Taking her name from the genre of Hollywood dramas popularized in the first half of the 20th Century, California based singer Siobhan Noir understandably presents a style of R&B/Pop with a cinematic touch. The self-described film noir fanatic writes, arranges, engineers, and mixes all her own songs like the cuts off her Misery mixtape and Vertigo EP.
Noir actually possesses a degree in filmmaking, but the aspiring movie director’s priority at the moment is making melodies. The multifaceted artist is currently putting the finishing touches on her next full project.
Before MOODSWINGGGG hits the Internet next month, DZI: The Voice connected with Siobhan Noir to discuss her musical work, her favorite motion pictures, and the highs and lows of being raised near the City of Angels.
Yohance Kyles: When did you first discover your voice as an artist?
Siobhan Noir: Funny enough it wasn’t me who discovered my voice, it was actually my oldest sister Shanna. I was 10 years old and a childhood friend of mine and I decided to play an American Idol like game. When it was my turn to sing, my sister overheard, asked who it was, and voila!
YK: How did you get introduced to the music industry as a professional performer?
SN: I started off booking my own amateur shows at different places, and I caught the eye of a promoter. After talking things over, he started booking paid shows for me. After parting ways that aspect of my career just continued.
YK: As an aspiring entertainer, what was it like growing up in Santa Monica where you were so close to one of the entertainment capitals of the world?
SN: Actually I was born in Santa Monica, but I grew up in Hawthorne, California – a smaller area of Los Angeles. However, growing up in L.A. and being in this entertainment capital, it was very exciting at times. Other times it makes it hard, because everyone is trying to do the same thing.
Everyone sings, acts, raps etc, so you have to do more to show why they should listen to your music or book you for this gig. That’s not really a bad thing at all, but it can be when it stops you from being taken seriously. Soon as you mention you’re a singer it’s like “Oh no, you’re one of those”.
YK: What inspired your song “Hollywood Horror”?
SN: That’s one of my favorites. I am very into classic Hollywood films and stars – as you can see by my name – so one actress in particular inspired me. Linda Darnell was an actress in the 40’s & 50’s, and she kind of spent her whole career trying to achieve that big time actress status like Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, etc.
She did a lot of what they called “B Movies” back then – now we just say low budget – and she never quite got to A movie level. She was very beautiful but just couldn’t make it, and this was the case all the way until her death in a home fire.
So in the song I am singing from the point of view of someone who can’t seem to get that one break no matter how many ways they go about it. I also include the known fact that many actresses back then did some less than worthy things to get far.
YK: What’s the status of your next project? What direction are you taking it musically?
SN: My next project is 95% done. It’s a mixtape called MOODSWINGGGG to be released February 17. This mixtape is very real. I say real because a lot of songs I hear from other artists depict normal situations and most listeners have very different situations going on in life.
Not everyone has a relationship problem as simple as cheating. Some of us have experienced being cheated on and then he/she married the person they cheated with. [laughs] Not saying that I have a song like that, but I make songs for those people with less than simple things going on so they can have songs to relate to as well. I’ve always been different. Genre wise, just classic R&B with a dark layer.
YK: You’ve done remakes of Aaliyah and Jhené Aiko songs. What other artists are you interested in covering?
SN: Yeah, they’re great. Right now I’m looking more into covering some rap songs and giving it a little R&B flavor like I did with TeefFLii’s “24 Hours”. I’m really liking some of Tinashe’s records and Tori Kelly’s stuff too.
YK: What were the last albums you listened to all the way through?
SN: The last albums I listened to thoroughly, and loved [laughs] were X by Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint, Mya’s Sweet XVI, and Tinashe’s Aquarius.
YK: What are some of your favorite film noir movies?
SN: Sunset Boulevard, Laura, and The Killers (the original 1946 version). Sunset Boulevard is my all time favorite though!
YK: If you had the chance to direct any three actors dead or alive in a feature film, who would you pick?
SN: Ooh good one, I’d have to say Hedy Lamarr, Ava Gardner, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Dorothy Dandridge, Taraji, and hey why not give Linda Darnell a go. [laughs]
YK: What’s next for Siobhan Noir?
SN: What’s next for me? Hmmm, more and more music! I have a film – that I acted in not directed – coming out titled Silenced. But other than that, I want to make sure I make a name for myself in my first love before I do anything else.
My mixtape has come along great and I love it. I think it will really give people an insight to what kind of artist I am. So for now that’s it, making sure this MOODSWINGGGG era starts the process of solidifying me in the game.
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Stream/download Siobhan Noir’s Misery mixtape: