'A Cheap & Evil Girl'
Bree Sharp owes her fame to a secret agent man
July 27, 1999
By Donna Freydkin
(CNN) -- "Some guys get into music to meet chicks," says Bree Sharp. "I have to say that at the most basic level, I got into the business to meet David Duchovny."
The 23-year-old singer isn't kidding.
Sharp, a bubbly former actress from New York University, penned an ode to Duchovny. He plays FBI agent Fox Mulder on FOX's hit "The X-Files," now approaching its seventh season. The song helped Sharp land a record deal.
Of course, there's a fine line between hero worship and obsession, between sending a few reverential fan letters and ending up being branded a stalker and facing your idol in a courtroom. Sharp hastens to say she belongs to the first classification.
"I had a crush on him during my college years," she says, "but I didn't want to write the song because I had the feeling that someday I'd meet him and didn't want to come across as a crazy fan songwriter girl.
"But as the song's co-writer (Simon Austin) said, 'You create your own reality.' So I wrote the song, it got to him (Duchovny), he liked, I got a record deal and it couldn't have worked out better. But I never planned it."
How could Duchovny resist lyrics like these? "David Duchovny / why won't you love me…David Duchovny / floating above me, in the alien light of the spaceship of love … So smooth, so smart / He's abducted my heart ... ."
"I think it's a really good song," Duchovny told Entertainment Weekly. "I found myself playing it in my car now and then."
Video launched the radio star
Chuck Forsch, an assistant to "The X-Files" creator Chris Carter, worked with Will Shivers, an assistant on Carter's "Millennium," to use "David Duchovny" as the soundtrack for an "X-Files" Christmas party in-house video. Whoopi Goldberg, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Duchovny co-star Gillian Anderson and others were seen lip-syncing to the song. The video became an underground hit.
"The 'X-Files' video was one of the greatest thrills of my life," Sharp says. "I was beaming when I saw it -- it was just astounding and threw me for a loop, because it was so random and bizarre and funny. It was just pop culture in action."
The video won't be released to the public, since all the celebrities would have to give their consent. Instead, Sharp has finished shooting a separate, solo video for the song. Her debut album, "A Cheap & Evil Girl," is out Tuesday -- a blend of folk, pop and rock. Naturally, it includes the Duchovny song, the album's first single.
Does Sharp have any qualms about being remembered as just the "David Duchovny" novelty act?
"It was a concern at first," she says, "but the whole point was to make a record I'm proud of and that has depth. People are already responding to other songs on the record. I'm trying to make a career. Yes, I got into it to meet Duchovny, and now that that's probably going to happen I'm going to go for the career."
That career was supposed to land Sharp on the big screen, not in a recording studio. The Philadelphia native says she'd studied acting for years, especially after she moved to New York at 17 and attended NYU. But she also played guitar, and the more she got into music, the more friends encouraged her to play. Her main influences were Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello. She wanted to keep playing. So she did.
"I got good feedback from acting and equal feedback from the music," Sharp says, "but the music just happened quicker. I made demos and got attention from labels and the road opened up for me to take that path. I started to get an acting agent but it was more slow going. The stars were aligned for me musically and everything fell into place."
Vocally, Sharp bears a resemblance to Natalie Merchant. She defines herself strictly as a rock singer.
The first song Sharp recorded was "Walk Away." She sent it out as a demo and it got some attention, prompting Sharp to record a four-song demo, which featured the Duchovny song. She ended up signing with Trauma Records (the label that handles British grunge group Bush) because "They care about me and we like each other and I don't get lost in any shuffle."
Now, "A Cheap & Evil Girl" is Sharp's calling card, her way of proving that lyrically and vocally she can do more than just pine away for the dark-haired "X-Files" star. "David Duchovny" was released first, says Sharp, because it's the most accessible song on the album.
"This is a pop song about a pop star," she says. "I tried to give it clever twists and turns so it's evident to a listener that it's really a song. But the rest of the album is just as thoughtful, just as pored-over. It's meant to be fun and hot and sexy."
Sharp says that on its own, "David Duchovny" is more than a lyrical ode to a TV hunk. On a less obvious level, she says, the song is also a critique of America's obsession with celebrity.
"We pay too much attention to stars," Sharp says. "They're crammed down our throats, and they're the royalty in our culture. This is a song about a big old crush but it's also layered with commentary about our obsessions with celebrity and the blurring of fantasy and reality."
Some might see it as ironic that a singer who won a recording deal mostly on the basis of her fondness for a TV star now turns around and criticizes her country's appetite for celebrity. But at heart, says Sharp, she's still just a fan.
"I meant him no harm," she says. "I had no idea it would get the response it did."
What does she want next? To meet Duchovny in person.
"I want to meet him on television, since that's so appropriate," she says. "It would be neat for an unknown person to be seen meeting her fantasy on TV. It would be a great TV moment."
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