Entry: Mervin's 10... er, ... 14 Questions with Michelle Shaprow! Monday, March 06, 2006

Aria is pleased to welcome electronica/neo pop vocalist and musician, Michelle Shaprow!

I'd like to start with a little on your background. You were educated at prestigious Yale University, where you studied psychology and philosophy and specialized in musical perception.

1. When and where did you begin your initial musical training?

My mom encouraged me to take piano lessons when I was young, so I trained with many teachers classically. In 8th grade I started writing music for our 8th grade musical and the teacher suggested that I get a synthesizer. I got an Ensoniq and started learning production and arrangement.

Your singles – "If I Lost You"; "Angel" (which you did with King Britt); "Happiness"; "Anything You Say" — showcase a rich and dynamic vocal range.

2. What would you say is your main voice, or vocal part?

Both alto and soprano — I feel equally comfortable in both.Well, I guess depending on my mood; when I'm angry or feeling very empowered I like to sing alto — when I'm pensive, or whimsical I like to take soprano.

3. What is your vocal range in octaves?

I don't know.

4. Who would you say has influenced the vocal side of Michelle Shaprow?

Probably a lot of bossa nova and Esthero.

5. What led you to dance and electronic music?

It really found me. I just do what I do and I tended to get a lot of production and collaboration opportunities in the dance community. I'm much more about music than I am about genre. For me, music is the message — genre is just a language.

6. You have a great working relationship with King Britt. How and when did the two of you first get acquainted?

When I was recording with Warner Brothers, my A&R and manager suggested King for a remix and some production work. We've hit it off ever since.

7. Is Britt involved in the development of your upcoming album?

I'm producing the project, but King has always been there for guidance and advice and probably will be doing some production on some songs as well.

8. And speaking of the new album, do you have a title yet?

Not yet — I'm just building the songs and seeing if anything calls out to me...

In addition to 'Britt, you've also worked with Satoshi Tomiie...

9. Who else would you like to work with in the near future?

Pharrell Williams, Lewis Taylor, David Liang, but in general, I'm pretty open and experimental.

10. Who is on the scene – either vocally, instrumentally or both — that is really moving you right now?

Well I'm in love with almost anything I hear on Groove Salad radio, which you can get through iTunes. I've liked what I heard from David Liang, Recloose, Brazilian Girls...so many...and it changes everyday.

In addition to singing and composing, you're also a producer. You've produced tracks for Warner Bros., as well as Vh-1's "Strip Search"...

11. Any new production projects that we should be aware of?

My own project. But for the record — I produced the VH1"Strip Search" spots not the music for them — so like, I wrote the scripts, chose the shots, music etc. — so, it was production but not music production. But as far as music production, I do consider myself more of a songwriter than producer and have ended up producing a lot just because it is sometimes the only way to really express the songs as you hear them but I really want to send out good energy into the ether to call upon my production soul mate and hopefully meet that person — or those people — soon who i am really compatible with on a musical level and can help be midwife to some of these songs I've had in my head for ages and have not fully expressed. Right now I'm having horrible throat problems which I believe is related to issues in my throat chakra having to do with expression and expression blockages.

12. Who are some of your favorite musicians?

Jobim, Stevie Wonder, Bjork.

13. Do you have any interests in scoring motion pictures?

Totally. I would LOVE to do that.

14. What other media can we expect to see you involved with in the coming years?

Film — musicals — 'Alternate Reality Events' - a new project I'm working on where we throw events which are a fusion of performance art, musical, and party; to all out there — if you're interested in getting involved and helping out, I could always use a hand and other brains so holler!

Michelle's music is available for download at her website,
www.michelleshaprow.com as well as iTunes; she is also prominently featured on the Fixe Six Recordings compilation, This Is What Radio Should Sound Like.

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