By Graham Young, Birmingham Mail, Nov 21 2008
BROUGHT up in Cleveland, Ohio, and now residing in San Francisco, Tracy Chapman is an award-winning singer-songwriter known for her classics such as Baby Can I Hold You and Fast Car. She has just released her ninth studio album Our Bright Future.
For more information visit www.tracychapman.com
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE SONGS ON OUR BRIGHT FUTURE?
I’m proud of it all. Making the record was a really happy process for me, which was one of my goals and one reason why I decided to work with [producer]Larry Klein.
There are times when the process was a little difficult or stressful, but the end result doesn’t really reflect it.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR SONGWRITING PROCESS…
The words and music come together at the same time. I write the songs before I go into the studio so by the time I start recording, all the songs are complete and it is just a matter of working on the production and arrangements. I often write late at night or early in the morning, I will wake up at three or four in the morning with a really good idea and then start playing guitar and writing songs.
WAS IT HARD TO DIRECT SO MANY MUSICIANS ON THE ALBUM?
It can be challenging, but that wasn’t the case with this record. Larry and I came up with two sets of players. There were certain songs that I thought would work best with one set of players, and other songs with the other set. In a couple of instances that wasn’t how it turned out. Most of the record was recorded live so we could all see, react and find each other. I had things going round in my head like melody lines, certain types of instrumentation that Larry had as well, and it was just described to them in the atmosphere that I wanted to create.
LOTS OF PEOPLE HAVE COVERED YOUR SONGS. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?
It’s flattering people like my songs. There are covers and then there is sampling. Sampling is not OK, but it is different with the covers. It would be interesting to hear them all.
Tour dates: December 12, Bristol, Colston Hall; December 14, Manchester, Apollo; December 15, London, Hammersmith Apollo; December 16, London, Hammersmith Apollo.