It seems that St. Paul soul songbird, PaviElle French, is somewhat of an overnight sensation.
To those who know the career path of French, to call her an “overnight sensation” might be a bit odd, considering the 29-year-old singer, writer and composer has been performing since she was just 5 years old. But with the release of her most recent single, “Be Right There,” French has become somewhat of a media darling and there’s talk of her being the next big thing to come out of the Twin Cities since … well, let’s just say she’s receiving the royal treatment.
Released in March, “Be Right There” (www.pavielle.bandcamp.com/track/be-right-there) was featured on indy radio station, 89.3 The Current and listeners and media immediately took notice. The song, a soulful love-note exalting her man, is a beautiful ballad that easily makes any man wish that he were the chosen one to receive such lofty praise.
“Let me tell you all about this Brother/Just if you don’t understand/I’ll never find quite another, bottom line he’s a hell of a man/All my heart takes him seriously/Long-term possibilities/I’m day dreaming about being his Mrs/I love the king that he is.”
“Be Right There,” with it’s minimal production, does exactly what it’s supposed to do – allow the message and the messenger to shine. PaviElle’s shine has been years in the making, but the polish is coming through with dazzling brilliance.
“I really think (my current success) is divine order,” said PaviElle. “At 17, 18, 19 (years old), I wasn’t ready. I was good, but I wasn’t mature or focused enough at the time.”
Focus is certainly not lacking in today’s PaviElle. The multi-talented artists is set to release her full-length project, “Fear Not” later this spring/early summer and is starring in the independent Brenda Bell Brown film, “Sing Blue, Think You.” Every third Wednesday of each month, PaviElle headlines to a regularly packed audience at the Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis.
Even though PaviElle, who was classically trained at the Walker West Music Academy in St. Paul, has been singing for most of her life, there’s a reason much of the area is getting to hear PaviElle for the very first time.
“I was never going to do this (sing) again,” said PaviElle. “I stopped singing for five years. I stopped singing to go to nursing school to learn to care for my sick parents – both passed within five months of each other three years ago. I took a hiatus and moved away – ended up in Hawaii, but the music was calling me back home and I just couldn’t ignore it.”
The beautifully soulful PaviElle said even though she quit performing, she never stopped making music and amassed a catalog of songs, some of which will be featured on her highly anticipated upcoming release.
While there are obvious comparisons that can and will be made when it comes to PaviElle’s sound (Jill Scott) the St. Paul singer said her sound predates her contemporaries.
“I’m straight up old school,” exclaimed PaviElle. “I was raised on Rufus and Chaka Khan – P-Funk, Graham Central Station. I want to uphold the essence of Black soul music. That’s my torch to carry.”