Get to Know FM Laeti

I first discovered, singer FM Laeti through her page on Facebook and became instantly smitten with her song, Rise in the sun which I featured on the blog here..

I was able to interview this rising musical star and here’s what she had to say about herself and her work..

How long have you been singing?

I started singing in a chamber choir at the age of eleven or twelve.
What’s the story behind your name , FM Laeti?

FM – the sound waves which we surf on looking for our favourite songs and new ones
FM – the radio frequency of our different moods and desires
FM is the one which I wrote this album with; my artistic alter-ego, my partner in crime,
Laeti it’s me


Tell us a bit about your background? Where are you from? What’s was it like growing up there?

I was born in Guadeloupe from a….
drummer father and a mother who studied literature at la Sorbonne and moved to France and Switzerland. I was back in Guadeloupe at the age of 3.
At nine or ten we moved to Canada   with my mother, and little sister. My step-father is Canadian. I lived in Canada until the end of High school and went to college in Illinois.

I grew up with a lot of music and a lot of dance….
Do you think your background has influenced your work? If yes, how so.

My father is a drummer, my step father a classical pianist and my mother an avid music lover. I grew up in quite different places, met a lot of different people, but there was always a lot of music.
At home it went from World music, to Jazz, to soul and old rythm& blues to classical. With my friends we were always thirsty for new or old musical discoveries from rap, to rock , to folk etc…

The music we listened to along the years was bound to inhabit the music we make today.

What are the main themes/ ideas in your songs

I think each song adds a different facet, a different little story to the album. If there was/is an underlying main theme present, it would be this strong desire for happiness, a desire to face the sun, it will all come around   is our little mantra. because positivity is so much more constructive.

Do you seek to convey a particular message with each song? Is that a part of your creative process?

Our songs are a result of what we feel at the time we write them. We don’t seek a particular message, but we rather take what comes. We impose no rules of order. Sometimes the words come first, sometimes the     notes, and sometimes its all at the same time. And sometimes it’s     harder and a song takes shape over a longer period of time.

Any favourite singers/musicians? How have they influenced you?

Some of my favourites would be Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Etta James, Jill Scott, Bill Withers, Bob     Marley, Salif Keita, Miles, Chet Baker, Bebel Gilberto, Bob Dylan… for the way they sing out or play their passion, their soul, their life, the way they feel and what they see.

What’s your vision for where you’d like your music to be in 5, 10 and 20 years?
I can’t fore see where I will be in 5, 10 and 20 years, but I dream of grewing with more music,     travel, concerts and exchange.

Where can we hear more of your music?

The album will be out at the beginning of october, but in the meantime you can find the digital EP ( 2 songs) on I-tunes, Deezer and on french radio

Take a listen to my favourite song by her, Rise in the Sun! You can also find her on Myspace here

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An Unlikely Sisterhood: Marilyn Monroe & Ella Fitzgerald

Sometimes you run across a story that completely changes the way you thought about a person. I see Marilyn Monroe in a whole new light now. Read on to find out why…

Apparently in the 50s, a popular nightclub, Mocambo would not book Ella Fitzgerald because she was black. Fortunately for Ella, she had a powerful and unlikely benefactor,

I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.” – Ella Fitzgerald

I love this story. It’s so great to hear about a woman giving another woman a boost despite differences in race especially in showbiz.

I wonder how much of this happens today and we just don’t know about it?

What do you think about the story? Had you heard about it before. Let me know in the comments

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