Aug M’s Q&A with Def Jam recording artist Chrisette Michele…
We recently heard that you have taken a trip to Europe, how did their Hip Hop Scene inspire your new mix-tape?
I have always had a love and fascination for Audrey Hepburn, so when I decided to take a break from the industry, I began to do research on her life. This is what led me to Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and a few other countries. While in Paris I was surprised to find such a vast hip hop culture. What they listen to over there is just like what we listen to, but what they create is dope. And I wanted to put some of those influences on my own mix-tape. You will hear that from some of the production. And of course I had to bring in some of my own favorite rappers. That is why I brought in Wale and 2 Chainz. I love me some 2 Chainz; don’t let his songs come on in the club… you’ll find me up on the table with bottles in my hands, dancing like there’s no tomorrow.
What elements did you find, while in Europe, that gave you a real Hip Hop feel for your mix-tape?
Well, while I was in Paris, I made friends with some producers from Angola Africa, and DJ’s from Paris. I was blessed enough for them to agree to help work on my mix-tape Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Presentation. I pulled in textures, sounds, lyrics, and styles of hip hop that is so unique in Europe. So hopefully I can shed some light to young people here in America on how hip hop is universal.
What are some keys things you would like to point out about your new mix-tape Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Presentation?
For one, I am not a rapper. I am a singer and a girl. And most mix-tapes are done by rappers, who are guys. My mix-tape is personal, girly, and emotional. It also has a graffiti and street element. It’s a mixture of hip hop and R&B, and even jazz! And it features Rob Glasper, who just had the number one jazz album in the country. “I am so excited about that!” Some would consider it a little more eclectic for a mix-tape, but it’s something I wanted to do from the bottom of my heart and give away to my fans and supporters.
There are many Chrisette Michele fans out there who want to know about your future release. When can they expect a new album from you?
The album is finished, and is set to be released Spring of 2013. I called my album Better because I am at a better place in my life. I’ve gone vegan, shed a lot of weight, mentally and physically, and on this album you will be able to hear me, Chrissy. This mix-tape is the catalyst to my album, because I nervously am showing you who I am. It almost feels like I’m a new artist. With every song; I have my fingers crossed that you will like it. See, I’m excited about this mix-tape because you can release what you want. But with an album, you have to wait. It has to go through a whole bunch of channels. So I decided to put something out in the mean time. However, the new album Better will be available soon, with the single dropping in late December and will be available on I-Tunes.
Is there anything else you would like your fans to know?
I have started a new company called the Rich Hipster Team. What the “Rich Hipster” movement stands for is the ability to be rich in heart, and rich in art. I am doing things a little differently now, like styling myself and rocking a high top fade! I just want to be Chrisette from this day forward. No politics or executives; I just want to be me. And I really hope that people will embrace it, and join the Rich Hipster movement coming to a city near you.
Interview By: Aug M
Special thanks to Aisha Albritton