How Eva Cassidy paved the way for Kandace Springs

Kandace Springs is Blue Note’s new star. The American singer recorded three beautiful albums, playing her own songs and covers in a wide range of genres. In all the music she makes you hear her soul and you feel her passion. The American magazine Style Blueprint asked Kandace Springs about her favorite book and to our surprise she replied: Behind the Rainbow, the biography of Eva Cassidy. Kandace Springs happens to be a fan not only of her Blue Note predecessor Norah Jones but also of Eva Cassidy who auditioned for Blue Note, but didn’t record an album because she didn’t want to limit herself to jazz. That means that Kandace Springs actually made the versatile albums that Eva Cassidy would have liked to make. But there are more similarities: Like Cassidy, Springs accompanies herself, she gives her own twist to the songs she covers, she thinks in colours and images, and, like Cassidy, she is a visual artist. The Eva Cassidy fan club talked with Kandace Springs, who lives in Nashville, on the phone.

Kandace Springs

Kandace Springs

How did you get to know the music of Eva Cassidy?

My father gave me the CD Songbird. It is one of the most beautiful albums I have. Eva Cassidy can make me cry with one single note. She sings so beautifully, ‘Autumn Leaves’, ‘Fields of Gold’ and ‘Over The Rainbow’ are my favorites.

Eva Cassidy auditioned in New York for Bruce Lundvall, she sang and played the guitar for him in New York. Eva played ‘Autumn Leaves’ and she sang a stunning a cappella version of ‘Amazing Grace’. Lundvall thought her repertoire was too varied, but regretted it when he noticed how successful Norah Jones became later. How was your audition?

I landed an audition with Blue Note President Don Was at the Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles, winning him over with a performance of Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’, the original of which he had coincidentally produced. By the way, I do this song  on my new album!

Eva with headphones

Eva with headphones

What are the differences between Eva Cassidy and you?

Eva Cassidy was more into folk but she was also very soulful. Especially when you hear her voice.

Eva Cassidy was a visual artist as well.

That’s right, her paintings are on her albums.

That’s another thing you have in common. Wouldn’t it be time for an exhibition?

I would love that. It might be a good idea to do that.

Eva Cassidy made a painting of her favourite artist Stevie Wonder. It had always been her dream to do the background vocals for Stevie Wonder. 

Prince by Kandace Springs

Prince by Kandace Springs

I made a portrait of Prince, and I called it: ‘The beautiful one.’ When Prince wanted to meet me later, I came to Minneapolis, I gave it to him. Later I heard that my picture is still hanging on the wall in his lounge in Paisley Park. Isn’t that awesome?

Link: Kandace Springs sings and plays ‘Autumn Leaves’ inspired by Eva Cassidy’s timeless rendition.

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