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Growing up in western Germany around the turn of the millenium, Luca Vasta's love of music was all consuming, something Alba, her debut album, illustrates with considerable gusto. You need only listen to her first, irrepressibly contagious single 'Cut My Hair', the sparse, dizzying glamour of 'Imperial', the dreamy melancholy of 'Dear Alba' or the minor key drama of 'Heartbeat' for proof. Alternatively, if you’re lucky enough to meet the charismatic 25 year old yourself, ask her why 'Black Tears White Lies' is one of her favourites and she’ll inadvertently sum up the album’s charm succinctly: "because it’s black and white and warm and cold and up and down. That’s how life is when you’re young. You break your heart and you feel like you have nothing, but the next day you’re super happy. Mind you," she’ll laugh, "maybe that’s also connected to my dramatic Italian character...!" The second of four children in a cheerfully rowdy family, Vasta sang in a choir from a young age, and her family frequently gathered together to make music for the joy of it, her father playing the piano in an instrument-filled room. "We listened to a lot of Italian music," she remembers fondly, "and the first song I ever sang was by Laura Pausini, an Italian pop star. She was my idol! But," she smiles wryly, "I was very young then!" Such was Vasta‘s obsession that, as her love of pop developed, she began to spend time with her dictionary, translating English language songs into German. Her vocabulary expanded with her horizons: Michael Jackson led to TLC, who led to Lauryn Hill, and Vasta was also unafraid of exploring beyond the mainstream, enjoying the work of The Velvet Underground, for instance, at an unusually young age. "I spent a lot of time on my own," she admits, "listening to music, recording, writing poems, and singing." It’s therefore not surprising that her debut album, Alba, is so rich, complex and satisfying. Vasta grew up loving pop, but has always understood music’s innate emotional force. Alba has an impressive universal appeal, but arguably this is down to the fact that Vasta has kept things so personal. Alba is consequently one of the most undeniably enjoyable musical experiences the year is likely to offer: extravagant but honest, playful but mature, wise beyond its years but always young at heart. It’s pop music for people who love pop music passionately, and it’s made by someone who loves it even more. This Podcast brings you closer to the young talent Luca Vasta. She talks about her inspiration for the debut album Alba, tells the stories to each track and shares some of her personal memories with you.