Trixie Whitley: Songs For A Charmed — And Checkered — Life

By NPR Staff

January 27, 2013

In 2010, a young, Belgian-born, blues-rock singer burst onto the scene as the voice of Black Dub, a musical project founded by producer Daniel Lanois.

At the time, Trixie Whitley was literally flipping burgers at a restaurant in New York. But Lanois had known her dad, the late blues singer-songwriter Chris Whitley — so when Trixie and her mother showed up backstage at a music festival, Trixie handed Lanois a demo. After listening to it, Lanois invited her to Boston to record as his new band's lead singer.

This week, Trixie Whitley will release her first solo album, Fourth Corner. The title, she says, refers to the winding journey that brought her to this point.

"The reality is that I'm not from one place," Whitley says. "My mom comes from this, like, Gypsy family — a lot of flamenco guitarists and dancers ... kind of these wack-job musicians and artists. It's definitely been scattered at times in my upbringing, but I'm also quite proud of it."

Here, Whitley speaks with NPR's Rachel Martin about her unusual childhood, why she avoided learning guitar for most of her life and how she wound up DJing an event at the Museum of Modern Art in Brussels — at age 11. Click the audio link on this page to hear more of their conversation.

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