Debra is English, from Maidenhead, a town 60km west of London (claim to fame: it’s where the Spice Girls recorded their first hits). She has been on stage, singing, dancing and acting from the age of 6….spending most of her childhood in choirs, musicals and theatre shows. At the age of 16, she started her first rock band and did a few concerts in the local area before going to London University, where she studied French and Drama. She did backing vocals in a glam rock band for a while before starting out on her “year off ” in Paris…
She was supposed to study but very quickly got whisked away into the Parisian nightlife where she worked as a waitress at the Hard Rock Café (where else…?)….met a few students from the “Fac de Jussieu” in a bar and became their singer in an acid jazz band “Les Verts Framboises”.
After a few parisian concerts, she continued acting lessons, did a few shows in Paris and Province and acted in two short films. She decided to stay in France and discovered the cultural richness of the suburbs singing in the band “Rafik” (algerian-tzigane-reggae-rap). They toured for 4 years in France, Switzerland, Hungary and Spain, brought an album out with M10 and even played with Cheb Khaled at the Zénith! The group split, and Debra continued singing with Cizzko (jazz electro).
Her day job in an ad agency “devarrieuxvillaret” led to her being asked to do voice overs for the international accounts and this soon led to her getting an agent (and is still her current activity). In 2000, Laurent D’Herbécourt asks her to sing in a pop electro project “Zebraville”.They brought out 2 albums out in Japan (Rambling), with Le Maquis in France and in 15 other countries. Their cover of “Only You” was part of the “Paris Dernière 4″ compilation by Béatrice Ardisson.
Since then, Debra has written lyrics for other artists. She set up her latest band, “Saturday Morning Cinema” with Greg Martin.
One of the first musicians Debra met when she came to Paris was Jérôme Rebotier. She has co-written lyrics for his film soundtracks “La Jungle”(2006), “What’s in a Name?/ Le Prénom”(2012), “The Best is Yet to Come/ Le Meilleur Reste à Venir” (2019) directed by Matthieu Delaporte et Alexandre Delapatellière, and “The Mole”, by Rafael Lewandowski. “Le Prénom” was nominated “best film” for the Césars in 2013. More recently they teamed up again for the film soundtrack “Daddy or Mummy/Papa ou Maman”(2015), directed by Martin Bourboulon, followed by the series based on the film on M6 (2018) and on the soundtrack of the animation film “Sahara”(2017), directed by Pierre Coré, as well as “Son of Man” by Pablo Aguero and Luis Felipe de Campos.
Songs from the album “Old Tales from a Beautiful Land”, by Edgar Novak, feature on the documentary, “Première Année Dehors, journal de bord” by Valérie Manns.
Debra has recently written a musical show called “Not THE Debbie Reynolds” with Stephan di Bernardo.
It is in production.
She is currently chairman of the board and very active with the concert venue “Le Tamanoir”, in Genevilliers.