By Patrick WeirFrenchie Davis first hit the world stage at the audition for the second season of American Idol. Since then, she has starred on stage in the Broadway and touring productions of Rent, Dream Girls and Ain’t Misbehavin (a performance that earned Frenchie her first Grammy nomination).
Last year, she hit the national spotlight again, joining Team Christina on NBC’s hit show The Voice and becoming one of the top four finalists. After her cover of “When Love Takes Over” landed at #3 on the iTunes Dance Chart, she knew she was ready to get started on an album.
She teamed up with international singer/songwriter Janice Robinson (Ashley Tisdale, Deborah Cox) to record her first sure-to-be-a-smash single, “Love’s Got A Hold on Me,” releasing September 4. It’s the first single from the dazzling diva’s upcoming album, “Just Frenchie.”
Have you ever been in love?
Love has been painful in the past. These days it’s pretty wonderful. I’m in love with a woman I think I can be with forever.
Is being a prisoner to love a good or bad thing?
Being a prisoner to love can be a bad thing. You have to find a balance. You want to give your all to your partner without losing yourself. You don’t want to wake up one day not having a clue who you are anymore.
Could you love someone who didn’t support your singing career?
Of course I could. But the real question is would I be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t support my career? That answer is no.
What do you love about singing?
I feel free when I sing, and I love to create colors with my voice. It is truly a gift and a blessing that I will never take for granted.
Did you love starring on Broadway?
Musical theatre was my first love and how I first fell in love with music. The best part was developing the discipline and endurance required to do eight shows a week. You hear so many stories about performers suffering from exhaustion. After surviving the Broadway schedule for five years, I believe I can survive anything.
How did you feel about competing on The Voice?
I loved it. For a long time, I had given up on having a recording career. It didn’t seem like it was going to happen. I didn’t want to become one of those bitter artists, so I focused all of my energy on becoming a Broadway star and singing for my gay boys because those were the doors that were open to me. Then one day a casting director from The Voice ends up in the audience at one of my shows, and the rest is history.
Did “When Love Takes Over” hitting #3 on iTunes give you the incentive to start releasing your own music?
It did. It made me realize, maybe I can still do this. And maybe I can do dance music instead of R&B. There are enough big black girls doing R&B already.
Tell us about your single, “Love’s Got a Hold on Me.”
It’s a dance track written by my dear friend Janice Robinson, best known for the songs she’s written for Deborah Cox and Ashley Tisdale. The track was produced by Marco Borrero, a really talented artist from New York City who recently got picked up by Dr. Luke’s camp. I’m glad I snatched him up when I did! Brian Friedman, who I love for his work with Britney Spears and The X Factor, co-directed and choreographed the video.
Speaking of the video, was it your idea to incorporate Mad Max into it?
Once we decided to shoot the video in the Mojave Desert, the Mad Max vibe just sort of evolved.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
I love to go swimming at the beach. It relaxes me, and it’s awesome exercise.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
I don’t do dairy, but there is this company called Cashewtopia, and they make vegan dairy free ice cream from cashew milk, which is similar to almond milk but creamier. I love it. It’s sweetened with agave, so the sugar content is pretty low. Most importantly, it’s super yummy.
That’s a hard one! Anything with Bette Midler or Meryl Streep. They can do no wrong.
It depends on what mood I’m in. Anything on the soul oldies station.
Breed of dog?
My dog is half Jack Russell/half Chihuahua.
City to fall in love in?
New York City.
What’s next for Frenchie Davis?
In addition to my debut album, I’m putting the finishing touches on my Christmas album. And I’m really excited to be in talks about starting my own line of plus-size bras and lingerie!
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