One of the things I love most about this job is the stumbling unawares upon acts which sometimes (seemingly at a sub-sonic level) grab you by the ears and scream YOU LOVE ME!!! Six months ago, I was lucky enough to happen upon an interview opportunity with such an act.
After investigating her early body of work for this very article, I knew she had a great future ahead of her and that I wouldn’t be alone with my awe for too long. I’ve held onto this piece for six months to see just how much things could change for such an exciting prospect.
Her 2010 has been a pretty busy and undeniably successful year, and so as it slowly draws to a close, I thought I’d let this piece see the light of day! Plus, if I leave it any longer, she (as modern-day tendency suggests) may’ve become a diva and gotten herself disliked by everyone!
Ladies and gentlemen… re-introducing (in the somewhat pleasing light of hindsight and change) the charismatic Kirsty Almeida…
(Interview from mid-may 2010)
AS: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
KA: People… always people and situations.
AS: What influences your sound above all else?
KA: The musicians I work with.
AS: Who’s the main driving force; do you work as a team?
KA: We work as a team but I guide the team.
AS: Is there more pressure playing live with a band than there is playing solo?
KA: They are both difficult and wonderful in their own ways.
AS: Do you enjoy playing live or are you more at home in a studio?
KA: I love both!
AS: When you take aim with your peashooter/pellet gun/sniper rifle, you’re aiming at whom?
KA: Unfortunately I have an incredibly bad aim and so would never aim in any direction because it would go very wrong!
AS: Where do you go when it all gets too much?
KA: To Gibraltar, to sit by the sea.
AS: Is bedtime more half nine with a half read paper or more half four with fully red eyes?
KA: If I’m working then half four and if it’s my night off, then I try to get to bed as early as I can.
AS: What do you do with any ‘you’ time?
KA: I garden, paint, read, play the guitar…
AS: Who would be your dream collaborator?
KA: John Galliano
AS: What’s the last gig/concert you went to?
KA: Gil Scott Heron just a couple of weeks ago.
AS: What’s the best / your favourite music video?
KA: Treat Me like Your Mother by The Dead Weather
AS: If you were a musical instrument what would you be?
KA: Swanee Whistle.
AS: What’s ‘love at first sight’ all about then?
KA: A beautiful coat you can’t afford… but do.
AS: Care to share any regrets, missed opportunities or things that might’ve been?
KA: I don’t regret a thing. Not one.
AS: Will your past come back to haunt you or will karma be kind?
KA: Either way it wouldn’t bother me. I am proud of my past.
AS: Where do you most enjoy playing live?
KA: Anywhere, everywhere, in front of one person or 38,000 – I love it most when I’m playing with other musicians.
AS: Why? What's your biggest why question that mystifies you most?
KA: When I wrap all my leads neatly and tie them up, why do they manage to tangle themselves up in-between my using them?
AS: Where do you sit in the grand scheme of things?
KA: Not something I have enough time to think about!
AS: When do you plan to take over the world?
KA: I don’t. I plan to help musicians work equally hand in hand with the industry.
AS: Who were your heroes as a teenager?
KA: Richard Branson… Ani DiFranco.
AS: What music are you listening to of late?
KA: At the moment I’m pretty obsessed with the Bob Dylan radio sessions.
AS: Any message for underachieving or odds-facing musicians out there?
KA: Stick at it and be true to your art.
AS: Your career defining dream moment would/will be what?
KA: Writing music for films, writing a good musical, singing with an orchestra for a magical masquerade ball.
AS: Know of any upcoming bands that are destined for greatness?
KA: Yes, Rioghnach Connolly – she’s incredible.
AS: How important do you feel visuals are in relation to music?
KA: Absolutely important for me – I’m also a visual artist; I don’t think you need to listen to music – its just lovely to see where the writer is coming from based on her/his visual choices.
AS: What’s been the highlight of your year?
KA: Christmas with my little brother and sister.
AS: I’m sure you’ve done a few but which gig has been your best?
KA: Glastonbury at the Croissant Neuf stage, with my Latin band before the festival opened.
AS: Any forthcoming plans for you / the band?
KA: An entire summer of festivals!
AS: Are you unlucky in love and if so, why?
KA: No. When I fall, I fall hard and thoroughly enjoy it.
AS: Best song, movie OR album ever?
KA: Amelie or Life is Beautiful and Something so Right by Paul Simon.
AS: Where did you sleep last night?
KA: In a ballroom!
AS: What’s your secret vice… what are you a sucker for?
KA: Tea and cake!
AS: What makes the world go round?
KA: Magic and love.
AS: Where’s the place to be?
KA: New York.
AS: What’s your weak point?
AS: Which instrument does it for you most?
AS: What inspired the LP title (Youth produced ‘Pure Blue Green’)?
KA: I see music in colours and textures.
AS: Are you a good dancer and can you prove it?
KA: Yes I am – I was a pro dancer for a long time… I can salsa with you if you fancy!
AS: What kinds of music (if any) do you dislike the most?
KA: Music that has only been written to sell or to sell something.
AS: Where will you retire to when you're tired of comeback concerts?
KA: Canada or Gibraltar – haven’t decided yet.
AS: When will the world end?
KA: When there’s no more love left.
AS: How important are the single / album charts?
KA: Never pay any attention to them whatsoever.
AS: What revival would you most like to witness?
KA: The waltz.
AS: Which era would you have been born in ideally?
KA: I think as a film star in the 40’s or as a rocker in the 70’s.
AS: Are exercise and diet important to you?
KA: Yes. I am not a fanatic though, I eat a little of everything I want. I firmly believe everything in moderation, including moderation.
AS: If you could protect and save 1 thing in the world, what would it be?
KA: Music and its artists from the industry.
AS: Who’s the most gifted person alive today?
KA: Tom Waits is really gifted, but no one person is the most gifted person alive today.
AS: Does complaining accomplish anything?
KA: Yes, if it’s done to the right person in a calm way.
AS: Which musical style should become extinct first?
KA: Formulaic pop.
AS: Was it easy becoming who you are today?
KA: No. I have had vast amounts of struggle and have read a million self-help books, but I wouldn’t give any of it back. No point being a writer with nothing to write about.
AS: Do politics have a place in music?
KA: I think they do but not in my music.
AS: What’s the biggest myth about stardom?
KA: That you’re a star.
Well, there you have it folks, what a point to close on… it’s like (in my head anyways) Pinocchio becoming a real boy somehow! From a super start to superstar… magical!
Click here for a complete profile and answers to the typical and perhaps more mundane KA matters, as compiled by her loving record label Decca.