Porcelain Black Says Rock Music Is in Her Blood
Signed to Universal Republic in the US, Porcelain Black combines elements of pop, rap and rock in her bold style of songwriting. “My dad was a huge rock fan and the first concert he ever took me to was AC/DC,” says the Michigan-born singer during a recent conversation with Noisecreep. “He’s been such a huge influence on me. At this point, rock music is just part of me, it’s in my blood.”
Black will be joining Lil Wayne on his upcoming I Am Still Music tour this summer, but the road to success hasn’t always been so smooth. “Before I landed my current record deal, I was doing a project called Porcelain and The Tramps,” she says. “But it wasn’t a band — it was just me [laughs]. It was along the lines of what I’m doing know, but perhaps a bit heavier. I was 18 years old. I moved to Los Angeles and then hooked up with a manager. The next thing I knew, I got signed and just concentrated on my music.
“During that time I got to work with a lot of talented people like Tommy Henriksen and Bobby Huff, but the label I was signed to wasn’t feeling the material. I was writing stuff that was full of attitude with curse words and all that stuff. Meanwhile the label is saying to me that I needed to write more Avril Lavigne-y type of pop songs. I was like, ‘Hell no!'”
Porcelain Black’s fortune changed when Lady Gaga producer RedOne approached the singer about working with him.
“I guess someone had played my stuff for him and he loved it,” says Black. “When we finally spoke, he told me that he totally got what my vision was and he wanted to work with me. Once we started working together, I changed my name to Porcelain Black.”
Growing up, Black’s family moved her around a lot. “It was weird because I grew up in 8 Mile and then Sterling Heights, which isn’t a great area. But when my mom re-married, we moved to a place called Rochester which is a really rich area. By that time, I was in high school and all of a sudden I had to interact with all of these snotty rich kids. I was into rock music and all kinds of other stuff and they didn’t get it. They would actually come up to me and say stuff like, ‘You’re a f—ing freak, what’s your problem?’ Then I would say, ‘You’re boring and fake, get away from me.’ I just didn’t let that nonsense keep me down. I knew that at a young age that being eccentric is a good thing. But yeah, what you see in the ‘This is What Rock ‘N’ Roll Looks Like’ video is pretty much what happened to me [laughs].”
As a teen, Black spent countless hours listening to her CD collection and watching MTV. “Trent Reznor was huge for me,” she says. “I also looked up to Marilyn Manson, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. I’m talking about obsessed [laughs]. Oh, I can’t forget about Oasis and Hole. I played the hell out of ‘What’s the Story (Morning Glory)’ when I was a kid. But at the same time I was also really into Britney Spears and pop music. I think there’s something cool about adding a dance vibe to rock music. I don’t want to make music for any specific type of person.”
When Noisecreep asked Black about her dream collaboration, she didn’t hesitate for a second. “I would love to work with a Billy Idol. I think he’s such a badass motherf—er! I think we could totally do something cool together. I hope he ends up reading this [laughs].”
Pocelain Black will be releasing her debut album this summer.