Corinne Bailey Rae discusses new music before heading to Ridgefield
British singer Corinne Bailey Rae’s music spans indie, electronic, jazz, and soul, and she’s always experimenting with her sound.
With a catalogue of hits that includes “Put Your Records On” and “Like A Star,” Bailey Rae is a critical darling in the music scene, and has recently been a go-to writer for music for films and television.
The two-time Grammy winner is coming to the U.S. this month to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival, and while she’s here, she’ll be stopping off at the Ridgefield Playhouse for an evening of music on Aug. 3.
Keith Loria: You’ll be coming stateside for this tour. Why don’t you offer up a little preview of what those coming out can expect?
Corinne Bailey Rae: I haven’t played over on that side for a little while, so I’m going to do a review of my music so far. We’ll be doing lots of songs from my first record, playing songs from “The Sea” and “The Heart Speaks in Whispers,” and we always like to do unexpected covers.
KL: Can you give a hint as to one of those covers?
CBR: We’ll be playing with Stevie Wonder as part of his British Summer Hyde Park tour soon, so we’ll be doing one of his songs, though I’m not sure what that will be yet. I really like the show to be fluid. It’s really responsive to the audience and the whole atmosphere they give us.
KL: Do you have any memories of playing in Connecticut?
CBR: Honestly, I just love playing the East Coast. I love the history of that particular part of America. When I was at university, I was asked to do a lot of American imagination writing and the idea of making a new space and starting out, and I think it’s really interesting for a British person being there. I’m really looking forward to being back.
KL: Is there a possibility of any new music coming out soon?
CBR: Yes, I am writing a record at the moment that will be out next year. It’s kind of an arts record, different than anything I have ever done before. It’s in response to some art I am getting to know.
KL: You also have been doing some scoring for films lately. Tell me about that.
CBR: A lot of the music I am doing at the moment is for television and film actually. I’ve really enjoyed being in those studios and getting to see sneak previews of certain films. That has been a new thing for me. I really enjoy the way a film can amplify music and it’s a great way to explore writing. It’s really rewarding.
KL: What made you want to get into this industry?
CBR: It just came as a natural thing for me. I always loved music as a child. I played in orchestras and had my own band as a teenager. Many of those other bands started to drop off, and we carried on. I enjoy going out in a pub and having people sing my songs and accept it as a real song. The songs were legitimized by performing them and I got into it because of that.
KL: Do you feel at home on the stage?
CBR: I had always been a bit more of a shy and reserved person, so to connect to an audience over my music is a wonderful thing. I was an academic at school and played the violin, but being on stage with guitar music is very different. It’s freeing and more playful and I found I could express another part of myself. It’s an escape you rarely get in any other aspects of life.
KL: Any last message you want to get out to your fans?
CBR: If you haven’t kept up with me and don’t know the recent work, come on out and be part of it. There will be loads of music you know, and our band is great. Every time I play, it’s different, and the audience makes it what it is. I look forward to reconnecting with everyone.