Tell us your name and a little about yourself.
I’m April Doyle—Actress, Model, Singer, Songwriter, and Performer. I initially began my career in the beauty industry as a makeup artist and stylist, and my involvement in the entertainment industry enabled me to work with some of the most influential names in the business.
My transition into music was seamless, with one of Southern California’s most highly successful show bands, Haute Chile Productions (HCP), performing for everyone from Hugh Hefner to the Presidential election, as well as numerous international performances.
April and the Velvet Room is my brainchild with world-renown producer Kevin Flournoy.
Kevin has produced, written, performed, and recorded with a myriad of well-known artists, including Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Donny Osmond, The Pointer Sisters, Hillary Duff, Jamie Foxx, The Jazz Crusaders, Boney James, Kirk Whalum, Mindi Abair, Harvey Mason, Ronnie Laws, and Baby Face, to name a few.
The Velvet Room is an experience of smooth, sophisticated, jazz/R&B, neo-soul, original music complimented by iconic/esoteric classics with an international touch. The best part of this epic “classic-neo-jazz-funk” experience is that the performers run the gamut of legendary names to the hottest names of today.
What exactly does your company do?
We provide tailored musical entertainment for the upscale, corporate, society or celebrity clients. We use industry players and tailor our shows and setlists determined by the theme and age of the crowd. We do everything from the sophisticated cocktail party to the full-blown concert like after-party… with beautiful style and choreography.
We perform a mélange of classic, current, iconic covers and original songs with a sophistication that appeals to a wide age-range.
What were the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?
Getting a presence out there in the industry was probably the biggest hurdle… just getting people to know who you are and what level of product you are promoting. There are a lot of groups out there who just don’t know how to handle the up-scale, fussy clients with class and business integrity that they understand.
We are still forging ahead. I have been lucky enough to work with the best in the biz. so not too many challenges yet. I guess, just working on letting people know who we are.
What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?
Relax! Don’t get so involved that your business takes you over.
Do your project, express yourself, listen to your own voice… NOW!! I wish I had given my own art more attention sooner.
Who are your biggest influences and people you admire and why?
I would have to say the people in the industry who stood their ground and just did what they believed in. The artists who dumped their contracts because they didn’t feel they were being dealt with integrity. This industry, on EVERY level, is a difficult beast. So taking it back around to my success in the corporate entertainment industry? There are some clients you just have to say “No, thank you!” Very seldom, but it happens.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
Mark Jones, my musical director, and the bass player were crucial in helping to put us on the map. His understanding of crowds and what they will respond to and his musical direction of the group, whether it was a 5-piece or a 15-piece band for any given event. He was instrumental in putting us on the map.
Kevin Floury, keys, producer, writer extraordinaire, also brought in all of the heavyweights on the project.
What do you see as your greatest success in life?
Besides this band and being able to travel the world because of it, I would also say my work with animals.
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