By Nicole Breanne
Andree Belle walked into the bar where I was meeting her and immediately brightened up the room. There is a warmth, and an almost physical presence about her. Once she sat down and we began to speak it was clear what I was feeling, I was feeling connected. A singer and song writer, newly certified yoga instructor, but that’s not all, Andree is also on a mission. With her new album “The Soft Glow of Electric Sex” she hopes to start a sexual revolution. It’s important to her to feel that women are empowered and are valued, that we’re more than our bodies or our looks. She’s working extremely hard on her new album in the hope that it will bring a platform to inspire young girls, and of course…get people moving!
NB: Tell me about The Soft Glow of Electric Sex”
AB: This EP is an exploration of our sexuality. The name of the album comes from the movie, A Christmas Story. When Ralphie’s father wins the infamous leg lamp, he is captivated by “the soft glow of electric sex”…. it’s funny to me because it can be perceived as being so sexual, but it’s silly at the same time because it’s from a classic holiday film, it touches on the multifacetedness of our sexuality.
Though we can be empowered by our sexuality, we are so much more than that. One of my missions is to help women embrace authentic expression of their sexuality and be empowered by it but also find empowerment from their spirits and minds.
NB: How is this EP different that your first album?
AB: I’ve grown as an artist, writer, performer and I believe this project will reflect that.
NB: How much does your heritage come into play…would you every “tone down” your Latin vibes?
AB: NUNCA! I’m proud to be Boricua, it’s a part of who I am. My Puerto Rican heritage comes across in the way I move on stage, I dance a lot. In my first project, M.U.S.I.C. we had two Latin tunes, “abuela” and “te necesito” and a little interlude that Dre and Leo did called, “rabo de galo.” Also, there’s one Latin song on the next record called “beijo,” it’s a little interlude I wrote about my love. He’s from Brazil and beijo means kiss in Portuguese.
NB: What’s your creative process? Do you like writing with people? What inspires you?
AB: I don’t like to box myself in. I like creating in every way, by myself, with other people…. on the spot creation, sometimes the concept is first, sometimes a melody, sometimes a poem turns into a song… My life is what inspires me. There’s a song that I wrote called Sexploitation, and it explores me paying my way through college by working at a burlesque club. I learned a lot there. It was a very dark world and its been very cathartic for me to write this song… it can be a bit scary too, to be that vulnerable. But I feel like you have to be that vulnerable for people to really feel it and understand you as an artist.
NB: You talk a lot about sexuality, and a sexual revolution. But you’re not promoting promiscuity…so what are your feelings on monogamy?
AB: I think whatever is true to you. To each their own. It’s all about honesty. If you can handle an open relationship then great, do you…. I will have a song called “Serial Monogamist” as well on the next record, because that has been my relationship pattern.
NB: How important is it to you that this project do well?
AB: I really want to do it big! I want to go on tour and reach the masses. I’m fearless! I’m very determined for it to succeed. It’s everything. I live for connecting with others through music. Every time I’m on stage I think “this is gift,” I’m so grateful. The more success you have the more you’re in a position to talk about bigger things. What is the purpose of fame unless its to influence in a positive way?
NB: Who are your idols?
AB: I love all the old school soul artists, Aretha, Stevie, Marvin, and jazz singers, Billie and Ella… but new artists who inspire me…The Black Keys, they’re really dope. Janelle Monet is electric on stage, she’s very inspiring and very conceptual. I love Little Dragon, V.V. Brown is super creative and she’s about the message too. She’s a real, true artist and I think that’s needed and important in pop music. I just had the pleasure to sing backgrounds for her promo tour. I love Erykah Badu. An authentic artist whose career I would like to emulate. I’d love to open for her.
NB: Any plans for acting or fashion??
AB: I am a bit fashion obsessed. I would love to have my own lingerie line. I’m intrigued by acting, I love the psychology behind it, there are a lot of similarities to music. I’m open to exploring that world.
NB: You’ve written about how you didn’t have the easiest of childhoods, you’re parents relationship wasn’t ideal. Has that inspired you?
AB: Growing up I didn’t really see a loving communicative relationship. I grew up in an abusive environment, a lot of turmoil. My Mom is very close to me and is extremely loving and supportive. I have shared a lot of my childhood experiences on my blog and how I dealt with those experiences. Readers would message me and it was beautiful to see how it touched people and inspired them. I saw a lot of things I shouldn’t have, but I think that’s what makes you who you are and it makes you stronger.
NB: You mentioned “your love” tell me a bit about him.
AB: He’s my musical soul mate. Dre (yes we have the same name) is a genius. He does everything- plays, writes, produces, mixes. He’s an inspiration to me for sure. He teaches me so much even the way I listen to music is different now because of him. I love creating with him. I call him the co-writer to my dreams.
NB: How important is it that people feel connected to you through your album, or feel the love you’ve put into it?
AB: It’s very important but I feel like it’s easier to convey through my live performances.
NB: What’s your main goal with this album?
AB: My goal is to spark a sexual revolution where we are embracing our sexuality in a healthy and multifaceted way. Mind, body, and spirit. American culture is so funny, we’re either repressed or we’re at the opposite end of the spectrum where we are obsessed with sex. I think the repression has led to this obsession with it. Thinking about it historically, women were the leaders and now we’re repressed. I think its great to be empowered by sexuality but I feel like there’s so much more to us that we need to talk about. I think it’s great to grind it out, but what else is there? You look at Madonna and she was very provocative. She inspires me. Now there are artists that are so called empowered by their sexuality but if feels false to me… in the videos they’re straddling some kind of phallic object. Some girls think that’s all they are (their sexuality). What do you do when you’re 65 and have only been empowered by your looks and sex your whole life? You’re so much more than that.
NB: Pop music is so auto-tuned, you’re not doing any of that on this album, why not?
AB: It’s the imperfections that are beautiful and I’m all about celebrating our imperfections as women. I think it’s a travesty that everyone is so auto-tuned and sounds the same. I’m about authentic self-expression. Mainstream music is homogeneous right now, we need a revolution. I hope to be a part of that revolution.