Vixen Chat: Amel Larrieux On Her New Album, Working With Hubby
Vibe Vixen: What was the process like in compiling your album Ice Cream Everyday?
Amel Larrieux: I had a lot of time because my last album was out about 5 years ago, so the difference was that we had time to try songs out on the road because I always perform. I’m always on the road whether I have a new project out or not, which affords me the luxury of trying new material and building on it, seeing “maybe we’ll edit this, maybe we’ll approach this differently and see if people even like it.” I think that really informed the level of musicianship or the level of cohesion on this album in comparison to other albums.
How did you come up with the title for your album?
I was having a conversation with my husband. I was really frustrated about something, about four years ago and I was like “God, I wish I could just have ice cream everyday.” And he was like, “That’s a great title for your album, you have to go with that.” In the time that I recorded and written over the past five years for this album I found out that I’m lactose intolerant. I decided to stop eating sugar so I don’t eat ice cream at all, and I knew that the title would start to take on a whole new life. It was a metaphor, personally for me, needing to find that little thing, that little ingredient that you can add to your life that you brings you joy on a daily basis and how important that is. It became a much broader meaning. It’s definitely not literal. I do not want everyone to have ice cream everyday.
What was the toughest song to write or create on the album?
I’ve never thought about it because I always feel that I love songwriting so I never look at it that way. I don’t have a memory of things being difficult in terms of songwriting.
Walk us through the process behind your current single “Afraid.”
That particular song my husband, Laru, who is the producer on this album created the foundation of the track and gave it to me bare bone. When he does tracks he will give me the foundation to listen to, to see if I kind of want to go on writing things, attempt writing to it or not. I loved it and it’s super simple. We hadn’t hired musicians to play over it yet. It was just the bass and the beat and the loop going on and I loved it. I wrote to it immediately and then we started adding things to it. We got a live bass player to play on top of the program bass, and we had a live drummer do fill-ins. We had my keyboardist come in and play more keys over the pad, and just took it from there. We had time to do it on the road as well, and try different mixes with it. Some were right for us, but I really have no idea that it was going to get the response it did. I didn’t even have an iota of a clue that anybody would like it this much. It’s a pleasant surprise.
What was it like to work with your husband, Laru Larrieux, on this creative level?
We met before Groove Theory came out. We wrote together on the Groove Theory album so this is just like what we do. It seems very much kind of normal to our relationship. We’ve been doing it before we got married. It seems to work (laughs), and it’s pretty convenient when you live in the same house with someone. We have a home studio so we can go and work on stuff when it comes to us.
What can fans expect from Ice Cream Everyday?
I think we honor ourselves the same way that we always have as artists in that we know that our process is always evolving, but we’re also clear on how important our support base has been. I know that’s why I can still make music at all or I can still be on the road at all, because of the people that support what I do. Especially since I went independent in 2004, it’s really been official that I stay in touch with and in tune with my audience. We keep all those things in mind when we’re writing and recording, and I know that people have come to like that I have a diverse sound on my album and that will probably always be something that happens when you hear one of my albums. I come from such a varied tradition of music. I like so many different kinds of music and have been influenced by so many different kinds that it’ll always manifest in my writing and vocal style. Laru has that same background. He’s really diverse. He likes all kinds of music from all kinds of genres and I think that’s what you’ll always hear. That’s definitely on this album for sure. There are a few more up-tempo songs on this album than before.
How would you describe the sound of this album?
It’s varied and from what I hear from our audience is what people come to know and expect from me. There’s a song you can play at a wedding or there’s a song that you would play in a more romantic situation or there’s a song that are more like social commentary songs, and there are songs that are dreamy. There’s completely acoustic songs where it’s just me and a piano. Just an array of vibes and I think this will sound really corny and I’m going to say it, but don’t hold it against me, but there’s something for everyone on this album.
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