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PARIS — Take a pinch of PJ Harvey, an ounce of Bjork, the pipes of Billie Holiday and the gap-toothed smile of a young Jane Birkin and you get La Brisa Day Roche, a 31-year-old Californian in Paris who’s just been signed by the French arm of the legendary Blue Note jazz label.
With photographers already circling in interest, self-styled Day Roche stands poised — on her towering Japanese platform sandals, no less — to seduce music and fashion circles alike.
“My physique gives the feeling of a pinup look, and my voice goes naturally to jazz,” explains the singer after a recent knockout gig at Paris’ trendy Le Baron. “But I’m really trying to experiment with rock ‘n’ roll.” She describes her performance style as “intimate, cinematic, pop rock ‘n’ roll with a Sixties sensibility.” Day Roche’s as yet untitled first album is slated for release this fall in France, with an international rollout to follow.
The musical combination parallels Day Roche’s fashion sense, also a clash of styles that somehow works. She’ll wear, say, a pair of slim pants from the Sixties with an Adidas men’s running top cinched at the waist and accented with diamante cuffs she sews on herself. “I’m particular about what I like, so it’s easier to make it,” says Day Roche, who shops in charity and activewear shops.
But for diva impact, the singer says exaggerated accessories are key. A huge wrestling belt, for example, is something she’ll wear over tight black pants. Or she’ll string toy guns on a faux leopard skin belt one day and strap them to a kid’s plastic crown the next for a kitsch hat a la Courtney Love. “Americans improvise with what they’ve got,” reasons Day Roche, who grew up combing Californian thrift stores.
As for inspirations, the starlet’s muses span several generations, with Madonna as much an icon as Nico or the legendary Peggy Lee. “She was more hot sh– than we think,” says Day Roche of the Sixties jazz and pop singer, whom she lauds as “so stylish and so in charge of the public in such an overblown way.”