Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 06:38 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 07:38 UK
Regina goes far out on new album

Championed by The Strokes, respected singer-songwriter Regina Spektor reveals all about being broke, going beyond the stars and her love for Kate Nash.

Regina Spektor
Regina has worked with four producers on her fifth studio album Far

When Regina Spektor decided to write an album which was out of this world, she clearly wasn't joking.

"I was thinking a lot about outer space," says the Russian born singer-songwriter, explaining the title of her fifth long player Far.

"For the first time ever I truly felt like we as a human race were in space which is kind of amazing considering I've known about it since I was a little kid.

"But it took all this time to actually sink in and to feel the largeness of space and how far we are from everything."

Flanked by high profile producers such as Dr Dre and Eminem collaborator Mike Elizondo, David Kahne [The Strokes] and Jacknife Lee [Bloc Party, Editors], Far sees Spektor snatching songs from as far back as her youth.

Kate Nash
Regina Spektor has been a big influence on Kate Nash

"I never actually write for a record," she reveals.

"What happens is I just write songs and I have a lot of old songs and then I just write new ones once in a while.

"Some of the songs on [third album] Soviet Kitsch were younger than the songs on this record," she continues.

"One of the tracks I wrote when I was 18 and another song I wrote right before we started (the record). Chronologically it's a mess."

The New York based singer is currently enjoying one of her brightest periods after her last album Begin To Hope clocked up over a million sales.

But it hasn't been easy for Regina who spent the early part of her career funding her first two albums and stumping up the cash for flights and hotel rooms during a support slot with The Strokes.

"I grew up pretty broke and I was pretty broke until I got signed," she admits.

"Even then I was a record company's nightmare because all my CDs were burnt and all my music came on mix tapes."

When people swap my tracks even today it is the nicest compliment that could ever happen
Regina Spektor

It wasn't until fans started swapping CDs at her gigs that Regina's reputation began to grow.

"When people swap my tracks even today it is the nicest compliment that could ever happen," she enthuses.

"It really is just amazing to be part of that culture and be on a mixtape, a burnt compilation or CD that someone puts together. That's the coolest thing ever."

Looking back, the talented singer believes her determination to constantly tour and word of mouth has put her in the healthy position she finds herself in today.

"I feel safe because it feels real, it feels genuine from both sides," she acknowledges.

"But it has taken me a lot of hard work and I've played so many places to get here.

"Still I was really amazed the last album did so well and so many people got to hear it.

"Usually I just don't think about it because it's like my mind can't really grasp that amount of people."

Namechecked by everyone from Lykke Li to Kate Nash, Regina's influence on the current crop of female stars is everywhere.

"Kate Nash is just lovely," she gushes. "She's a very sweet and talented person and it's amazing that she considered that I had anything to do with anything.

"It's a real honour and it's really cool."

Regina Spektor
Regina found herself having to fund her first two albums

As for her own source of inspiration, Regina says they don't come any bigger than Moldy Peaches singer Kimya Dawson.

"Kimya is a very special musician and I really love her music," she says.

"I feel like she's a person I was really influenced by."

On her day off, Regina says she enjoys nothing more than the simpler things in life.

"I love being at home and cooking and hanging out with my friends," she shrugs.

"I love New York City so much but I would probably go nuts if I stayed there all the time.

"The great thing is I get catapulted out to so many different places and I get to go exploring and play music for lots of people I don't know.

"So it (my lifestyle) is kind of perfect."

Far is released in UK record stores on 22 June.

Student festival is moved to Kent
Wednesday, 10 June 2009, 06:42 GMT |  Music
Oasis to re-issue back catalogue
Wednesday, 10 June 2009, 06:15 GMT |  Music
Arctic Monkeys name third album
Tuesday, 9 June 2009, 08:26 GMT |  Music
Mika pens 'teenage' second album
Tuesday, 9 June 2009, 12:15 GMT |  Music
Jay-Z track surfaces on the web
Tuesday, 9 June 2009, 10:32 GMT |  Music

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific