While America is only now coming to know the force that is Caro Emerald, in her native Netherlands, as well as throughout the rest of Europe, the singer has become a staple in modern Jazz and Swing.
Her debut album, Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor, surpassed the chart success of Michael Jackson’s Thriller in her homeland, nesting in the number one spot for a record breaking 30 weeks back in 2009. The album, which fuses 1940’s and 50’s Jazz with other genres including pop and electronica, catapulted the sultry songbird into the glittering lights of superstardom throughout Europe thanks to its memorable singles that included That Man, Stuck, Riviera Life and Back It Up.
Caro is now in the studio working on her sophomore release which is due sometime in the summer and she has been putting some finishing touches on the record at the famous Abbey Road Studios, a recording house made famous by the Beatles and which has seen the likes to Kylie Minogue, Adele, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga among many others pass through its doors.
Her music is captivating and her live shows are both memorable and entertaining while her music emulates the swinging 40’s in its melodies and rich tones. Throughout January Caro visited us here in the US to showcase some of the talent that has made her one of the most successful female artists in Europe. While here the singer performed a pair of showcase gigs in New York and LA and we caught up with Caro to talk about her success and what she brings to the US music scene.
Brendon Veevers: How are you Caro?
Caro Emerald: Good, thanks!
BV: Is this your first time visiting the US?
CE: No, I’ve been in the US a couple times before! The first time was when I was 17, entering a Show-choir Camp in Ohio. Had great fun!
BV: You are here in the US to promote your album Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor. For those who have yet to hear the record, can you tell us about the album?
CE: Well, you can expect a fun mix of pop, jazz, beats, Latin, with an electronic vibe. It’s very catchy, danceable and easy listening. We tried to create a different atmosphere with each song, and every song tells its own story, like in old movies. We were inspired by music and movies from the 40’s and 50’s.
BV: In your homeland of The Netherlands the album spent 30 weeks at number one, overtaking Michael Jackson’s Thriller as the record spending the most weeks in the top spot on the Dutch charts. How did that feel?
CE: That felt insane! This is when I truly realized what was going on and how big my music had grown in the Netherlands! Michael Jackson has been as to many others a great inspiration to me, and I am very very honored!
BV: You songs are influenced heavily by music from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. What appeals to you most about music from this period?
CE: The sound of the recordings! That typical vinyl sound just makes my heart tick!
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BV: Did you grow up on a musical family? Where did you get your love of music and performing from?
CE: I did grow up in a very musical family; all of us would play an instrument, but only for fun! I was already fascinated by the stage at a very young age. I would enter a miming contest, imitating Madonna and the Beatles, every year!
BV: You are a household name in your homeland as well as in the UK where you have performed numerous sold out shows and had a Top 5 hit with your debut album. How does it feel to go back to basics when it comes to breaking a new market like the US?
CE: Oh it’s a lot of fun! To me, there’s nothing like a fresh audience and a fresh start! To feel that energy and the pressure to try and convince everyone makes me grow as an artist every time!
BV: How do you find the US audience in comparison to your fans back in Europe?
CE: Very, very enthusiastic! But I have to admit that my audiences everywhere are on the whole quite the same: Cool, fun, enthusiastic and very devoted fans of all nationalities and ages that know how to create a party!
BV: While you are visiting you performed a couple of dates including one in New York as well as a date at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. What can fans generally expect from a Caro Emerald performance?
CE: Well, I bring my 8 piece all male band, including a horn section and a DJ! Expect a mix of an old school jazz club big band vibe, combined with scratches and beats and other electronics. I always try to pull the audience into the music in a very atmospheric way, creating a different mood for every song. And expect a lot of dancing and sing-along!
BV: You are in the process of recording your sophomore album. Will the new record follow the same formula as Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor in terms of style?
CE: Yes, definitely! For the second album I work with the same team and you will definitely be able to hear that!
BV: You have been recording the album at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. What is it like to have your album recorded in such an iconic studio where so many legendary industry figures have recorded hits?
CE: My producers and fellow partners have recorded a fabulous orchestra there for the second album, which is a dream come true for us! The recordings sound wonderful, and I’m very proud!
BV: The US music market is famous for being a difficult market for foreign artists to infiltrate though some Dutch artists have succeeded with the likes of DJ Tiësto, Vengaboys, Within Temptation and 2 Unlimited all finding moderate success in the US over the years. What do you think you bring to the current market that will stand out and get you on the right path toward breaking the US?
CE: I think my music is very different as well as catchy, and I think that will stand out! It brings a very fresh sound to the radio, much different than all of the other music you hear nowadays.
BV: How has the reaction in the US been toward your music so far?
CE: Just great! People have given me great response about the music as well as the live performances and I can’t wait to come back and play some more!
BV: Who are you listening to these days? What artists do you feel are making their mark in music?
CE: I think Gotye is very good, very cool sound!
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BV: It’s not just your music and its style that is unique. Your music videos are also very eye-catching particularly the videos to Back It Up and That Man. How involved are you when it comes to your image?
CE: Very involved! It’s something that me and my partners David Schreurs and Jan van Wieringen created together! We discuss everything, from make-up, to styling, to photography, to artwork to videos.
BV: Your shows this month are being treated as showcases for the US. Does this mean we can expect larger headline shows in the future?
CE: I hope so! At the moment, we’re making plans for it…
BV: As well as finishing the recording of your next album, what else do you have planned for 2013?
CE: Releasing the second album in Europe, and a tour in Germany and the UK, including a show at the Royal Albert Hall in March! Really looking forward to that!
BV: Thanks Caro
Caro Emerald’s debut album Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor is out now.
::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
Interviewing and reviewing the best in new music and globally recognized artists is his passion.
Over the years he has been lucky enough to review thousands of music releases and concerts and interview artists ranging from top selling superstars like 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss, Boyz II Men, Roxette, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Loeb and iconic Eagles front man/songwriter, Glenn Frey through to more recent successes including Newton Faulkner, Janelle Monae and Caro Emerald.
Brendon manages and coordinates the amazing team of writers on RenownedForSound.com who are based in the UK, the U.S and Australia.