Articles review on the net, revue d'articles sur la toile

Inscription : feeds, flux :
(Atom) Gabriel Real World News

17 juin 2007

Inspiration is key, says songwriter

World music singer/songwriter Angelique Kidjo said inspiration is the most important ingredient for creating good, lasting art.

Angelique Kidjo is performing Friday at the Utah Arts Festival.

"The first thing that needs to happen when you write music is to be inspired," Kidjo said by phone from New York. "You can't write music to please anybody. And don't compromise. That's what I learned when I was singing with my mother's theater troupe as a child. If inspiration comes, you can't get me out of the studio. But let me tell you once I write a piece of music, it isn't mine anymore. It becomes everyone's."

Kidjo, who will headline Friday's Utah Arts Festival performances, began her singing career at age 6 in Africa. "My mother had a theater troupe and they would come to my house to rehearse. When I came home from school, I would hear all this singing. And found that I was right in the middle of it. Everybody looked so happy doing what they were doing and I wanted to mimic them. So I did. One day my mother saw me mimicking their movements and trying to sing along and she asked me, 'Do you want to do this, too?' I told her I did and I became a part of the troupe."

Kidjo learned a lot of lessons while under her mother's professional direction. "One thing I learned was to make sure you enjoy what you are doing. If you can't feel like you can give 180 percent on stage, don't bother. You will be wasting your time, and you will waste your audience's time."

When Kidjo decided to embark on her own career, she knew she would have plenty of challenges to overcome. "One that I still face is trying to get people to see that I am an artist first and an African second. There are many people who still don't give African artists the recognition they deserve. They think we belong in a museum. And when someone like me tries to expand the boundaries of art, they don't accept us. Let me tell you, that there are many good artists in Africa. We need to be recognized. We are not monkeys in a tree. We are artists."

Earlier this year, Kidjo released her 11th album, "Djin Djin." The title is the sound a bell makes that welcomes the day in Africa. She recorded songs with Alicia Keys, Branford Marsalis, Joss Stone, Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana, Ziggy Marley and Josh Groban, to name a few.

"Recording with those other artists is my way of reaching out to the world and calling for unity," said Kidjo who has been awarded the Prix Afrique en Creation in 1992, theDanish Music Award for Best Female Singer in 1995 and the Kora Music Awards for Best African Female Artist in 1997.

"I wrote songs, without having certain singers in mind, and just let them choose which ones they liked," she said. "It was a good thing that no two artists liked the same song. I would have been in trouble. Just you try to say no to Peter Gabriel."

After Kidjo performs at the Utah Arts Festival, she will take a jaunt up to Canada to receive another music award. "It has been announced that I am to be awarded the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award on June 28. I am the first woman to receive it. And to me, it's a big deal."

The Jobim Award honors world-music artists who influence crossover music and jazz, said Kidjo. "The award is the epitome of what I've been trying to do all my life."

Aucun commentaire: