A Bit of Background

Balancing sweet and sexy, smart and sassy, Genevieve is an all-round entertainer, a charismatic and unique talent who has been wowing audiences as a singer/songwriter since first taking the stage at 6 years old. 

It's possible to categorize her as an adult-contemporary artist because of the depth and sentiment of her lyrics, but her music spans multiple genres, incorporating elements from folk traditions to blues and jazz nuance to pop hookiness. And, with a voice blessed with impressive dynamics and range, she shifts seamlessly between sultry and Scotch-soaked chanteuse to pure Disney princess in a matter of notes. It's not surprising that her music and her voice have found homes in a variety of mediums, from tv/film and commercials to video games and educational programs.

After several years in the biz, she felt burnout approaching, so she took a sharp left and disappeared into the South African bush, using her other skills as a writer and photographer to pursue another passion in life: wildlife conservation. For several years, she ran around after animals, documenting them for local and international NGOs and managing to not get eaten by anything (though she did get bitten by a cheetah). And while she did maintain a tether to the musical world through a connection in Cape Town (where she did session work on the rare times she WAS in civilization), she still felt a musical void. She did get the opportunity to sing a Zulu lullaby for a Pampers commercial, though, so that's something.

However, due to limited time around technology, musical opportunities were rare. Most days, her audience consisted of little more than meerkats, lions, and rhinos. At one point, she even taught music classes to children on one of the reserves she worked on, few of whom spoke any English, which was possibly more challenging than not getting eaten by a lion. It was all good for a story, but not for a career. The musical beast was starving and needed feeding, which meant stepping out of the wilds of Africa and back into the, well, wilds of music. So she returned to the US.

Genevieve with light ©NealeEckstein

The Back Backstory

The youngest of five kids, you spent your early childhood watching, listening, and learning. You learn that yelling doesn’t always get you heard, and often the softest whisper works best. You incorporate that into your performing toolkit. 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, people won’t always listen to you. Except when you sit down behind the piano. You file that away as well. 

Growing up at the Jersey shore, you believe that Springsteen is king and Bon Jovi is his court. It’s the eighties, so New Order, Pat Benatar, the Beastie Boys, and Duran Duran are all part of the kingdom. You believe in fairy tales 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 won't let you run off alone to NYC anytime soon. You also can’t find any recruits to run away with you.
You hit high school when 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 belts. You’re smart, athletic, artistic, and good-looking … making you more the target of abuse than the source of admiration, so high school isn’t all that fun. Your attributes become your curse. Your best friend is your piano, a relationship you’ve nurtured since the day 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 perform at the Kennedy Center and the White House. You start to think maybe you can really do this professionally. 
Your family and friends still think being a musician is nice, but not a reality, and, your history being what it is, you don’t believe in yourself enough to argue, so you use your writing skills to land a job in advertising – and last six months. You return to music, where you’re getting a lot of good gigs that don’t pay. 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. Like advertising, it isn't a good fit. Despite the obvious cliché, you pack up your life and head to LA, where you know no one.
For several months, you land gigs and write. You pound away on the Casio keyboard you’ve had since 11, and finally get into the songwriting groove. In six months, you have about thirty songs. The one thing they all have in common (besides the fact that you wrote them) is that they are all mini-movies about people trying to survive this little thing called life. Which becomes the title of the first CD. 
You use your PR skills to book yourself tours, sing the National Anthem at some MLB games, win a few awards and plenty of fans, record your second CD, head out on tour again (at one point playing over 200 dates a year), and then decide you need a major change before you burn out. You pack up your life and move to the middle of the bush in South Africa to work in conservation. Your music gets used to promote causes, you write new songs to raise money for NGOs, and you perform to audiences that include endangered wildlife. But you feel your message needs to reach a broader audience, and you miss performing full time. So you pack up again and return to the States. And now, here you are, ready to take on the world again, this time with a truly unique story to tell and a powerful reason to tell it.




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RISA Songwriters in the Round at AS220

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Join me and several excellent local performers for a night of original music with some of Rhode Island's finest artists! Hosted by Jacob Haller and featuring myself, Andrew Potter, and Marcia Taylor. $5 cover.

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