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Singer/songwriter Chantelle Tibbs leaves behind R&B roots for glimmering beauty of new album
(Published: May 02, 2012)

Even in the unpredictable world of the music business, perhaps nobody could have foreseen the creative shift navigated by singer/songwriter Chantelle Tibbs.

On her new album Bicycle, Tibbs reflects glimmering beauty of her indie affections, drawing comparisons to the daydreaming sonnets of Mazzy Star and the folksy melancholy of the Cowboy Junkies. In the beginning of her musical career, though, she nearly found herself on the opposite side of the pop spectrum. "I was in a girls' R&B group that was almost signed to University Records back in the day," Tibbs revealed. "That was the label Mya was signed to." Only 14 at the time, Tibbs would quickly realize how challenging it was to break into the industry. "I came close; one minute we were staying in hotels in New York, the next I was kicked out of the group for being tall," Tibbs explained. "It was heartbreaking. So for a while I put it to the side and focused on acting."

However, the siren's call of music proved to be an irresistible force. But when Tibbs decided to return to the field, there'd be no compromises. "I spent a lot of time when I was younger trying to make the kind of music I looked like I should be making," Tibbs observed. "I spent a lot of time when I was younger being ashamed of the music that moved me the most: folk, rock, and pop. Over the years I stopped thinking so much about what the other dark-skinned girls in high school thought of me. I just pulled it together and started making the music I was meant to make."

Nevertheless, freeing herself of any artistic boundaries still didn't solve the problem of having the financial means to complete the record. "I got it funded," Tibbs said. "My advice to anyone out there is to pay attention to the people who already love and like working with you. If you take a look around you right now, there are people who believe in you and want to be a part of your process - maybe someone who wants to produce or play on the album or a fan or a family member. The idea of a knight riding up on a white horse with a check to fund your entire album in hand and a press conference surrounding the two of you in your final moment of glory is a beautiful thought, but so far that hasn't happened for me or any of the musicians I know."

Tibbs added that struggling artists could find innovative ways to finish an album. "Put 10% of your money aside until you hit your goal. You'll hit it," Tibbs advised. "Keep writing in the meantime. And spend some time finding an engineer who is willing to cut you a deal. Look into printing options. Do your research to save as much money as you possibly can. And maybe if you fund your first album and it does well, on your next album someone will fund you."

More Information: http://www.chantelletibbs.com

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