typical singer/songwriter. Imagine Billie Holiday brought back to life to hit up clubs on the Lower East side, seducing listeners with truthful, rhythmic words. Artfully, she infuses old world jazz with today's hip hop & urban beats.
Artists are proverbial sponges of their immediate worlds: they absorb what it is to be alive, in love, heartbroken, full of joy, joyless, in the here and now. But an adept artist also remembers to look back, listening hard and learning from the musings of vintage pianos, carefree ragtime, dusty blues: a time when music was not just the melody, but the deeper story behind it. Old Things are wonderful, especially when we reinvent them, like the rocking of Grandma's old sweater. Singer/Songwriter Margot Blanche, with her eclectic background, smart ear and soulful voice, is determined to not just scrapbook old sounds, but reinvent them.
Margot Blanche, a Hong-Kong raised, French-Filipino songstress with a classically alluring voice, announces the release of her first independent debut album 'Pages in My Diary'. Collaborating with upcoming producer Kevin '12' Samuels (The Pussycat Dolls, Jordin Sparks) and talents Ronnie Magri (Dita Von Teese) and Terrence Lewis (Cincinnati DJ), the album features intricately written songs penned by Margot, all of which reflect her musical influences and life experiences. With this album, she shakes the constraints of popular music standards, breaks rules, and takes all artistic decisions into her own hands. With her ear for soul and sharp music, she is known for rejuvenating delightful old sounds, pulled from a slew of cultures, with her modern sensibilities.
Blanche was inspired at a young age by both popular and classical music. She held heroes like Mariah and Whitney, but also received rigorous training at the ripe age of 9 with a noted local opera soprano. From a young age, she developed an utmost respect for artists who sing truthfully from their hearts, admiring the imperfections of such vocal honesty. Add the delicate blending of her heritages to boot, the result is a sound unlike any other, paired with a deep level of storytelling. Reigning over all of these eclectic choices is her voice: clear, pure, an astounding range, and universally appealing. NYC was taken by storm in 2001 by this poignant, feisty Belle. Over time, Her live performances at venues such as The Bitter End and Blue Note generated industry buzz and label interest, also landing her on the offical 2009 Grammy Ballot for Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal, Song of the Year and Record of the Year. If this wasn't enough affirmation, her songwriting career has skyrocketed, winning national contests, and her singles have been included on a slew of compilations. Singles are available on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. She is currently touring in the New York area with a brilliantly assembled live band.
Riding the raucous success of her songwriting and live performances, this album is guaranteed to break down musical barriers and charm the pants off any willing listener. As Blanche herself boasts such a broad mix of influences. Her music knows no limits of time or genre. Rather, it is a universally refreshing sound: truthful, happy, and inventive. From this album, expect bold choices and a rebirth of the best that old jazz and blues have to offer. From this artist, expect honesty, determination, and the unexpected.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I was born and grew up in Hong Kong. My mom is from the Philippines and my dad is originally from France. They met in an ice cream parlor in downtown Hong Kong. It was fun growing up in Hong Kong. I lived there until I turned 17. I still consider it home to this day.
Q: What made you realize that music was your path?
A: There was never a time where music was not a part of my life. At the age of 3, my mom used to put me up on the kitchen counter and I would sing along to Whitney's "Samen ahh mah love noo yoo" (Saving all my love for you). Michael Jackson was my hero too. I always loved to sing. At home, in the car, in the shower, in school. I think the first time it came to anybody's attention that I had a voice was when a friend of mine came over to our house and we were listening to the soundtrack of Beauty and the Beast. She whispered to my mom with a really perplexed look on her face "She sounds like the lady in the radio". I was about 8. That's when my mom enrolled me in classical vocal classes.
Q: How would you describe the music that you typically create?
A: I seek out inspiration in a huge variety of artists and styles. I grew up listening mostly to R&B, Soul music so the music I write and record draws from the music and singers that influenced me in the past. I would describe my music as Hip Hop/R&B with glimpses of age-old jazz, blues and soul.
Q: Who are your biggest musical influences?
A: Donny Hathaway was such an amazing vocalist and interpreter. Many of the big legends such as Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Etta James, Gladys Knight, Otis Redding have really driven me to reach deeper than simply the melody but into the soul and meaning of the message of the song. Another huge influence for me was Maria Callas. While I was training in classical music, I was mesmerized by Maria Callas and the immense dedication and hard work she put into each and every performance. I think what very artist that I mentioned before have in common is the intensity and conviction they had in their every performance. They moved their audiences on another level emotionally.
Q: What makes your music unique?
A: I think there are many artists out there who are exploring the retro nostalgic side of soul music. I'm not looking to create a scrapbook of sounds of the past that are rerecorded and recycled to sound similar to an old Aretha or Dinah album. What I am really interested in is exploring a new sound that selects the best attributes of those vintage records and blends them in with the best characteristics of today's music and production techniques. I think that will be very interesting and a fresh perspective.
Q: Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you're most proud of?
A: I believe more in living the moment and the growth that takes place as an artist than lingering on landmark moments of the past. I'm really proud to be learning more and more about the ins and outs of music production, engineering the industry, live performances, etc.. I just set up my own home protools studio.. It's a always a growth process for me.
Q: What's next for you?
A: I'm so excited to be writing, producing and recording my first full length album. As a starry eyed teenager, I was always waiting for the big record deal to fall on my lap so that i could create my own record. But now I see beyond that and really holding the reins in making my artistic and musical dreams come to life in my independent debut album.