What was your relationship with music in your childhood and when did you decide you wanted to be a singer?
I didn’t come from a musical background at all but ever since I can remember, I was singing. My Dad’s tastes were decidedly middle of the road (Andy Williams and the Carpenters!) and my mum listened to classic Indian movie music. I don’t know where it comes from but I was often singing: washing the dishes, in my room, singing all the time, it used to really annoy my older sister! As I became a teenager, I listened to music religiously, British Punk and New Wave, 60’s and Northern Soul, Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, Psychobilly and Rockabilly. I sang along to everything, especially Jazz. My idol at the time was Sarah Vaughan, though I loved Billie Holiday too. I just wanted to sing like them, in my late teens, the idea crystallised that I could maybe become a singer; that was the dream anyway.
Recently you released a work with title entitled ‘’Aishaddiction”. Tell us a few words about the songs and the contributors.
Aishaddiction turned out to be my debut solo album and was a very long time coming! I gave up music for around 15 years and when I came back to it about 3 years ago, I started writing a lot of material and realised I had more than enough for an album. All 13 songs on Aishaddiction are originals but very much in the vein of 1940’s-50’s Rhythm & Blues, Latin, Calypso, Country and one Phil Spector inspired song (with a little twist of David Lynch!). I was extremely fortunate to get a lot of support from El Toro Records and because my boyfriend is a record collector and DJ from Barcelona, he had a lot of musical contacts there. So I was able to call on a star studded cast of some of the best musicians in BCN and it was an honour to work with them. We had El Coloma on piano, he’s one of the best Boogie Woogie and Blues players in the world! The horn section was comprised of Pere Miro on Baritone (he also wrote excellent arrangements for my songs) and Ignasi Poch on tenor. Guitars were Thierry Courault and Xavi Roman, Xavi Castillo on bass and Emilio Torres on Drums. We had a lot of wonderful guests assisting too, Paola Blueroomess, Jodie Cash, The Carrasco brothers and Pol Daurella from the New Angels all doing various backing vocals. Also from Blueroomess, Aaron Feder on Steel and Sergi Percuta on percussion. The icing on the Aishaddiction cake was to record the album at Sol de Sants studio with the dream team of Mike Mariconda (an actual living legend) and Marc Tena. I’m so happy with the way it all turned out.
You have played in many big festivals. Could you remind us the most important ones?
Well out of all of them, I’d have to say that The Screamin’ festival in Calella holds the most significance for me. It is because when I came back to music after a long hiatus, Carlos Diaz at Screamin’ gave me the opportunity to step back onto the stage with great musicians and singers as part of the Doo Wop show. I haven’t been so nervous for decades but it was magic! Also, the sun always shines at Screamin’ and when you live in the UK, that’s a big deal!!!
What are your Top 10 favorite songs from other artists?
This is one of the most difficult questions in the world to answer! Partly because it’s always changing, depending on what I’m listening to at the moment and there are way more than 10 songs I love. So some of these songs are always on the list and some of them will change but for now:
I Really Love You – The Tomangoes
Come on Home – Louis (Blues Boy) Jones
Red Riding Hood & the Wolf – Bunker Hill
Cat Squirrel – Doctor Ross
Ever Fallen in Love with Someone – The Buzzcocks
Song to the Siren- This Mortal Coil/Cocteau Twins
You I love and not Another –Prince Far I
I Don’t Know About You – The Constellations
Darling Lorraine – The Knock Outs
I’ll be Seeing You – Billie Holiday
Do you think rock’ n’ roll can appeal to an even larger audience?
I think it can, depending on the artist and the times. There is an appetite for nostalgia and all things vintage and also people are desperate for authenticity (whist at the same time swallowing homogenised mass produced shit without questioning it). I think that despite people following the mainstream, every once in a while, something true cuts through the morass and can’t be ignored. Gotta be the right time and place and the right person, they’re out there somewhere!
Would you like to come to Greece for concerts?
Yes, yes and yes please! My suitcase is already packed…
To grow old disgracefully. And apart from that, to record my next album and perform more. Also, I have been working on Roots music compilations with my boyfriend Leo Castro and we have a bunch of new ones in the pipeline, currently we have releases on Sleazy and El Toro records and have just started working with a new label. I’d like to get more writing published too. I would like to do more to support other women working in Roots music…oh dear, I have so many more things I want to do!
Thank you very much for the interview
My pleasure, I really enjoy the challenge of stopping and thinking about these things