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Music Releases (more headlines) 02-28-2011

Sally Street, The New "It Girl" Of The Australian Jazz Scene, Stings Again On Latest Release

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Website: http://www.sallystreet.com
The scorpion mind of singer/songwriter Sally Street certainly has quite a sting. On one of her latest songs, Street exclaims, “Now the whole world knows I got laid," followed by a breathless sigh of pleasure. Naughty? Without a doubt. But in the buttoned-up world of jazz, Street's brazen, often playfully funny sensuality is like a splash of ice water underneath a desert sun. Street was named the “It Girl" of the Australian jazz scene when she made her debut with "One Bite at the Cherry" in 2008. It's not difficult to see why; Street's pin-up looks define the blond bombshell, and her voice, sliding in between a sex-kitten purr and a soulful croon, is what microphones were made for. Street's newest effort, "The Scorpion Maid," finds her venturing beyond her jazz roots and into pop, alternative rock, and R&B. But her sinfully attractive wit and glamorous beauty remain.

Q: What initially fueled your interest in becoming a singer? Was it a certain artist or artist(s)? Or something else altogether?

A: A DNA gift or curse, sometimes I'm not sure which. I grew up in a crazy coastal shack on a main road in Sydney's northern beaches where my father was a professional jazz bassist. There were always late night jams at my house. I was rocking out in my nappy, digging jazz and blues way back then. I also think I've always been secretly in love with Nancy Wilson. My father played with her several times when she visited Australia. (Now for non-musical reasons I want to sleep with Angelina Jolie.)

Q: How old were you when you decided to enter the musical field?

A: I always wanted to sing. Always. When I was a kid I used to stick oranges down my top and prance around my bedroom singing into a banana pretending I was Ella Fitzgerald. My dad used to dub compilations of great singers like Ella, Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, etc., onto blank tapes for me, and I'd give those old cassettes such a flogging I wore them out. I studied jazz and opera singing for many years, sung in the Australian Girls Choir, and I play classical piano. I completed AMEB piano to 8th grade level and taught piano while I was studying law. I was a senior associate at a top-tier law firm, yet all I ever really wanted to do that whole time I was working as a lawyer was sing professionally. It never went away. I used to draft documents up in the “tower of evil" where I worked with headphones on spinning jazz—isn't that naughty! So one day four years ago I decided I couldn't be serious for one day longer. It was time to follow my dream: hang up the briefcase (but keep my stilettos on) and sing!

Q: How have your views on music changed at this stage in your life now compared to when you were just starting out?

A: Nothing's changed. I live, eat, sleep and dream it, always have and always will. There's music swanning around in my noggin 24/7. Sometimes I wonder if it has sent me off my rocker! Ha! I regularly wake up at all hours of the night and can hear whole orchestras in my head playing some fandango tune. I fly down the stairs (trying not to break my neck in the dark), fire up the computer, and record the melodies before they float away into the night. Most of my original songs are written when the moon is up.

Q: What did you feel recording a song for the first time?

A: Excited, but in retrospect way too self-conscious about how my voice “sounded." Now all I care about is how I feel when I sing (not how I “sound"), being lost in the moment, and sharing that feeling and story with others. Although recording the latest album, I felt a bit chilly because I was in my birthday suit for some of the recording. The engineers turned the lights out in my booth so none of us would get distracted. One of the songs, “Beach Baby," we recorded into an old '60s mic laying on the floor with sunglasses on.

Q: Are you creating the kind of music that you've always loved or is it a simple matter of your voice being the most suitable for this style?

A: I dig all genres of music. I have released two jazz albums and a self-penned originals album of 'jazzy pop' to date (which I wrote myself or co-wrote with my pianist Gerard Masters), all of which continue to receive great radio support across Australia. Five of the twelve tracks from the album of originals made it to the shortlist of the 2010 Australian Songwriting Competition. It was such a hoot, genre crossing with the new originals although some would put me on the naughty mat in the corner of the room for having done that. Oh well, I love a good spanking! I have also just finished writing my next album of originals, which I plan to record this year. It has got some really gorgeous haunting bossas on it.

Q: What is the inspiration for “Alpha Male"?

A: It was inspired by a girls' night out when we gossiped for hours about how the dating scene is just so tough trying to find the perfect guy. Where on earth could he be? So I sat on my fit ball in my nightie all day the following day writing “Alpha Male" and demoing it up. There is also another wicked tale behind this song which was told at that girls' night, but you might wet your pants if I told you, and my girlfriend would shoot me.

Q: What are your goals as a musician in terms of your art?

A: To always remember that every single musical sound you make matters. Every single sound. Every word you sing means something, to tell your story and take the listener on an escape to another place. Every word. And always to have fun and bring joy to others through music.

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