As this week comes to a close, I want to bring to light a new musician that may be the perfect segue into fall. I was introduced to this lovely lady a few weeks ago and via a Skype conversation, I was able to learn more about her journey in music. Geneviève Bellemare took some time, albeit in a dark apartment, to chat with me about her work and her life leading up to it. She is someone to watch and does not skip a beat when speaking her mind.
I asked Geneviève how this music adventure began; She gave me the full origin story, which, in itself, could be written into a novel! Perhaps it will be great material for her memoirs. “I started singing when I was young and was able to do a lot of singing at church and at bible camp. Dancing was another part of my life as well when I moved to Oregon at the age of 11. Right before that move I had a feeling where I was deciding what I wanted to do between the two. Singing is more of my forte, so I was trying to figure it all out while leaning towards that. Eventually, a vocalist teacher helped me find my voice after I began listening to Diana Krall and started to sing along. I never really got to sing anything beyond church music. That’s when I thought, ‘maybe I could try this?’ I asked my voice teacher for help in payment to watch her cat. I kept it a secret from my mom and everyone. Once I did a couple competitions in my town and won one of them, it was reassuring that this was something I could do.”
Speaking in a relaxed state of mind, she comfortably continued onwards with her story from the gloomy confines of her apartment. “Beyond that, I took part in a high school battle of the bands. I was nervous but I did it and won! That was also reassuring along with everyone at school saying I was really good. From there, I went to a local studio and bought two hours of time with my band. The sound engineer was so not excited for it because he was used to shitty bands coming in. However, by the end he was throwing in compliments and gave us half off our time there. After that, without me knowing, he contacted my current manager and sent him my stuff. He called me and contacted me right away. After that, I was just trying to write more songs and started preforming more resident gigs. It was fun but nothing was really progressing. Eventually, I felt like I didn’t want to be a band and felt like I needed to do my own stuff because if you veer into music with a specific approach it is hard to break out of that with people who have strong background in that genre with you. So, I broke that off and two and half years later I got an opportunity to go to LA. I have been working with producers trying to do stuff on my own with studio work and some live shows on the side.”
After hearing her sudden introduction to professional music, I was curious to learn if she was eager to try other methods to explore her own sound. “I think I would really be interested in using vocal pedals with texture, similar to guitar pedals to hook me up with my voice. They would help me pick up my high frequencies and hit these notes without doing anything. That would be really cool and could bring out a lot of interesting ideas. It would be an easier way for me to fulfill the creative process and I like having more tools to try out with different producers.”
As an artist, I wondered what her influenced her music. “I just kind of write something that is comforting to me. Each producer is good at pulling something out. It seems that I am trying to find the best way. I kind of know where I want to go, but I kind of don’t at the same time.” I think that is a good place to be. A lot of creative opportunities will spring from that exploration into the unknown.
My favorite song of Geneviève’s is The Way. I asked her to elaborate a bit about her impression of it. “The best approach to describe that one is that it is meant to relate to a lot of things. It doesn’t to have be a person, but many instances in my life where I experienced something I was not ready for. That thing was probably something that I was referring to make sense and be ready for ‘the way.’ What were you not ready for? What is the way? I know its not very clear and kind of confusing. I was trying so many different things and it was difficult when I can’t help people relate to it, but there are a lot of things that people can take from it in the end.” Musicians always have some deep stuff thrown in there. The more aesthetically the music can be, the more unique it will remain. I applaud her work in this regard.
Geneviève’s work is keeps on growing. From her latest, ‘Live and Die – EP,’ she remains focused on her music. In fact, I was given a glimpse of her new work to share with you today. Below you will find her newest video, Shenanigans for your viewing and listening pleasure. You can now become hooked and enjoy some great music!