Thursday, 19 September 2013

Interview: MCX Showcase Part 3 ft Ann-Marie Lataille





Having worked with some of todays biggest talents including Marsha Ambrosius, Omar and Eric Roberson to name but a few, London based singer songwriter Ann-Marie Lataille has already had a career bigger than most. Having started her career as a backing vocalist, she has built up a catalogue of work over the years which is impressive to say the least.  We sat down with her ahead of her appearance at the September MusicConnex Showcase series and asked her about some of her influences…. 
 
CC: What your first memory of singing?
AM:  I was just singing at a train station. Stood with my mate and he was just like ‘you can really sing!’ I was really young and so I thought he must just be saying it because he was my friend and so I didn’t really take it on. But that’s the first time I remember singing in front of anyone at all.                                                                                
CC: Who are some of your biggest influences music wise?
AM: Obviously growing up you hear so much. But I would say Lauren Hill, when she was in Sister Act 2 I was like ‘Oh My God!’ I would say she is definitely one of my main influences. Also people like Jill Scott. She made such a difference for the NeoSoul genre, made such a difference. Marsha Ambrosius as well. Those are some of my favorites.
CC: How did you go about finding your own sound?
AM: My confidence really built when I started backing singing. I was just backing singing everywhere! To be honest with you backing singing still now makes me more nervous than singing your own material. I think because your there for someone else and if you mess it up, you are messing up their song, that’s pressure! Whereby when its you, its just you. I can just blame a mistake on the voices in my head (laughs).  I would say in all honesty that I have properly found my sound in the last year. Whilst I was doing my EP. I think finding that sound comes with confidence. It comes with experience. If you are just confident in the sound that comes out, it will amend your sound. I mean you hear other artists and mimic them, you try and hit these high notes or do things that other people are able to do and somehow I’ve just found me. I was listening to a lot of my material from the past and the sound is quite different. Not to the extreme but there is a real difference in a lot of the songs. Where now, when I am singing I can just hear myself. My Dad passed away at Christmas and I sang at his funeral and its almost like some inhibition was gone or something clicked or, I don’t know! Something just feels different. I do think sometimes that the so-called mistakes singers make are what to me, make them special. That little growl that comes out by mistake those are the types of things that make me go ‘yeah, that’s what I love’.
CC: If you could collaborate with any other artist dead or alive, who would if be and why?
AM: Ray Charles. I really like him. I think we could come up with something a bit magical and crazy. You know you get drawn to people who you are alike. I am drawn to mental unstable people (a lot of laughter). 
CC: What have you been working on recently and tell us some more about the EP?
AM: I released the EP in May it’s called ‘The Voices Made me Do It’ and it’s a part of a trilogy so this is one of three. It’s a journey through love. The first bit is a sort if representation of the honeymoon period where you’re so in love and everything is so great. There is only one song on the EP that is a bit sad and not so upbeat. So that’s more about where I was coming from and what love has done for me. I am now working on the next EP, which will be called ‘My New White Jacket’ which is obviously a straight jacket. Which goes into the craziness of love, because love is a state of madness I personally believe. So I want to talk about the things that we don’t necessarily want to talk about. So breaking up or situations where you know you should break up; where your both fighting for it but you know you need to go your separate ways. Even looking at that stalky sort of obsessive vibe, I want to talk about that part of love. Then after it, the final album will be about what happens at the end, if it works, if it doesn’t work, any rebuilding of the self etc. 
I am also trying to plan a tour outside of London. I am working alongside my cousin who is a rapper called ‘Guiltz’ he features on the bonus track on the EP and we are planning to launch our album sometime next year. He actually just released his first single so we are due to go and shoot the video for that next month which is so exciting. My first ever video! It’s just going to be so exciting. As well as that I also work on the radio with a soul show every Sunday 4pm-7pm.
CC: What can we look forward to hearing from you at the September Showcase?
AM: I will be performing material from the ‘The Voices Made Me Do It’ EP but jazzed up versions. There will be collaboration on the night. I mean I’m quite spontaneous, so I’m saying this is what I’m going to be doing but I could completely change my mind. My backing singers never know what to expect (laughs).
 CC: Tell us about one of your favorite performances?
AM: I would say when I was the support act for Marsha Ambrosius. She was really pleasant. Sometimes you have this idea in your head of what a person is going to be like because you buy their music and you want to believe that the person will be just as amazing. Her music is so cool and she was just so cool.  Like she would take pictures with us and sit with us and just it was just really nice to know that she was so down to earth and that she cared so much about other people.
Everywhere you play somewhere iconic that would be another huge moment for me for example the my dream was to perform at Jazz CafĂ© so when I did that I just felt like ‘YES!’, it was really good.   
CC: Musically what is the best piece of advice you have been given?
AM: This was one that helped me with my nerves. I literally get so nervous that I get to a stage where I’m sick! Even now. Talking to people makes me even worse actually. They basically said to me ‘feel like you are giving the audience something. As if you are here to give them a gift. They want it from you or they wouldn’t have come here. So just feel as if you are giving the audience that gift’ It doesn’t make you feel so much like the audience are here to criticize. When that’s in your mind, it does make it a lot better.
CC: What advice would you give to aspiring singer/ songwriters? 
AM: I would probably give someone too much advice (laughs). I would start by saying treat yourself as a product. Know exactly what you are giving the audience and don’t be confused in your delivery. My motto has always been if I’m going to fail I’m going to fail doing something my way.
CC: What was the last track you listened to?
AM: John Legend ‘So Gone’.
CC: What’s your preference: Download, CD, tape or Vinyl? 
AM: I like to buy the CD. The download thing? There’s something with me and internet. Buying a CD I just feel like I’m giving more. A CD is just yours to own, whereby with download you can lose it with computer issues and whatever. I like that the CD is mine.
CC: Describe your perfect day? 

AM: Sunshine! Food! Any food at all. If I could have live musicians with me. A whole mixture of musicians, my friends. Me and musician friends cold just have a huge jam session. When we get together we just seem to just make a lot of magic. It wouldn’t just be singing, I like to draw too. A big creative, artsy, fun, sun, festival with lots of love and music and art and shoes! (Laughs)  
It was a pleasure talking to the lovely Ann-Marie. We are so excited to welcome her on stage at our September Manchester and London dates. She has a way with words, which immediately puts you at ease. On top of that, she is quite frankly hilarious. We look forward to the live experience!

See you at the showcase J




Article By:  Claire Cripps

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