Looking ahead to her September gig in Bexhill as part of Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival 2018 is singer songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae who performs live at the De La Warr Pavilion on Friday September 7.
It will be her last gig of the year before she concentrates on recording and writing songs for film and television. She has no fixed idea about what she will play on the night and says the songs played will be a response to the audience in the room.
Since being named breakthrough act of 2006 following debut single Like A Star, Corinne has achieved success with amazing hits such as Put Your Records On and albums such as The Heart Speaks In Whispers in 2016. She has played around the world and met her idols but this week paid tribute to Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin who passed away last Thursday.
Corinne said: “I think most musicians regard her as one of the great voices across the board. She is respected at that level, not just defined as being a soul voice or a pop voice. One year at the Grammys a classical singer did not turn up and Aretha was asked to sing Nessun Dorma - and it was incredible! Then the inauguration of Barrack Obama - Aretha in these great historical moments. I loved that she could rock it down or take it to church. She came from a church background and she could really go to work. I loved that she made a really radical gospel record, all the stuff she did with Curtis Mayfield. It is sad that she died relatively young, but I am pleased her legacy is so great, and unrivalled, really. She will never be forgotten.”
Corinne has in the past been invited to take part in Music Cares, a charity project running alongside the Grammy awards, which offers help to youngsters learning music but also artists who have fallen on hard times such as drug addiction. For her performance she chose an Aretha song called Angel. “It is one that starts with her speaking about a call for help from her sister Carol, about her sister being in need of finding an angel in her life - it starts with her talking, and then it just soars, very dynamic and a beautiful song. Daydreaming is another song I love as well - she was an incredible writer and performer, she had it all. She will be greatly missed.”
Corinne commented: “I have been really lucky to work in the US which is a mecca for the soul music I love. I have worked several times with Herbie Hancock and every time I do I feel I am getting to be a better artist. It is about just being in that presence and finding yourself elevated. I have also worked with Stevie Wonder. Just to spend time with him as a person and have a laugh and be funny..it makes you realise that these people who are your heroes are just people too, people who care about the world and want change.”
She is looking forward to her DLWP performance for Rye International Jazz And Blues Festival before she heads off to L.A to start recording. She thinks the gig will be an overview of all her work with songs from different albums but adds: “It all depends on what happens in the room with the audience, and what the people there want to hear.” Tickets from £30 from dlwp.com or 01424 229111.
Corinne grew up in Leeds where she still lives with her husband but the pair spend much of their time travelling to perform and create new music. “We are away a lot in L.A and New York, touring, and just this year we have been to South Africa, Japan, Madrid, all over the place. A lot of the time I am in a hotel room...but we make homes away from home, and as I am travelling with my husband we try to stay in familiar places, and you carry home with you.”
Corinne is staring 40 in the face next year but says she has no worries about getting older. “I feel lucky, and I am really looking forward to it. I am the age I am, and I feel happy about that, life has been kind to me. I have been able to express myself creatively and I am in a position now where I get to play all over the world. I am very happy to be getting to 40...my first husband died young and I know people who didn’t get to 30, didn’t get past that; you are either ageing or dead. I am lucky to be ageing.”
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