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Devil May Care theme song finalist talks about her entry

15-Mar-2008 • Literary

London-based jazz singer Chantal Santos, 36, is one of five short-listed in an international contest to create a theme song for the upcoming Bond book, Devil May Care. Her torchy tune, also titled Devil May Care, was selected out of more than 500 international entries for the Penguin Books promotion - reports Canada.com.

The winner, to be announced Monday, will have his or her song used in an audiobook version of Devil May Care. The hardcover book, to be published by Britain's Penguin Books on May 28, is by Sebastian Faulks. It will be the 36th Bond novel, with its release marking what would have been the 100th birthday of the late Ian Fleming, the creator of the James Bond spy character.

Santos, who grew up in James Bay, said Penguin told her she was a finalist 12 days ago. "I was overwhelmed, really," said the singer, who penned the song with fellow musician Matthew Lucas. "I had completely forgotten about it."

The winning selection from the five finalists will be decided by online vote. The voting, open to the public, has now closed. The panel that selected the finalists included Faulks and music producer Jazzie B.

Santos's entry was last-minute. She learned about the contest just two days before the deadline. Santos rushed into a studio in Brixton, outside London, where she and her pianist colleague collaborated on words and music. The song was recorded in just over an hour, and posted immediately. Because the project was done in such a rush, the producer who sent off the package misspelled her name. The song is credited to Chantel and the Dry Martinis.

"It was one of those moments where things just seemed to slot into place," she said. "It felt really good. As soon as I heard it, I felt really fired up."

"This is such an opportunity for Joe on the street. The next thing you know you're on an audiobook, which has the possibility of being made into a film," said Santos, who hopes her tune makes the soundtrack of a Bond movie.

"It would be a Shirley Bassey moment, really. This is like a chess game, and I'm sweating."

She views the James Bond contest as her big chance to make it in show bit. Santos, who does freelance secretarial work by day, says she has struggled for years to make it as a singer in London -- but with limited success.

"I just want to be singing," she said. "I'm really excited. I'm really scared and nervous about not getting in there."

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