'Sign Up Now ... Chantal Needs You!'
Following her resounding debut success in the U.K. late last year, singer-songwriter Chantal Chamandy — a longtime resident of Montreal who was born on the Nile in Alexandria, Egypt - is bringing her sensual uptempo sounds to the U.S.
For the week ending March 10, the radio mix of her popular lead single “You Want Me” — a Top 5 dance hit on British charts last summer, and #1 on DJ In The Mix — is #19 with a bullet on the Billboard Dance Club Play Chart. It has risen from its debut position of #43 in only four weeks.
Immediately upon its release to U.S. radio, “You Want Me” shot to #1 Most Added on FMQB’s Hot AC chart and held its position for two weeks in a row. Among the nine songs it beat to the top were tracks from Coldplay, Bon Jovi and Anna Nalick.
The multi-lingual Chamandy and her label, Ninemuse Entertainment, have further turned up the heat with remixes by Grammy-winning producer Brian Rawling (Cher’s “Believe”) and turntable stars Norty Cotto (Ricky Martin, Anastasia, Nina Sky), Miami-based Lee- Cabrera (“Shake-It”) and The Bilz. These were simultaneously serviced to clubs and dance radio across the country as well.
Out on limited-edition disc, they are followed by additional reinventions of “You Want Me” — including a reggaeton version - to coincide with the U.S. release of Chamandy’s debut album Love Needs You, slated to street in Summer 2006.
Chatting recently with Chantal, I first asked her to take us back to those early days when she balanced formal training as a classical singer with a love for French music and American pop, soul and disco. Had it been as experimental as it all sounded? "My album, ‘Love Needs You’, is definitely the outcome of my background experiences. When you bring different cultures together, you sometimes end up with an interesting mixture of exotic fun and romantic sounds, at least, I’m hoping people will feel that way!"
From listening to 'Love Needs You,' it seems that the blend of styles doesn't easily allow you to strictly define it. Was this on purpose or a happy accident? "This is the risk of not writing to a certain genre, but I would describe my music as ‘love’ around the world …"
Your album title suggests a powerful statement of intent, but whose 'love' are you referring to? "Love is a feeling that is different for everyone, and in my case it is referring to a person in my life who’s name doesn’t matter because I define him as the love in Love Needs You."
You've already experienced a lot of success throughout the U.K., so what is it that they get about you that other countries have yet to appreciate? "I can’t really talk about the other countries because the only country has been the United Kingdom, and so far I feel very appreciated."
Out of the 14 songs on this new album which one truly stands out to be your go-to favorite when recommending it to first time listeners ... and why? "I would say ‘You Want Me’, ‘Crazy’, ‘Zindegi’, ‘Feels Like Love’, oops, I can’t pick one!?!"
Please tell us more about your lovelorn column, 'Ask Chantal' where you give all kinds of advice to whoever writes into your website "I have been giving my friends’ advice since I was 15 (!!) and now I have been happily with my best friend for 10 years, I feel like I have the recipe! People have written back and thanked me, so I am enjoying this and having fun. Do you need any advice?!"
Having been born on the Nile in Alexandria, Egypt I was wondering what your memories of growing up there were ...? "Well, very few as I moved here (Montreal) when I was pretty small, however, I sometimes see pictures and feel as though I was there."
... and being that Alexandria is the country's second largest city with a population of over 5 million, what do you miss most about it? "I really miss the family that I haven’t seen the most …!!"
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "What’s cheesy?? No, seriously, ‘Just the Way You Are’ by Billy Joel, because some songs, no matter how many years go by, the lyrics and melody are timeless. Also, ‘Love to Love you, Baby’ (Donna Summer) ‘cause it’s hot!!"
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "Yes, I love a man in a tuxedo!!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Chantal's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: From her new album, the thoroughly passionate duet “Feels Like Love” spotlights the magical guitar and features whose spirited vocals?
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before May 15th with your answer and the subject title 'CHANTAL CHAMANDY SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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