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Cherry Pop

Antoine Bleck Antoine Bleck

'The Nu Bleck Illusion'

12 years after he arrived in the United States, Antoine Bleck came out of his basement in 2003, where he was buried since he bought his first keyboard ... an ensoniq vfx. Thanks to some talented Brazilian bands which played in his lounge "Opia" on 57th street Manhattan, he started to sing some of his own tunes, and recorded his first album Principe Favorable (available at CDbaby or iTunes).

Two years ago he met Charlelie Couture (a legend in the French rock history) who had just arrived in New York, and started to write some songs with him. From that recently came his second album, Mes Illusions.

Bleck performs every two or three months in New York, in his restaurant or other venues, like recently at Joe's pub for the release of Mes Illusions, or last year at Le Jazz au Bar. And even though he sings mostly in French his humour and the melodies of his musics capture the hearts of a sophisticated audience; one that increases after each show.

Taking it from the top and what were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? "I grew up listening to Genesis, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Deep Purple, Yes, Gino Vannelli, Michael Franks, Steely Dan, Barry White and some French musicians: Michel Legrand, Julien Clerc, Eddy Mitchell, Michel Jonaz, etc. I still have the sound, the harmonies, in my head, and use it still today."

Please take us back to that night at your very own restaurant, Opia circa 2001 when whilst playing with a Brazilian band you first sang those songs that would eventually become your debut album, 'Principle Favorable.' "The very first time was a bit scary, but I was reassured by the musicians, who were all excellent. But it was really hit or miss. They had the parts, but we never rehearsed. So sometimes it was perfect, some other times, I did'nt like it, but I was often the only one who realized that something was wrong with the song, since nobody knew them anyway! After a few months, I started to become more comfortable, and I did my first big show on a stage I built myself!"

How easy (or hard) is it to constantly create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderment's/accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "That happens on Monday mornings! Sometimes when I think about that I feel like quitting. Generally I do not try to do something to please a crowd, but rather to do something true to myself. Music always comes into my head, and many times, I find it not very interesting, other times I think "Hey, that sounds nice..." and I go back to it, and sometimes it becomes a song."

For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your CD, how would you yourself describe your sound? "Sensitive pop, loungy with a touch of jazz, melodic, and romantic."

Your album title 'Mes Illusions' is an interesting choice, but perhaps it originates from a more personal standpoint for you? Is there a theme to it, perhaps? "The theme is the transformation of an illusion into reality... it is the story of the album, more so than a theme through the songs."

Please tell us more (in a quick fashion!) about what was going on in your life when these songs were being written and recorded:

'Spontaneite' - "What makes me most happy in life is anything that happens spontaneously, when it was not planned. I wanted to say that in a song."

'French Tuesdays' - One of my best friends asked me to write a song for the big parties he organizes in NYC every other Tuesday. I go there often, and wanted an upbeat song that could be played there that reflects the "French touch" of these parties."

'Sophie's Song' - "I was living in the same house as my wife's sister's family, and they had a little baby girl named Sophie."

Has work begun yet on a follow-up album to 'Mes Illusions,' and if so, any thoughts on what we can expect? "Yes, I have many songs that are pretty much done, but not recorded yet. I would like to record some of the next songs live, but am not sure if I'll go more towards lounge/electronic or more acoustic/jazzy. It will depend if I find a label to finance the project, or if like this one, I will have to do everything myself. A live album is less expensive to realize; you never know how much time you'll spend in the recording studio!"

What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song (from any country) would you love to cover today (in your own style, of course) if asked ... and why?! "'For No One' (The Beatles) - a great song, not too well known ... or 'On The Beach' (Chris Rea) - the idea of the beach inspires me, and this Artist's voice is amazing. 'Long Train Running' (Doobie Brothers) - I do that with a bossa feel...and half of it in French - "sans amooooooour" - very upbeat!"

Lastly, Exclusive Magazine love Penguins ... do you?! "Some of the most endearing creatures! I hope we are not destroying their environment...I drive a Toyota Prius, I hope it helps!"

Thanx again for doing this for us today, and we wish you all the best for the future "Thank you much!"

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