Dita Von Teese is the queen of burlesque – but now, she’s breaking into music.
The pin-up is gearing up for the release of her debut album, which was written specifically for her by Sebastian Tellier.
The self-titled album is a nonchalant, stylish affair which harks back to Air and Serge Gainsbourg, and is a strong debut from Dita.
This is despite the dancer insisting that she is not a singer.
Spekaing to Metro.co.uk, the 45-year-old said: ‘I’m not a singer, I never wanted to be a singer, I never thought I was a good singer. It was just something that fell into my lap. It’s fallen into my lap a few times where people have asked me to sing on a track, and I always give them the disclaimer “I’m not a singer”.
‘But as a fan of [Sebastian’s], I couldn’t see how I could turn down the opportunity to try something new that I am not as sure of myself with, like burlesque or designing lingerie.’
Dita and French singer-songwriter Tellier first met a decade ago when Dita invited him along to see her burlesque revue at Paris’s notorious Crazy Horse.
She explained: ‘I invited him because I was a big fan of his music. I didn’t think anything of it. He came, we met, and nothing ever happened. Then years later, I got an email randomly from his manager and record label, saying he had written a whole record for me. It was always his dream to write an album for one woman, but not a singer.’
Many of the songs on the album – in particular, Bird of Prey – have the potential to be feminist anthems, with Dita’s breathy seductress exerting her power over potential lovers.
She said: ‘I didn’t really think about it, I didn’t analyse the lyrics that much except when I was recording it. But the thing everyone needs to remember is that these are Sebastian’s lyrics, I can’t take credit for any of it.
‘I like that he wrote it with his perception of who I am, and he said he saw me as a seductress who looks for prey with my eagle eyes and swoops down… I thought that was funny. I love that it’s his fantasy of who I am.’
And while the result of the recording sessions is a polished and slick debut album, Dita admits that she was intimidated ‘all the time’ in the studio.
She told us: ‘It’s very intimidating to be with all of these serious musicians and Sebastian, who’s quite handsome and all. But they were all really patient and cheerleaders for what I was doing. They would change the tone of the music for my voice.
‘So it was intimidating, but it’s the same way I see acting, or rehearsing my shows in front of people – it’s not the same as being in front of an audience. But it’s nice to step outside your comfort zone.’
Dita Von Teese’s self-titled album is out 16 February.
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