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"MSN music KIDDO"

New music preview: Ones to watch

French singer-songwriter Anna Chalon, who goes by the name of Kiddo, has built a reputation for shimmering pop for the soundtracks of such French films as 2009's "Je l'aimais." The song she wrote for it, "Run and Hide," garnered a World Soundtrack Award nomination in the Best Original Song category. After this success, she came to America and studied at Boston's Berklee College of Music. For her debut LP, the just-out "Where To?" Kiddo hooked up with producer Jay Newland, who's worked with Norah Jones. - MSN Music

"KIDDO lucky"


Kiddo may be a brand new artist (her first full-length album will be released January 29 on Vaziva Music/Fontana Nort), but she already has a ton of interesting stuff on her resume. Three tracks from the album—“Fix Me,” “Lost Memory” and “Sunshine"—are premiering now in Starbucks stores across North America. She went to study guitar at the Conservatoire in Paris, but then left Paris for London—after first graduating from law school—and continued her studies at the London Music School before moving to Boston and ultimately New York City. And P.S: She's the daughter of renowned French actress/director Zabou Breitman and sculptor Fabien Chalon.
- Lucky magazine

"KIDDO Esquire"

Where To? Sounds like something you might ask a beautiful stranger at the end of a long night, especially if she happens to be French, sing like a bird, and play a mean acoustic guitar. But for singer-songwriter Anna Chalon (artist name: Kiddo), who fits that description, it's the question that caused her to "break up" with her hometown of Paris and travel through London, Boston, South Carolina, and New York, while writing and recording songs for her new album. And it's also the name of said album, which is out this week.

We recently met up with Chalon to drink coffee and talk about overalls, ugly musicians, and her love of all things American.

ESQUIRE.COM: So do I call you Kiddo or Anna?

ANNA CHALON: I guess If I was singing alone I would still introduce myself as Kiddo. But do as you feel.

ESQ: Okay. Anna. You seem very passionate about your overalls, Anna.

AC: [Laughs.] I'm not that passionate about them. I like the idea of a little gimmick. Maybe not a gimmick; that's so negative. But something that's really you. And it's so me. I've just been wearing them since I was six, and people were always calling me Kiddo.

ESQ: So that's where the stage name comes from?

AC: I guess. And it fits me. I was never into wearing heels. I'm comfortable, and I like the idea of being comfortable on stage. It's already so hard to play and sing. I just want to be in my pajamas when I'm singing. But people will remember that, even if they critique it. They'll remember that I'm Kiddo wearing overalls.

ESQ: Yeah, it seems to stand out.

AC: It does. It does, and it's not too stupid.

ESQ: Has you label ever asked you to add a little more sex?

AC: They didn't. They actually said, "That's cool. Keep that." It's fun to have your own thing.

ESQ: But sex still sells, right? That's still a thing?

AC: Yeah, but pretty or not pretty, just the fact that you're a girl and you're young and you play guitar and you sing: done. People want to use that. If an ugly guy sings, you're going to listen more to the lyrics and wonder what he has to say. But if it's a girl with a lot of makeup, it's like "Whatever, just be here, and I'll watch you." People don't really listen.

ESQ: To be fair, you're a pretty girl with a famous French actress for a mom, so…

AC: Totally. And I'm the first to be like that. When I see a girl on stage, and she looks pretty and she knows it, straight away I wonder, "Okay, what is this? How good is she?" It's weird.

ESQ: What about the bubblegum-pop girls?

AC: Of course. And it's great entertainment, but I'm not going to cry listening to the lyrics. I think being a musician can save you a bit. If you're just a girl with a mic… There's just too many. Especially if you don't write your own songs. But the fact that Adele isn't pretty somewhat made her who she is. And she's crazy talented, obviously, but people love the idea of a fat girl who made it. We love her and respect her for it.

ESQ: So we default to respect?

AC: Of course. People love the hard things. The struggle. We're like, "That's awesome." We prefer the shitty life version. And I'm the same. I like the drama.

ESQ: This is all so uplifting.

AC: Well, I also love Sinead O'Connor. She's beautiful. But what does she do? Shaves her head and dresses like she just got out of prison. And she still looks pretty. I read an interview saying she did that because everyone was commenting on her looks and it upset her, because she wanted people to listen to the music. I think that's so cool. That was kind of my intention with the overalls.

ESQ: And I think that's interesting, because you don't need to exploit your looks, but you certainly don't need shy away from them, either.

AC: You're right. It's just that I have ideas for album covers and music videos, and having me in them wouldn't allow me to do what I have in mind.

ESQ: What are your expectations for the album?

AC: I don't know. International success, traveling everywhere in the world, and four Grammys?

ESQ: That's you're hope. What's you're expectation?

AC: [Laughs.] Just to play some shows and travel a bit with this album. Honestly, I just want to stay here. Music keeps me here, and I love playing music more than anything. But I think I want to stay in America even more than I want to play music. So if that's not what's going to keep me here I can do something else.

ESQ: Wow. You really love America.

AC: So much. Here, home is such an important concept. People always talk about home. Most people had to leave when they were eighteen. And if I had left at that time I would have missed home. But by the time I left it was for no other reason than I wanted to get the fk out - Esquire


Still working on that hot first release.



Currently at a loss for words...