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Deschanel shifts from acting to singing Wonder, Keys, Mayer headline Global Fest

During a summer tour with her musical duo She & Him, Zooey Deschanel has performed songs about tortured love and broken hearts. Since she wrote the songs with her partner, M. Ward, and she’s recently gone through a divorce herself, she’s obviously using her musical career to purge some emotions, right?
During a summer tour with her musical duo She & Him, Zooey Deschanel has performed songs about tortured love and broken hearts. Since she wrote the songs with her partner, M. Ward, and she’s recently gone through a divorce herself, she’s obviously using her musical career to purge some emotions, right?
Wrong, says Deschanel.
“That is not what I do,” said Deschanel.
“I think that lovelorn is a more interesting emotion; I tend to be interested in that emotion more than I tend to be interested in the emotion of happy content love, so my big influences have always been a lot of different things,” said the singer-actress, who is taking a break from her hit sitcom “The New Girl” focus on She & Him, which recently released their fourth album, “Volume 3,” in the spring.
Deschanel says she doesn’t draw from her personal life when she creates, and instead relies on her own healthy imagination.
“It is the same thing for when people ask me, when I act, am I drawing from my own experience? Well no, I would run out of experiences really fast,” she said added. “I find things that are interesting, moving, maybe people I know or their emotions or movies or other songs, even just a thought or a feeling. . Not that there is anything wrong with confessional song writing, there are plenty of people that do that I admire. I think it is great it just isn’t how I do things.”
Deschannel talked more about her inspirations, her acting career and She & Him in a recent phone interview with The Associated Press.
AP: How do you find the time to write music?
Deschanel: When I was first really writing music I was doing lots of movies and I would be on location and then I would take a guitar and maybe a little keyboard along with me. I would write in my trailer at lunch. A lot of the times I would write in the middle of the night or on weekends and then I would make demos and I would be working on my demos at work. . I never really had a process that was contingent upon certain conditions.
AP: Is it important for you to be able to merge singing and acting, with Jess bursting into song in “New Girl,” and singing the theme tune?
Deschanel: You know what’s funny? I think I have only done that in like three episodes. . The theme song, that was (show creator) Liz Merriweather’s idea. I wrote the chorus production and the melody but I didn’t write the lyrics to that. I find writing melodies much easier than writing lyrics. Lyrics are the hardest. But with “New Girl,” I am a producer on the show and I wanted the theme song to be a certain way, I am picky about theme songs. I got involved in the writing of it.
AP: Do you think that “New Girl” has increased the exposure of She & Him?
Deschanel: I don’t know. . There was actually a certain point where I did movies but I was doing a lot more music and there was a certain point where a lot of people didn’t know I was an actor and only knew She & Him, and there were certain countries where I know they know She + Him more than they know me. So that is always interesting to hear. I think I always notice, I don’t really know until I go out on tour with it this time. I know that you would always get the people that would come to a She +Him show because they like my movies or something but however somebody comes to it I don’t really mind
AP: How much of your personality shines through when you’re on stage?
Deschanel: Part of why I like having my buddies on stage with me is that I don’t have some stage persona that I employ. . I can’t do that, it gives me the shivers if I think about it, a fake stage persona. It is just not me. So part of the thing about having your friends on stage, that and all of the people that we tour with is that you can be yourself and play music and have a good time, and people will have a good time with you.
AP: How was it directing the video for your latest single, “I Could Have Been your girl?”
Deschanel: It was really fun. . I have always wanted to direct so I thought I might as well do it now. But then it was right after I’d wrapped ‘New Girl’ and so I had to throw myself head first into it but it was such a rewarding experience and I worked with such great people on the video.
AP: Is directing something you would be interested in pursuing?
Deschanel: Yes that is sort of where I hope to go. It is just an extension of a lot of other things that I love to do. It is a lot of decision making and collaborating and curating of ideas and I really, really adored it so I would love to do more.


Also:
NASHVILLE, Tennessee:
Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys and John Mayer have volunteered their time to attend the second Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park, and organizers hope you will, too.
Tickets are again free for the Sept. 28 event, but must be earned through acts meant to help end extreme poverty around the world.
The festival is designed to coincide with the UN General Assembly meeting and put pressure on world leaders to address the needs of the world’s poor. Fans can earn points toward tickets through simple tasks like sending letters to political leaders or reposting information through social media.
Hugh Evans, the 30-year-old chief executive officer of the Global Poverty Project, says the festival’s nonprofit partners pledged $1.3 billion in new fundraising commitments last year and nearly 70,000 people took more than 700,000 actions through the project’s website.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters and The Black Keys headlined the first year. Evans said he and the organizers who help him pick a lineup approach the task with goals in mind.
“We write a big list and we think, ‘Who will effectively represent the cause of ending extreme poverty in the way they perform and the way they’re involved, and who would also inspire a generation of people to take action?’” Evans said. “We’re fortunate that this year some extraordinary people put up their hands to perform for free.” (AP)
 

By Sian Watson

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