Singers are among the most popular celebs on Twitter – Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber count their followers in the tens of millions. But what about real artists with plenty of talent, but still building their fan base? We were thrilled when rising Canadian jazz singer Brigitte Zarie, now living in New York, agreed to chat to us about how she uses social media.
Brigitte’s music is rich in the elegance and class of a bygone era, yet it feels fresh and vibrant too – and that’s reflected in her love of social networks to communicate with fans.
“I really enjoy interacting on a more personal level with fans,” she told us. “I also enjoy tweeting, and letting people know about my new release and gig updates.”
But it’s not all about the music. “I also enjoy having a public voice on matters of importance, and sharing my views on things. I think we all should. I love jazz and music in general, but I’m also a rabid organic cook, and passionate about vitamins for better health, sharing recipes, and insight on foods, new vitamins, etc. I have a cook book that I wrote about how I nursed and helped to heal a family member from cancer with food, and supplements.
“As far as social media bringing new fans? It absolutely has!”
However, Brigitte, from Toronto, and now based in New York, concedes she wasn’t a social media enthusiast from the start. “To be honest, I was really thrust online head-first! My ‘people’ – forgive that – but they released my first CD on the web, and there was an immediate reaction, emails from fans, industry folks etc , so I really had to get used to the online world pretty quickly!”
Brigitte’s album Make Room For Me recalls the glamour of the big band era, but with entirely new, self-penned material, recorded “live” in the studio with her big band and jazz quintet. How about this review from Wilbert Sostre in Jazz Times: “If these songs were written back in the ‘30s and ‘40s, we would be talking about them as part of the Great American Songbook.”
Yes, we’re Brigitte fans – and we’re not alone. Her following on Twitter and Facebook is growing as more discover her remarkable talent. They also discover that she follows back – a real rarity among so-called “stars”.
“I have been fortunate that I rarely seek people out – they actually find me, and I reciprocate. I never understand those folks who have a zillion followers, and follow back 10. A lot of jazz heads follow me, radio stations, or just people from all walks of life. “
Brigitte also asked to mention a very different aspect of social media use. “My mother passed away on March 7th of this year, by far the saddest day of my life,” she told us. “Strangers were sending me emails of support , and words of encouragement . I let fans and followers know on my website, and Twitter, and Facebook fan page exactly what took place the day my mother passed. So there you have it – a great medium indeed!”
Many thanks to Brigitte Zarie for taking the time to talk to us about social media. Her album Make Room For Me is available now.
Weltch Media can help with your social media use – and you don’t need to be a supremely talented jazz singer and songwriter (though, if we’re honest – we’d love it if you were!)