If you’re just hearing about Caro Emerald today, you’re sort of behind. The Amsterdam Conservatory-trained jazz singer rocketed to stardom in her native Netherlands back in 2009, with the release of her debut single, “Back It Up.”
A massive hit album – Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor – followed, going platinum across the European Union. Caro even set an all-time Dutch chart record, spending more weeks at #1 than even Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”! But what do you do after you sell millions of albums, and take home the Dutch Music Prize for Best Female Singer, the MTV EMA Award for Best Dutch Artist and the European Border Breakers Award? Conquer the United States, of course. Caro’s releasing her debut album over here independently and is on a tour that includes Los Angeles’s own El Rey theater tomorrow night.
Caro stopped by the studio to perform her hit tune and chat with Shira Lazar and Jackson Harris about touring America, embracing YouTube fame, and her unique musical style.
“Americans are always more over-the-top, I guess, than the Europeans,” she says of her ever-growing fanbase. “They’re kind of more enthusiastic and just sweeter and nicer.”
She admits that she’s often compared to fellow international chart-topper Adele. “I don’t really understand because the music is so different,” she says. “But it is a compliment because she’s such an amazing singer and I feel blessed because I look up to her.”
Speaking of her jazz background, she says, “I studied jazz singing because I wanted to be a singer, not that I wanted to be a jazz singer. It’s just that I had to choose between classical music and jazz.” She continues, “I just have this jazzy kind of voice, but I’ve always been into pop music, funk music, soul music, you name it. I just love it all.”
“We created this album ourselves at home,” she says of going indie outside of the massive, corporate music industry. “For two years we took time to do this. And we didn’t just want to give it to someone to just put it out there in their way. We wanted our way. And I still feel that it’s the strongest way to promote your music.”
Now, Caro is ready to dominate the States. “It’s very refreshing to have a new audience to conquer,” she says. “That motivates me to be as good as I can be all over again.”