“If you see what I see / Then you know what I feel / Can we find a solution / You just got to believe / And it will set you free / Join the love revolution...”
Fabrice Morvan may not be a new artist, but he’s never been heard quite like this before.
As one half of Milli Vanilli, Morvan entertained millions around the world, only to find himself trapped at the center of controversy. Now on his own, he has put the past behind him and emerged with his first solo effort, Love Revolution.
Throughout the dozen new songs on the album, one thing can be heard loud and clear: the voice of Fabrice Morvan — not just as vocalist, but as songwriter and producer, shepherding the revolution through every stage of its creation.
“It was time for me to develop, to step up and write the songs — the stories — that were living in me and fighting to get out,” Morvan says of the album. “I can’t say that this was a return to music for me, because I never really left,” he smiles, “but writing and recording these new songs has put me back in touch with the special energy that can only be found in creating new music. This is very personal material, drawn from all of my experiences, both the positive and the difficult. I hope that people will hear these songs and find themselves transported to the same emotional place where I wrote them — a place of peace, harmony and introspection.”
Musically, Love Revolution explores territory seldom brought to light in modern pop music. By melding together the sum of his musical experiences around the globe — including heavy influences from his native Europe — Morvan has created a fusion of world music, with a rock beat and club-ready rhythms so diverse they could almost come from different artists. Still, a common thread of theme and style permeates everything from the reggae flavors of “Tables Turn” to the driving, accusatory beats of “Foul Play.”
It’s little wonder that Morvan’s musical style is eclectic. Born in Paris, the son of an architect/builder and pharmacist, as a teen, he gravitated to British and American sounds: the Beatles, Queen, the Jackson 5 and Bob Marley. His musical roots got a boost from his grandfather, a fisherman/baker who played the accordion and took the young Fabrice on his musical travels throughout the Caribbean. After moving to Germany at age 18, Morvan was exposed to the funk, rap and soul of Run DMC, Prince, the Gap Band, Parliament-Funkadelic and Sly and the Family Stone.
It was in Munich that Morvan met Rob Pilatus in a local club and the two started a rock and soul band together. The rest is history — sometimes tragic, sometimes inspiring. These two penniless and homeless kids jumped at the chance to sign a contract, and within months they had created a captivating stage show that would prove to enthrall millions. Milli Vanilli was born.
Selling over 7 million copies of their debut album, Girl You Know It’s True, the duo went on to MTV stardom, performing sold-out tours, and becoming one of the biggest musical acts of the ’90s, with worldwide sales of more than 30 million singles and 14 million albums. Sadly, it all came to a tragic halt. The fallout was too great for Pilatus, who succumbed to a fatal drug overdose in 1998.
Of the songs on Love Revolution, Morvan is particularly proud of “It’s Your Life,” his lyrically and musically stark tribute to his late partner. “I sat down to write, not really knowing what would appear on the paper, and suddenly I found myself writing words as though I were speaking to Rob personally,” Morvan says of the song. “I know that Rob got the message, because I felt his spirit in the room as we were recording, and I think that it comes through on the album.
“My co-producer, Rod Michaels, and I tried to capture many different vibes in recording this record, to reflect the lyrical messages in each piece,” Morvan continues. “In addition to the words I sing, we tried to use the music on each song as a language all to itself. So we ended up with a complete musical story — one with many different twists and turns, but an overall feeling of unity and continuity.”
Among the experiences Morvan brings to Love Revolution are a list of post-Milli accomplishments so numerous and widespread it’s miraculous that Morvan even found time to write and record an album.
“When we began working on the album, that became my priority, to get Behind the Music!” Morvan says with a wink and a laugh. The popular VH1 series premiered with an episode spotlighting Milli Vanilli, and it remains one of the most frequently aired and highest-rated segments of the series.
In 1998-99, Morvan hit the airwaves with his own midday show on L.A. radio bastion KIIS-FM, and performed at the station’s sold-out 1999 Wango Tango festival concert before 50,000 people at Dodger Stadium. After completing a successful summer 2001 tour sponsored by Malibu Rum, Morvan began 2002 as the inaugural performer at the brand-new Velvet Lounge at the Hard Rock Café Hotel in Orlando, Fla., headlining the venue’s gala opening. 2003 saw Morvan return to the airwaves, courtesy of morning drive show interviews on more than 50 leading U.S. radio stations, as well as countless other one-off appearances on the air. In 2004, Morvan returned, yet again, to the realm of the stadium, as a headliner at Clear Channel’s 2004 America Fest concert event at the legendary Pasadena Rose Bowl.
Morvan has also performed during the Megablast radio programmers’ convention in Las Vegas, and presented at the U.S. concert industry’s prestigious Pollstar awards. He has spoken at universities, conventions and industry events throughout the U.S.
“Looking to the future, I just hope that Love Revolution will touch people in the way that I was touched making it,” Morvan concludes. “I owe so much to the people who have supported me this far in my career, especially the fans who have stuck by me through thick and thin. It’s my hope that Love Revolution will be embraced as worthy of that support.”