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Tuesday, August 17, 1999 Published at 07:43 GMT 08:43 UK


Aiming to be a model singer

Caprice: Can she make it from the catwalk to the charts?

By BBC News Online's Darryl Chamberlain

Most serious music fans couldn't resist a sly sneer when they heard the news.

Caprice Bourret - supermodel, tabloid darling, Wonderbra icon, magazine star and a regular at parties and premieres - is making her pop debut.

But the 27-year-old Californian, whose single Oh Yeah is released in the UK on 23 August, doesn't care what the cynics think - and she is determined to prove she can make it in the music industry.

Just don't mention the N-word.

[ image: Naomi Campbell: Back to modelling after her short-lived pop career]
Naomi Campbell: Back to modelling after her short-lived pop career
"Of course I have to deal with the whole Naomi Campbell saga - that's so boring now," she spits.

"It's amazing how the press and the media forget about the ones that made it. Sade was a huge model before she became a singer and Grace Jones was bigger than Naomi and I put together."

Caprice knows she faces a barrage of cynicism for her forthcoming album, which she co-wrote.

"I just believe people stereotype, more so in this country - that's fine because we know what we're up against.

"That's not going to stop me, I believe in everything that I'm doing, and I love my album. What am I going to do? Say 'Oh my God, Naomi didn't make it so nor am I'?"

Caprice became a model when she moved to New York at the age of 19, later moving to London were she hatched a plan to become a TV presenter.

Lucrative modelling and advertising contracts followed - notably for Wonderbra and for Pizza Hut, alongside Jonathan Ross.

[ image: Modelling
Modelling "consumed too much of my time"
Now she has turned her back on the catwalk to show off the songs she has been writing for three years, after an ex-boyfriend suggested she tried getting into the music industry - "I thought he was a bit loopy."

She took a demo to Virgin Records, and walked out with a five-album deal - which should give her enough time to persuade record-buyers that there's more to her than being a fixture of the tabloids and the glossy magazines.

Oh Yeah features guitar sounds rather than thumping basslines - showing, unlike many models-turned-singers, Caprice is happy to be considered as anything other than a disco diva.

She explains: "What I was given originally by other record companies was very Euro-pop, in and out, a one-hit wonder if you're lucky. It didn't feel right. It's not my vibe, it's not what I'm about."

Now the modelling career is over - "it was consuming too much of my time and I'd had enough" - and Caprice has been concentrating on working with the album's co-writer Greg Fitzgerald.

"Eight of the tracks are my works. Unfortunately I don't play any of the instruments very well now, so he puts down the melodies and I write the words," she says.

[ image: Caprice is still known for her Wonderbra ads]
Caprice is still known for her Wonderbra ads
"I'm learning the guitar but it's a long process. Hopefully by the second single I'll be able to play something, but it's a matter of time."

Although there's still some TV work, it barely eats into her schedule - "I just filmed 10 shows for VH-1, but that only took four hours" - she is now devoted to her new career.

She says her style is influenced by the Cardigans, Garbage, the Prodigy and Massive Attack - and adds a chance to work with the Bristol trip-hoppers would be "ideal".

But her current choice of listening could point the way to a new direction for her second album - especially as she says her follow up single will be "a lot rockier".

"At the moment, I'm into a lot of old rock - AC/DC, Def Leppard, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, that type of vibe."

She jumped at the chance for a night out with Led Zeppelin legends Jimmy Page and Robert Plant - thanks to Page's touring manager being a friend of hers.

"He invited me to one of his concerts and I hung out with them a bit. They're absolute legends and such nice blokes."

Caprice with Page and Plant? It's enough to make Jonathan Ross drop his pizza.

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Caprice (her official modelling site)

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