IN HER own words, she was born to create; she spun all three chairs at The Voice Kids at the age of just 13, and is a youtube sensation with over 7 Million hits; In the words of the Madden Brothers, Imogen is an old soul and there is no doubt her successes and her demeanour are well beyond her years. From pre show prep that consists of full body work outs to her Buzzfeed addiction and the undeniable distraction of Zimmerman designs, we spend some time getting to know the girl behind THAT VOICE and with her up and coming show as part of Melbourne’s Cabaret Festival, at just 15 years of age, there is no doubting the sky is well and truly within Imogen’s reach and we are guessing that Sass & Bide capelet she is crushing on might just be too…..
- Can you tell us a little about how you first began singing and when you realised it was something you wanted to pursue as a career?
I really can’t remember a time where I wasn’t singing or creating music. I constantly have ideas around different sounds and melodies in my mind so I guess I was just born this way. Pursuing music as a career was a logical step, but it’s a hard journey these days to make a living from it. To keep myself sane, I really try and surround myself with other creative people.
- Is singing a talent which runs in your family or did you family in any way influence your career?
Both my parents have a love of music and as soon as they could see it was my passion, they exposed me to so many different genres of music and actually all kinds of art. If ever there was a festival or exhibition, off we would go!
- What have you learnt from your journey so far and what advice would you give to other young singers?
First up – Always be nice and appreciate the expertise of everyone behind the scenes, especially wardrobe! They are the people that make you look and sound great.
I think the music world is so controlled these days and I’ve seen people that get caught up in the hype and forget why they are in it. Stay true to yourself and your music, never stop working on your craft, be ready to accept other people’s views and don’t take anything personally, if you can help it!
- Your YouTube videos are VERY popular! What lead you to sharing your talent on YouTube and do you feel it accelerated your success?
Well I never had much to do with You Tube and really only recently became involved. Truth is my big sis took it upon herself to load some videos on and then one day she fess’d up and showed me the channel and it had 1m views! I think we are 7m plus now. Apparently I have a big following in south America!
I definitely think You Tube helped me get work plus it’s a great place for me to search for new ideas and you do find some amazing talent out there.
- In recent years Cabaret has become much more popular and has benefited from several high profile celebrities who support the industry. Can you talk to us a little about your journey into Cabaret and how it has changed since you have been involved?
I am a relative newcomer to Cabaret and really started getting into it about 2 years ago. I’m a big fan of Trevor Jones who was my vocal coach for a number of years. I went to see his weekly show (Fab Fridays) at the Butterfly Club and just fell in love with the scene. It is seriously the happiest place on the earth where everyone is accepted.
I love the freedom of cabaret – pretty much anything goes and I mean ANYTHING! It can be laugh out loud funny and irreverent, seriously arthouse, drag, dark or even saucy burlesque.
- The Cabaret Festival is now HUGE – considering Cabaret incorporates so many different artforms and talents, can you talk to us about how important it is in a digital world to keep stage entertainment alive?
Well every performer hates self-promotion, but it is a necessary evil. Digital is by far the easiest and most effective way to reach a wider audience and it allows artists to collaborate across continents.
- Tell us a little about your upcoming show Lost in Love
Lost in love is probably the most moving piece of work I have had to perform and it takes every ounce of me to deliver it authentically and do the work justice. The show explores experiences of love across generations and how each time we love, we discover who we really are. It includes a really eclectic selection of songs that have been given a new life with some really cool and fresh arrangements by my Music Director Shanon Whitelock, who truly is a master and genius.
I know for some people, Lost in Love will trigger their own memories of love and I hope this brings them joy
- When it comes to the costumes, can you tell us a little about what audiences can expect from the show?
As you know I am a massive fashion fan and wardrobe plays a huge role in helping me get into character. For this show, I’ve designed a one piece together that splices influences from 1940’s and 1970’s fashion. I’m also working with a prop of this incredible organza scarf I bought in an Alannah Hill Sale about 3 years ago. It’s really dreamy but also quite structured so I can work quite a few looks with it.
- Tell us what it was like working with your director and composer Shanon Whitelock?
I love working with Shanon. I call him the genius gentleman as he is one of the nicest people I know and crazy smart. Shanon definitely understands my sound and intuitively knows how to write music around it. He’s also really good at correcting and stretching me musically, which I really enjoy. Aside from music, we both love cheese and cute puppies which makes for fun times!
- How do you prepare for such a performance?
I kind of prepare in two phases that sort of run side by side. I’m a real stickler for technical training and so first off I work out my vocal training plan, which will include whole body workouts whilst singing at the same time as it builds stamina if I have to dance and sing at the same time.
Separately, I research the piece, understand the story I have to tell and then emotionally immerse myself. I’ve had a few times when I have come off stage and my body just collapses as I have just given everything emotionally.
- Outside of singing, what is it that keeps you busy?
I am a regular person – addicted to Buzzfeed, chocolate and hanging out with my friends.
- From a fashion standpoint, who is your favourite designer/style?
I am currently in love with Ulyana Sergeenko and Michael Cinco. Their designs have a wonderful vintage aesthetic that have some really cool elements of modern fashion. I also have a major crush on this season’s Sass and Bide feathery bolero/capelet which is unfortunately a bit out of my reach – so hoping it makes it to sale stock 😉
For stage, I work with the amazing Isaac Lummis (www.wearisaac.com.au) He really understands what looks good on me and his designs are really incredible.
For every day, I really like all sorts of styles. Being tall and curvy, I look for shapes and colours more than a set style. I do love the minimalist Cos, am often distracted by a great corset and Zimmerman….. I can only dream……..
- Does your entertainment world influence your style in any way?
Definitely, it allows me to legitimately dress up and outrageously over dress. Kimbra is one of my style icons and you can’t beat Marilyn.
LOST IN LOVE
‘Lost in Love’ is a masterpiece of touching and soulful melodies arranged by multi- award winning Music Director and composer Shanon D Whitelock (notable for ‘Oprafication’ New York Musical Theatre Festival and ‘Never Date a Songwriter’). With music from Nina Simone, Rufus Wainwright and Betty Davis to name a few, ‘Lost in Love’ frames the stories of love across generations.
Say you were there – ‘Lost in Love’ is on at Chapel off Chapel at 9.45pm on 15-16 June as part of this years 2016 Melbourne Cabaret Festival. Bookings: melbournecabaret.com, or simply click image below.