Katie Melua: Eva Cassidy is a huge inspiration!

On her double album Ultimate Collection Katie Melua looks back on her musical career, spanning fifteen years. Three songs on this album refer to Eva Cassidy. This week Melua started a tour with her band and with the Gori Women’s Choir from her native country Georgia. The Eva Cassidy Fanclub had the exclusive opportunity to talk to Katie Melua the day after her first tour gig in Stockholm.

Many songs on your new album relate to Eva Cassidy’s repertoire. Does she still inspire you?

Of course she does. She is just amazing! Her choice of key is spectacular, the sensitivity of her vocals is impressive and she adds so much variation to the songs: yes, she is a huge inspiration.

How often do you listen to her music?

Actually I listened to some of her songs yesterday before I went on stage. She is awesome, she is great!

Katie Melua Live

Katie Melua Live

As a young girl Eva locked herself up in her room to listen to music and to practise her singing and her playing. Did you do the same when you had that age? 

I listened to a lot of music, but I started singing when I was older, about seventeen. When I was young I listened to Queen and Led Zeppelin and rock music that my Georgian uncle brought from the 70’s and 80’s. But Eva Cassidy was the first singer-songwriter that I got into. She opened the door for me to discover people like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake. Eva Cassidy was definitely the starting point.

Three songs on this album refer to Eva Cassidy: ‘Fields of Gold’ (in her version,but with a deliciously greasy Hammond-B3-organ), ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and the posthumous duet with Eva ‘What A Wonderful World.’

Eva always chose good songs to sing. As a singer these are all iconic pieces of Western popular culture.

Eva and Katie

Eva and Katie

You wrote ‘Faraway Voice’ for Eva, but it’s not included on this album.

Is it not? Well, it was hard to choose, there were so many songs.

Eva Cassidy hated glitter and glamour, she wanted to live as normal as possible. How is that for you?

There are positive and negative elements to high fame. I like walking on the streets and observing people and I love being in nature. If I couldn’t do that I’d feel very claustrophobic. I sometimes tell myself: it’s not really me that people listen to, it’s the thing that we work with. I find it difficult to accept the high power of being a star. But my level of exposure in terms of fame is not as big as a show star or one of the really huge names. I like what I do and I have had so much success, so I am lucky.

Ultimate Collection

Ultimate Collection

What are your plans for the future?

I want to continue making good records and doing good gigs for people. This is not about being the high point of the charts. If we can be sustainable without that, this is a good life.

The Ultimate Collection

Katie Melua – BMG

Website Katie Melua Fan Club: Allaboutkatie.co.uk

 

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