“It’s like Motown kissing Rock’n’Roll, heavily pregnant by James Bond, with a slight touch of jazz and elegant 60s flair!” Digitally released in June 2014, Voodoo Princess’ debut album ‘Shaken Not Stirred’ reminisces the likes of Amy Winehouse, classic Motown and Stax acts like The Supremes, Otis Redding and contemporary retro soul-acts like Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.
Songs and style of Bavarian based singer Melanie Brüggemann and her producer Thomas Nehrenberg sound as if they were derived directly from the 60s. The fragile jazz of Billie Holiday, well cooled James Bond movie score aesthetics, driving Bo Diddley grooves and Northern Soul stompers provide the authentic frame of Voodoo Princess’ debut album.
Making ‘Shaken Not Stirred’, was a challenge from the get-go – considering that only two people, Thomas Nehrenberg and Melanie Brüggemann, were involved, and there were many tasks to handle, ranging from songwriting and arranging to recording, engineering and mixing. It was recorded and mixed by Thomas Nehrenberg in Berlin at Major6thLab Studio. Vocals were recorded at Monkey Cage Studio (Nuremberg; Owner: Massimo Collu). Mastering was accomplished by Florian Gramelsberger from beatworksmusic in Munich.
It’s not a concept album in the truest sense of the word, but it moves in a fixed frame. “ Melanie, my partner and I were at all times aware of how we wanted to make the album. We have a nearly identical private taste in music and very similar views on the aesthetic and technical terms and soundscapes. None of us has the slightest interest to base our music on mainstream radio and format patterns. Of course, we could… , but we don’t want to! On purpose! We might be a tiny bit stubborn and obstinate in that regard!”
“Billie Holiday, who is one of my favorite singers, once said: ‚If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all,’” Melanie cites. “This is a declaration of war on monotony! We can relate. However, one of the most distinct 20th century singers, Etta James, pointed out that her mother used to play nothing but Billie Holiday. Everyone has musical roots, which help to anchor your own, new ideas. There’s no need to deny them! We never tried to copy someone else, we were guided solely by our own taste”, Melanie explains. “Nevertheless, we are naturally influenced by the music of our heroes, and we are grateful that it has survived to this day. If you hear allusions to their music, it is simply a tribute to our role models.”
“We had very good reasons to write ‘Shaken Not Stirred’ in a way that we may still like it 10 years from now, and will be able to listen to it without risking serious health problems. And we have learned that we are very comfortable with the sounds of our heroes. It suits us fine, we celebrate that! We are happy with that and will continue to be so … there’s nothing that we’d rather do!”