mon 15/08/2022

New Music Interviews

Annie Lennox: The Jazz Singer

Peter Culshaw

Annie Lennox is a far more fascinating artist than she’s often given credit for. Perhaps because she has been around for decades (she’s now 59) and hasn’t self-destructed like her friend Amy Winehouse or gone into exile for ages like Kate Bush, or Patti Smith, she has less of a fierce mystique and feels more a familiar part of the landscape.

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10 Questions for Musician Fuse ODG

Matthew Wright

Anglo-Ghanaian musician Fuse ODG – born Nana Richard Abiona – is a leading exponent of the new Afrobeats movement, which combines Western pop and rap with Nigerian and Ghanaian pop, and some stylistic elements from the Fela Kuti-inspired Afrobeat scene. Unlike many of his contemporaries on the scene, Fuse spent many years of his childhood in Ghana, returning to London for secondary school, and has detailed first-hand experience of both cultures.

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10 Questions for Musician Jamie Cullum

peter Quinn

Since self-releasing his debut album Heard It All Before in 1999, Jamie Cullum has gone on to become the UK's biggest selling jazz artist of all time. Since April 2010, he has also presented a weekly jazz show on BBC Radio 2, for which he won a Sony Gold award this year.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Holly Johnson

Thomas H Green

Holly Johnson (b 1960) is most famous for being lead singer of 1980s pop sensation Frankie Goes to Hollywood. He was born and raised in Liverpool where, as a teenager he threw himself wholeheartedly into the city’s post-punk scene centred around the club Eric’s.

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10 Questions for Musician Gruff Rhys

Jasper Rees

It hardly sounds like the springboard for an album, a film, a book and an app. In the 1780s a young Welsh explorer called John Evans journeyed across the unmapped North American continent in search of a tribe of Welsh-speaking Native Americans. His only source for the tribe’s existence – and linguistic preference – was a legend which claimed that a Welsh prince by the name of Madog ab Owain Gwynedd discovered the New World 300 years before Columbus.

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10 Questions for Singer Sarah-Jane Morris

Matthew Wright

Sarah-Jane Morris is in every sense an original voice. One of Britain’s most distinctive and versatile singers, she has enjoyed commercial success, spending five weeks at number 1 with the Communards’ version of "Don’t Leave Me This Way" in 1986, and selling 100,000 of her self-titled solo album in 1989. She has the distinction of having “Me and Mrs Jones”, which featured on the album, banned by the BBC for suspected lesbianism.

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theartsdesk Q&A: DJ Gilles Peterson

Matthew Wright

DJ, broadcaster and all-round musical pioneer Gilles Peterson is one of the most influential figures in contemporary music. In a career that has grown from a DIY pirate station to running a succession of record labels, global DJing appearances and his own Worldwide Awards, he’s become famous for his commitment to the most unexpected combinations of new sounds and genres, drawn from restless collaborations worldwide.   

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10 Questions for Bassist Marcus Miller

Tim Cumming

This year’s edition of the Gnawa Festival in the medina of the beautiful coastal town of Essaouira featured two spectacular fusions – between Bessekou Kouyate with Hamid El Kasri on the closing Sunday night, and on Saturday night – in the early hours of Sunday morning, in fact, on the main stage at Moulay Hassan – bassist, band leader and Miles Davis alumni Marcus Miller with Mustapha Bakbou, forging a dense, deeply rhythmic fusion to match the pounding Atlantic ocean on one side, and the...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Chris & Cosey

joe Muggs

Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti are a living lesson in the rejuvenating power of remaining experimental in art. Their music holds its own alongside the young guns of electronica, who indeed frequently idolise them, and in person they frequently seem as excited about possibilities and open to new ideas as artists just starting out.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Guitarist Hank Marvin

Thomas H Green

Hank Marvin (b 1941) was born Brian Rankin in Newcastle. At 16 he and his school friend, fellow guitarist Bruce Welch, headed for London to seek their fortune as musicians. They quickly found work at the 2i’s Coffee Bar in Soho, a seminal British rock’n’roll haunt. The pair were soon hired as Cliff Richard’s backing group, initially known as The Drifters and, eventually, as The Shadows.

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