Annie Lennox has just completed an interesting online Q&A on the iTunes Facebook page. You can view the page here, but it’s quite hard to read all the questions, so to make it easier, here’s what Annie said.
iTunes As a body of work, what does the album title ‘Nostalgia’ signify?
AL It is mainly connected to fact that Nostalgia is comprised of 12 classic songs from the great American songbook and many of which were written in 1930s and so the album in a sense has a reflective nature while at the same time, I feel, has a contemporary feel.
FB When did the idea of doing a standards album come to you?
AL years ago while i was rehearsing with Herbie Hancock and his band for a UNAIDS concert held in Washington DC. It occurred to me that I was quite enjoying extemporizing with some stalwart jazz musicians. The idea hung around for a while and then the notion occurred to me that it might be very interesting to step outside of my comfort zone and in the genre of jazz. But it wasn’t until the summer of last year that i started to pursue it seriously.
FB What does it mean to you that this album is being released on the iconic Blue Note Records label here in the US?
AL It means a great deal to me to release Nostalgia under the banner of Blue Note Records. The company is celebrating its 75th anniversary and I’m proud to be part the stable.
FB As a songwriter, what excites you about interpreting another writer’s songs?
AL I suppose that, in a way, it’s somewhat feels like opening a beautifully wrapped gift at Christmas time knowing that the contents are going to be at least doubly exciting.
FB Since you grew up in Scotland, when did you first become aware about the lynchings of black Americans in the U.S. south?
AL Each one of us is born in a particular place in a particular circumstance within a particular culture. it takes time to get to know to get to know one’s global neighbours and what’s happening in the rest of the world. History books, documentary films, tv and radio programs are all great transporters of information. so it didn’t take too long for me to discover many things that i didn’t personally experience.
FB It’s great to see another vinyl release of your album Annie, have you yourself still got a record player, and have you listened back to Nostalgia on vinyl too?
AL Yes to both questions. And I had the pleasure to listen of the first press of Nostalgia on Don Was’ system at the Capitol Records building and it sounded fantastic!
FB Your voice has changed over the decades and has become stronger and stronger. Do you think you could have created an album such as this within your early solo years?
AL I could have but it didn’t occur to me at that time. I think that the time for Nostalgia for me is here and now.
FB You seem to have such a hectic schedule, especially at the moment. How do you unwind and relax at the end of it all? Xxx
AL Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
FB Which feminists do you most closely align yourself with and why?
AL I have the greatest admiration for Eve Ensler who wrote the Vagina Monologues and the annual event A Billion Rising. Eve is exemplary and inspirational to everyone who meets her and i hold her in the highest esteem.
FB You mentioned in an interview with The Huffington Post that Tracy Chapman amongst others at the Amnesty International Human Rights tour in the 80’s inspired you to go into activism.
AL Yes it’s true that I was very inspired by the Amnesty International tour and would have loved to take part it in at the time if I had been able to. Tracy Chapman’s song “Fast Car” came out like a lightning flash out of the blue touching every listener who heard it in a particular way. Songs like that resonate for years.
FB What was the most difficult song for you to interpret on the album?
AL The most challenging song in technical terms was really “I Cover The Waterfront” as the keyboard part is incredibly subtle and complex
FB Annie, One of the things I love about you is that you speak your mind – I always appreciate that. How do you balance your desire to express your views with concerns about how it might impact your career? Love and respect, David Kessler
AL I don’t think of myself in terms of “career” necessarily. I simply try to be authentic in how i respond to things.
FB Hello, Annie! Can you say a little bit on the cover art and art work concept for Nostalgia?
AL The photograph was taken by a wonderful Los Angeles based photography Robert Sebree and I had a photo session with him in Spring of this year. THe photograph on the cover was the very first portrait he took of me and it went on from there.
FB Annie, you’re music gets me through some tough times. Broken Glass really lifts me up through the rough times, and I thank you. Has music gotten you through your turbulences in life and if so, what’s a song that you recommend that truly pulls at your heart strings?
AL Music is a soothing balm for people who are challenged by difficult circumstances very often. And of course like everyone else I have been touched by the work of so many extraordinary writers and performers. Classic Stevie Wonder songs will always be uplifting and Bob Marley stirs the heart and soul. Just to name two…
iTunes Thanks for joining us Annie Lennox. We can’t wait to see you on The View this Friday!
AL Thank you so much everybody for your great questions. Sorry i couldn’t answer more. Love and best wishes from A.L.