August 6, 2009
Turn on your fans (er, the cooling kind, we mean), because it’s about to get spicy up here on the SendMe stage. This time around we have Adriana, the original Mama Coconut from the ’80s group Kid Creole and the Coconuts. It’s two decades later and Adriana was kind enough to fill us in on her new solo album, her DearAbby video business, and how the Web has given her a new lease on her music career.
Photo by Michael Goldman
1. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Nino Rotto (he scored many of Fellini’s films), Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, and DJ Jeannie Hopper.
2. How did you get started in music?
I was a dancer at first with some musical education. When I moved to NYC to study with Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey and Lee Strassbert, I went out one night and met August Darnell from Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band at Studio 54. Soon after, we co-founded the band Kid Creole and the Coconuts with Coati Mundi and off we went into a world full of success, intrigues and multicultural musical theatre.
3. Many people may know you as the Mama Coconut from the ‘80s group Kid Creole and the Coconuts. What was that experience like for you?
It was a life-altering, unforgettable, challenging experience. I grew artistically, despaired personally, but also had lots of fun and saw the world. You can find out more [about that experience] when you see my memoir film Kid Creole and My Coconuts. [There is also a great review of the preview screening by Carol Cooper.]
4. You recently launched your solo debut TAG? How was that?
I have been writing, recording and performing this style of music for some time. Once I found out about the possibility to distribute my music via reverbnation directly to iTunes, e-music and Amazon, I created my first solo album, TAG, and had an album release concert at Joe’s Pub in New York, followed by a preview screening of my memoir film. I am totally amazed by the raving reviews TAG is receiving. It was a great pleasure to collaborate with punk professor Vivien Goldman, co-producer Heiner Zwahlen and Patrick Grant on TAG.
5. How would you describe your sound to people just listening?
Upscale down tempo music for the recently unemployed! No, seriously! It is a smooth sound that hovers in a sophisticated continental zone, somewhere between electronic lounge and dance.
6. Can you tell people about your video and marketing business, Dear Addy Productions? What do you do there?
In 1998, way back in the embryo stage of video on the Web, my company DearAddy Production created the first monthly interactive cyber cabaret live from New York’s Knitting Factory. This let me work for Globix, a streaming media company, as the executive producer. Together we produced the runway shows from New York, Paris and Milan. I was also responsible for the marketing and distribution of that fashion content and worked with CNN, elle.com and style.com, earning the nickname “queen of stream.”
After the .com crash, I had to re-invent myself as a video blogger. I learned how to film, edit, encode, upload and promote a video on my own. DearAddy.com now produces events and advertainment videos, and distributes them to major video and social media sites. My video blog has become a video magazine where you can view short videos of VIP events… “It’s the next best thing to being there!” How do you like that?
7. How has the Web played into your promotional efforts? I know you’re on MySpace, Facebook, etc?
I am everywhere, the Web is the best global PR tool EVER.
Photo by Joicelyn Gonzales
8. What do you want to accomplish with your music?
I want to share my music and make people smile and feel good. I hope to accomplish a certain stability in my career so that I can perform more often and produce more albums and influence more people with my positive attitude.
9. What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Have these evolved over time?
They have evolved as I have. I like to write witty, intelligent lyrics about current social and economical issues, as well as about the perplexing subject of love. I believe one has to be able to laugh at misfortune and the other uncomfortable situations we can find ourselves in. Humor heals!
10. What has been your biggest challenge as an artist?
It was a big challenge trying to get a solo recording deal. My music was never commercial enough for the labels. Well, I am happy to tell you that I lived to see the day where 50 is the new 30, green is the new black, and where an artist can distribute music directly to an audience worldwide.
11. What advice would you give to up and coming artists?
Do not try to write a hit; just write from your soul. Everyone will have an opinion about your music and it is good to listen but in the end YOU must do what YOU feel is right and never ever give up!
12. Where can people find your music – online and off?
You can order a CD via Pay Pal directly from my site or download TAG @ http://adrianakaegi.com, iTunes, Emusic, or Amazon (it’s currently best of the month on amazon).
Wow, thanks so much, Adriana. You can learn more about Adriana and her music by checking her out on MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, or, by heading straight to her Web site – adrianakaegi.com.
Posted by A. Sogal at 10:43 am