Rising Stars [Issue
Something Extra By
Tangos And Tantrums
Lewis strikes the pose of a seductive chanteuse on the cover of her album Tangos
and Tantrums, shes a cabaret singer for the 21st century
songs explore everything from the effects of liquor (When
I Drink) to competition with other women (My Rival
and All His Exes). Theyve come to be the
songs that women really love, she says.
I like to tell stories. I also write from the point of view
of the character. Sometimes that character is a part of myself or
someone that Ive observed. Sometimes its the character
I wish I was brave enough to be.
The character that is Sylvie Lewis has already had an
exciting life. At age 15, she performed in a jazz trio in her native
London and was picked by legendary Beatles producer George Martin
to record a demo. Of course I knew who he was, but I wasnt
as star-struck then as I am now, she admits, adding that Martin
is a true gentleman who still helps her with song critiques.
Sylvie left home at 18, attended Bostons prestigious Berklee
School of Music where she studied composition, lived for a while
in Africa, and came to Los Angeles in 1999 where she became a regular
at that songwriters haven, the Hotel Café. She pieced
together an EP of her early songs, entitled Beautiful Mess, and
although she now characterizes it as a sort of rough draft, the
seeds of where I came from, the recording attracted the attention
of the Los Angeles-based Cheap Lullaby Records, who signed Sylvie
Youll find something different from the usual lyric sheet
inside Tangos and Tantrums - diary-like liner notes by Sylvie herself.
I want to give people who buy the CD something extra-all these
little anecdotes and stories. (For the lyrics, see her web
The something extra includes one liner note entry for the song Valentines
Day that is, ahem, a bit risqué. Lets just say
that it involves a candle - and famous raunchy writer Henry Miller.
Laughing, Sylvie comments: Theres certain people who
played on the album who are not giving the album to their parents!
Ive been known to be a little risqué on stage. But
I dont do things just for shock value.
Shocking or not, audiences will be able to enjoy Sylvie Lewiss
unique viewpoints as she begins a national tour this month.
Tangos And Tantrums