Interview: Beth Rowley from a Little Dreamer to a Top Charting Artist
Brilliant singer/songwriter, Beth Rowley that comes to us from England, once had what we call “Little Dreams” and now became real and not so little anymore. Her album titled Little Dreamer has reached top 10 album in the UK. Now Beth is trying to conquer the US. It’s not going to be quite hard for her with such talent, combined with lyrics that are excellent – it’s pretty safe to give her a warm welcome.
Beth manages to mix the feeling of vintage rhythms and blues and gospel music welded onto contemporary pop and jazz elements. While you are reading Beth’s thoughts do play the video that we have listed below, Beth Rowley – So Sublime. This will surely get you in the right mood to read Beth’s thoughts about the Music industry, her career, and where everything is at right now.
Cute, curly-headed diva Beth Rowley won many hearts with her charming Violets EP. Born in Peru and raised in the English West Country, Rowley has been mentored by Carleen Anderson and now follows up on the success of that EP with Little Dreamer, an album that continues her sweetly old fashioned, Motown-esque blend of blues, gospel, soul and jazz–all peppered with a classic mainstream sheen. Produced by Steve Power (Blur) and Kevin Bacon & Jonathan Quarmby (Richard Hawley, Finlay Quaye), the album discloses a voice as jaw-droopingly flawless and hopelessly compelling as a Norah Jones or Amy Winehouse, but with atmospheric traces of Karen Carpenter, Aretha Franklin and Eva Cassidy too.
Tracks like the stunning gospel blues of “Almost Persuaded” and soulful single “Oh My Life” are good examples of what to expect from this cozy, feelgood album. The reggae pulse of “I Shall Be Released” tends to undermine the power and beauty of the original, but slow, heartfelt blues numbers like “One Cloud” more than make up for these blips. Rowley plays it safe on Little Dreamer, but it’s a stunning collection nonetheless.
Daniel: In this ever-changing landscape of what we call the music industry you have managed to achieve what most musicians yearn for. Little Dreamer has debuted at #6 on the U.K. charts the weeks of its release and is now approaching Gold status. In your own words take us through this journey, tell us how it has been for you this past years.
Beth: Its been fun…pretty hard at times cos nothings ever certain but when it all comes together its amazing and worth the uncertainty. I started singing in a band when I was sixteen with fives guys from school. We had a real mix of musical influences from classical piano to acid jazz and hip hop. We did a few gigs and then drifted apart when people went to uni. I then went on to sing at open mic’ nights around Bristol where I would go on my own and ask someone if they could play piano or guitar for me. I would sing old jazz standards lots of Carol King and Motown numbers. Over the next five years I met a whole load of other talented musicians from Bristol and we formed a musical family who all played for each other.
I’ve gone through various band line ups whilst experimenting with different sounds which can be tricky some times when you’re good mates with people but it’s definitely an essential part of the creative process. Today I’ve found a group of like minded people who all love music and are passionate about making the live experience as good as possible. We have loads of fun on the road together and I’m really excited about the sound which we’ve arrived at.
Daniel: Is there a meaning behind the name of your album, ‘Little Dreamer’?
Beth: I guess Little Dreamer is me. There are people around me who I often notice day dreaming and I wonder what they’re thinking. The world needs dreamers!
Daniel: Steve Power produced your album, how did that relation come to fruition?
Beth: I met him right at the end of the process after I’d already recorded most of the songs with 2 other producers. I still felt like something else was needed and I was interested to see what he’d bring to the table.
Daniel: From what do you draw upon for your musical inspiration? & who are your major influences?
Beth: There are so many. At home I listened to a lot of blues like Leadbelly and the Ink Spots, Woody Guthrie, old gospel like Clara Ward and Mahalia Jackson, country like Hank Williams loads of Johnny Cash and also listened to lots of the Beatles. With my friends we were listening to old school hip hop, soul and lots of Motown numbers. Over the next five years I met a whole load of other talented musicians from Bristol and we formed a musical family who all played for each other.
Daniel: What keeps you motivated to make music?
Beth: Music and singing are all I’ve ever wanted to do. I just have to be working within music. I’m in a pretty cool place right now having had a top 10 album, having a label that support me and being surrounded by some amazing musicians – All I want is to stay in this place where I can create the next album having learnt so much from this first album experience.
Daniel: Have you been working on a follow up? Have you been writing more songs?
Beth: Little Dreamer was finished almost a year ago so, yes I’ve been writing poetry and potential songs for ages. I’ve started working specifically on a follow up right now and have been writing with some really cool people. Often I already have a lyrics or poem ready which needs to be worked into a song. Having a jam is good way of writing for me to get a song going too. I’ve got a few songs together now that I’m very excited about.
Daniel: What has been the most difficult aspect of breaking through in this industry?
Beth: I guess one big thing is letting go of certain responsibilities that used to be mine but aren’t any more. I started off doing or being in control of everything I did and I really enjoyed it cos I knew it was being done properly. I found it hard to let go and trust people to handle it with care. I definitely like to be in control of things.
Daniel: Having traveled around the world, What has been the most memorable experience on the road?
Beth: I just love being on the road. We always have so much fun on the bus. Its not very rock and roll, its like a family but every one is a true pro as well. One morning on tour Phil my drummer and Jonny the bass player told me how the night before they had a few drinks and wrecked their hotel room and then put everything back perfectly just as it was…that says it all really. I love my band!
Daniel: What has been, in your eyes, your greatest accomplishment so far?
Beth: There have been lots of things that have happened this year that I will always remember its not easy to pick one. Singing with Angelo Badalamenti, Burt Bacharach, Crowded House and also being in my first film (An Education) were all pretty amazing things to look back that I’ll always be able to look back on.