Don’t call it a comeback — disco never left, says Clinton Hill artist Adeline Michele, front lady of the nu-disco band Escort, who readies herself to release her self-titled debut solo-album on Friday, November 9.
“Disco is soul music. It’s funk. It’s R&B and it continues to evolve as all these other genres do,” she explained. “I know these genres feel like they’re there are old and gone, but they’re not.”
Escort, Brooklyn’s finest disco orchestra that has cultivated a large and enthusiastic following, has kept the four-on-the-floor disco rhythms going strong since they first emerged in 2006. And lead singer Adeline has been feeling the funk even longer than that.
The French Caribbean singer and bassist, who was born and raised in the suburbs of Paris, has been performing since the tender age of five. After graduating from high school, she committed herself fully to music and focused on developing her own sound and writing her own songs. On a quest for more inspiration, she booked a trip to New York City; what was initially planned as a short, exploratory visit resulted in her moving to the Big Apple.
“Many of the people I was influenced by lived here,” Adeline said. “I planned to come for two weeks, but I liked it so much that after five days I decided to stay.”
That was 12 years ago. After living in Harlem for the first six months, she relocated to Brooklyn. It was a pragmatic choice, she explained.
“Everybody I work with lived here,” she said. “But I also came to Brooklyn because it was more affordable. That’s how all the artists end up here. And that creative energy is very contagious.”
Brooklyn not only has shaped her as a musician, but it is also where she met Escort-founders Dan Balis and Eugene Cho. Since 2011, she has been lending her powerful vocals, funky moves and glam-chic style to the troupe, often while playing bass at the same time.
But now it’s time to present her own sound, which is very different from Escort, said Adeline who cites Grace Jones, Prince, Chaka Khan and The Gap Band as some of her musical influences.
“Yes, it still feels a little bit like disco, and there is a mix of soul and R&B. But my songs are a lot slower and rawer,” she said. “It’s definitely more funk, especially since I am a bass player.”
In her songs, inspired by the country’s current political climate, Adeline talks about immigration and feminism, but also love.
“The album tells my story and the context in which I am living today,” she said. “What was going in 2016/ 2017, the time when I wrote the songs, influenced me. Being a young black immigrant female in America, I had a lot to say.”
Still, Adeline wants to keep it positive and has no intention on imposing her views.
“My goal is to spread positivity, even when I talk about subject matters that anger or pain me,” she said. “Through my songs, I want to make these topics accessible without imposing. So sometimes I cover them up as love songs. It’s still music, and it’s supposed to be pleasant and soothing.”
Fans can purchase her debut album “Adeline” beginning Friday, November 9, and experience the singer live at her album release party at C’mon Everybody in Bedford Stuyvesant on Tuesday, November 13. It’s going to be a celebration of live music and true musicianship, Adeline said.
“We’re just going to have fun and put on as good of a show as possible.”