After leaving university early I took to the road as a busker singing unaccompanied (a capella), (hitching my way to Ibiza. By the time I arrived) in Barcelona, my money was low, we hit the tourist pedestrianised street called La Ramblas and I got my first audience, stopping to listen to me. I made money and someone who loved my singing gave us food, a place to stay and a tour of the city, from that day I knew that as long as I could sing I would never go hungry; my career had begun.
I busked for 5 years, mostly on London Underground (subway) and learned to adapt to the moods of the people, some days I made more money from sad songs, some days it was the happy ones: I always dived into the emotions of the songs I sang and I occasionally got lovely notes from people who had been moved to tears on train platforms. I also met Eddie Reader and Dave Stewart through busking, the latter took my band to the studio and offered us a record deal!
The busking got me a job in London’s Hippodrome and when a friend was djing around the corner, I meet the manager of my first band, Life’s Addiction. I went on to a 10 year recording career, working with people like Red Snapper, The Black Science Orchestra and Bugz In The Attic as well as most of the major record labels.
My signature song is called Dreams Come True and was released by three labels in 2003, again in 2006 and 2010, all versions are actually remixes of the original track (on player) which has still not had an official release and has inspired and comforted so many people. (see testimonials). It has a great story of it’s own…Dave Stewart encouraged me to buy some tarot cards in Covent Garden to get logo ideas, they were New Orleans cards and had suggestions of rituals to go with the cards, years later, I picked a card one day that suggested I write a statement I felt strongly about, that I would live by and defend, Dreams Come True was that for me.
When I became a mother I found it hard to write so I switched to singing covers, my first love, and spent the next 10 years singing well known songs at public and private events and making the occasional collaborative record release.
Now my children are older and I have gained some perspective my creative juices are flowing again, I‘ve recorded and released a jazz trio album and am writing my original album as well as collaboration with a band called Mezzowave. My income is mostly derived from performing and singing is my medicine, my hobby and my career.
I always deliver my music with feeling and I guess that is what makes me a soul singer although I love most genres of popular music and pride myself on my extensive repertoire of songs and then there’s glamour! I take great pride in looking fantastic for a performance, with a particular love of sequins.
Photo by Chiara Grioni and video by Adam Reeves