A singer, who in the world of Jazz, requires no introduction, Madeleine Peyroux has returned and has brought with her a brand new sound ‘No Meanness’. Starting off as a street performer, Madeleine joined the Lost Wandering Blues & Jazz Band, becoming the only female in the group, which toured around Europe for several years.
‘I was suffering from some mental stress after living on the street for two years, recently singing till all hours at a club, and drinking most of those hours.’
Bursting onto the recording scene in 1996, with her stunning debut album Dreamland. Madeleine was greeted with a veritable torrent of gushing reviews. Most raved about her smoke-and-whiskey vocals, often comparing her to the late, great Billie Holiday. Others wondered how someone so young could perform classic songs by Holiday, Bessie Smith and Patsy Cline so convincingly as to make them sound like her own. Time magazine pronounced the ground-breaking Dreamland, “the most exciting, involving vocal performance by a new singer this year.”
Madeleine, then an American who had been living in Paris as a street musician, suddenly found herself on the fast track to fame. Appearances at Lilith Fair and jazz festivals and opening tours for Sarah McLachlan and Cesaria Evora followed while Dreamland’s sales reached an impressive 200,000 copies worldwide. “It was great,” recalls Madeleine. “I got to perform with fantastic musicians. I got to see Nina Simone live. I could’ve kept running with it, but instead, I stepped back and took a breather.”
Speaking to FEMAIL about the release, Madeleine explained how the fateful voicemail stopped her from entering a downward spiral of heavy drinking and mental ‘stress’.
‘I never expected a career in music. I never thought I was someone for the spotlight either.’
Fifteen years since her break-out album, her album Careless Love, sold over a quarter of a million copies worldwide and entered the UK’s Top Ten Album Chart, Madeleine Peyroux has continued to wow her fans with a voice which is regularly compared to that of Billie Holiday. Her forthcoming single, “No Meanness”, sees her in imperious form, her voice still swooningly gorgeous and with lyrics which show a more worldly-wise artist now happy to impart advice. Taking on board elements of country and Americana, this is Madeleine Peyroux at her very best, one of the world’s great voices and one of her most personal songs to date.
Now having been a singer for thirty years, Madeleine is still bringing new twists and sounds to her music, whilst keeping that same charm that has continued throughout her career.