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Interview: Katie Melua

4 min read

Exquisite vocals and an ability to make every song one to remember are just two facts the world have come to know and love of singer-songwriter Katie Melua.

Joining the long list of chart topping and critically acclaimed releases, Melua has recently unveiled her latest record Secret Symphony, a collection of Melua stamped covers and a record that sees the singer take to the road throughout the later half of 2012 to perform to her growing fan-base.


Whilst preparing for the release of the records latest single, the Fran Healy penned Moonshine, as well as putting the finishing touches on her highly anticipated Secret Symphony tour, Brendon caught up with the Nine Million Bicycles and Call Off The Search hit-maker to talk about the new record and the year ahead. Here is what Katie had to say.

Brendon Veevers: How are you?

Katie Melua: I am very well thank you very much.

BV: Where does this Q&A find you?

KM: At home in London, just finished my porridge, drinking coffee from a coffee machine that my Mum fixed as it was broken

BV: Your new record Secret Symphony was released in March. Can you tell us about the collection for anyone who may not have heard it yet?

KM: This album was inspired by an orchestral gig I did a few years ago after which I really wanted to make an album where the orchestra played a big part.  After making The House, which was a very experimental record for me and an incredible experience, with Secret Symphony I wanted to go back to basics.

BV: It is a beautiful collection of covers from some of the most talented songwriters. How did you select the tracks that you wanted to feature on the release?

KM: It was just about keeping my ear on the ground and looking for hidden gems.  Mike Batt produced the record and he is also fantastic at finding beautiful and obscure songs.

BV: Have you had any feedback from the composers of the tracks you have covered and if so what have they been saying about your versions?

KM: I was delighted to meet Francois Hardy who wrote All Over The World.  She liked my version but wanted to have a louder section in it and also I’ve heard from Ron Sexsmith who was also delighted with my version of Gold In Them Hills.

BV: Were there any tracks that missed the cut that you hoped to be a part of Secret Symphony?

KM: We recorded Mr Blue Sky but it stood out way too much from the rest of the tracks.

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BV: What was the purpose of recording a covers album for you and do you feel you got the result you set out to achieve with the collection?

KM: To me singing covers really focused my mind on just singing as an art form and I do feel like these songs have taken my voice to places it has never been before.  Yes I feel like I have achieved what I set out to achieve.

BV: You are going out on tour to promote the record later this year. What can fans expect from a performance of the new album?

KM: Hopefully all the qualities that the album has will come through on the live performance which are subtlety, simplicity, romance and drama

BV: Do you get nervous about performing and if you do how do you deal with them?

KM: Generally I don’t get nervous but I have sometimes with no explanation and the only thing I can do is just ride it out

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BV: You have been recording hit records for close to ten years now. What is your secret to longevity?

KM: Working with a great team.

BV: There are so many platforms these days for musicians to build a career from including reality shows like X Factor and The Voice. What do you think about shows like these and would it have been something you would have gone for when you began?

KM: The shows are obviously great pieces of entertainment, they are such a staple of our culture nowadays.  I think for a specific type of entertainer they are a fantastic root to get into the industry and get noticed.  It’s hard to say if I would have done it or not as I have been lucky enough to achieve what I have without going down that route

BV: You seem very busy with promoting the new record and touring the country later in the year. Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

KM: Getting married this year so no room for anything else at the moment!

BV: Thanks for your time.

Katie Melua’s new record Secret Symphony is out now

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