Grammy-nominated vocalist Cyrille Aimée, whom The New York Times touted as a “rising star in the galaxy of jazz singers,” will perform at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on Feb. 11. We asked about her career and upcoming concert.
How did you start singing?
As a child, I grew up with gypsies in my village in France. I became friends with them, and I started singing with them around the campfire.
Your breakthrough moment?
I had learned a song by heart. It was raining, so we all huddled into this bus. I sang the song, and when I saw the smiles on everyone, I realized that’s what I wanted to do forever, make people happy with my music.
You sang on street corners?
Singing and busking influenced my art because it influenced my life. The way I make art is the way I live my life, which is very in the moment. I am a nomad, and I just love exploring, and that comes through in my music.
What’s it like to improvise?
Improvising is my favorite thing because you really can’t be anywhere else. You have to be super present to give the music what it requires. It’s an exploration. It’s jumping in the water, taking risks. It’s a lot of play.
What can we expect at your Barclay Theatre show?
You’ll hear an incredible band playing all kinds of music, French songs, Mexican music, jazz, funky stuff, groovy stuff and original music. There’s just no limits.