|Cyrille Aimée. Photo credit:Ariane Rousselier|
New York-based, award-winning vocalist Cyrille Aimée performs for the first time at Ronnie Scott’s on April 29th. Nicky Schrire interviewed her:
London Jazz News: You were in London towards the end of last year for the EFG London Jazz Festival and performed to a packed room at the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room. Was that your first time performing in London?
Cyrille Aimée: It was my first time performing with my own band, but last time I was in London, I performed for the Harlem vs Hackney competition (VIDEO HERE) , which was organized by the Apollo Theatre in New York. They flew five amateur night winners to compete with five Hackney winners at the Hackney Empire, and I won! It was a lot of fun!
LJN: You’ve been working on the follow up album to 2014’s “It’s a Good Day” (Mack Avenue). What can be expected from the next album? Is it a continuation of melding originals and standards? Does it feature the same instrumentation (notably two guitarists)?
CA: The band on It’s a Good Day was created for the album. I had the idea of these guitarists together in my head, because one lives in NY and the other in France, so they basically met in the studio. The new record is with the same band but now it’s a band that has played together a lot, and we have become like a family so it’s a more seasoned sound. The repertoire is a mix of a lot of stuff, (like I like to do), so some covers, some standards, some originals, some French songs, and even a Dominican song! I think it is a more mature record and more peaceful in a way.
LJN: You recently launched a page on the Patreon continuous crowd funding platform. How has the experience been for you so far and are there any big goals that you hope to achieve with your Patreon presence?
CA: I’ve always had many ideas in my head for music videos, and without budget, they just stay in my head! I think Patreon (LINK TO PAGE) is definitely the way of the future. It’s a way to build a loyal fan base who are also investing in your work. So it motivates you to give back to them, and gives you a certain budget for it. I have just started but it is a slow process because people are not yet aware of Patreon and don’t fully understand the concept yet, but it is a slow and ongoing process. I hope to make beautiful music videos, like the Michael Jackson ones, where there is a story, and sometimes there is a mini-film before and after. I’ve also been taking acting lesson and loving it and it’s given me so many ideas!
LJN: You grew up in France, but have made Brooklyn, New York your home. What are your thoughts on identity, both musical and personal. Has being international positively impacted your artistic journey?
CA: I have never really thought about that because living in various places has always been my lifestyle. By the time I was 20 I had already moved to four continents and lived in several countries in them. I guess that is my identity and that is why my music is so varied and my repertoire is mixed. A lot of things are a part of me from growing up with the gypsies in France, to living in Dominican Republic, my mother’s country, to coming the NY to study jazz!
LJN: What are you most looking forward to about being back in London and performing at the landmark venue Ronnie Scott’s next week?
CA: The one time I was at Ronnie Scott’s was during a jam session a couple years ago. I remember I was sitting in the back with a friend of mine and Wynton Marsalis got up and played the piano, then blew his trumpet on a blues. It was so beautiful and I wanted to get up there so bad but I was shy! This time I will take my revenge! Hehehehe!!!!
LINK: Cyrille Aimée’s website