Few musicians are quite as raw and honest as Genevieve Schatz. From the sound of her voice to the message of her music, the performer, known simply by her first name, doesn't hold back. For that matter, Genevieve doesn't always even know how or where her performances are going sometimes, which will make it all the more exciting for her and her fans when she begins her spring tour with A Brave New World at the Crescent Ballroom on March 17.
"I take musical performances really seriously," Genevieve says. "I perform with a lot of enthusiasm and honesty. I discover new feelings as I perform, so everyone else will feel them as I discover them."
Before breaking out on her own in 2014, Genevieve was the singer for Chicago-based indie band Company of Thieves. Over the band's seven-year career, Genevieve and her bandmates established themselves on a national scale. These days, Genevieve's act is a little different, trading in her four-piece for a slightly poppier electronic singer-songwriter sound. It's a big shift from the sound that brought her to this point, but the veteran songbird isn't going at it entirely alone.
"I still have an accompanist, but it's just me and him, so it's more intimate," Genevieve says. "There's more space on the stage for me to express myself, and I can take it all moment by moment more than I could with a band."
Obviously, Genevieve's solo shows are a very different experience than her former band's, but some things don't change with or without a band. Genevieve's musical talent is still based on raw emotion rather than classical musical training, and she still performs out of necessity as much as anything.
"Everything I do is self-taught," Genevieve says. "I sing because if I didn't sing, I'd probably explode. I sing like my hair is on fire."
Genevieve isn't the first indie singer to start her own solo project, and she won't be the last. But while many other artists look up to idols like David Bowie and Bob Dylan for guidance on their solo careers, Genevieve just sticks with whatever feels right for her. The now-LA-based singer is more than content to just be herself rather than trying to become the next iteration of one of her heroes. It makes sense, since Genevieve describes her heroes as a wide range of people (which could include herself, in a very non-McConaughey kind of way).
"Anyone brave enough to express themselves in that musical moment is my hero," Genevieve says. "I'm a fan of everything from the Beatles to Disney music to Nirvana."
As for what people should expect on St. Patty's Day, Genevieve believes it'll be something the Valley has never seen before. Not only will it be the first show of the tour, but it'll also be the first chance for many to hear the record Genevieve will soon be wrapping up.
"I'm working on my debut album for later this year, so this'll be my first time playing the new material in Phoenix," Genevieve says. "People should come with an open mind and enjoy the music."
Genevieve will be opening for A Great Big World on March 17, 2016, at the Crescent Ballroom. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and are available through Ticketfly.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.