“My music has changed completely over the last three years,” says GiGi Fouquet. “My eyes have been opened. I’ve been able to see what’s possible with recording an EP, touring it around New York City with my band, seeing how the songs can turn into something different on stage, and coming to realize that I can only make them better.”
It’s not difficult to imagine what led the French-American singer-songwriter into the music business in the first place. It’s in her blood. “I grew up in a musical family,” she says. “My grandmother was a gifted vocalist and her sister Kay Kendall performed on stage in London. From a very early age, I can remember singing along to Ricky Lee Jones and Tom Petty with my Dad. I was exposed to a wide variety of music while we lived abroad and us kids were always encouraged to pursue our artistic ambitions. I was very lucky, in that sense.”
Those life experiences take center stage on Fouquet’s new EP. A collection of upbeat pop songs and bluesy folk-rock ballads, ‘Tiny Heaven’ boasts many standouts, including the heartfelt ‘Suddenly,’ (“about the kind of love you just can’t put down”), the impassioned, orchestral ‘Missing’, and the irresistibly-catchy ‘You’re The Same As Me,’ already a hands-in-the-air live favorite. “It’s the kind of song everyone can relate to,” she says.
For such a young artist, Fouquet boasts seasoned mentors. Her co-producer GE Smith is a guitarist of worldwide acclaim, having spent his early years on SNL and then in the company of legends like Bob Dylan and Hall & Oates, and other co-producer, critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, Taylor Barton. Then there’s also Jon Carin who is best known for his impressive work on the keyboard and guitar with Pink Floyd. All three artists recognized Fouquet’s unique sound and made the decision to take her on. The resulting union is a marvelous one: the freshness of youth mixed with the wisdom of the road.
As for the EP’s title, it essentially evolved by accident. “We were in the studio recording ‘These Days Are Gone’ and Jon thought I kept singing the words tiny heaven,” says Fouquet. “Those weren’t actually my lyrics, but we all really liked that idea. The notion of having some small slice of the world where you can just be yourself, truly happy in your own skin.”
The title certainly fits. A disarming sense of ease abounds in all of Fouquet’s music. Whether she’s singing about love or loss, failure or triumph, the themes are universal and we’re right there with her. At times strumming like Petty and howling like Joplin, and at other times channeling Tracy Chapman or Sara Bareilles, singer/songwriter Gigi Fouquet and her EP, Tiny Heaven, have more to them than meets the eye.