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Saturday, October 17, 2015

EXCLUSIVE Q&A with MARCELLA PUPPINI ~ part 1

Marcella Puppini's first name is pronounced Marchella; not Marsella. She has just released a solo album, which we discuss in our Q&A. She is also the founding member of the Puppini Sisters, who have a new album coming our way in early 2016. She is a gifted singer, trained in opera, an artist and a clothes designer who's worked for Vivienne Westwood. I spoke with Marcella over the phone. She resides in London.

Buddy Beaverhausen: You were nominated Mayoress of Camden a couple of years ago. What would that title entail you to do?
Marcella Puppini: It's totally honorary. In fact, I wasn't nominated; I was chosen by the Mayor of Camden to be his escort at gala events. We worked with The Amy Winehouse Foundation and I put together other goodwill events for the borough of Camden in London.

BB: Let's talk about your new album, Everything Is Beautiful. How would you describe its overall style?
MP: I call it electro-vintage. An electronic recreation of styles such as Swing, Motown, some atmospheric noir-ish ballads, torch songs. So. it's a reimagining of those styles.
BB: I thought I detected a bit of Karen Carpenter on your vocals for "Boom Boom," the opening track.
MP: Oh, I adore Karen Carpenter! She's an idol of mine. Thank you so much. Maybe it was a little subconscious that I sounded like her on the song, then.

BB: Let's talk about "Boom Boom," which is the first track on the album.
MP: Yes, all right! I wrote that song to express great optimism. It's a happy song, I think. And I really had a Motown rhythm in mind. When it came to the bridge, I was just making up words like "zoom zoom" and "boom boom." and then I realized that that should be the chorus.
BB: Well, I love it.
MP: Thank you very much.

BB: Your voice is classically trained, but at university, you majored in fashion design. Why was that, and what was it like to work for Vivienne Westwood?
MP: I went to college in London, where I wanted to stay. At the time, the Music department was not offering anything, so I thought another talent I had was art and drawing, So, I applied and got in, which amazed me. And I was so lucky to get to work for Vivienne Westwood. It was a great experience because I got to work with such talented, creative people. It was a short period of about two years but it was really wonderful.

BB: You were born and raised in Bologna, Italy. When did you move to England?
MP: When I was 18.

BB: Who were Marcella & the Forget Me Nots?
MP: It came together in London, where I was working on a show and had to put together an all-girl orchestra. The bass player in our orchestra used to be with Courtney Love's band. It was really great fun and was meant for pure artistic expression.

BB: You had a huge club hit here in the United States as the vocalist on Rich B's "Revolution." Did you know that?
MP: Yes. Rich and I met at a club in Soho where I used to be a cocktail waitress. Yeah, just like the song "I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar...." [laughs] Rich and I became great friends. In fact, I met my husband through Rich. We fell in love at one of Rich's parties. "Revolution" was recorded in 2002 and reissued in 2012, and that was when it became such an international hit.

BB: What musical artists inspired you when you were growing up?
MP: My mom used to listen to David Bowie a lot when I was about eight-years-old while she was doing the housework. I really got to love his music. Then, I got into Kate Bush. I don't know if she's known that well in the States.
BB: Absolutely! She's a star.
MP: Great. I was completely enamored of her in my early teens, and then I became completely enamored of Jazz. I went looking back... to Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan. I later was crazy about The Manhattan Transfer as well, and that's how I got into the whole Swing sound.

http://www.marcellapuppini.com

[Part 2 of this interview tomorrow. Lots of surprises and new revelations!]

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