Prodigious singer-songwriter Martyn Badoui is going to make an album — it’s just that life keeps getting in the way.
The Sydneysider, who has just released his debut EP Borderline Crazy, is currently in New York filming a queer short film, a project that landed in his lap when he least expected it.
“It all happened very quickly. There’s a top producer I know from Sydney named Nicole Alexander, who wanted me to come over to New York because she had this idea for a short film and she really wanted me to do it,” Badoui told the Star before the trip.
The film is a dark, twisted affair, with Badoui playing the central role of a young female impersonator who uses drag as a way of masking his true character.
“He was abused as a child, and he works as a female impersonator so he can hide behind these characters — he really becomes them. When we see him in the film, he thinks he’s Liza Minnelli.
“Nicole chose me because I used to do Liza impersonations as a party trick, many years ago when I first started singing at about the age of 19. I really didn’t think I’d be revisiting it at this stage.”
As Minnelli’s recent Australian tour showed, there are plenty of queens out there willing to do a half-baked Liza impression. What are the keys to a good one?
“I don’t like doing the young, pretty, diva-like Liza. I like to go for the madness, the essence of the character,” Badoui said.
Once filming finishes, the short should be entered into film festivals in Australia and the US next year. Badoui said he was looking forward to returning to the Big Apple — during a 2008 trip, he performed with Lady Gaga on Fire Island, when her star was still on the ascendant (“She was lovely, and I could see how driven she was just from chatting to her,” he said).
Once filming is over, though, Badoui’s focus will return to his music, in particular his new, six-track EP. The EP, available on iTunes and LastFM, can be sampled on Badoui’s MySpace.
“I’ve written all the musical arrangements, instrumentals, lyrics, everything,” Badoui said.
“There are a lot of messed-up love songs on it, lots of songs about falling in love with the wrong type of person. Some people go for the bad boy, I seem to go for the mad boy — the mad, manipulative, messed-up person.”
An EP called Borderline Crazy and a short film about a mentally ill man? We’re sensing a theme here.
“I always fall for people who are mad, depraved. I think it’s because I find them fascinating — unfortunately there is an element of danger there too.
“I guess in a way, Nicole knows very much what she’s doing, casting me for this film.”
info: Visit www.myspace.com/MartynBadoui