Geneviève Ballemare’s music is soulful, creating visions of sultry, sensual emotions. As a singer and an artist, she comes across as nakedly honest and slightly intimidating. She’s as bold in her social media as she is with her voice, making theatrical statements to the tune of, “I live and die, I live and die.” Though she’s as organic and creative as they come, this impression she’s cultivated didn't happen by chance. “I do try to give off the image that I am confident behind the camera and that I enjoy being behind it,” Bellemare says. “I absolutely hate the camera, it is something I am really trying to work on getting over. But I don't want anyone to know I feel that way by looking at my face in the picture. I would say it's me trying to find what my persona is in the pictures.” Almost all artists today need a lifestyle or persona to back up the imagery they convey in their sound, and Bellemare understands and embraces it.
All signs point to confidence when it comes to Bellemare. Raised in the spotlight, she notes, as cocky as it sounds, she knew when she won Next Big Thing Eugene that she was destined to be recognized. “I had my goals in place long before that, and had and have confidence that I will be successful. [It's either that] or you won't have the drive to be persistent enough to make yourself successful.” Her accurate, well-adjusted perspective on stardom has garnered this rising star attention from Verve Records, her signing label, Sacks & Co., Palawan Productions, and more. Something about Bellemare’s presence so wholly trumps the bubble gum pop stars lining the Top 40; her sound gains her immediate legitimacy as a talent because it’s raw and it’s obviously her. No auto tune, synthesizers, and no drum and bass are present to mask or manipulate her sound.
Coupling her dynamite voice, Geneviève Bellemare is a sight for sore eyes, a mysterious brooding beauty behind the camera. “It’s a character I just naturally go into. Not sure why because I don’t feel I really exude sexiness in my day to day life.” She cops a style of her own, donning T-shirts at shows and knee socks in photoshoots that have a laidback just-rolled-out-of-bed energy. Her endearing outfits come with a powerful mind behind it, pumping creative inspiration filtered with an artist’s doubtful criticism. “I over think everything, and unfortunately I do care about how peoples perception of me, so I [don’t] want to come off in a way that wasn't representing me as an artist.” Thankfully, her instincts are as tuned as her vocals, and she makes note of a gut feeling that rises when she’s found musical gold. Her description of the feeling in the interview conveys her passion for writing and creating music in a epigrammatic explanation: “It has to do with the texture of words and how everything falls into place. You can always detect a hook and that is one thing that makes you feel that it is going in the right direction, but the over all feeling of this song is the best I feel that I could make it. It’s a feeling I don't know how to describe to anyone... yet. I think over time answering questions like this will actually help me start to really answer them in the near future.”
Bellemare is destined for a comprehensive future in the music industry, even if by the fuel of her own volition. But, with her dynamite track record (literally) and one killer personality, she shouldn’t be strapped for help along the way. Verve has already brought her close to amazing producers now supporting her every move, who are as enthusiastic about her individuality and personal sound as I am. “They have really let me do my thing, and that is all an artist can ask for.” She pushes the envelope a bit on her own time, singing and experimenting outside her signature style when in the comfort of her own home. “I love to sing at home to other styles that I don't sing. It kind of test of your technical side of your voice.” She notes her songwriting will take her out of her usual bounds, as well, but she has a hope this will benefit her in her career. “Sometimes I will write a song that I feel is pretty out there for me. But I usually stay pretty close to my zone. I do feel like over time (I hope ) that I will be able to work my way into other styles that are sill cohesive with me and what i represent as an artist. That is part of the fun about being around and making a shit ton of albums!”
Impression of Sound:Do you feel moving from your French Canadian roots to Los Angeles has helped of hindered your sophisticated sound?
Geneviève Bellemare: I don't feel that I have been hindered in anyway from my French roots, mainly because I have been away from them for quite some time. I have lived in Vancouver 'till I was 11 and then in Oregon 'till I was about 20. I have actually never been to Quebec, but my dad and his side of the family is from there. I do think however moving to LA has helped my music become what it is, mainly because of the amazing producers and musicians I got to work with.
IOS: When you were younger and won “Next Big Thing Eugene,” did you know you were going to find success in music?
Bellemare: I Knew before. As cocky as that sounds...the "Next Big Thing Eugene" didn't really feel huge to me. I had my goals in place long before that and had and have confidence that I will be successful. You have to [have goals] or you won't have the drive to be persistent enough to make yourself successful.
IOS: Photographs are a huge influence on your image. Are your photos online aimed at creating a specific persona?
Bellemare: I wouldn't say it's me creating a persona, per say. But I do try to give off the image that I am confident behind the camera and that I enjoy being behind it. I absolutely hate the camera, it is something I am really trying to work on getting over. I don't want anyone to know I feel that way by looking at my face in the picture. I would say it's me trying to find what my persona is in the pictures.
IOS: Your tracks exude confidence, and you say your Twitter is for those, “interested in having regular updates about bowel movements, cats , and whether or not I ate with a fork or spoon that day.” How would you describe your relationship to social media?
Bellemare: My relationship with social media is an interesting one. It's a love hate sort of thing. Most of the time, if I think about what I usually read on Twitter and what people use it for, it gives me no motivation to post something. That is not me saying everyone is boring and stupid; people just like to express and share more than I do so there for it becomes unappealing and somewhat frightening for me. But now, I have found that there are ways I can express the random side of me but still keep it real. I want people when and if they read my tweets or see my photos to feel like they really know me, and know my humor, and even my serious side.
IOS: You claim your writing process is the same for all your tracks. Do you have any worries of writer's block?
Bellemare: ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY. I think it is something all writers, no matter what, feel. I do have confidence that I will find ways to get passed it. I will have to!
IOS: In interviews, you have expressed a fear of “coming off too dramatic.” Can you elaborate?
Bellemare: I think that got miss interpreted wrong, or I worded it wrong. I just meant at first when Mitchell Froom mentioned to me that it sounded like I was singing "I live and die, I live and die" when I was working on the song. That I was concerned that it would come off too strong and be too big of a statement. I over think everything, and, unfortunately, I do care about people's perception of me, so I just didn't want to come off in a way that wasn't representing me as an artist. But it worked out perfectly.
IOS: You say you know a track is complete when it “feels right,” how exactly do you pin does this feeling?
Bellemare: I can't explain how or why I know when it feels right. It has to do with the texture of words and how everything falls into place. You can always detect a hook and that is one thing that makes you feel that it is going in the right direction, but the overall feeling of the song is the best I feel that I could make it. It's a feeling I don't know how to describe to anyone... yet. I think over time answering questions like this will actually help me start to really answer them in the near future.
IOS: As a writer of your own melodies and lyrics, how often do you find yourself wanting to branch out from your style?
Bellemare: I actually do quite often. I love to sing at home to other styles that I don't sing. It kind of tests your technical side of your voice, and sometimes I will write a song that I feel is pretty out there for me. But I usually stay pretty close to my zone. I do feel like over time (I hope) that I will be able to work my way into other styles that are sill cohesive with me and what I represent as an artist. That is part of the fun about being around and making a shit ton of albums.
IOS: How’s everything been working with Verve since you’ve signed there?
Bellemare: It has been great. They have introduced me to amazing producers who I have become closer to than I anticipated to and have been very supportive of what I am as an artist. They have really let me do my thing. And that is all an artist can ask for.
IOS: Describe the process you go through in creating your music videos.
Bellemare: Mainly I just have to prepare myself to be in front of a camera for long periods at a time. And also to go underwater without goggles which is a huge fear for me.
comments powered by Disqus