Wicked and Brooklyn star Eden Espinosa is hosting a CD Release Party on Monday, December 17 for her debut album, Look Around --- available December 18 on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and EdenEspinosa.com. Joining Eden and her band at Dim Mak Studios in Hollywood, CA will be: Tracie Thoms, Ty Taylor, Sarah Mears, Stefanie Sidler and Paul David. Eden brings an innovative and deeply personal interpretation to some modern Broadway hits. Working with her production team, she has endeavored to create a sound that is accessible to both die-hard Broadway fans and pop music listeners alike. The rich organic soundscape, developed by producer Joseph Abate, is a testament to the beauty and depth that can be achieved by coupling quality musicians with artful recording technique. I had the chance to catch up with Eden prior to the CD Release Party – here are some excerpts from that interview.
DG: You've waited quite a while to release a CD. Why did you wait so long?
EE: Part of the reason why – I guess, in hindsight -- I guess fear was part of the equation. But I also just sort of felt that I didn't have anything to say yet -- or I didn't have a stamp to put on anything yet. And I wanted it to truly come from me and my artistic interpretation of things -- and that didn't really come to fruition until I started working with this producer – who happens to be my husband, (She laughs) So, it just didn't feel right until recently.
DG: Was there a particular inspiration for this CD?
EE: It was just really owning the fact that what I do for a living is cool to me and interpreting other people's music is kind of a strength that I have found in myself and so it was just really melding the two sides of myself – the musical theatre side but also loving the pop side – and kind of just bringing them together. Just coming up with new interpretations of modern Broadway songs that we all know and love and giving the Broadway fans a new perspective on songs that they know and also hoping to bring people who may or may not love the Broadway sound into – you know, if they hear this version and say "that's from a Broadway Show, that's kinda cool" and check out these shows that they may or may not know. It's just modern Broadway tunes with a new perspective.
DG: Do you have a particular favorite song on this CD?
EE: You know, it's so funny. My friend just asked me that last night and I – it depends on the day. (She laughs) I'm so in love with these arrangements and kind of the new life that's been breathed into these songs. A few favorites would be "I Miss The Mountains" from Next To Normal, "One Song Glory" from Rent, and probably this original song called "Stone Cold Sober". Those three are stand outs to me – but I love them all.
DG: What was your process of selecting the songs for this CD?
EE: You know, we've been whittling down songs for over a year. We started just making play lists on I-tunes and there were probably close to 200 songs and then we would just whittle them down. Originally there were going to be some pop covers on this album as well and we decided just to make it a Broadway album. So we started whittling songs, whittling songs, more and more and more and it just came down to these nine songs. It was actually just eight songs but at the last minute we added my friend Ty Taylor's song, "Stone Cold Sober". It's been a long process of – you know, finding ones that really spoke to me and I felt really connected to the lyrics and the music.
DG: So, how long have you been working on this?
EE: Overall? Well, I first started talking about doing an album – probably four years ago. And it's really taken me this long to feel, you know – but when we decided on this project, it's been about a year. I played a Cabaret Festival in Adelaide, Australia in June and so we basically played the album there live and that was my concert – kind of like my out of town tryout. And so, we've been working with these arrangements since probably May and we started recording in late August, early September and here we are today.
DG: What does this album say about you?