‘Fierce’ females harmonize to fame

Photo courtesy of Madam Fierce

By Anne Marie Miranda | Staff Writer

A love of Americana and folk music inspired Citrus students Jessica Clark, Kristal Chammas and Melanie Pfirrman to form Madam Fierce.

Their intention is to let their band’s name to speak for itself.

“We all loved the word ‘fierce’ and thought that the word ‘madam’ tied the name together and represented the fact that we are three strong women,” Clark said.

The group showcased their talents for Kevin Lyman, founder of The Vans Warped Tour on March 19 in the Campus Center.

In his speech that day to students about the importance of leaving “the L.A bubble,” Lyman talked about opportunities in Nashville.

After hearing Madam Fierce, Lyman critiqued the singers and told them their sound would do well in Nashville, not knowing that the group had already taken that step.

Lyman also mentioned the importance of band unity and he noted that Madam Fierce blended well and presented a cohesive image.

“It was very enriching to have someone who has accomplished so much appreciate our sound and take the time to give us his opinion and direct us,” Clark said.

Madam Fierce recorded its self titled debut EP, in 12 days in October 2013 in Nashville, and is planning to release it in summer 2014.

“The music culture in Nashville is unlike anything else we have ever witnessed. We love rock ‘n’ roll, blues, country, bluegrass and folk music,” Chammas said. “We felt like we were breathing all of that in while we were in Nashville.”

“There is so much history in that town and to be able to record at a ranch…what more could we want in a project? We knew we were home.”

While in Nashville, they met Gary Clark Jr.  a Grammy-winning guitarist and actor, whom they look up to as a huge inspiration.

“We feel like we learned the true value of music while being in Nashville in a way. It was a very nurturing experience,” Chammas said.

The trio takes pride in their image and works hard to manifest visual creativity. Their style of dress and vocal technique give them the edge that is Madam Fierce.

“We feel as though we all individually bring something different to the table when we’re on stage together,” Clark said.

“It’s always awesome to look into the crowd and see people really understanding our message and being touched by what we’re trying to convey on stage. We want to move people.”

Throughout their experiences together as a band, the girls have learned the importance of staying positive even in the face of rejection.

“I think the biggest challenge with any band is to be able to turn negatives into positives. Not everyone is going to like us or enjoy listening to our music,” Pfirrman said.

“If you want to be in the industry, you have to be able to accept harsh and cruel comments written about you and learn to be able to accept the word ‘no.’  It’s crucial to not let any of these things discourage you. Instead, use them to your advantage and let it only motivate you to continue.”

Meanwhile, the band is working as hard as it can.

“In a world where there are so many talented people who want exactly what we want, it’s important that we constantly do all that we can to stand out and show what we have to offer,” Clark said.

“The girls and I have learned a lot about what it’s like to have people against us, people who want to see us fail, but it has only brought us closer together. It has given us that extra push we need to succeed. I have no doubt that we can overcome everything and anything, and I couldn’t be more proud of us,” Pfirrman said.

“The best thing we can hold on to is each other, and we each believe as long as we stick together and continue to look out for each other, there’s nothing that can hold us down.”

Until their self-titled EP is released, live performance footage may be viewed via YouTube posted under the name ‘Madam Fierce’ and at www.madamfierce.com.

Madam Fierce will be singing the National Anthem at Staples Center on April 4 before the 7 p.m. match-up between the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.