Angela Galuppo wasn't born singing. But it didn't take long.
"My father is very musical. The house was always filled with music growing up," says the Montreal native, by way of deep background for the genesis of her intimate debut solo album simply entitled Angela Galuppo. "I used to harmonize to my dad's records, everything from the Everly Brothers and Elvis, to the Beatles, Stones and Eagles. One day he heard me and said "hey, this kid's got something. She's got ears."
Soon enough, those ears found jazz. "I was rummaging around in the basement and came across albums by Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day, and my favourite, Sarah Vaughan. I love Sarah!"
It took all the way to Grade 4 in suburban Hudson for Angela to find her calling. "The Hudson's Music Club, which is the community theatre in the area, decided to mount a production of the musical Annie. Though I was very shy singing in public, I auditioned, got the lead role, and found I wasn't shy once I got up on stage." Singing and acting have been parts of her life ever since.
Galuppo and her voice have featured in many animated kids' shows and video games, in theatrical productions, and most recently, in commercials, film and in live-action television series.
Though music was always integral to her busy artistic life, at one point at a young adult, she realized "I knew I was a singer, but I couldn't talk the talk. I had no formal training." Despite that, she applied to the prestigious music program at Montreal's Concordia University, and was accepted. Juggling school and work, she managed to nab the 2007 Dr. Oscar Peterson Jazz Scholarship, and, in 2010, received her B.F.A. with Great Distinction. She was now talking the talk.
Joining forces with fellow students from the Concordia program, she found time to form a band that would be called St. Ange. In 2011, they released an album called Second Nature, a title that was a sweet and accurate reflection of Angela's effortless vocal gifts, with music that mirrored her love of jazz and gauzy, indie-tinged pop.
A solo project seemed the logical next step. "I've been working with pianist John Sadowy since 2006. We've developed a friendship and a musical relationship, a true collaboration. He's able to finesse my ideas and musical thoughts to the extent that I think of him as my musical husband!"
The light bulb went on one day when she realized that she had so much material that never found its way to St. Ange, and had never been laid down. "I said to Jim 'we've got the material and the background, let's take a chance.' " Jim West and Justin Time Records were prepared to gamble with her.
"The album as a whole is moody, romantic, tender, intimate, lush and soothing," she says, deploying the language of a music critic. "It's a jazz recording with tunes you wouldn't necessarily associate with jazz." Think Black Keys. Think Prince.
"As an artist and a human being, I'm constantly evolving and changing, and learning about myself," she confesses.
Welcome to the next chapter in the evolution of Angela Galuppo.