phone mail2 facebook twitter play whatsapp
An Interview with Corinne Bailey Rae

An Interview with Corinne Bailey Rae

15 June 2017 |

The BBC’s ‘Sound of 2006’ poll crowned her as the number-one breakthrough artist for that year, releasing her debut album that February and becoming only the fourth British female artist to reach number one with her first LP release. Eleven years and countless awards later, Corinne Bailey Rae is coming to Hampton Court Palace on 20 June.

Corinne Bailey Rae is, quite simply, one of the most impressive homegrown talents of her generation. The Leeds-born singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for her soothing, soulful R&B and jazz, has achieved a lot in a very short space of time. Something of an awards magnet – including two Grammy Awards and counting – her success is hardly surprising for an artist whose self-titled debut album flew straight in at number one on release in 2006.


 
Looking back, the 38-year-old describes her influences at that time as ‘soul music, some that would be quite comfortable labelled under an indie banner and others which are unusual, kooky, jazzy’. She continues, ‘Like a Star [the album’s lead single] is still special to me, as it was the first song which I wrote solely by myself. I wrote it while sitting in my room and playing about with some jazz chords I’d learned… then most of the words just came to me after that.’


 
That album not only proved a landmark release then, but also opened the floodgates for a stream of plaudits: Bailey Rae was put up for Best UK and Ireland Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards; Best Song, Best UK Female and Best Newcomer for the MOBO Awards and Best New Act with both the MOJO Awards and Q Awards. The latter four scooped awards in each of the categories as the performer announced her arrival on the music scene in supreme style. 2007 turned out to be an equally magnetic year for the new star.


 
However, tragedy struck before she began recording her second album The Sea when her husband and fellow musician Jason Rae passed away in 2008 following a misadventure which she described as ‘one of those stupid, drunken things you do that you get to talk about afterwards... it’s unbelievable that this one didn’t turn out like that, that this was the drunken, curious thing that went wrong’. She gives an insight into how she tried to cope with such a devastating situation.
 
‘It was difficult,’ she says. ‘I found myself putting myself forward for volunteering a lot of things which were close to my heart and at that moment, it doesn’t cross your mind… but then you forget that it’s all going to be shown across the world in print, online and in quotes everywhere. Lots of people can interpret things in ways different to what you actually mean to say. I feel like people want to get in, they want to know more and more and sometimes you feel like that’s too much.'


 
Indeed, it’s hardly surprising that fans of the first record would want to share in the artist’s grief, as powerful as such connections can be. It helped Bailey Rae come to terms with the tragedy too. ‘The whole record is about grief and loss and it’s like I wanted to tell people about this thing… this thing I couldn’t make any sense of and could not find anything I could read, or listen to, that would help me make sense of,’ she says.


 
Now, with the release of her third album – The Heart Speaks in Whispers – and with more than a decade in the business under her belt, Bailey Rae is more determined than ever to put on a good show after her first live shows for five years in 2016. Venues that took in her home city of Leeds, Glastonbury and Birmingham among others, were naturally sold out. She’s looking forward to getting back into the swing of live performances, and being able to expose her talents to a new generation of fans who might not have been able to see her when she burst onto the scene.
 
‘There are a lot of youngsters who were kids when I brought out my first album so for some, it’s their first time being able to see me live,’ she smiles. ‘I’ve had people saying to me that they’ve been waiting for 10 years because they’ve grown up listening to my music on the way to school in the car.’

Corinne Bailey Rae will be playing at the Hampton Court Palace Festival on 20 June.
 

Tell us what you think

You may also like

Regional Theatre Summer Round-Up

Regional Theatre Summer Round-Up

There’s a whole heap of interesting underground theatre in the UK over the next couple of months. It’s always worth taking a trip to your local…

Win a Family Ticket to The Tiger Who Came to Tea!

Orchard Theatre - Win a Family Ticket to The Tiger Who Came to Tea!

Based on the classic children's book by Judith Kerr, a trip to this Olivier-nominated play is a treat for the whole family.

Win Dinner for Two and Entry to an Exhibition!

Wallace Collection - Win Dinner for Two and Entry to an Exhibition!

Win dinner for two in the beautiful Wallace Collection Restaurant, with entry to Gilded Interiors: French Masterpieces of Gilt Bronze.

‘Is there still life in Still Life?’: Exhibition at The Lightbox Gallery and Museum

‘Is there still life in Still Life?’: Exhibition at The Lightbox Gallery and Museum

'Is there still life in Still Life?': A new exhibition at The Lightbox Gallery and Museum from The Ingram Collection

A Guide to the Bristol Refugee Festival 2017

A Guide to the Bristol Refugee Festival 2017

In this month-long festival of arts, culture and educational events, Bristol pays homage to the extensive contributions made to the city by asylum seekers and…

Theatre Orchard: Tortoise vs Hare at Theatre Tropicana

Theatre Orchard: Tortoise vs Hare at Theatre Tropicana

North Somerset based Living Spit return to Theatre Tropicana for a funny, quirky rendition of The Hare and the Tortoise.

Japan Festival 2017 at the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath

Japan Festival 2017 at the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath

The Japan Festival in Bath is an annual fundraising event celebrating all things Japanese in the heart of the historic city. Hosted by the Museum…

Top 5: Sunday Roasts in Bath

Top 5: Sunday Roasts in Bath

Bath has history, culture, and natural beauty in spades, so it almost seems unfair that it should also be home to some of the best…

Top 5: Independent Bookshops in Bristol

Top 5: Independent Bookshops in Bristol

It is safe to say that Bristol has an abundance of quirky independent bookshops. Whether you’re looking for a novel to enjoy in the sun or…

Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum

Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum

Oxford is home to the oldest botanic garden in Britain, established in 1621 with the aim ‘to promote the furtherance of learning and to glorify nature.’…

Most popular

Win a Family Ticket to The Tiger Who Came to Tea!

Orchard Theatre - Win a Family Ticket to The Tiger Who Came to Tea!

Based on the classic children's book by Judith Kerr, a trip to this Olivier-nominated play is a treat for the whole family.
An Art Lover’s Guide to Oxford

An Art Lover’s Guide to Oxford

Crammed with countless collections of painting and sculpture both ancient and modern, Oxford is a haven for art fans.
Win a Family Day Out to Harbour Park in West Sussex

Harbour Park - Win a Family Day Out to Harbour Park in West Sussex

Win a Family Day Out to Harbour Park in West Sussex
A Weekend Away in ... the Cotswolds

A Weekend Away in ... the Cotswolds

Experience the magic of the Cotswolds in our weekend guide to this area of outstanding natural beauty.
Win a Family Stay at Marwell Hotel and Zoo this Summer!

Marwell Wildlife - Win a Family Stay at Marwell Hotel and Zoo this Summer!

Looking for a family weekend this summer? We’re giving away a family stay at the amazing Marwell Zoo’s on-site lodgings, the Marwell Hotel.
Top 5: Bristol Food Festivals

Top 5: Bristol Food Festivals

From burger bonanzas to Thai and vegan feasts, there‘s something for everyone at Bristol’s top food festivals this summer.
Win Two All-Weekend Adult tickets to Curious Arts Festival!

Curious Arts Festival - Win Two All-Weekend Adult tickets to Curious Arts Festival!

Here's a fantastic chance to win two all-weekend adult tickets to Curious Arts Festival at the stunning Pylewell Park in the heart of the New Forest.
Basim Magdy Exhibition at the Arnolfini in Bristol

Basim Magdy Exhibition at the Arnolfini in Bristol

In his debut UK solo show, the innovative Egyptian artist uses dreamlike visuals and surreal slogans to predict the future.
Oxford’s Hidden Gems: Best Places to Eat

Oxford’s Hidden Gems: Best Places to Eat

In the second instalment of our monthly Oxford's Hidden Gems series, we take you on a tour of the best culinary corners of the city.
Win a Two-Course Roast for Two Plus a Jazz Performance!

Wycombe Swan - Win a Two-Course Roast for Two Plus a Jazz Performance!

Win a two-course Sunday Roast for two people complete with an essential selection of jazz and swing at the Wycombe Swan.

Your inbox deserves a little culture!