Imogen Heap Biography

Review The Artist (9)

Imogen Heap-photo
From Romford to New York, Back to back private recitals to a live debut before 150,000 people, Imogen Heap has come a long way since her childhood days in Essex. Still 20 years old, strikingly individual and ahead-turning 6 feet tall, Imogen Heap's name is an real as her music. You're unlikely to forget either....

Imogen spent her formative years in Essex, relocating to a Quaker boarding school in Cambridge at the age of 12. A loner at heart, Imogen found solace in the adjoining Music school, where she could take flight from the claustrophobia of boarding school life. The secluded music room bore witness to Imogen's growing confidence, from learning the blues scales on piano, to pacifying her bullies with private recitals and exclusive snips of songs in progress. A gifted musician, she also possessed the vocal range of alto tenor, her unique voice lending her songs a maturity their years.

From school, Imogen enrolled at south London college aged 15. Classically trained her musical taste grew in tandem with her songwriting, Imogen's influences ranging from Nine Inch Nails to the burgeoning dance culture. She left two years later armed with her qualifications and hooked her up with the producer Nik Kershaw. The resulting material spawned stunning reworking of two early Heap song's, 'Come here Boy' and 'Itchy' - major record company interest beckoned.

a live baptism of fire followed when Imogen secured a slot sandwiched between Eric Clapton and The Who at 1996's Trust Concert in Hyde Park. A Twenty minute set before an audience if 150,000 people, the concert gave her first taste of the limelight and served to crystallise her hypnotic and highly theatrical stage manner. Gigs in Camden would later see this persona expand with the aid of a walking stick, her trademark six inch leather horns furry hat and freaky hip hop dancing. Now courted by London's A&R fraternity, Imogen signed to Almo Sounds in April 1997.

After writing and recording a track called 'Blanket' with Urban Species, Imogen started to record with Dave Stewart, but settled with producers David Kahne (of soul Coughing fame) and Guy Sigsworth, whose cut 'n' paste production style and ability to cross-fertilise musical genres engendered a feeling of mutual respect between producers and artist. Over the six months the album was recorded in New York and London. The debut single 'Getting Scared', an intense and abrasive pun to abusive relationships, provided a taster of things to come. Released as limited edition, the became XFM's 'Single of the week' and garnered rave reviews across the board.

Her second single 'Shine', released on April 13th, found Imogen in mellower mood. Its beautifully shuffling beat, descending piano chords and dark lyrical core further confirmed Imogen's musical diversity. The single won critical acclaim across the board, from Music week who praised Imogen as "a rising to watch", to Time out who found her "intense...upbeat and moody in equal proportion" to the Evening Standard, who remarked that 'Shine' was "decidedly tuneful".

And so to the debut album 'I Megaphone'. The title reflects the content: it is both an anagram of Imogen's name and an allusion to her often uncompromising stance on life. Literate and honest in the style of Kate Bush and Patti Smith, the album takes the listener on a journey from despair to elation, stability to glorious insanity via it's potent brew of mashed up beats, guitars and classical flourishes. 'I Megaphone' ranges from the tender ballad 'sleep', a song that captures Heap at her most relaxed, to the baroque arpeggios of 'Rake It In' (complete with guillotine sound); from the piano song 'Come Here Boy' an ode to a father figure turned sexual figurehead, to the sparse, disjointed beats of 'Whatever'.

Both introspective and widescreen, confessional and defiant, the album encapsulates the emotional frailty of a young woman in a raw, intimate way. 'I Megaphone' lays Imogen's soul bare. Heap herself explains, "this is my life up until now, it's frustrations, the joy and anger spread over 60 minutes. 'I'm mot a depressive person, these songs just seemed to yank out those aspects of my personality, by the end I felt like asking the record company 'can I have myself back please?'.

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projective essence | Reviewer: richard rossiter | 11/20/2008

a vocal uniqueness blended with a taste of heavenly styled musik that only an engel can portray to the publocs otic palet, im a blind and parelized gent. but i also use this a tool to hear what most miss. the beauty in your musik and lyrics have a level of charactor most bands and single artist seem to miss. i have 60 legal note pads filled with lyrics you may be interested in.n/c

hey jenifer jane | Reviewer: kenza | 5/23/2008

you'r great realy, pour moi imogen heap est la meilleure artiste. c'est loriginalité et la stupefiante voix jen suis totalement fan.....
imogen continu a nous transporter dans ton monde et a nous faire réver.............
tu est super!!!
love you...............

great imogen heap | Reviewer: kenza | 5/23/2008

you'r great realy, pour moi imogen heap est la meilleure artiste. c'est loriginalité et la stupefiante voix jen suis totalement fan.....
imogen continu a nous transporter dans ton monde et a nous faire réver.............
tu est super!!!
love you...............

Powerful.. | Reviewer: Shylo Murray | 2/6/2008

You have amazing power in your voice and musical abilities. You lyrics are cutting and raw. It's quite refreshing to know you exist and your energy will ebb and flow....Kudos to you Imogen!
Your fellow sister in the art of music!
Shylo Murray.

I LOVE YPUR MUSIC! | Reviewer: Georgia | 8/7/2007

your music is awesome i love it so much the lyrics have so many different levels. you are my favourite artist!!!! keep the songs coming!

You are really really talented. | Reviewer: Kenny :) | 8/1/2007

I enjoy your songs alot. Im so curious about them, hide ans seek is my favourite. Just a quick question, what is its about.? I love each sentence you say and there are a few meanings iv come up with but id rather the truth.

I love Imogen:) | Reviewer: Micaela<3 | 7/1/2007

Wow, imogen you are a true songstress, i am but 12 years old and i listen to your wonderful music. When i heard one of your tracks on the OC.
I jumped out of my seat, all these thoughts were coming to my head. I loved that song. Your music is so powerful, i actually love to dance contemporary.. and i used hide and seak for an act in my dance class. It got good reviews, i got a bonus for song choice, because your music was so original. I CANT LIVE WITHOUT IT<3 thank-you for bringing something so powerful into my life.


you rock | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/21/2007

i love imogen heap, but y can't i find the chords to goodnight and go?

Immi | Reviewer: Kellin Atherton | 11/5/2005

Imogen Heap, known by some as a Classical Concert Pianist, and others as a the british Alanis or Fiona with a techno beat to back up the strong femininity. I was introduced to her by the British pop techno group Frou Frou, which is a combination of Immi, and Madonna producer Guy Sigsworth. I still believe that the best Immi has ever sounded is with Frou Frou, and they are responsible for my favorite song of all time, "Let Go" which many know from the Zack Braff film, Garden State. Frou Frou actually came about 5 years after the realease of Immi's first album released in 1998 known as I, Megaphone. Being a musically naive american teenager, I never made the connection between Frou Frou and Imogen Heap until I stumbled on the song Goodnight and Go, which was featured on the final episode of the O.C's second season. I am very pleased that someone at the O.C. has the good taste to put Immi's music in their show, and I have stumbled on many the blogger who is now an Immi and Frou Frou fan through the show.

While I would reccomend Frou Frou's album Flicks before I would either of Immi's solo records, don't let that tarnish my opinion, or the musical sanctity, of Immi as a solo artist. Her first album I, Megaphone not only had some great techno beats supporting her voice, which I can only describe as what the Siren's from the Odyssey must have sounded like, but it also displayed her talent as a pianist. The track Candlelight has a great piano part to support the question of, "Would you take my Candlelight away from me?" While tracks like Come here Boy show a very lustful pleading, where the guy is so in love with her, and the only way she can show her love back without saying it is too fuck his brains out. Although she says it much more tastefully than I do.

7 years seperate Immi's first album from her second, Speak for Yourself, which she produced by herself. Was long awaited in the U.S. by a core of fans that have stumbled upon her work either with Frou Frou, the earlier album, or TV and Movies. The album was even more highly anticipated after the track "Hide and Seek" was released in the u.s. as a spoiler, I believe the O.C. also used the track in their show along with "Goodnight and Go." Speak for Yourself is much more along the lines of her work with Frou Frou, much more soaring vocals and filling beats, than angry feminist growling. The album can only be described as poetry, Immi herself said that is was hard to write an album about falling in love, when you're in a healthy relationship, but somehow she pulled it off. I don't really know the inspiration for most of her songs, the way I see them, is a love, or feeling, where the only way to escape from the harshness of the world, is to retreat into state of hiding. And she will protect you. I always envision Anne Frank when I hear some of her songs, like "Clear the Area," from Speak for Yourself, or "Shh" from Frou Frou's album Flicks. The lyrics instill a fear that can be felt universally in love, in divorce, in breakups, in aything where fear is the dominant emotion. All the while, she is assuring you that you will be protected from whatever you fear, tha the words will guard you. I don't really know how else to describe her music.

Possibly an awkward review, but I assure you, you will not be dissapointed by Immi's second album Speak for Yourse'f, and Frou Frou's only one Flicks. I have never met someone who didn't like Immi and the work she has done. I only put one group above Frou Frou on my list of favorites, and that is the Beatles, and "Let Go," which can also be found on the Garden State soundtrack, is my favorite song of all time. Immi is one of the first artists out of my mouth when I make reccomendations, and she is my favorite female artist ever. There is no mood that can not be touched my Immi, or Frou Frou, and that is how I measure the importance of an artist.

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-------- 11/23/2014
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