August 18, 2002
On of the hippest cross-format acts to come out of
Europe in the recent past, British duo Frou Frou is
in the radio.wazee spotlight this week with "Breathe
In" from their MCA release "Details."
A collaboration between musician/vocalist
Imogen Heap and producer/arranger/songwriter/ musician
Guy Sigsworth, Imogen first set her sights on a career
as a contemporary classical composer. "I started
out playing piano, then took other instruments so
I'd have a broad range of knowledge, and studied composition
and arranging. I was really into being like Stockhausen,"
Upon leaving her sheltered life
in Essex, England, for boarding school, a teenaged
Imogen discovered her voice as venting vehicle. "I
grew up in the country and all I did was play piano-I
knew nothing about popular culture," she says.
"Suddenly there was sex, drugs and rock-n-roll,
but I was kind of an outcast, and since for the first
time in my life I had a lot to say but no one to talk
to I began singing my own songs."
Ultimately, Imogen's newfound pop
side took precedence, and while demoing for a solo
album, she happened to catch Guy, grew up listening
to eclectic female artists like Kate Bush, at a London
club. "He had his own band at the time, and what
they were doing was so exciting, I thought, 'Hmm,
I'd like to get a bit of that into my music.'"
The London-based duo first worked
together on "Getting Scared" from Imogenís
1998 solo record "iMEGAPHONE." After completing
the promotion for that splendid debut, 24-year-old,
six-foot tall Imogen was ready to begin work on a
new project and the two hooked up again just as Sigsworth
had privately been compiling music specifically for
Heap while producing other projects, including work
for Seal ("Killer" and "Crazy"),
Bomb the Bass ("Winter in July") and Bjork
He's also the man behind Madonna's "What It Feels
Like for a Girl." Madonna is also a big fan of
Frou Frouís work, telling Guy that "Details"
is her preferred in-car entertainment when traveling
with her personal entourage.
The name Frou Frou was decided upon
when Francophile Guy noticed the phrase in a Baudelaire
poem. Apparently, when uttered in French, the phrase
is meant to approximate the swishing of skirts as
they swirl about the legs of dancing women in a burlesque
According to the band, "Breathe
In" tackles a difficult aspect of love in the
information age: communication conflicts. "With
so much at our disposal these days-fax, email, phone,
mobiles-sometimes we choose the one that's least likely
to make actual contact!" Guy points out. "In
other words, you often call someone hoping you'll
get their answerphone because it's easier that way."