A fresh-faced Miami-by-way-of-NJ girl who nevertheless proudly wears her Madonna influence on her sleeve, Gigi Rowe is a dayglo 80s-esque pop princess for a 21st Century in need of a serious dose of fabulousness. Her new EP, Stardust Motel, was released in late October, and the hook-laden synth-pop single “Got That” (shades of The Material Girl’s “Open Your Heart”) has already racked up more than a million plays on YouTube.
But it’s her remake of Bruce Springsteen’s visceral classic “Dancing in the Dark” (which BlackBook premieres here) that really made us sit up and listen.
It’s essentially a powerful, haunting, gospel version of a song that has always begged for such an interpretation. Indeed, here the “dancing” is of a much more languid kind, as she movingly laments, “I ain’t nothing but tired / I’m just tired and bored with myself.” (Perhaps imagine if Bruce’s original had been produced by David Lynch.)
Of course, the hopeful lyric, “You can’t start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart,” is truly one for our current times – a call to rise up from our insular little social-media-led worlds and go set the world on fire with action.
“It’s hard to write something about this song because the song says it all,” she philosophically explains. “Honestly, I had no idea what it was about until I sang it; and then realized it’s not about one thing – it’s about everything. Life, the struggle, what it means to be alive and particularly, what it feels like to be an artist. But this is a Bruce Springsteen song, so of course it’s epic. And I probably feel an extra special connection, having been born and raised in New Jersey.”
For our part, we couldn’t be more inspired.