Interviews

MUCH CLOSER TO STARDOM - RISING SINGER/SONGWRITER JUDITH HILL TALKS

Wednesday, 20 June 2018 10:21 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

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Judith Hill is talking to me from Nashville, the iconic capital of country music. It's not a place you would imagine her to be, or, perhaps, have an affinity with - after all, she's a Los Angeles-raised R&B and funk singer with gospel music roots, but the 34-year-old confesses that being in the iconic Tennessee metropolis ignites her imagination.  "It's really, really, inspiring to be here in this city," she enthuses. "It's fun because I love any kind of bluegrass and roots guitar playing." That statement is not one you would perhaps expect to hear from someone who's worked closely with Michael Jackson and Prince but it's insightful because it reveals that Judith Hill is refreshingly different and doesn't think in terms of genres - to her, then, music is music: it's a universal language and a unifying force that all can share despite their ethnic and cultural diversity.

It's a viewpoint that fits in with the theme of the singer's latest single, 'The Pepper Club,' an addictive chunk of horn-laden funk with an infectious chorus. It offers a taste of her forthcoming second, story-driven, concept album, 'Golden Child.' "'The Pepper Club is the place where everybody comes together and celebrates culture and diversity," explains Judith. "I picture it as a cultural Mecca - a place that people can come and have a good time and enjoy themselves and celebrate life, regardless of who they are and what their background is."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 11:44

 

CONSPIRACY THEORIST - P-Funk's grandmaster, George Clinton brings Parliament Funkadelic to the UK for the final time

Sunday, 27 May 2018 10:36 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

    alt"The band stopped playing because I was in the middle of all these people naked..."

So says George Clinton, who is talking to me during a Hollywood press junket. He stops mid-sentence and then lets out a husky chuckle. The image that he's just conjured up is one you don't forget in a hurry.

Clinton is recalling what he believes was the most outrageous gig that his legendary band, Parliament-Funkadelic, played back in the 1970s. "I used to wear just a sheet on stage and sometimes I'd take it off and streak through the audience with nothing on," he explains. "The lights were always off when I did it but one time, somebody turned the lights on." Clinton says that he was 'under the influence' at the time but admits that even in his altered state, he was not prepared for exposing himself in public. "You think you're high enough to do that shit but when that happens you realise you're not high enough," he says, laughing uproariously at the recollection of an incident that might have ended some performers' careers - but not his. He is, after all, the irrepressible P-Funk overlord, whose name is synonymous with far-out fun and zany frolics.

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 May 2018 15:20

 

Her Chemical Life - Hailey Tuck talks 'Junk' to SJF

Wednesday, 02 May 2018 12:25 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

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"Basically, I tried for years to get signed, obviously as everybody does," laughs 27-year-old Hailey Tuck, a jazz singer originally from Austin, Texas, whose debut album, 'Junk,' is about to be released by Sony Music. She's recalling the time, not so very long ago, when she was a struggling musician and trying to get record labels interested in her music. Evidently, it proved a tremendously frustrating and ultimately futile experience for the young Paris-based singer, who was told by several labels "your songs are too sad, like Radiohead."

That annoyed her - "it bugged me out" she exclaims - but eventually she managed to get an A&R man's attention, who agreed to see her live show. Excited by the promise of having a major record label (which for discretion's sake shall remain anonymous) declare an interest in her, Hailey arranged a showcase. "I rented out the 606 Club (in London) during lunchtime, hired a band, and rehearsed my ass off with them," says Hailey, who then reveals that A&R man didn't show up and, furthermore, didn't reply to her emails afterwards. For anyone who's been struggling to break in the music business, this, sadly, is par for the course. Summing up her experiences at the hands of record companies, Hailey says bluntly: "I felt like I was getting one night stands from frat boys all the time."

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 May 2018 10:14

 

EXPOSING HERSELF - Jazz FM award winner Esperanza Spalding talks about creation, the significance of numbers, and the challenges of being an artist in a capitalist society.

Wednesday, 02 May 2018 08:42 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

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Esperanza Spalding is clearly enjoying herself. She's laughing, posing for photos with friends and musical colleagues - among them Omar and Pat Metheny - while clutching a glass of champagne in one hand and a prestigious Jazz FM award (presented to her by Corinne Bailey Rae) in the other. She deservedly triumphed in the category of Digital Initiative Of The Year,  which acknowledged her innovation with the brilliant, groundbreaking album, 'Exposure,' released in 2017.  

Living up to its title, 'Exposure' set the 33-year-old bassist/composer/singer from Portland, Oregon,  the somewhat daunting task of making an album from scratch in 77 hours, while the whole session and creative process was streamed live on social media.  The resulting album, an astonishing double disc set, was released exclusively on Esperanza's website in a limited edition run of 7,700 copies and sold out within hours.  SJF's Charles Waring managed to grab a few minutes with the super-talented musical polymath before the champagne really kicked in and reduced her to a fit of giggles...

 

Last Updated on Friday, 24 August 2018 16:02

 

Proud As A Peacock - Jazz FM award winner, Cécile McLorin Salvant talks to SJF

Tuesday, 01 May 2018 16:41 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

                                     altTo say that double Grammy winner Cécile McLorin Salvant is happy is an understatement. Her wide, beaming smile is almost beatific and it looks like she's finding it hard to contain her emotions, which run the gamut from open-mouthed disbelief to blissful euphoria. She's just come down from the stage area at London's Jazz Fm Awards ceremony, where she performed a stupendous version of Jimmy Rowles' classic song, 'The Peacocks,' accompanied by her long-time pianist and musical collaborator, Aaron Diehl.  She hasn't walked off stage empty-handed either, and clutches the award for Jazz FM's International Jazz Artist Of The Year.  After the photographers have had their way, it's off to a secluded room - in this case the council chamber at Shoreditch's town hall - for press interviews. This was where SJF's Charles Waring, suited and booted in his best evening wear,  caught up with the Miami-born chanteuse for a quick Q&A...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 May 2018 17:45

 

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