Margot Blanche takes the renaissance of burlesque, cabaret and jazz that has crossed into the mainstream in a variety of ways (via acts like Dresden Dolls and Pale White Gentlemen to Christina Aguilera and Katy Perry) and spins it again into a fresh new voice that plays with Victrola-era vintage and contemporary post hip-hop breakbeats. Her voice stands with the best of them and we are excited to have had a moment to ask her some very-hard-hitting questions ;)
Margot Blanche: I am a Singer/Songwriter living in New York City with an avid passion for vintage records, jazz, New Orleans brass bands, burlesque, pinup culture and just about anything vintage or retro. I started singing and recording music at a very young age and left my hometown, Hong Kong to come to New York and pursue my career as an artist. After years of exploring different sounds, writing songs and being inspired by everything around me, I finally found my niche of interest where I could be everything I had always aspired to be and develop a sound that had always very much been a part of my life growing up.
I had always had a love for jazz music, show-tunes and everything glamorous about the 1920’s, 30’s all the way up to the 1950’s. Perhaps it was my early exposure to Tom & Jerry cartoons with those grand MGM Orchestral arrangements or my near addiction to everything Dinah Washington that planted the seed of this longstanding love; I figured it would be an interesting, not to mention very exciting, prospect to fuse together these old sounds with a more contemporary, modern edge. As soon as I had finished the first track that would eventually be developed into a full length album, I knew that this was exactly where I wanted to be and the music I wanted to be doing.
Margot: “Pages In My Diary” is my very first full length album and has been quite a journey from conception to completion. It took me about two years to write and record (completely DIY) and it’s a very special album to me because of the personal nature of all the songs. I wrote about very personal experiences from falling in love for the first time to coping with the loss of my brother earlier this year. There are songs that were recorded when I was at the heights of happiness and one that was written in a dark corner in a hospital room on a day that I would consider one of my darkest days of my life. With that said, the sound itself is also a very unique one. I think there are many artists out there who are exploring the retro nostalgic side of soul music.
With this project, I was not looking to recreate an old Billie Holiday or Aretha Franklin record but what I was more interested in was exploring the fusion of old and new. So incorporating killer horn sections with heavy hitting hip hop beats, or using vocal effects that mimic a faux vinyl sound with an otherwise contemporary track. I think the result is something fresh and very different to what’s out there right now.
Margot: Because I can’t live without music (or making music for that matter). It’s my psychiatrist and the way that I can unload my thoughts and my emotions in a positive and productive way. It’s also such a rewarding experience to be able to connect with my listeners, be able to share my experiences with them through my music and to watch them enjoy listening to it. That’s really what it’s all about.
MZ: Until When?
Margot: Until we have overtaken the yard and delved into questions most inappropriately divine and subject to consideration during the darkest nights and sweetest days.
Margot: New York City and across the United States in the near future. I’m working on putting together a really involved live performance that I hope to bring on tour with me. I’m all about the entertainment value so I’m looking forward to incorporating burlesque, cabaret, hip hop dance, costumes and more to make it a really fun and unique show.
Find out more at: www.margotblanche.com
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