Born to a Russian father
and Dominican mother, Fantine is an emerging multitalented singer-songwriter,
fluent in English, Spanish, Russian and French. Fantine made her musical
debut in 2010, when she came onto the Australian scene by lending her vocals
to Space Invadas soulful jazz-inspired single Super Sweet.
In 2011, Fantine announced Rubberoom as her first solo single.
The music video aired on Australian national television programs and was
awarded "Indie Video Clip of The Week." Rubberoom
was followed by Eleven, and then her third single titled Perfect
Strangers, was produced by Jason Cox, producer of multiple albums
for popular virtual band, Gorillaz.
Her career began to skyrocket in 2013 when she moved to Miami, FL and began
working on her debut album, I Am Fantine, with 19-time Grammy Award winning
producer Emilio Estefan and seven-time Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter
Gloria Estefan (who also co-wrote two of her songs). Emilio Estefan curated
and helped develop Fantines most popular songs, including Bachata
de Rosa and Reservation for Two. In September 2014, Reservation
for Two peaked at No. 5 on Billboards Dance Club Songs list.
Fantines undeniable talent and musical style reflects her eclectic
ethnic background. Her voice is a fusion of indie and electro-soul, paired
with a swampy yet sultry tone. Her upcoming debut album I Am
Fantine is infused with Emilio Estefans signature style and will feature
her latest song What A Day. Produced by three-time Grammy Award-winning
producer Wyclef Jean with additional production by Emilio Estefan, What
A Day also features Wyclef Jean and El Cata.
Recently, Fantine shared the stage with Wyclef Jean at the Miami Beachs
Centennial celebration concert. She has collaborated with Australian singer-songwriter
Pete Murray, toured with Dave Stewart from Eurythemics, the critically acclaimed
Russian jazz saxophonist Igor Butman and also served as the opening act
for Erykah Badu at the iconic Sydney Opera House.
We caught up with her to see what she's about.
I hope that my passion for music will not wane, but only grow stronger
with the years to come and help me to maintain my integrity and humility,
through thick and thin.
Where are you oringially
I am Russian born, of mixed Russian/Dominican heritage.
you first fall in love with music, and what were your inspirations to
I think I've loved music so long I can't remember not loving it. I committed
songs to memory, to the point that I still remember songs my mother sang
to me when I was a little kid. But the inspiration to pursue music (as
a profession) came much, much later. As a child I listened to Disney,
as a teen I listened to Pop music (all the boy/girl bands I'm not ashamed
to admit it) and then I progressed into 50's jazz and soul. That's when
I really discovered music.
prompted your decision to make a career out of singing?
Half way through my college degree in law and accounting, I started working
in a band occasionally. One day I graduated and realised that pursuing
law and accounting would be like going upstream, a constant struggle to
be average at both, whereas pursuing music was like drifting with the
flow with the current helping to propel me forward.
the "live" experience been like? (performing with
Wyclef, Dave Stewart from Eurythemics, etc..)
I've always found myself more comfortable on stage than in the studio.
I still get terrified those few minutes before setting foot on stage,
but that's part of the rush. Sharing the stage with legends like Wyclef
Jean and Dave Stewart gave me the chance to be exposed to the sheer scale
and energy of their audience, without the pressure of being the focal
point. The sizes of their stages was a steep learning curve. Learning
to feel comfortable as a small dot in the horizon to some of the people
watching and being at ease with both using a lot or a just little of such
a large space.
How did you come
to the attention of wyclef?
We were introduced by a mutual co-worker, who thought we would be a good
match. I guess he was right! After the initial catch up we just hung around
Clef's studio and spent the whole time chilling and "catching a vibe"
as he likes to say. It was so easy and fun.
us about your new album, and what's all involved with it..
The album is an ever evolving beast. It started out as a beautiful fusion
of Latin and Urban sounds that Emilio Estefan so craftily fused together
to create a unique sound for me. But then as I added more collaborations
to the mix the album started to evolve. I find myself STILL adding and
removing songs, shifting them around, collaborating with artists and pushing
the boundaries of the direction the album can take. It's funny how things
have changed. I remember buying albums and discovering songs that weren't
singles on them, now I make my own playlists with music I love and often
never even hear the artists full album. Makes me wonder about my own album
and the music on it.
Aside from singing, is there anything else that you're
aspiring to get involved in or with?
I love writing. Essentially anything. I wrote or co-wrote most of the
songs on my album. I also wrote the story lines for all my music videos,
and with every consecutive video I realised that I almost prefer to be
on the other side of the lens. At the moment I'm dabbling in acting and
script writing, still trying to figure out on which side I prefer to be.
Who knows, maybe I don't have to choose!
types of music do you listen to? What artists are you into right now?
I like to listen to what's current. Artists coming out right now are so
incredibly talented and I especially like music that pokes out from the
masses of the rest of the songs. I fall in love every time I hear Sam
Smith, Ed Sheeran or John Legend, I can't help dancing every time I hear
OMI, Meghan Trainor, Magic!, Pharell Williams, or Jason Derulo. I am truly
inspired by anything Sia. But I never forget the music of those I believe
in a few years to be the classics of our time: Amy Winehouse, Adele.
do you think it'll be that'll give you longevity in music?
It sounds like a cliche and I cringe as I write this but it really does
take a lot of hard work and perseverance. But I hope that my passion for
music will not wane, but only grow stronger with the years to come and
help me to maintain my integrity and humility, through thick and thin.
Whats the future hold for you?
The future holds hopefully a successful single launch, followed by and
even more successful album launch. Followed by the creation of another
amazing new album and so it goes and the wheels keep turning. Beyond that,
who knows! Hope for the best, but plan for the worst, right? That's really
all anyone can expect from the future.
Follow me on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook (page and profile), Twitter,
Tumblr. periscope? Did I miss anything? Kidding! Last words: Thank you
for the interview! Much obliged xxx