18 July 2012

Chapter 3 – Kate Bush V Christine Aguilera

So Jud and I wrote and recorded 6 songs which were very strong and very commercial. The way Jud encouraged me to sing was also very different from my natural style. I was classically trained by opera singer Elaine Mary Hall, and I couldn’t help but sing ‘properly.’ Before I went to LA I had started to develop my own style as there’s no way I could sing my own songs ‘Julie Andrews style.’ I sometimes wonder if I’d gone down the Musical theatre route I could have been hugely successful in ‘My fair Lady.’ As it is my cockney accent is wasted.

So those who know me and my voice know I’m from the Kate Bush / Joni Mitchell school of music, but right now Jud was leading me was down the Avril Lavigne / Christine Aguilara school of pop. My voice is quite distinctive as it is, whether you like it or not I think you can recognise me. But Jud suggested I try singing straighter and harder. To his credit it did sound more commercial and worked well with the style of music we were writing, but to my ears I also sounded more like everyone else. I was always reluctant to sing or write straight pop songs. My own music is quirky, sometimes dark and melancholic because that’s what comes naturally and that’s what I enjoy the most. So this was going in the complete opposite direction to where I naturally wanted to go so I was understandable wary. But quite often when you’re with a writer in unusual surrounds and out of your comfort zone it’s very easy to get caught up. When everyone’s excited and raving about the song their enthusiasm is infectious and it’s only later when you listen back in your own surroundings, you hear it clearly (and consequently bang your head against the wall for letting yourself become the very thing you didn’t intend to become).

I knew this wasn’t really me, but I also knew I was young, I needed developing and where music’s concerned I don’t think you should ever stop experimenting and trying new things so I chose to remain open-minded.  If I had my time over I wouldn’t change any of my story. I’m a much better writer because of it and the people and memories I made were invaluable. So the songs we wrote varied from upbeat straight pop songs, to belting power ballads. It was two of these songs, “Walking in your footsteps” and “Raw” coupled with Jud’s reputation that were responsible for getting me through so many record company doors. But before we could approach record companies, we needed to make a music video …. cue the gym and Benny the male model.