First coming to prominence in the early 1980s as a backing singer for Mari Wilson and Kim Wilde, Julia Fordham soon forged her own career as one of Britain’s most distinctive and unique singer-songwriters. Over thirty years on she remains as active and enthusiastic about her music as ever and we caught up with her following on from her most recent release Mixed, Shaken and Stirred.
Can you tell me a little about the conception behind Mixed, Shaken and Stirred?
A splendid and talented fellow called Vinny Vero who moves and shakes in the world of hipster re-mixers put the whole thing together. He is a big fan of my songs and voice and he contacted all the groovy folks involved. All I had to do was say YES to being open to having my old songs re-worked in this fab fashion.
Having been in the music industry for a number of years now, how do you think it has changed since you first started?
It has completely changed and is basically no longer there. Record company execs no longer choose what is the next BIG THING. People find their own faves on YouTube and iTunes and the like. Here we are in a streaming world. There is no savouring of liner notes and cherishing CD booklets. That’s life, everything changes.
There has been a resurgence of 80s music and bands from that era reforming. Do you think that period has been poorly remembered in comparison to the 60s and 70s?
The 6O’s, 7O’s and 8O’s are all so rich and deserving of a resurgence, so I am excited and intrigued by the reforming of bands from that era.
Do you still enjoy performing?
YES. I could merrily do much more than I do. I love being on tour - especially in the U.K. with my "homies".
You now live in the US. Do you miss England or have you made LA home now?
I make a home wherever I am. When I am in England I love love love being there and could so easily return and be immediately a full time BRIT again. So yes I do miss it, the top telly and the deeply complex characters, the accents, M&S. Love LA too, there is the winning Southern Californian Sunshine. I do have that kind of personality though, that wherever I go, I could happily settle there. When I play Tokyo it feels like home. France, Italy, BRING IT ON.
What’s on the horizon for you in 2017?
I am writing, working on new songs and hoping to be in the U.K. in the summer to visit my Mum on Hayling Island and play some gigs.
Is there any artist you would still like to work with?
There are so many. Current fave U.K. artistes would be Laura Mvula, Lianne La Havas and Michael Kiwanuka. I would happily stand next to them and hear them sing and silently observe their process and in a dream case scenario collaborate in some way.
What are your interests outside of music these days?
I am a level 3 Reiki healer and contemplating training to be a Master. I am also quite the outdoors hiker and I get OUT THERE in the great outdoors every day.
Any regrets up till now?
YES many but none I would want to share.
If you would like to find out more about Julia Fordham then visit her website here.
George R Vaughan