French singer Chloe Perrier has just released a new album: Petite Fleur with her band the French Heart Jazz Band which is made up of a mix of French chansons and American jazz standards from the 1920s to the 1940s. After multiple sold out shows of “Gatsby in Paris”, and the new successful album, the Triad Theater presents Chloe’s new show “American Divas in Paris”. A celebration of the great American Jazz singers who were in love with Paris: Blossom Dearie, Eartha Kitt, Joséphine Baker and Helen Merrill. The show will run on Wednesday, September 8th, 2021, at 7pm.
Chloe has been acting, singing and playing the violin since she was a little girl. She graduated from the Bill Evans Piano Academy in Paris; her repertoire spans all the great jazz standards, and includes bossa nova, French songs, and her own compositions. She recently discussed her career via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you get interested in music and songwriting?
Chloe Perrier (CP): I got interested in music at a young age. When I was five years old, I requested to play the violin after seeing a kid’s TV show, later I stole my parent’s records and brother’s CDs. I was always fascinated by music. I began my acting career when I was 13 years old and always used music as a tool to put me in character. At 15 I began to take singing classes but was way too shy to sing in public. Acting was easier for me because you can hide behind the character! After a bet with a friend, Mouss Diouf, who owned a beautiful venue “Le Réservoir” in Paris, I did my first show there. I was terrified, but I got hooked! Then, I decided to go to jazz school and began writing and composing songs there. Singing and creating always makes me feel better, and I love to make other people forget their problems and travel with me during the show. I got addicted to it.
MM: How did you break into the industry and how would you describe your style?
CP: I worked hard! I moved to NY with not much more than some broken English and a first album, this helped me to get an artist visa. I did everything I could to get as many gigs as possible, to learn as much as possible, with my favorites musicians who quickly became my second family. I believe in teamwork. To me it is important, and makes me sing better, to have the right people around me. I am also stubborn and never give up! You need to be strong and passionate nowadays, to make something happen. As far as my style, it’s hard to describe, easier to listen to, haha. I will say, elegant French jazz with a vintage touch.
MM: Why did you gravitate towards jazz, especially vintage jazz?
CP: When I began doing shows, I was doing a bit of everything, I had a movies theme, as I was an actress and went through movies like candy. The musicians I was playing with, lent me, more and more, jazz albums, telling me it was fitting my voice the best. And I began devouring jazz albums like candy as well and decided to go to Jazz School. First, I was listening to all kinds of jazz, but I was really attracted to the 20’s to 40’s vocalists in particular, I love them all! When I moved to NY, I began hanging out a lot in the vintage scene thanks to my dear friend Tatiana-Eva Marie who gave me some of my first gigs in NY after checking me out and contacting me online to sub her. And a lot more after that. I fell in love with “la joie de vivre”, the freshness of vintage jazz. It makes me, and makes the audience happy, and can be accessible to anyone, not only jazz addicts. For me jazz was and still should be popular music, not music just for an elite. I love seeing people smiling and dancing, and I love to be part of it.
MM: Why did you decide to focus on four classic singers as central theme for your latest show?
CP: I focus on those four because they all sang in French. As simple as that. They also are four amazing singers and women, with a strong touch. I love their different personalities and admire them deeply. I wanted to honor them, because I think we don’t hear them as much anymore, and I want to put them back in the light.
MM: How much research did you do about each woman and what most interested or surprised you?
CP: I’ve read their biographies, listened to most of their songs, in particular the French ones, and watched live videos of them. The surprises were their lives, as I already knew most of the songs. For example, I didn’t know Blossom Dearie had a French husband at one point, and I love that Josephine Baker was a French spy!
MM: Out of all songs on the album, do you have any personal favorites? If so, which ones and why?
CP: Out of all the songs of my new album “Petite Fleur”, I think my two favorites are “Comes Love”, because I always was and am terriblement romantique! And the other one my hiding song “Petite Fleur”, because it was the favorite song of my grandpa, and the reason I called the album “Petite Fleur”. But because I chose them all, I love all of them…haha.
MM: What’s the best fan feedback you’ve gotten about your music?
CP: One man, one day told me that my music made him want to dance or make love. As he was not hitting on me, I took that as a compliment! I also love when people tell me after the show, that I make them travel and forget their worries.
MM: How would you describe your live performances?
CP: A magical time travel to Paris in the 20’s.
MM: How do you hope your career evolves over the next five years?
CP: Hopefully by playing in all the best Jazz Clubs and festivals all around the world, and recording a bunch of albums!
MM: What are your ultimate goals for the future and is there anything else that you would like to mention?
CP: I have three new ideas for albums, one movie I am writing about a jazz singer, I just got certified as a life coach, so I have a lot of goals for the future! I will make sure to make them happen! As I moved to Los Angeles for love during the pandemic, I am going to be a little more rare on the NY stages, so take your ticket now and don’t miss the show. To get tickets, see here.
To learn more about Chloe, visit her official website.