TALKING TO KATIE MELUA
The mesmerising Katie Melua comes to G Live in Guildford this November with the Gori Women’s Choir, to sing songs from her recently released Ultimate Collection – a celebration of work from the past 15 years. We caught up with Katie a week into her Winter European Tour.
YOU’RE BACK WITH THE EVER-ENCHANTING GORI WOMEN’S CHOIR – HOW’S THE TOUR GOING?
It’s so beautiful. Not only have we got the choir, but also a world-class band who are just bringing the songs to life in the most majestic way. Also, we’ve got the really extraordinary visuals that have been designed and directed by Karni & Saul, who made the video for ‘Perfect World ‘, one of the songs from the last album, ‘In Winter’.
It really feels that the people that are coming to the gigs are getting something special. It feels like the smoothest, most comfortable tour I’ve ever done – everything is working so well, and we’ve only just started. Hopefully, that will continue throughout the rest of the tour in Europe.
YOU PLAYED G LIVE BACK IN 2016 – WHAT ARE YOUR MEMORIES OF THAT SHOW, AND WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS TIME AROUND?
Surrey is like a home to me – I mean, I think I’ve got the accent. I made a lot of my early records in Farnham, where my then producer and manager worked and where the studio was, so it really does feel like coming home. I think something about the geography of where you make records creates the atmosphere; the views of the Surrey Downs really influenced our time in the studio.
G Live two years ago was just beautiful. The audience was gorgeous and it’s lovely to be coming back.
CONGRATULATIONS ON THE RELEASE OF YOUR ‘ULTIMATE COLLECTION’ CAME OUT IN OCTOBER. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT’S BEEN 15 YEARS SINCE YOUR DEBUT ALBUM?
It’s amazing. The thing I’m most proud of is how fresh everything feels. It seems like the record has left a real legacy with the listeners. I feel like I can say that because the team I worked with – from the musicians to the songwriters, to the producers – we’ve all made something to be proud of in those records that seem to have touched people’s hearts. I’m super proud of those 15 years and the work we did.
THE COLLECTION INCLUDES YOUR RENDITIONS OF POPULAR CLASSICS LIKE “DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER”. ARE THERE ANY SONGS BY OTHER ARTISTS THAT YOU’D LIKE TO COVER?
There are so many beautiful songs. In fact, yesterday, In fact, yesterday I was listening to this band called Brigsby. I’ve only just discovered them and I was thinking I’d love to cover some of their songs – “Core” is really beautiful.
Going back to “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, they’re such iconic pieces of Western pop culture, I can’t really help but sing those songs – they’re just genius.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO PRODUCE MORE MUSIC WITH THE GORI WOMEN’S CHOIR?
I hope so. They’ve inspired me so much; their discipline, their dedication to the most perfect sound, I feel like we’re friends for life. I think the context in which we’ll make the records will be different, because I think that’s a real driving force sometimes. I think every single thing on a record has to have a real purpose. As long as people are digging it then we’d love to keep working with each other.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT THE WINTER SEASON?
My favourite thing is probably sitting by the fireplace reading and having cosy conversations beside a steamed-up window. There are so many beautiful things about winter time; listening to Frank Sinatra, Julie London. And, of course, seeing family and friends – a good conversation is one of my favourite things.
WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING FOR CHRISTMAS?
We spend Christmas with my husband’s family; being Christian Orthodox, our dates are different. I tend to spend New Year’s with my family down in London, but on the 25th we’ll be up in Sheffield – James has got three lovely nephews, so it’s nice to spend a proper British Christmas with them up in Yorkshire.
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING SANTA CLAUS WILL BRING YOU FOR CHRISTMAS?
Here’s the lovely thing; my grandma, my auntie and my little niece, who live in Georgia, are coming over for New Year’s, so I hope they get here safe and that we have a lovely Christmas and New Year period with them.
WATCH KATIE MELUA PERFORM WITH THE GORI WOMEN’S CHOIR AT G LIVE IN GUILDFORD ON DECEMBER 4
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TICKETS, VISIT WWW.GLIVE.CO.UK