Wow. I’ve not been so busy as I was over the last few months in a LONG time. Since I last wrote, XELLE hired our fabulous choreographer, Mila Jam, found a costume designer (Bobby Goodrich) for our tour costumes and got those made, conceived, rehearsed and debuted our first full tour show, and played in New Paltz, NY, Albany, NY, Philadelphia, PA, New York, NY, Milwaukee, WI, and Chicago, IL.

Touring is the most fun thing in the world, in my opinion. Nothing is better than having someone pay to fly you out and put you up somewhere so you can get paid to do a show in front of hundreds or thousands of people who then come up to you afterward and take pictures and want your autograph. I wish we could be on tour every day and I can’t wait till we are!

The first stop on the tour was Albany, NY, where we opened for C&C Music Factory, which was awesome. It was great to see their music performed live and to meet the man who actually rapped on the recordings of songs like “Gonna Make You Sweat.” He was just a regular guy from Brooklyn and totally sassy and nice. My mind is always blown by meeting early 90’s celebs. Love it. The next day, we performed in New Paltz, New York, at Hudson Valley Pride, and then again that night at Truman’s, a huge club. It was so good to get some of the new songs on their feet in front of an audience, and we and the new music were both very well received.

Next, it was off to Milwaukee Pridefest, where we played to a crowd of over 2000 on Friday night…

XELLE at the PUMP! Dance Pavillion at Milwaukee Pride 6.10.11. Photo: Abeni Garrett
…and then for a crowd of over 6,000 on Saturday night, when we opened for Salt n Pepa!
XELLE on the Miller Lite Mainstage 6.11.11 at Milwaukee Pridefest
Two weeks later, we were off to Chicago to play in front of this many:
The crowd was huge at Chicago Pride!

But before we could do that, Mya (yes, THE Mya!) OPENED FOR US and then we met her!

XELLE with Mya at Chicago Pride 6.25.11

Then we performed our full show…

The beginning of the XELLE show at Chicago Pride
Then, since we’re basing the theme of our show on royalty, we knighted one of our fans, who turned out to be one of our twitter followers!
XELLE knights a special fan at the Chicago Pride show

After the show, a huge crowd of fans rushed over to the merch table to meet us, buy merch, take photos and get their merch autographed. It was so awesome to meet everyone and see what a great reaction we got in Chicago.

Now, it’s back to the grind, with continued dance rehearsals, revisions to the show, booking as many promotional and full show dates as possible in as many places as we can, and beginning to dominate the tri-state area so we can start expanding from there. There’s a ton of work to do, and I’m excited to do it!

 

I just had to answer all these questions for a possible blog feature and I had a lot of fun doing it, so I thought y’all might be interested in checking it out:

What is your first musical memory? My first musical memory is starting to watch MTV as a six-year-old back in 1989 and continuing to watch it through the early 90’s. Seeing videos like “Rock the Cradle of Love” by Billy Idol, “Epic” by Faith No More, “November Rain” by Guns and Roses and “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul had a huge effect on me. Now, music from that time period makes me happier than any other music. I’m so glad that some of the club music from that time STILL gets played in the club whenever I go out, 20 years later. “Show Me Love” by Robin S., the best song of all time in my opinion (which is NOT the same song as “Show Me Love” by Robyn from 1997), will apparently never die as long as there are clubs in New York City. Thank God for that!

What was the first concert you ever went to? It was probably some boring crap at Carnegie Hall, since that was right in my neighborhood, but the first real concert I ever got excited about going to was Jamiroquai at the Theater at Madison Square Garden with Busta Rhymes opening, in 1997, when I was 14, right after “Virtual Insanity” had just blown up in America. Jason Kay, the lead singer and songwriter of Jamiroquai, was an excellent showman, and I think he’s definitely written some of the best groovy/funky songs I’ve ever heard. Busta Rhymes was riding the success of “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” at the time, and he was adorable. It was nice to see Busta putting effort into his show then, because when he came and did a show at Harvard, where I went to college, 8 years later, he half-assed it worse than an amateur and I was really disappointed. The best concert I ever went to was the Spice Girls farewell tour, and if you don’t like that, you can kiss my @$$. 🙂

What or whom do you go to for musical inspiration? There is some really incredible, soul-stirring electro-pop coming out these days, and most of it comes from my favorite artist, the UK’s Frankmusik. He is a total genius. There are also some amazing remixes of stuff like his floating around out there, including one of his song “Confusion Girl” remixed by Russ Chimes. That is the best, most beautiful electronic song I’ve ever heard. The use of strings in that song is just heavenly. Then of course I always draw inspiration from early 90’s club pop, like stuff from Black Box, C&C Music Factory, Robin S., etc, because they were the masters of perfectly danceable pop that makes you happy, and I just think that sound needs to come back in a big way. I’m always happy when someone tells me my songs remind them of early 90’s club music. That is the highest compliment I can get.

Without using the words “alternative,” “pop,” or “rock,” describe your sound. Early 90’s club music-inspired electro dance amazingness.

Stones or Beatles? Neither. Sorry! I like synthesizers. I respect and am in awe of both groups, it’s just that I don’t really listen to anything they’ve put out.

What’s your dream collaboration? Frankmusik, Robin S, Britney Spears.

Do you find the song or does the song find you? Mostly, the idea for the song and the melody pop into my head as a response to me thinking about something in my life that usually has to do with love, relationships and dealing with emotionally retarded boys.

How do you discover new music? I check Frankmusik’s twitter over and over to see if he’s put out anything new. Also, I listen to terrestrial radio (sorry!), internet radio (everybody happy now?) and occasionally check the odd blog about electro/dance music.

So there you have it. Whaddaya think? Leave a comment below. 🙂