Monday 3 August 2015

Our Heroes' Heroes

Musical heroes.  If you’re a fan of music, it’s pretty hard not to have at least one artist whose music you connected with the most, or if you’re an artist yourself, somebody’s music would certainly have inspired you to pick that instrument or microphone up.  There have been a fair few who inspired the birth of this blog – and there are names we champion at any available opportunity – but this time, for this article, we’ve turned the playlist over to our guests… 

There’s a lot I’m proud of with this site and one of those things is the incredible list of names we’ve managed to secure interviews with – just check the ‘Interviews’ button at the top of the page and peruse the amazing lineup of talent that have given us their time.  Well, this article works as something of a ‘best of’ as we asked them all ‘who their dream artist to collaborate with would be’, and we’ve compiled all the responses below including audio/video clips so you can bask in the music of our heroes’ heroes.  Enjoy the read!

Emma Donovan

I’m a big fan of Lisa Kekaula, lead singer from The Bellrays.  I have seen her live in Melbourne at the Corner Hotel, and I am so in love with her voice and the way she performs.  She is the Boss!  A friend gave me her stuff last year and she inspires me, I am also a long-life fan of many India.Arie albums – I have followed her for years, and, of course, my very first soul dream vocalist, Renee Geyer.
Talking about all my favourite singers too I can’t help imagine if I ever recorded with my Nan, the queen of my heart, what it would sound like, her voice was royalty.

Jesse Fischer

Well, there are a few singers that I really would LOVE to collaborate with either in the studio or live on stage: KING (the group), Emily King, Laura Mvula, Chantae Cann, and of course Cassandra Wilson.  I’d also love to get a chance to work with Etienne Charles, Lionel Loueke, Julian Lage, Zach Brock and Derrick Hodge, among many others.  But most of all, I’m really happy to work with the guys in my regular touring band – they’re all amazing!

Myron & E

Well, before her passing, I wanted to work with Amy Winehouse, rest her soul.  I really liked what she did musically and enjoyed listening to her songs.  Others would be Raphael Saadiq, Norah Jones (her early releases) and Sheryl Crow.  There's more but I'll keep it short for now...

Pitch & Scratch (Suro & Mzuzu)

SURO: I have a special connection to music coming from England... There are a few artists I would like to work together with: one of them is definitely soul singer Alice Russell.  Over the years, some of her tracks have become favourite funk tunes of mine.
MZUZU: I would love to play with Fred Wesley or Wayne Henderson. I just love funky trombones.  On the vocal-side I would say Robert Moore, Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones are great.  Amp Fiddler would be another choice.  I met him once in Hamburg, where he did a great show at the Mandarin Kasino.  The same with Joe Bataan.  There are many great artists out there…

Nick Pride

That’s a great question!  There’s an obvious crowd of ‘big name’ vocalists who seem to guest on almost everything – and while I think those guys are really good, I’m proud that we’ve established ourselves in our own right before working with anyone super-famous!  But there are so many people I’d like to collaborate with.
I would love to hear Ben Westbeech on a dirty break-beat funk track, and someone like Jamie Liddell would be an inspiration to work with, I’d be fascinated to see how he goes about making music.
I met Michael Kiwanuka on a gig in London a couple of years ago – he’s got a terrific soul voice and is starting to really break through now.
I’m a big fan of Laura Vane, Darondo, Choklate from Breakestra too.  And if Mary J [Blige] rang, I would probably be cool with that too.

The Baker Brothers

I would love to hear what Quincy Jones or Questlove could do with The Baker Brothers!

Myles Sanko

I would have loved to have worked with any of the Motown Records artists or would have just been happy to sit in the studio and watch.  Currently, I am a big fan of Gregory Porter and would love to do a song with him, or just share a stage for a night.  Also, Vintage Trouble have something really cool going on and a number with them would be pretty cool I think.

Sy Smith

I wanna collab with Jesus! I sent Him some tracks and called him on the main line, but I guess He's busy.  I'm just being silly... I've got cabin fever from this train ride.   I'd love to collaborate with Prince and Trent Reznor (from Nine Inch Nails).

The Soul Immigrants

Prince! His talent is boundless and his work ethic is manically despotic! Wake me up if it becomes a reality.  Actually you've given me an idea I'll send a CD to Paisley Park just as a wild punt – why the hell not?  Thanks! With this dream collaborator you are asking me to dream big!

Third Coast Kings

First person that comes to mind… Lee Fields!  The man is still doing it right, and we love it!

Kat Webb

There was a time when I felt like the highest musical achievement would be to be Jill Scott's backup singer.  She is just that amazing. I would love to work with her, even if I'm sure I'd be super intimidated. I also really enjoy Erykah Badu, because of her strong jazz roots. She is a bit darker and has more of a psychedelic edge than I do, but I admire her for her incredible lyrics and she is clearly so comfortable in herself that it's hard not to be in awe.

Hannah Williams

Any of my previously mentioned influences [Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Etta James, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Jill Scott, Minnie Riperton and Aretha Franklin] … AND SOME!!!
Again, there are too many to mention.  Many of them would be coming back from the grave too.
I would love to sing with Sharon [Jones].  Wow! That would be quite something!
I would also be really interested to sing with Adele.  I love her voice and what she’s done for the UK music scene.

Read Part 2 of our feature: "Welcome to... Me"

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