The Short Story

Genevieve began in music much like other musicians begin - she was passionate about it. As a baby, she would literally wake up singing, and her family would track her down by following her voice. At age six, she taught herself to play the piano, and before reaching her teenage years, she had also mastered the clarinet, recorder, and drums. She had an amazing ability to remember music – particularly from films – and would sit at the piano for hours, creating her own soundtracks. Always a gifted writer, it didn't take very long for her to put words to the music.

 

The youngest child, Genevieve was heavily influenced by her family. Growing up listening to everything from AC/DC to Air Supply to The Beastie Boys to Led Zeppelin to Dolly Parton to Whitney Houston, she learned to appreciate music for what it was, not who it was. As a result, she approaches her own songwriting in the same manner, focusing more on the songs as individual stories, each with its own past, present, and future. It isn't unusual to find a country-tinged folk song next to a sexy New Orleans-jazz-infused romp next to a melodic Disney-esque ballad. And somehow it makes perfect sense, quite possibly because you can't stop listening to her voice.

 

Genevieve defies conventional trappings because she loves to experiment. In the same way that Florence and the Machine, Imogen Heap, and Peter Gabriel bring in world elements and intelligent lyrics, Genevieve is always trying new sounds and ways of stringing words together to create an atmosphere. It's like she writes mini-movies, complete with imagery, tone, and dialogue.

 

Not surprisingly, Genevieve the person is just like her music - an old soul in a young body. Her music reflects the intelligence and worldliness of someone well beyond her years. And, like her music, she quietly slips under your skin without your knowledge until you can't get her out of your head.

The Long Story

How and why Genevieve would fuse aspects of folk, pop, alternative, electronica, country, rock, and jazz can only be explained by understanding the artist herself.  Like all singer-songwriters, she is a storyteller, so to appreciate the stories she tells, you have to understand who she is and where she came from.  Here’s an opportunity to step into her life...
 


 

As the youngest of five children, your early childhood is spent watching, listening and learning.  You learn that yelling doesn’t always get you heard, and often the softest whisper works best.  You learn that a tough skin and a strong belief in yourself is mandatory in dealing with the fact that even though you might be right, no one listens to you anyway because you’re the youngest.  You are caught in the middle of two worlds – feeling older and more aware of the world than your friends, while trying desperately to relate to them.  Your independence and knowledge become both your freedom and your curse.  
 


 

Growing up at the Jersey shore, you believe that Springsteen is king and Bon Jovi is his court.  Since it’s the eighties, New Order, Pat Benatar, the Beastie Boys and Duran Duran are all part of the kingdom.  You believe in fairytales because that’s what Uncle Walt teaches, and Jem because she’s truly outrageous and because you secretly want to be a rockstar, but your family is too grounded in values to let you run off alone to NYC anytime soon.  And unfortunately, you can’t find any recruits to run away with you.
 


 

You hit high school in the nineties, where the bubble-gum pop of a few years ago doesn’t fit the tragedy and turmoil in your life, and so is replaced by Nirvana, Alice in Chains, the Smiths, and the Indigo Girls (because you need someone who sounds a little like you).  And you secretly listen to Whitney, because like you, she can really sing.  You have a miserable time in a tiny high school where everyone knows everything about you, and if they don’t, they make it up.  You’re smart, athletic, artistic, and good-looking … making you more the target of abuse than the source of admiration.  As a result, you see none of your attributes as good, and instead begin to hate yourself.  Your best friend is your piano, a relationship you’ve nurtured since the day at 6 years old when you sat down and taught yourself to play “Hey Jude” for your mom.  
 


 

You escape to college.  Although you’ve been on various stages since the age of four, your dream of being an entertainer has been beaten out of you by lack of self-esteem and too much pressure to “get a real job”.  Here, you are somewhat safe to pursue this dream and build up what you’ve lost.  You become a marquee singer in an a cappella group, and find yourself performing at the Kennedy Center and the White House.  You start to think maybe you can really do this professionally.  And then you reach graduation in need of money, with no “real job” prospects, no contacts, and not as much self-esteem as you thought.  
 


 

Your family and friends still think being a musician is nice, but not a reality, and you don’t believe in yourself enough to argue, so you use your writing skills to land a job in advertising – and after six months, realize it’s a mistake.  You return to the music for a while, where you’re getting a lot of good gigs that don’t pay.  You don’t have enough time to perform and have another job, so you find yourself working in casting.  You see people of infinite talent, but also watch mediocre actors land jobs you could do better in your sleep. 

 

Inspired again, you enroll in Juilliard, only to run out of money and once more find yourself back in the business world.  This time, it’s in public relations, writing about the hotels of the rich and fabulous. You love to travel and write, and think this might squash the desire to be a musician and finally give you the stability you think you need.  Three weeks later, September 11th hits, and you have a major wake-up call.  Despite the obvious cliché, you pack up your life and head to LA, where you know no one.
 


 

For several months, you get oriented, landing stage gigs and writing in your free time.  You pound away on the Casio keyboard you’ve had since age eleven, and finally get into the songwriting groove.  In six months, you have about thirty songs.  You take a look at them and realize that the one thing they all have in common (besides the fact that you wrote them) is that they would be perfect as the soundtrack of a movie - the movie of your life.  
 


 

You decide on eleven songs and find someone willing to help you record them who will let you drive the creative process, because you know exactly how they should sound.  After all, they’re a part of you. You share the progress with friends and realize that other people can identify with what you are writing. 

 

In a year, you finish your first album, and off you go on a four-month expedition, singing the National Anthem at professional baseball stadiums around the country to promote the album and yourself.
 
And now your story, like a light in the window, is finally guiding you to where you want and need to be.

 

From there, you continue to write, record, and tour. Here and there you pick up gigs singing on other people's CDs. Suddenly, your songs are showing up on TV shows and in commercials. You're getting awards. People are noticing. 

 

However, the limelight was never your goal in music, and a few years into touring, a cynical feeling slowly begins to creep into your heart. After being burned one too many times by people who didn't deliver on their promised work, you step away from music and literally disappear into the South African bush. You'd rather preserve your love for music than find yourself hating one of the fundamental parts of your genetic make up.

 

After a few years of working with wildlife and in conservation (and considerable time missing your keyboard, solid walls, and a set of drawers), you find yourself in a position to still play music, but on your terms. And there you are, on stage and entertaining once again. 

  

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