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Broken [Radio Vers.]
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Frou Frou
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," she says.

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 ("Selmasongs," "Vespertine"). 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 performance.

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."

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