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Life is but a dream for producer and performer, Audrey Napoleon. Whether she expresses it onstage at clubs and festivals around the globe – or on runways and in short films – her inimitable approach to music, visual arts and style stems from a place all its own.
Twelve months in the Los Angeles-based producer’s life reads more like a decade than a year. “I don’t think I’ve come down from what’s happened to me in the last year,” she confesses in a recent interview. In that time, Audrey released six singles, with teaser films to match, alongside her EP, Ornamental Egos, while she played out nearly non-stop. Her touring schedule included the 18-city Identity Festival in 2012.
Add to that, several notable side projects and you have a prolific amount of work. These include composing music for major film and television projects, as well as an ongoing brand ambassadorship for Heineken’s #MySunrise campaign, currently airing in 28 countries. In film, Audrey composed music for Fredrik Bond’s directorial debut, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman (starring Shia LaBeouf and Evan Rachel Wood). For television, her track, “Only You” was played as the season’s finale for Naomi Campbell’s “The Face.”
In music, her Ornamental Egos EP was met with aplomb by both fans and fellow musicians. It includes the hard driving, yet buoyant single, “Poison,” and another infectious club hit, “Banana Soda Es Muy Loca,” that continues to be featured in sets by Tiesto, Eric Prydz, Adrian Lux, Dada Life and other major international DJs.
While Audrey remixed C.C. Sheffield’s, “Long Brown Hair,” and Adrian Lux’s, “Damaged,” for Ultra Records – plus Parker’s, “So Beautiful,” on Interscope – Nero did the same for her cinematic track “#MySunrise.” This led to Audrey and Nero performing together at the American Music Awards party to celebrate the newly added and groundbreaking Electronic Music category.
On the runway Audrey was recently spotted as a celebrity model at NYC Fashion Week for Malgorzata Dudek’s 2013 collection. At London Fashion Week, she attended as part of her ongoing collaborative project with The Rodnik Band x Audrey Napoleon S/S 2013, alongside England’s Queen Elizabeth II, Elton John and Katy Perry. The project was recently featured in Vogue Italia.
Today, Audrey Napoleon’s outpouring of expression includes a singer-songwriter role heard on her latest spellbinding single, “Dope A La Mode.” The dark, epic track is set for repeated play in clubs and festivals throughout the summer and beyond. Its June 25, 2013 release will be followed by two other new songs, “Better at Night Featuring: Justin Tranter” (Semi Precious Weapons) and “Can You Hear Me.” With each new single, Audrey will create a short film to match.
The film treatment for “Dope A La Mode” was written by Audrey and produced by boundary-defying creative duo F&F (Formento and Formento). Think: Edgar Allen Poe, blood, marriage and human hearts. “It’s my version of a love story,” she confesses about the film that is set in an abandoned mental institution in East Los Angeles. “The concept came to me, as most all my ideas do, in my dreams – whether they are daydreams, sweet dreams or nightmares. I will now start incorporating F&F’s stunning visuals into my performances. They are the gateway drug into what I am building and what you will see as the year progresses… as part of Napoleon Nation.”
Whatever form of expression Audrey embraces, it is steeped with extraordinary style, an innate dramatic flair and musical prowess that uncovers a dark beauty from within. “When I am on stage, I am transformed,” she explains. “My fans mean everything to me. I’m obsessed with them. They are amazing and I talk to them in social media all the time.” When asked about her biggest influences, she will again defer to her fans. “They are the most influential and inspiring for me. They have no fear. They help me fight everyday to be fearless for them in my art and in my music.” Musically, musicians like PJ Harvey, The Beatles, Placebo, The Doors, Bowie and The Cure also influence her, as much as the music she hears in clubs.
From childhood, Audrey sees her father as the biggest musical influence in her life. “He bought me my first guitar when I was 13 and sent me to a vocal coach four times a week,” she reflects. “I was always watching him in awe as he played instruments. It was a sort of voodoo. It was magic and I wanted to know how to be the magician. Ever since I can remember, I have always been a performer… always putting on a show and trying to get my sisters to do dance routines anywhere they would let us perform.”
So what’s up ahead for Audrey Napoleon? As always, it will be a continuous stream of music production whether it’s original tracks, remixes or collaborations and performances. “Only now, I will be donating another one of my organs,” she promises, “by writing lyrics, melodies and singing on the new material.”
She adds, “Music hasn’t necessarily changed my life so much as it is my life. Without my music, my art, my fans – I am nothing.”