May 22, 2024

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Interview with Alice Francis: It is like watching a romance on TV: Video

Interview with ungrateful person, vocalist Alice Francis. An interview by email in writing. – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music.  How exactly did your adventure take off? 

Alice Francis: – I was born in Timisoara, Romania and I immigrated to Germany with my parents when I was 5 years old. My mother is Romanian and my father is Tanzanian. But most of my life I have lived in Germany. And that is also where I met Shirley Bassey – sadly only on record. But still I m very glad because she got me not only into singing and performing; but trough her I discovered Jazz, Blues, my passion for James Bond, slight drama and even my interest in the Opera. My dad used to have a record player and a few records. One of them was an early Shirley Bassey album, which I loved. I climbed on the living room table and pretended this was my stage and then I sang to that record. I always thought Shirley was an Opera singer because her voice was so gigantic and dramatic. Therefor I’ve always wanted to become an Opera singer.

Only late I learned that you could make a living out of music. I grew up in a world where you ‘d be a doctor, lawyer or teacher. Making a living with music wasn’t on my radar. This is why I studied something else – languages and literature – to become a teacher. My musical education was more of a side or free time project.

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

AF: – I had to try every genre to see where I could express myself the best.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

AF: – That s a very interesting question but also the very first time someone is asking me this. I guess have no typical practice routine that you might maybe learn at University. But when we were on tour I practiced rhythm a lot via a click app on my phone. Normally it is for drummers but I can really recommend it. I always look out for new interesting world music, they have the best harmonic exceptions. Beside old Swing and Jazz I listen to a lot of old Romanian music, which has influences from Turkey and the Balkan with quarter notes or old Latin America Jazz. But I also like a lot of old Hip Hop and Rap or Rock, this is where all the cross over on our albums comes from.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?

AF: – Yes I have changed over the years, like anybody I guess. But most important I have learned that you have to work hard for your goals and it is never over only when you decide it is over. I have learned that there are really good people in this world which you have to stick to and not let yourself be absorbed by the bad ones. I had an experience with someone working in the studio for a couple of years, who deceived me and held me back. As soon as I distanced myself my journey started to evolve. I met great and crazy talented musicians who enriched my life and my work a lot. My singing changed, my writing improved, my passion for Jazz and the old times grew.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

AF: – I think it is like watching a romance on TV. If there is no interesting, logic or realistic story behind it, it is boring and feels like a waste of time. If you have to think too hard about the movie, don’t understand it and are not touched at all, it s again a waste of time. Somewhere in the middle. But I think in music it also depends on the listeners listening customs.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

AF: – Yes maybe, but I also love to surprise.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?

AF: – This is what we’ve been trying since our very first album. We wanted to do Jazz so that also young, modern people could understand it. We cross it with other genres and mix it with electronic sounds.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?

AF: – Yes, I would say the same about myself. I am driven, powered and empowered by my work. Music was my first baby and now a second baby came. Both together fill my life with undesirable love and joy. They are both my purpose.

JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?

AF: – Streaming & Mp3.

JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?

AF: – At the moment I am not listening to music.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?

AF: – I would like to go back to Berlin in the 20s. It was wild, wicked and exhilarating. Music and dance exactly to my taste.

JBN: – So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…

AF: – How did you find me?

JBN: – From the garbage dump, maybe stay there too, it’s your right place. It’s just that when I promise something, I fulfill it sooner or later.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Note: You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals in Europe and Boston, naturally receiving an appropriate royalty. We cover all expenses. The objectives of the interview are: How to introduce yourself, your activities, thoughts and intellect, and make new discoveries for our US/EU Jazz & Blues Association, which organizes festivals, concerts and meetings in Boston and various European countries, why not for you too!! You can read more about the association here.

ALICE FRANCIS | The Strength of Architecture | From 1998

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