JUSTINE BALMER UNVEILS DEBUT ALBUM
Stunning contemporary crossover soprano announces release of her debut Classical/Pop-Opera album alongside new single duet of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ with Classical Brit Award winners, Blake
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‘Lovely pure voice’ – John Suchet, Classic FM
As the ink dries on a fresh deal with Right Track Records / Universal, contemporary crossover soprano, Justine Balmer, announces the release of her outstanding classical/pop-opera debut album, ‘Simple Thing’, released 7 June. Masterfully creating breath-taking twists on pop and classical hits, Justine Balmer’s angelic vocals and compelling production deliver the ultimate classical album for the crossover market. And, if Justine’s voice isn’t yet familiar, her face certainly will be, as she’s been a guest presenter on shopping channels QVC and Ideal World for the past 11 years. When it’s the simple things in life that make the greatest difference, then it’s the simple things that we should embrace with the most relish – enjoy ‘Simple Thing’.
Deliciously eclectic, ‘Simple Thing’, magically spins Justine Balmer’s pipe-dream into a sumptuous melodic reality. A culmination of 5-years of production, reveal a perfectly balanced, hand-picked collection of classical, pop and rock songs, which resonate with experiences and emotions from Justine’s life. Although the selection of songs is wonderfully diverse, as a collection, the tracks are individually shrink-wrapped with Justine’s uniquely fresh classical twist, to create the ultimate crossover album.
The classical songs on the album were chosen for their sheer beauty, and are tracks which Justine saw (through her own live performances), as having the ability to ‘move’ the listener. ‘Ave Maria’ was selected purely for its ability to move Justine to tears, whilst ‘Pie Jesu’ and ‘In Trutina’ simply fill Justine with complete joy. However, Justine was adamant that this classical album would have the crystalline clarity and impact of a pop album, which determined the contemporary production and pop song choice. As a result, this diverse collection includes The Keane song, ‘Somewhere Only We Know’, Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ (a duet with Classical BRIT Award Winners ‘Blake’), Kylie’s ‘Confide In Me’, whilst Justine’s favourite song on the album is Aerosmith’s ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’, a track which nobody has ever recorded in Italian (and which comes with Justine’s entertaining story of how the track was translated by an Italian magician on a cruise ship). Although wildly diverse and wide-ranging in its song choice, over 60% of the playing time of ‘Simple Thing’ is classical; making this a truly crossover classical album.
Guildford born, Justine Balmer was a classical musician from a very early age, with the piano and oboe her main passions. She became the principle oboe player with City of Leeds Youth Orchestra, and was a music scholarship student at school. Justine only began singing with her first Classical teacher at Leeds College of Music at the age of 17 on a bit of a whim. One of the songs on the new album, Rusalka’s ‘Song To The Moon’ was learnt in those early teen days and has a very special place in her heart. On leaving University, Justine trained in musical theatre at L.S.M.T., calling on patrons of the arts to support her financially through this period. She recalls a time when she wrote to Howard Keel and he responded with a hand written note and an envelope full of cash! He was a huge push towards her progress in music. A Pledge Music campaign gave Justine the funds to employ a radio plugger, and her relationship with Classic FM began; the John Suchet show delivering her first ever radio play. Her musical theatre studies led to a cruise line contract which gave her the travelling bug, and subsequently Justine weaved her way through pantos, plays, musicals, concerts and other cruise ship contracts while she saw the world and perfected her craft. However, West End roles just didn’t feel right, classical was where her heart lay.
Steve Hewlett, BGT finalist, suggested that Justine put together her own classical show for cruise liners, and instantly she became the classical Jane McDonald! She went right back to her classical roots, delivering a show that’s classical, fun and compelling to audiences. Around this time, Justine was offered the role of a guest presenter on QVC, where she stayed for 10 years; moving onto Ideal World in 2018. The turning point was when she was asked to record a version of Josh Groban’s ‘Oceano’, everything fell into place and Justine discovered her niche – classical pop that appealed to the masses. The Justine Balmer sound was conceived. For the next few years, Justine worked on her debut album, a collection that’s all about the story. Although appealing to a wider consumer with it’s pop re-workings, the album meets Official Classical Chart regulations.
The classical market welcomes the arrival of the vibrant fresh talent of Justine Balmer.
Debut album, ‘Simple Thing’ is released on Right Track Records / Universal on 7 June
Source The PR Stable
May 15, 2019 6:47am ET by The PR Stable