As I listened to a wide variety of music this week, I started to wonder what moves us to appreciate a particular artist or style of song. I am no different than most people because I have my favorites. However, it must be more difficult for an artist to find an accepting audience. Years and years of working and practicing in order to become more a proficient artist is necessary, but then one must make the choice of musical genre. There have been several musicians I knew who changed genres and went on to brilliant careers. Sometimes I have even heard of some that changed the way they wrote songs, all in an effort to reach an audience of fans. These are the thoughts that crossed my mind as I prepared for this weeks’ featured artist: Oriana Curls.
I don’t believe Oriana Curls went through any genre or songwriting change in her quest for an audience. At least I’m not aware of such changes. Nevertheless, Oriana does possess a unique style and approach that enables her to reach a worldwide audience. She is not the first, and certainly not the last artist Weekly Music Commentary will feature with a distinctive musical sound. Oriana Curls does have a background that might explain her choice of artistic direction. Her bio explains:
“Oriana Curls is a French Jazz, Pop and Cabaret Singer-Songwriter based in London. Her talent as a songwriter and her impressive four-octave range voice has already allowed her to work with some of the best musicians, writers and producers throughout London. From such varied and successful artists as Andy Bradfield ( Producer for Imelda May, Rufus Wainwright, Eliza Doolittle), Stephen Large ( Musical Director for Caro Emerald, Duffy, Rebecca Ferguson), Marcella Puppini (founder of The Puppini Sisters), and more recently with multi-instrumentalist and producer Koby Israelite (John Zorn, Madonna) and LA based Grammy Award winner Helik Hadar (Madeleine Peyroux)”.
When I was first introduced to Oriana Curls music, I realized I had not featured any French music before. I knew of French Jazz and Cabaret from a historical perspective, but not really the modern versions of the musical style. Enter Oriana Curls, and we have an interesting version of French Jazz many people are growing to love.
Once you listen to her music, you most definitely will form your own opinion. I thought about this when I decided to feature Oriana. Most may not be familiar with her music. However, there will be a very good number of readers who will like her eclectic brand of jazz music. When I learned of the various writers and producers with whom she has collaborated, I had a feeling I would like her music. There are a few other reasons why Oriana Curls’ music might appeal to a worldwide audience. Read what I found in her bio:
“Having been trained classically in violin, piano, opera and ballet, she has a strong Italian and Spanish family background and was also born in Strasbourg near the German border, which makes her a multilingual singer. Being influenced by classical, jazz, Latin and French chanson, she sings about love and relationships, she seduces, moves and entertains the audience with jazzy up-tempo numbers and romantic soaring ballads. Combined with her charming gypsy violin playing and dance movements, she is very reminiscent of the most renowned French names (Edith Piaf), adding some timeless songs to her repertoire”.
Upon reading about her background, I began to understand Oriana Curls and her choice of music so much more. Because of her classical training, she had a strong musical start that allowed her to go in several musical directions. Her multilingual upbringing also helped her develop into a musician with a “world” view toward music. For me, it is more difficult to enjoy music vocalized in a language other than English. It would be impossible for me to fully understand. Although, music education and studies of social environments of the world have helped me. Even with such education I cannot produce such music. Oriana Curls can, and she does write and sing multilingual music. Quite a talent indeed.
Modern technology has helped Oriana Curls in a variety of ways as it has helped other musicians. The music video has allowed her ever growing fan base to actually see Oriana perform. In fact, my first introduction to her music, as well as most today, was via the music video. Her song, “Love Me Hurt Me” is a fantastic composition and the accompanying video provides a great presentation that I chose to highlight below. For Oriana Curls brand of music the video is the perfect tool that allows everyone to see, hear and feel her performances.
I have been able to read several very positive reviews of Oriana Curls recordings and performances. A great deal of words have been used to describe her sound. One word “quirky” I tend not to use because I don’t really think it fits her musical style. Her music is very different from modern popular music but I would not call it quirky. I think a better description is modern French Jazz/Cabaret with a historical feel.
Whenever I feature artists with origins outside the US, it is my hope that many music fans in the US will grow in appreciation of music they normally would not hear. Hopefully Oriana Curls US audience will grow very soon along with the rest of the world.