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An Interview with Caro Emerald

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Image © Wouter Vellekoop via Caro Emerald on Facebook

With a number one album already under her belt, the musical world is eagerly awaiting the upcoming third offering from jazz-pop songstress Caro Emerald. Before she appears at the Brighton Centre on 14th April, the Dutch singer talks touring, inspirations and her recipe for success.

Even if you haven't heard directly of Caro Emerald, the chances that you’ve heard her work are high. Even taking into account the fact her past two albums debuted in the UK charts at fourth and first place respectively, her song That Man has been featured in a plethora of TV shows including Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars and The Vampire Diaries as well as a Sky TV advertising campaign.

Now the Amsterdam-born entertainer is preparing a hotly-anticipated third studio album, but first Emerald will be descending on the shores of Britain for a wide-ranging tour that leads her to the Brighton Centre in mid-April.

“I really like being on tour; it’s doing the thing that I love the most and combining it with a totally different feeling,” the 35-year-old beams. “I have my dad, I have my crew and it’s a lot of people I travel with - over 30 people, I believe. It’s really a fun thing to do; it’s really relaxed. We get to see different cities every day. We wake up somewhere and get to check out the place, have a couple of hours for ourselves to walk around, prepare for the gig, then do the gig. It’s always a party, so I don’t think there’s anything else in the world that I would rather do.”

Being on stage in front of her fans may be an indicator of how Emerald is now living her dream, but the life of a jazz troubadour wasn’t a path she had planned out since her youth.

“To be honest I don’t know where I got it from really!” she laughs. “My parents actually grew up listening to classical music, but I wasn’t really interested in it. When I sang for the first time it had a jazzy sound and I really don’t know where it came from, other than that I come from a musical family who all play instruments.”

Though unexpected, Emerald’s signature sound has served her well. Her debut album, Deleted Scenes From the Cutting Room Floor, was an instant hit in the UK, and the 2013 follow-up - The Shocking Miss Emerald - earned the singer her first UK number one. But even though her upcoming tour is sure to stoke the fires of eager fans everywhere, Emerald is insistent that the recipe for success is just to relax.

“I try not to worry about following up great success, because that’s not the first step - it’s not even the second step,” she says. “The first step is just making music and you don’t make good music by thinking about how many people to reach with it or how many people would like it. You make music by making fun, just fooling around and that is what I try to do, not just thinking about having to make this great song. The hard part is when it comes to finishing off the product, when you have a couple of songs and you want to go in a certain direction.”

It should be something of a natural process, Emerald continues. “If it’s not, then it’s not right - and any fan of mine will notice that. They will notice it if I try to open a box of tricks. But we are trying to re-invent ourselves for this new album, so it will definitely be a different kind of album. I can imagine that maybe some of the fans won’t like it and that’s their right, but I just always try to get the best out of myself. If I wanted people to love it, then it would be just like me playing an act, and I’m not an act, not at all.”

Though Emerald came to Brighton to perform once before, riding the crest of the wave of The Shocking Miss Emerald’s chart-topping success, the singer is relishing the opportunity to return and take in all the city - and its hidden, gem-filled Lanes - have to offer.

“I always look forward to going to the UK,” she says. “When I have time, I do really try to do a little bit of sightseeing, but I love to shop so much that I barely take time to do anything else! But the best thing is just getting a full audience where people stay and continue to listen - that’s the biggest reward.”

Caro Emerald’s UK tour has already started and continues until 29 April. She arrives at the Brighton Centre on the 14 April.