Exclusive Interview: Chrisette Michele Speaks About Her New Mixtape, Her Love of Audrey Hepburn & More (audio inside)

| October 15, 2012 | 0 Comments

 

Sometimes, you just luck up. Like walking outside knowing that you have no money in your pocket and you look down and find a $20 dollar bill. Just a chance moment. This was one of those times and moments. Initially, I was laying on my couch watching the New York Giants play the San Francisco 49’ers, when I get word that Chrisette Michelle was doing a photo shoot and a video downstairs from my apartment. My first thought was, ”cool.” My immediate second thought was, “Oh s*&^, I need to go interview her!” So I made a phone call, got dressed and the next thing you know I’m standing in Derrick Blanks studio next to Chrisette Michele as she had her make-up applied by a make-up artist. She was getting ready for a video that she was shooting with Derrick that day for “Charades” a track off her Audrey Hepburn inspired mixtape, “Audrey Hepburn: AudioVisual Presenation.”

 Well, while she was in the chair Chrisette took the time to speak with me about her new project, her love of Audrey Hepburn, her record label Island/Def Jam and what independence means to her. Listen to the audio for the full experience, it’s great!

Hip Hop Enquirer: So what are you doing down here today?

Chrisette Michele: I’m here shooting a video with Derrick Blanks. I’m working on a mixtape. It’s inspired by the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn and it’s called “Audrey Hepburn AudioVisual Presentation.” It will be available on my birthday December 8th for download.

Hip Hop Enquirer: What inspired you to base your project off Audrey Hepburn?

Chrisette Michele: I took a trip to Paris, London, Amsterdam and Brussels and I literally retraced her footsteps. Everywhere I could find that she had been from theaters to the house that she grew up in. I recorded all of it and put together a bunch of documentary shorts with my friend Josh and made songs to a bunch of her movie titles.

Hip Hop Enquirer: So Audrey Hepburn is an inspiration for you?

Chrisette Michele: She was a huge inspiration! She was a style icon, a UNICEF ambassador and a great philanthropist for us and for everybody else in the world. She was a person that you can easily be inspired by and we should all know all a little bit of her history.

Hip Hop Enquirer: How is this project going to differ from your earlier projects?

Chrisette Michele: This if the first time where no one has any say over anything that I’m doing except for the most creative minds that I could find. So I found creative minds from London to Paris to Amsterdam to New York City and smashed it all into this piece. This is a project where I literally made phone calls to people like 2 Chainz to my jazz friends like Robert Glasper and Kenneth Whalum who are number 1 on the jazz charts and I reached out to them and I asked them if they could help me out with this project. So I totally A&R’d it and put it together and then I found great minds to help me with the creative process.

Hip Hop Enquirer: 2 Chainz to Robert Glasper, that’s a huge difference in music.

Chrisette I have a t-shirt line called Rich Hipster that I sell at all my concerts. What I wanted to do was get all the hipsters from 2 Chainz and Robert Glasper all the cool people who love culture, eclectic people who understand and appreciate art and put them all together. Just because were in different genres of radio and media doesn’t mean that we don’t have a similar soul or similar idea for what art is. So, the tracks are all mixed down by a Parisian Dj, so he’ll be speaking French on the mixtape. I think you’ll feel the soul of it. It crosses language and it hits right to the soul.

Hip Hop Enquirer: It sounds like you’ll be taking a step up creatively. Will we hear you doing anything like rapping on it?

Chrisette Michele: I’m not going to be rapping, but what is really exciting is that I will be styling myself for all the videos that we put together and all of the photography. This is the first time that you will see what is in my closet and some of the stuff that I picked up all across the world and see my take on what fashion is, rich hipster style.

Hip Hop Enquirer: So, what video are you shooting today?

Chrisette Michele: This video is called “Charades” which is on of Audrey’s big films. I’m just really, really excited because Derrick Blanks came up with this incredible nostalgic idea of a Black and White video. I cannot wait for everyone to see it.

Hip Hop Enquirer: So when will we hear a new LP from you?

Chrisette Michele: (pauses) I hope that you can write it so that people can understand that I paused when you said that. (Everyone in the room laughs.)

Hip Hop Enquirer: When will we be able to get our hands on this project?

Chrisette Michele: I’m doing what I call little click downs starting in November. You can go to my twitter page and I’ll have links. Me and Google Play have paired up. You will be able to download one audio and one visual every Saturday. On December 8th I’ll be streaming the entire project live which is my birthday. So at midnight December 8th you’ll be able to download it after watching me perform it with my band The Rat Packer team

Hip Hop Enquirer: Is it true that you also might be working with Fabolous on this album?

Chrisette Michele: Fabolous and I are doing collaboration on his album. (She looks towards her marketing advisor and asks, “Should I tell him what the song is about? Her advisor responds with a better way to explain the track)

It’s something that everyone wants to hear him say and talk about. I don’t know why these incredible rappers allow me to be apart of moments when they say big things. The next time I speak to his folks, I’m going to ask ‘can you get on my mixtape as well?” I’ll think he’ll do it.

Hip Hop Enquirer: This project seems to portray a more independent Chrisette Michele.

Chrisette Michelle: It’s really important to put your own monetary ends to means behind it and show executives and incredible corporations and folks like that what it is that you’re thinking. When you can put together an audio and a visual and market it yourself, then they will put the big bucks behind you next you.

 Hip Hop Enquirer| Twitter.com/hiphopenquirer

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Category: Feature, Hip Hop Fashion, Interviews, Media Gallery

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