I write them on my own with a producer. I hardly ever have more than three people on my credits. But if I have to choose, it would be Impossible. It did so well in a time where nothing else like that really did anything. And I love the lyric.
What projects are you working on right now and have penciled in for the coming months?
Ina: I am working a lot on my band AskEmbla. And other than that I am just writing. Traveling a lot, and writing. If the song is great, it finds a home.
This summer you started a band called AskEmbla. Why did you pick to start it with Arnthor Birgisson? Is this a project you are just doing for artistic release or are you pushing for a proper commercial push?
Ina: Artistic release. It’s nice to have an outlet for the poetic side of me. I love the music, and me and Arnthor always had something special in our music making. When it’s ready for ears, I will send you something. It’s gonna be great!
Thank you to Ina.