Soul pop artist Irma is one of France’s biggest success stories to date with a huge online fanbase watching her every move. Irma went from performing acoustic covers in her bedroom as a teenager to becoming a highly accomplished soul-pop producer, singer-songwriter and online sensation and has completed several worldwide tours. Now she makes her UK debut with the release of her lusciously soul powered new single Venom Of Angels – out now.
Venom of Angels celebrates female desire and pleasure- a subject Irma asserts is “..pretty often ignored and unknown”. This passionate theme is heightened by the music, inspired by the ‘organic tradition’ of soul but also very mindful of the present, using samples and drum machines to complete a sensual musical vista. The trackis a beautifully crafted modern take on a classic soul-fuelled folk ballad, brimming with 60’s vocal harmonies. A clear tribute to the great Soul classics whilst having a whole new life of it’s own.
Born Irma Pany in Bangangte, Cameroon to professional parents, Irma grew up in Douala where she started playing classical piano aged seven. Her parents were a great inspiration musically: Her father played bass and her mother sang in the Chuch Choir. They met at university in Paris and after returning to Cameroon they vowed to send their children to school there. And so it was that Irma and her siblings moved to Paris to pursue their studies. It was here that Irma blossomed into a fully-rounded artist – both as a writer and performer. It wasn’t long before people started to notice. She signed a record deal in 2008 while continuing to develop her online presence, hooking up with established artists to perform various classic songs including Will.i.am (the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”). This buzz led to her being chosen by Google for their ad campaign, that not only featured her as an artist but also featured her debut single I Know. She subsequently reached the Top Ten in France in 2012 with this single and its parent album, Letter to the Lord and – notably – signed a U.S. deal with Universal Republic. Her star was rising. She followed this by heading to NYC to start of her second album Faces with the very producers she revered while playing her favourite songs as a child: Jerry Wonder, Rodney Jerkins, and Doc McKinney. There, with their guidance, she experimented with many musical styles which she later brought back to her creative home of Paris where she then started work on her latest album The Dawn – out later this year. Tracks from the album will include the new single Venom Of Angels, Shivers and Black Sun which collectively have already amassed well over 2 million streams on Spotify alone! Add in the similarly incredible streaming numbers across other key International playlists – Apple Music, Deezer and others – it is clear Irma is unmistakably on an upwards trajectory!
Just as Paris has helped inform her as an artist, it was her early days growing up in Douala that gave Irma a true insight into humanity and human nature. She says, “Douala was like a miniature version of the Earth filled with people from around the world and music that is just as diverse. This is where Iʼd discover the true meaning of inequality”. This sense of both anger and insight informed her both as a person and her music. Using these influences, she created a fusion of musical styles- a furious mix of soul and folk– with rich layers of vocals that alternate effortlessly between power and softness.