DECEMBER 2 0 1 7 I BOROMAG.COM 53
takes songs back in time, until you realize
the words she’s singing. This comes partly
because she has embraced the fashion,
building a collection of period-dresses from
stores, including Astoria’s Loveday31 and
Diva Boutique, eBay and other retailers.
Anderson said her first love was Broadway
show tunes, and she had always wanted to
sing like musical theater singers, but she
has learned to appreciate her own voice.
She spent time listening to the female
jazz leaders of the era — Billie Holiday, Ella
Fitzgerald and her favorite, Judy Garland —
to distinguish her own sound.
"I think my voice is a little too unique
sounding to do something as mainstream
as Broadway,” she said. “Now I realize it’s not
my end goal anymore. I think this world is a
better fit for my particular voice and style.”
She has had a huge response from fans
of all ages and nationalities. The bulk of
fans are in their 20s and 30s, but kids and
grandparents alike are among PMJ’s online
and live audiences, tuning in for the songs
and the vintage sound. Jazz enthusiasts also
make up the fanbase. While PMJ has a large
U.S. following, the group is also popular in
Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia and southeastern
Europe. Anderson said the Czech Republic
surprisingly has the most “insane” fans.
When she’s on tour with PMJ, Anderson
usually performs her hits. Some of her favorite
songs to perform include “Thrift Shop” — “That
was my first one so it holds a special place in
my heart,” she explained — and Miley Cyrus’
“We Can’t Stop,” another viral hit which she
said helped PMJ get to the next level. Some
of her other covers include a doo-wop version
of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl,” a bluegrass
version of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” and a
Klezmer version of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty.”
She said the group has spent a lot of time
trying to figure out if there’s a “secret sauce”
to hit songs. The more ridiculous, the better,
she said. Covers of songs that everyone
really loves or hates, outrageous lyrics,
drastic arrangements or covers of “grungy”
rock bands are popular.
For the past two and a half years,
Anderson has been posting music on her
own YouTube channel, where she sings
contemporary songs in the style of PMJ
and tries other genres with a live band.
Working on her own channel, as opposed
to performing at PMJ shows, gives her the
creative freedom to arrange her own music,
improvise with the musicians and, more
recently, start writing her own songs.
Anderson's specialty for era-style
performances has led to other opportunities
in Manhattan. Anderson was part of the
cast of an immersive 1920s-era theater
production, “Speakeasy Dollhouse: Ziegfeld's
Midnight Frolic,” in 2015, and the next
year, “The Flying Doctor” by Molière, a play
that infused modern songs with text. In June,
she performed her hits with her bandmates
at Moonshine over Manhattan, a Prohibitionstyle
craft spirits tasting event hosted on a
In the next year, she hopes to keep
working with PMJ and making her own
videos. Her goal is to be able to go on her
own tour next year.
When she’s not traveling, Anderson
enjoys relaxing in Astoria. She said she tries
to eat at every restaurant and patronize local
businesses. Her beauty picks are Diva Salon
for hair and Rachel’s Nail Salon. While being
home is like a vacation, she said she’d like to
perform more in New York.
While catching her at a performance in
New York is rare, her next local show is a duo
with Von Smith on Monday, Dec. 18, at the
venue where it all began: the Manderley Bar.
If you can’t make it, at least check out some
of the singer’s latest uploads on her page —
a Christmas song and a Weezer cover.
Photo courtesy of Moonshine over Manhattan Photo courtesy of Robyn Adele Anderson Photo by Jack Fluck
Photo by Jack Fluck
Photo by Marek Koprowski