Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Kandace Springs: Hot Springs

kandace Springs PHOTO: Mathieu Bitton
kandace Springs PHOTO: Mathieu Bitton Kandace Springs PHOTO: Mathieu Bitton Kandace Springs PHOTO: Emrys Baird Kandace Springs PHOTO: Emrys Baird

Hotly tipped ‘jazz superstar’ in the making, Kandace Springs, was in town to open the London EFG Jazz Festival, so I jumped at the chance to have a chat AND photograph her. Blues & Soul first spoke to this bubbly artist from Nashville in April, back then we introduced this natural talent as a ‘one to watch’ in the not to distant future…now, some 6 months or so later, I was keen to find out how things were progressing and what she'd been up to since her last interview…Springs starts by mentioning her recent appearance at the aforementioned star-studded anual event, which traditionally opens The London Jazz Festival…

“The Jazz Voice gala evening went off amazingly well! Guy Barker arranged the songs, it was an incredible experience for me singing in front of a 40 piece orchestra along with awesome talent that included Liz Wright and Allan Harris. The Rich Mix sold out real quick too, my first gig in my own right and that was so special - that's why we are here at this amazing venue (Union Chapel) to meet the public's demand! I'm really flattered and honoured about this.

You've been all over south-east Asia and they seem to love you in Japan too!

Yes! I've been to Japan three times now but on my last visit, my absolute childhood hero came to my gig…Norah Jones! I've loved that woman ever since I was fourteen - she's the reason I'm doing this. It was a landmark in my life I'll never forget, she popped by on the way to the airport. I told Jesse (Guitarist in Kandace's band and Norah's songwriter) tell me the minute she's in! Well, he did and at that point, I literally couldn't speak! I got to dedicate “The Nearness Of You” to her - that's the song that inspired me to sing and play in public all those years ago - now we are on the same label, it's just mind blowing!

Can you tell me how you prepare for a show?

I'll start with some voice stretching songs, such as “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and I take little bits of my favourite singers; Sade, Eva Cassidy, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, Diana Krall, Norah etc…which helps me work on my tone. My music is all about tone and texture and it’s on the intimate side, so I love it when people just listen. Considering I may have jet lag, or have to do a full (show) set on my internal clock at say, three in the morning, I'm aware of all these things and am just ready to perform whatever. I'll do funny little riffs, I'll practice too, holding out long notes. It's like driving a car, you gotta warm it up before you race it!

The album “Soul Eyes” is out through Blue Note.

You can read more from jazz one to watch, Kandace Springs, in the current issue of Blues & Soul Magazine - click the link below to order straight from our shop or read on for high street retailer details.

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Words Emrys Baird

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