Songstress captures 1960s femme pop vibe
Put together the sassiness of 1960s Nancy Sinatra with the captivation of Brigitte Bardot, and songstress Chantal Claret should come to mind. The soul diva, who has a femme-pop backbeat to her edgy sound, just debuted her first solo album The One, The Only… in June and finishes out a 10-show residency Nov. 30 at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel. Susan Stapleton sat down with the chanteuse.
Q: How does it feel to be the first residency at Vinyl?
A: It’s awesome! It’s incredible that they took a chance on me. My second show ever was here, starting a 10-week residency, and that’s practically unheard of for an unknown artist, the fact that they believed in me. This is the one hotel in Vegas that is music-based and the fact that they wanted to have me blows my mind.
Q: Was this always some crazy dream or did it just drop in your lap?
A: A little bit of both. It was a fantasy, but I guess that’s a dream. I went to go see Bette Midler perform a few years ago. I cried. She said, “I opened the door for sassy girls with big (boobs).” I thought she was actually talking to me. So I then created this fantasy that I would love at some point to be in Las Vegas. I thought I would have to perform for 40-some years and have a crazy-long career. But hell, no, I get it the second show in.
Q: You were Morningwood’s singer. How is it different on your own?
A: I have the most incredible backing band so I have this new awesome family and they’re so amazing. Professionally, I like being the boss lady. Creatively, it’s my vision. I get to steer that ship. It’s a little bit scary but I trust myself and I trust my gut.
Q: Has it changed the way you perform?
A: That’s a good question. The music is so different so it automatically makes a transition between songs. In betweens have always been my favorite part of performing. I like bantering with the crowd. You don’t know if I’m going to climb the scaffolding or the walls or make out with your dad. I like that spontaneity. That’s what I want to do, (infuse this) classic retro show with this punk rock craziness.
Q: Are there any theatrical elements to your show or is it all about the music?
A: I consider myself more of an entertainer than a musician. I’m a jazz hands type of girl. If people paid money to see me, I want them to enjoy themselves like they saw a show. I abhor musicians that just stand there. That’s my one job and I take it very seriously.