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Romantic Punk and More: Spotlight on France de Griessen

France de GriessenSinger-songwriter France de Griessen is a multidisciplinary artist.

Her most recent album, Saint Sebastien, intricately combines indie-rock, romantic punk, blues and folk. Toronto’s Bruce LaBruce (filmmaker, writer, photographer) calls it “a lyrical, mellifluous album full of songs of joy and sadness.”

Her life experiences and influences have created one of the most unique artist friends we have here in our Backstage community!

From her earliest years, France was fascinated with her parents’ photographic collection of French actress Sarah Bernhardt. The excitement of portraying numerous characters, and the idea of being strange, mysterious and seductive like Ms. Bernhardt, held France’s interest.

Then as a teen, she discovered numerous records of punk rock bands, including rock and roll’s The New-York Dolls.

Fresh out of school, she founded her own multimedia theater company combining theater, performance art, photography, video, and rock’n’roll. She wrote and acted in various plays, performances and films.

She also performed with songwriter and musician Michaël Gadrat under the name of Teen Machine, wearing cowboy boots and red lipstick, appearing in the guise of a female version of Billy the Kid. They released a concept-album combining cold-wave, spoken word, and dark pop.

With a new solo musical project in mind, France suggested to François “Shanka” Maigret (The Dukes) that they collaborate on a few tracks. The musical understanding was so pronounced and the alchemy so intense the collaboration has continued to this day.

As a solo artist, France de Griessen has released EP Six Uses for a Heart, and LPs Electric Ballerina and Saint Sebastien. Watch this clip of the song “The Veil of Stars” on that latest album:

France de Griessen’s songs are featured on the soundrack of Bruce LaBruce’s LA Zombie starring François Sagat, and Virginie Despentes’s Bye-Bye Blondie starring Béatrice Dalle and Emmanuelle Béart.

In parallel to her musical and theatrical activities, she draws and paints watercolors in which we can rediscover her vision of a wondrous and cruel world, both imbued with colors of childhood and darkened by violence. Her pieces are regularly exhibited in the independent and institutional circuit.

France also designs her own albums artwork and writes about music and art. She writes and sings in both French and English.

I asked France, with the wide array of experiences she’s had exploring her art and talent, what had been one of the most exciting event recently. Her response was “I did my first arena tour as an opening act for Indochine (the biggest pop-rock band in France) in March 2014, which was a great challenge and super exciting!”

Here is a clip that will reveal the broad variety of creativity France de Griessen’s personality encompasses:

“What I do is the reflection of my experiences, of my joys and pains, thru the filter of my imagination,” explains France. “Do you know that song “Singer of Songs” by Johnny Cash? This is how I feel about music and art, about what I want to share with the world.”

About performing live, France believes her application of Tom’s Method has made her more confident and prepared. “I feel empowered when I use Tom’s techniques and teachings,” says France. “I think that when you have a live show that is prepared to the best of your abilities, you can be much more spontaneous onstage and really shine more as you are not worrying about each aspect of the show.”

To see this flamboyant and multi-talented artist live, check out France’s tour schedule here…


Photo courtesy of Richard Dumas

Tom Jackson

Tom is uniquely talented and skilled at transforming an artist's live show into a magical experience for the audience; helping artists at every level create a live show that is engaging and memorable, teaching them to exceed their audiences' expectations and to create fans for life. Tom has taught indie and major artists of every genre. He has worked with Taylor Swift, Le Crae, Home Free, The Tenors, Shawn Mendes, The Band Perry, Francesca Battistelli, Jars of Clay, & many more. Tom also teaches at colleges, conferences and events worldwide.

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