OXO Tower musician Irene Serra answers our questions
The passionate depth in the music of Jazz vocalist Irene Serra takes root in her Sardinian and Sicilian heritage. Having studied at the Academy of Music in Milan, she moved to London to further study music and gather fresh influences, embracing soul and Latin elements from London’s amazing international music scene.
Where are you from and how did you come to be in London?
I am Italian, but I spent my childhood in Denmark. After returning to Milan in my teens to study music, I made the journey to London to further my musical studies and to sing.
How would you describe your music?
I’m quite eclectic in my tastes, so in my repertoire I have everything from jazz standards to Sambas to the classic Italian songbook and oddly-arranged pop covers. If I like a song, I’ll sing it!
What artists inspire you (past or present)?
So many… too many! Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, Jon Hendricks, Mina, Ennio Morricone, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Micheal Jackson, Bjork, Sia… the list goes on.
Best gig you’ve seen recently?
I went to see Stevie Wonder in Hyde Park this summer where he played his album Songs in the Key of Life. It was mind-blowing and inspirational. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone that talented play live, and I’ve seen a lot of great musicians.
Career highlights to date?
Being part of the choir for Wynton Marsalis’s premiere of the Abyssinian Mass at the Barbican and playing with my band, -isq, at this year’s London Jazz Festival at the Southbank Centre. It was amazing being able to share our original music in such a prestigious venue.
What does the future hold?
More music! Performing and writing.
What do you love about London?
Almost everything. I even love the crazy weather! For me, London is the most international and exciting city in the world, and yet, it still retains a great sense of community in the various boroughs.
What do you love about the OXO Tower?
You can’t really beat the breathtaking views from the Restaurant and Brasserie. And I love the fact that, as I’m vegan, the menu always has delicious and thoughtful options for me!
What is your favourite cocktail?
A gin and tonic… so English, right? OXO Bar has an amazing selection of gins from Sipsmith London dry gin to Bombay Sapphire.
What’s your sartorial style?
I lived four years in Milan but grew up in Denmark, and I now live in London, so I think my style reflects all those influences. Classic but quirky, I’d say.
What’s your favourite item in your wardrobe?
A pair of vintage 80’s boots that I bought in Shoreditch. I basically live in them.
Check out the OXO Jazz schedule to see when Irene Serra is playing in the Brasserie, along with OXO’s other incredible musical talents.
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