Fri. Jul. 20, 2018

Martine Girault – (The) Revival!

Martine Girault(Je me souviens…) I remember the first time ever I got to listen to Marine Girault’s ‘Revival’. I was soon after bein’ sent it as a promo by FFRR back in 1992. And I couldn’t help myself bein’ like ‘waow’. With my curiosity tickled as to know more about who sang and who produced it. I took the opportunity of a trip to London to set up a meeting with the concerned parties. And this is how I would get to know both Martine Girault and Ray Hayden of Opaz Productions. Himself scoring his first success as a producer with the latter…

That happened like in the morning and I remember how I felt embarrassed. Someone tellin’ me that Martine had been performing live the night before… And although she was pretty tired, she said to me she wouldn’t miss our meeting for anything…
I would then get to know she was hailin’ from Brooklyn, NYC although havin’ Haitian ascendants. This most likely explaining the French sounding of her name. I would hear she’d been takin’ from Stephanie Mills while embodying Dorothy in Broadway musical ‘The Wiz’. And that she loves both Soul and Jazz vibes. I would then meet her later on in Paris where we would chose the locations in Montmartre to do the photo shootings for the cover of her 1997 eponymous album on Victor-Japan via Opaz Records…

Cleverly getting influences from both Tom Scott & The L.A. Express‘s ‘Sneakin’ The Back’ and Bobby Byrd‘s ‘I Know You Got Soul’, ‘ Revival’ happened to be way more than that. Eventually voted as the Best Soul Record of the Year at the World DMC Music Awards. This before appearing on countless compilations. Meanwhile reachin’ the attention of the late Guru who sampled it on ‘Feel The Music’.

With the album scheduled for release on a major label (RCA), the song would eventually gets remixes courtesy of Hip-Hop R&B mogul Puff Daddy alongside CL Smooth. The label eventually decided to shoot a new video in Times Square. Alas, internal changes at BMG would leave Omar and Brooklyn Funk Essentials homeless with the interruption of their Groovetown sublabel. Not to mention Martine Girault. Something that would have a devastating impact on her. Bringing her (back) into addictions she had when she was a teen. A situation that would get her in the middle of nowhere for a 7 year period!

That said, the road to recovery would also be the one of discovery out of what would emerge an unstoppable spirit with a renewed hunger. But also a voice that had matured in the meantime, tempered by the deepest of experiences. Martine is a recovering addict but she has done more than help herself. She has been mentoring a young person in the hope to show her a better way. She has also lent her support to various associations for whom she has also performed at conferences. And she also started writing a book about her experiences.

When Ray Hayden got a phone call out of the blue he was delighted to hear how Martine was in recovery. Having lost touch all those years ago. When they met, she showed him her memoirs and Ray asked if she would consider telling her story through an LP. The result was an album titled ‘If’ recorded back then. Although it only only saw the light in 2013. A reality that, no surprisingly, reflects the tragic effects addiction has had on her as a person, on her career. But also on her life as a whole. An album that talks about hope, friendship and love. Meanwhile a brand new remix of ‘Revival’ has just been released. With post-production work by the likes of UK-based producer Soulpersona.

The revival? To be continued with upcoming collabs between Martine and Ray in the pipeline…

Trending – Martine Girault – (The) Revival!

You might also like…
10 essential Brit Soul gems…

About indamixworldwide 2137 Articles
Story teller, record pusher, compiler & web designer...
%d bloggers like this: