14 June 2008

Carmit Bachar is set to loosen up your buttons, baby...

Spotted at PCDWorld

Carmit Bachar is set to loosen up your buttons, baby...
Carmit Bachar is a Pussycat Dolls veteran, having joined the group way back when in 1995. At the time, gas was still cheap, the twin towers were still standing, and the ‘Dolls were a burlesque show.

Bachar stuck it out longer than any other Doll; she experienced the transformation of the group into top pop recording artists, toured in support of their multi-million selling album PCD and now she’s set to do her own thing.

Yes, much to the despair of my ‘Dolls fans, and much to the delight of many aspiring ‘Dolls, in March, she officially announced her departure from the Pussycat Dolls on the group’s official website. She tells Savvy she’s leaving on good terms to pursue solo projects, including bringing her “multi-genre cabaret” called The Zodiac Party to television and recording a solo album.

Although she’s well known for her looks, she’s proud to be ambassador for worldwide philanthrophic organisation Operation Smile and inspire children born with cleft lip/cleft palate, as she was. She’s an example that anyone can overcome their personal challenges and grow up to achieve their dreams – of becoming Savvy Divas!

“I want to educate and inspire people by saying that inner beauty is more important than looks,” she said. I sat down with the gorgeous redhead during a recent visit to Los Angeles…

Savvy: Do you want to chill in my Lamborghini?

Bachar: (Laughs) Oh my God… Sure…

Savvy: How many times? How many lies?

Bachar: Never again, no more.

Savvy: How long you been sneakin’? How long you been creepin’?

Bachar: I don’t need to creep. I don’t need to sneak.

Savvy: Don’t you wish your boyfriend was hot like me?

Bachar: (Laughs) I don’t know. We haven’t met!

Savvy: For the record, yes, I do wish my girlfriend was hot like you… but don’t say anything to her!


Bachar: Okay. Glad we got that out of the way.

Savvy: Since you were the only original Pussycat Doll in the group when the quintet struck it huge on mainstream radio, how did things change from when it was just a burlesque act for Hollywood hipsters?

Bachar: In the old days, we would perform at the Viper Room and The Roxy on the Sunset Strip. Celebrities were our fans in addition to performing with us. It was fun, a cool time.

Savvy: Two former Savvy models, Rachel Sterling and Staci Flood, are former Pussycat Dolls. Back then, you performed with numerous guest vocalists, with a repertoire of 1950s and 1960s pop standards while dressed in lingerie or old-fashioned pin-up costumes. You were the only troupe member who remained after the 2002 re-casting process with Interscope Records.

Bachar: When we first got signed to a record deal, it was a scramble to find what our style would be. It was crucial to our image because people already had this preconceived notion of what we were going to sound like and what we were going to be, maybe because we looked sexy before we showed we were talented singers. The last song we recorded became our first single.

Savvy: Nicole Scherzinger became the front woman, yet you and Melody Thornton were also vocalists for the group. Did so much focus on Nicole create any tension?

Bachar: Well, Nicole had been in a group (Eden’s Crush) before she became our ringleader, our quarterback. She’d been through the fire and knew what it was like. It was new to the rest of us so we looked to her for leadership. Everyone’s role was equally important.

Savvy: A lot of people might have assumed that Nicole was the singer and the rest of you were just eye candy, but you studied music, dance, piano and viola at the Hamilton Academy of Music in Los Angeles, right?

Bachar: Yes. During that same time period, I competed internationally as a rhythmic gymnast for 10 years and placed 5th in the U.S. Olympic trials in 1992. My mother worked as a dance teacher and my father worked with Elvis Presley and Marcel Marceau.

Savvy: You’re leaving the Pussycat Dolls on good terms after 13 years of performing, and you’re working on other things. Tell us more.

Bachar: I’m collaborating with a lot of people, including Macy Gray, who is a good friend of mine. It is fun to venture out and see what other sounds are going to be featured when my solo album comes out in 2009.

Savvy: Is it safe to say your solo album will shake my booty?

Bachar: I like to dance and move. I like to make everybody party. But there is an array of styles on everyone’s iPod, and you can expect some dance songs and some ballads. I love the urban crossover sound as well as soul. I have a very spiritual voice.

Savvy: What is The Zodiac Show?

Bachar: It is a multi-genre performance event for singers, dancers, rappers, aerialists, poets, and every other kind of professional performing artist coming together on stage to display their true passion with the highest level of skill. I’ve hosted this event for six years at Hollywood’s biggest venues. Every number takes it to the limit. I call it my rock ‘n roll version of Cirque du Soleil. We will have a television portion of the event, which will be one of the driving forces of this show. Stay tuned.

Savvy: A leading lad’s mag named you as one of the 100 Sexiest Women in the World in 2008. We concur…

Bachar: Yes, that is exciting. The Pussycat Dolls were on Top 100 lists for a few lad’s mags, but it is exciting to see a spotlight put on my solo career and my philanthropic work. I’m always stepping it up a notch and ever evolving.

Savvy: Tell us about Operation Smile.

Bachar: I’ll be on a mission trip to Bolivia this summer to entertain and educate children while they are preparing for pre-op work. Anything I can do, singing or activities, in arts education to keep them entertained and show that they can live their dreams the way I have.

Savvy: That’s pretty cool. And you’re not bad looking either.

Bachar: Ah, thank you. People say there’s something unusual about my look. When I was a child, I had surgeries to repair my cleft lip/cleft palate. I think that’s why I believe that beauty starts from the inside out.

Savvy: You’re the perfect combination of the two, but how important is talent when you’re pleasing to look at?

Bachar: You have to have something to say. Looks and talent do go hand in hand with reaching the next level of celebrity. There’s also the marketing aspect because there are so many people trying to make it in this industry. You have to keep your fans excited and wanting to follow you in your career.

Savvy: Lead the way. We’ll follow.

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