In less than a two-year span Margo Rey has delivered five hits in diverse genres that include Adult Contemporary as well as Dance and Pop. She has charted two #1 Dance hits, from her new CD “Habit,” released by Organica records. The album features Margo’s new Top 20 charting single “Between Us,” as well as her recent hit song “Let the Rain.” The latter, co-written by Ms. Rey and the legendary John Oates, remained on the charts for an astonishing 21 weeks, making it Billboard’s “Hot Shot Debut” and additionally earning her kudos in the magazine’s “Bubbling Under” column.
Margo wrote “Let the Rain” on a plane ride to Paris, where comedian Ron White proposed to her mid-flight. Margo and Ron are partners with former Virgin Records President Michael Blakey, in the indie label Organica Music Group (distributed by Universal Music). Organica Music Group also produces films and TV, and has teamed up with artists such as Gladys Knight (Gladys Knight and the Pips) and Billy Bob Thornton.
Margo is touring with The Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour starting November 23rd, a high-energy tour featuring not only Margo Rey, but David Benoit, Javier Colon and Shelia E.
AMFM: TELL US ABOUT THE TOUR.
MARGO: We are all on the stage at one time. It’s going to be so much fun! It’s like an ensemble; It’s like a broadway cast. We sing for each other, and on the songs that are purely instrumental we walk off stage. I will be performing my song This Holiday Night as well as the Charlie Brown Christmas song, Christmas Time Is Here, because David Benoit is now the custodian of all Vince Guaraldi Peanut’s music. Then I’ll be singing backup on Sheila E’s songs and Sheila E will be singing backup on my songs.
The schedule is jam-packed! It starts on Black Friday and goes on until December 23rd, so it’s 31 days. I love the spontaneity of it even if it’s a show that is a set.
When I wrote that song last year (This Holiday Night), it got a lot of acclaim, which I was really happy about. There were only two holiday songs that were added to adult contemporary pop playlists on Billboard, one was a song written by Train and the other was my song.
Normally around the holidays when radio stations take down their usual playlists and start incorporating holiday songs they usually only play the classics like Jingle Bells, so it was really fantastic for myself and Organica that they embraced a brand new song.
I wrote it in the tradition of a classic and made it very simple. It’s about holiday through the eyes of a child, although I don’t really allude to the fact that a child is the one seeing this. Because it is a holiday song I get to re-release it and re-promote it every year.
AMFM: WHAT’S GOING ON WITH YOUR HUBBY RON WHITE?
Also, Ron got inducted into the Harvard Lampoon.
THAT’S HUGE! I LOVE THE HARVARD LAMPOON! MARGO, TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU DEVELOPED YOUR SOUND FOR THE “HABIT” CD.
MARGO: I always get ‘shmacked’ about my sound. They say ‘this sounds like different artists, you need to come up with one sound!’ and I’m like, “but that IS my sound.” I wanted something ‘lo-fi’ as opposed to the cloned sounds of today’s pop culture environment. It always sounds like me singing no matter what the song is. I always have certain elements, percussion and drums are a very big part of my sound, and the way the guitar is crafted is also very much part of my sound.
I introduced strings and horns on my new CD, and it was my first try at writing string parts and horn parts. It was great, I had a lot of support and help from, y’know, people who play strings and horns (laughs). I’d say ‘Listen to this, does that sound like a horn part to you?’ and they’re like ‘Yeah it’s great!’.
I think my songwriting is diverse and I try to do what is best for the song and not necessarily what is best for me. The song is born from my thoughts. Then I think ‘Oh this will be really cool if it did that and that’ When I conceptualised the album Habit I wanted to make a through-line and that was the violin track. There is a violin and cello to guide you through all of those songs.
You can hear all of the songs on MargoRey.com and when you hit the links, the lyrics will scroll too. The songs are about greed, love, lust, doubt, remorse, obsession and crazed vulnerability – in abundance.
AMFM: TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE CAUSES. I KNOW YOU ARE A BREAST CANCER WARRIOR, HAVING OVERCOME IT YOURSELF 3 YEARS AGO.
MARGO: I do a lot for Breast Cancer Awareness. I hate to call it “awareness” because we are aware, believe me. My message is to breast cancer warriors and is “now you are aware of it and to be proactive about it.” Get yourself screened every year. And not just one type of screening, mine was not found on a mammogram it was found on a sonogram.
Also to be the best possible patient you can be. It is highly likely that you are going to know someone who has breast cancer in your life and if you do, it really important to be their friend because they can really use a friend right now. Reach out to them, they probably aren’t going to ask for your help because it is a very personal journey. But you can reach out to them by cooking them dinner, or taking them to lunch or driving them to the doctor. There is a lot to do, it is a full time job.
When I was diagnosed, for the first three months I just thought ‘Dear God, what would I be doing if I didn’t have cancer?! I would probably not be doing this. I would be at home writing songs – I mean anything but this.’ So that is one of my biggest charities.
Then, I love Habitat for Humanity. I think it is a spectacular idea. I am about to do a big fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. It will be the very first that I do in my name and we are going to do it in Knoxville Tennessee on January 6th.
Of course, the Armed Forces Organization that my husband and I support a great deal which is it picks up where the government leaves off. For example, you have a soldier that gets deployed and he get blown to bits but he survives, or he doesn’t get blown to bits and he just has serious post traumatic stress disorder, he gets sent back to Walter Reed or Bethesda and he is going to be there for a good two years.
Well he needs his family to support him emotionally. So Armed Forces Organization moves those families and takes care of their bills and does all kinds of things that structurally our government isn’t setup to do. I think that is hugely important because I think we owe them that at the very least. Part of healing is having a really tight support group of friends and family that are all in it together and are all working together and have a plan that is put into place and really surround that patient with love and support.
Another charity that I haven’t done anything about this year but I will be doing in the future is ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). My father was diagnosed with ALS and he passed away four years ago. I would like to work with my brother who is a comedian (Alex Reymundo) and come up with our own fundraiser for ALS. Some type of fundraiser that would give a concert of music and comedy.
Tour Dates for Dave Kozand Friends Christmas Tour 2012
with special guests David Benoit, Javier Colon , Shelia E. and Margo Rey
11/23 Sarasota, FL Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
11/24 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
11/25 West Palm Beach, FL Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Arts
11/27 Melbourne, FL King Center of the Performing Arts
11/28 Naples, FL Philharmonic Center for the Arts
11/30 Atlanta, GA Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center
12/1 Durham, NC The Carolina Theatre of Durham
12/3 N. Bethesda, MD The Music Center at Strathmore
12/4 Newport News, VA Ferguson Center for the Arts Concert Hall
12/5 Morristown, NJ Mayo Center for the Performing Arts
12/6 Cleveland, OH Playhouse Square – Palace Theatre
12/7 Columbus, OH Palace Theatre
12/8 Chicago, OH Chicago Theatre
12/10 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre
12/11 Colorado Springs, CO Pikes Peak Center
*12/12 Ft. Worth, TX Bass Performance Hall
*12/13 El Paso, TX Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Center
12/14 Santa Rosa, CA Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
12/15 Rancho Mirage, CA Agua Caliente Casino Resort and Spa
12/16 Los Angeles, CA Nokia Theatre L.A. Live
12/18 Las Vegas, NV The Smith Center for the Performing Arts
12/19 Mesa, AZ Mesa Arts Center – Ikeda Theatre
12/20 Santa Barbara, CA Granada Theatre
12/21 Cerritos, CA Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
12/22 Cerritos, CA Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
12/23 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theatre
*Denotes that Shelia E will not be present
ABOUT HABIT: The album unleashes thirteen songs, all of which are original. One exception is a gorgeous cover of The Zombie’s hit, “She’s Not There.” If you think you’ve heard the song before, think again. This version has more down-under burn than most people can handle. But it gets better. Ms. Rey will be on tour. So hang on. Or, better yet, let yourself go. www.MargoRey.com
Habit was recorded and mixed at Rusk LA by Elton Ahi, mastered by Yossi Shaked, produced and arranged by Margo Rey in collaboration with Elton Ahi and Chris Wabich.
ABOUT ORGANICA MUSIC GROUP: OMG is a boutique media company with four divisions that include: music; stand-up comedy; publishing; television and film. OMG’s distributor is Universal Music Group. Michael Blakey serves as President and has worked with top artists around the world, receiving over 60 gold and platinum albums and 5 Grammy nominations.