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BWW Interview: Musician, Actress, and Writer Isabel Rose Discusses Upcoming CD TROUBLE IN PARADISE

Isabel Rose is a creative force of nature...singer, actress, writer and mom. Her second CD, "Trouble in Paradise," is being released this fall by BDG Red, a division of Sony Music Entertainment on September 16th.

In "Trouble In Paradise," Isabel showcases high-energy, imaginative interpretations of standards and contemporary fare from the American songbook. With arrangements that match Michael Bublé's for their lush, swinging style, Isabel Rose has been compared to Ann-Margret by The Jazz Times. Backed by a large orchestra, the songs on "Trouble In Paradise" emphasis personality, style and taste.

Isabel took the time to share some of her thoughts on her career as a musician, the process of making this CD, and much more with BroadwayWorld. Read below for the full interview!


At what point in your life did you know you wanted to pursue music?

Probably while still in the womb. My mother was a classical pianist and my father was a huge fan of musical theater and Edith Piaf. They put me in a sequined onesie and that was that.

Who were your early musical influences?

Zoom, The Electric Company and Sesame Street. I also knew every line to School House Rock.

Your second CD "Trouble in Paradise" features arrangements of standards written by other musicians. What is it like recording songs that you haven't written yourself?

Fun! I always choose songs that I feel I can offer a new perspective on, and I approach them like an actress, always looking for a new angle and story to tell.

What is the process of rearranging these songs like?

Most of the time it's conceptual, and all of the time it's collaborative. For instance, when I started working on Reflections, I sat down with my producer, Bob Rock, and a small group of musicians, and said, "I'm dying to do Love Will Keep Us Together, but I want a sound that's lyrical and passionate, to counteract those block chords played on the clavinet that everyone associates with the original Captain and Tenille version." My pianist started to arpeggiate and all of a sudden I envisioned Cold Play backing Diana Ross. "That's it!" I cried, and we were off to the races.

What is it like being backed by a full orchestra on the CD?

Titillating and glorious, like biting into a York Peppermint Patty.

What are the benefits in rearranging older musical standards and making them more accessible to a younger generation?

One of the benefits is that EVERY generation can enjoy what I do: the younger generation can discover these great tunes that have been arranged and produced in a context that's hopefully more familiar to them, and the older generation can wax rhapsodic about where they were when they heard the tunes the first time around!

Is there a song that you're most proud of or that is your favorite on the new album?

I love them all, seriously, but I'd have to single out "Reflections", which was Bob Rock's favorite. I never thought I'd connect with it, or do it justice like Diana Ross did, but Bob believed in me and now it's become my own personal anthem.

What do you hope listeners will take away from "Trouble in Paradise?"

I hope the album will take them away! And when they return to earth, I hope they'll share the album with everyone they know and download the tracks and ATTEND my concerts and ENJOY my videos on Youtube and join my Facebook community (and all the other social media channels). I want everyone to have a gay old time with my album and smile ear to ear for weeks.

Besides being a musician, you're also a writer and an actress. Which of your talents, if any, is the one you're most passionate about?

Gardening. I'm passionate about nurturing things and watching them grow.

In the wide variety of accomplishments you've made so far, is there one that stands out as the thing you're most proud of?

This album! It's the most! My best effort yet! My own personal blockbuster!

You turned your novel The J.A.P. Chronicles into a musical, which you composed the music for, as well as starred in. How does it compare performing your own music with music that someone else has written?

It's all really fun. I have the same goal every time I step out on stage, whether or not I'm performing my own work or someone else's. I want to move my audience. It's really about energy: how can I send my own energy out in a way that will move the people who are out there to receive it?

Do you have any upcoming projects?

I'm performing at The Cutting Room on September 16th and at 54 Below on October 1st, so that's the most pressing. Of course I'm always posting new blog entries (I post every Wednesday and Sunday and the posts are lots of fun); oh! and I have a mockumentary in development. Best to check my website, Isabelrose.com, for updates.


Isabel wrote the Samuel Goldwyn feature film "Anything But Love" which she also starred in with Eartha Kitt and Andrew McCarthy. She is also the author of the Doubleday novel "The J.A.P Chronicles" which she turned into an off-Broadway musical that she also starred in. In a review of the show,The New York Times applauded, "Ms. Rose belts out the songs with appeal and does an impressive job with big production numbers."

Isabel is a Vegas-style entertainer who has performed sold out concerts at 54 Below, Joe's Pub, The Blue Note, Le Poisson Rouge, Lincoln Center and LA's Catalina's Jazz Club. The San Francisco Gate said "Rose is more than a singer or a comedian -- she's an all out entertainer."


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