US singer Anastacia (55) will release her eighth studio album on September 22nd. With "Our Songs" and twelve titles, she honors big German hits with new interpretations and translated cover versions. “Producer Chris Geller came up with the idea of making a cover album with German songs. At first I had concerns about the translations and thought: can this work?” says the singer about the creation of the project in an interview with the news agency spot on news.
Then she heard the Toten Hosen song “Tage wie die” in the English demo version “Best Days”, sung by frontman Campino (61). "He's wonderful," she enthuses about the singer. "He wrote a great translation. It fit exactly into the style of how I write songs. It was clear to me that I would accept this challenge." The singer got to work translating songs herself. "I initially chose the songs based on the music. I didn't know who sang them or what generation the performers belonged to, I didn't care. I just paid attention to the flow of the songs."
For the translations, where Google Translate wasn't much help, Anastacia sought help from a professor who speaks German and English. "She gave me a kind of story for each song and I tried to translate that into the music. It was really hard. We contacted the authors of the songs, which slowed down the process again. Certain songs that I had translated and the "I loved it but didn't make it onto the album due to time constraints. But we found others, like 'Supergirl' at the last minute. So everything had a reason."
The 55-year-old explains the title of the album: "These are our songs, mine and those of these wonderful German artists. They allowed me to make this album and make the songs a part of me." Anastacia wants to take German music, which is not usually exported, out into the world. "Many people will hear the songs for the first time and think that the songs are mine. The title should then enlighten and arouse curiosity about who is behind the originals."
The selected songs include "Now or Never" as an interpretation of Johannes Oerding's (41) "An Guten Tage" and Udo Lindenberg's (77) "Cello". Reactions from the artists of the songs reached them via detours, as Anastacia continues. "John sent me a message through a journalist friend and said that he loved the song. He thinks it's great and feels honored that I chose his song. Udo also told me that he had heard the song and thought it was great. I feel like I really got a lot of positive messages that I didn't expect."
Did the singer improve her German skills through working on the album? “My German is still terrible,” explains the musician with a laugh. "I tried with a teacher and failed. Many of the words don't sound like English at all. For example 'hug' and 'embrace'. It's really hard to form sentences. But I feel like I'm a understand a little more."
She has long had a special connection to Germany. "I've spent so much time here over the years, both privately and professionally. Aside from the concerts, I was often there because I had a clothing line for a German clothing company and, for a while, I also had a German friend. Through him I started Getting to know the culture and creating lots of memories. I'm proud when I can teach people that this cathedral is not in Berlin, but in Cologne."
The capital in particular would have captured her heart. "My partner lived in Berlin and I felt like a part of it, a bit like a Berliner. We drove around the city a lot and he showed me everything." But the musician is still getting to know new sides of the country. "I was recently in Rostock for the first time. Germany by the sea, I thought that was great. I was surprised at how many sailing boats there were, I wanted to get one straight away," says Anastacia with a grin.
And what are the artist's future musical plans? "When I deliver an album, I always wait a certain amount of time to enjoy it, go on tour, feel like the album has its story, and then I take the time to write a new one. Me "So I don't think there will be an Anastacia album any time soon because these songs are like originals to me. I've never sung them live and I need to make them a part of my setlist and my music." But the time for new songs will come, "because I think that with the translations I showed people that I can still write and know what I'm doing."