As promised on this blogs Facebook– and Twitter account I was doing an interview or Q&A, as I choose to call it here on my blog, as a follow-up to the Helena Jesele blog post!
Now it´s ready – and here it is. To quote Helen Jesele “It´s the real deal!”
I read somewhere that you said your album “Sweet Sticky Fix” is a concept album – made to listen to in one piece. For new listeners; What´s the concept?
I suppose you could say that it’s a concept album in the sense that it tracks the story of a single relationship from beginning to end.
It’s funny actually as some reviewers have written that it’s an album where each song is about a different relationship! Obviously that’s not the case at all, the songs on this album tell of the developments of a particular relationship that I went through over 2 years which effected me deeply, both emotionally and spiritually. It resulted in heartbreak as you can hear on songs such as Lovesick Avenue and Girl in London. But I learnt a lot about myself as a result, so the final song the album – Sun Is Rising – is about finding the light at the end of the soul-searching tunnel. I like how the album ends on a high!
With this album, I wanted to create something where the listener could sit down and listen to it from start to finish and be taken on a journey of sorts. These days most albums jump all over the place and there is no cohesive pattern. I think that’s a shame, so hopefully I’ve succeeded in creating something that people will be able to listen to again and again.
This is your debut album, and you´ve worked with Paul o´Duffy, who also worked with the late-great Amy Winehouse. How was it to work with a man who worked with an artist that had so much respect – and has now become a legend after her much too soon death?
Well of course it was pretty intimidating to work with Paul!
In truth, I’m a little uncomfortable about the Amy comparisons I’ve been getting in the press, but I understand them too. My music is not a millions miles away from hers…however we are very different artists with very different voices! She was amazing though, and was a legend even before her death I think.
I would be extremely lucky if I could gain even half the respect she commanded with her incredible music. Working with Paul was such a wonderful experience, he taught me a great deal about how to structure my songwriting, but he also encouraged me to write from the heart and be unafraid to bear my soul in my songs. I owe him a lot for that.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration? And what are your all time favourite record(s) – mention several if you like
Ella Fitzgerald was my first musical love! I heard her voice for the first time when I was very young, maybe about 5, and in that instant my life was enriched and jazz became my ‘thing’… I still listen to Ella on a regular basis even now. There’s a special quality to her voice that transports to a happy place!
I have so many favorite records, but off the top of my head, Portishead’s Glory box is definitely a personal favorite.
Julie London’s version of Cry Me A River is certainly in my top 10.
And let’s not forget Ella’s recording of Ray Noble’s The Very Thought Of You, what a beautiful tune. That’s one I will never get bored of hearing.
This is your debut album – but have you released anything before? As a member of a band – or something like that ?
I did some amateur recordings a while back, but this album is my first fully professional effort. It’s the real deal!
I mentioned in my blog post, that I loved the simplicity of your album sleeve. Do you feel like your found inspiration on what people make on services like Instagram and such services?
The album artwork was inspired by the classic photography and design of the 60’s and 70’s. When people used real cameras and captured moments in time in a unique way. These days we can all capture moments on our phones and make them look old school… but perhaps that waters the mystery down somewhat.
For the album, we wanted imagery that reflected the realness of the music.
Everything was recorded the old-fashioned way, in analogue, and all the musicianship is live and true, not computerized.
So far I have found your record only available on iTunes. Are you supposed to release it on streaming services like Spotify and – my prefered physical media – CD and vinyl?
Actually we cut the first single – Let The Game Begin – as a limited edition vinyl and will hopefully at some point be cutting the whole album to vinyl and CD too. For the time being it is a digital release on iTunes and Amazon.
It’s sad that is the way the music business is going… But we all have to play the game in one way or another I suppose!
The Helena Jesele “Sweet Sticky Fix” album can be bought here on iTunes and Amazon
Helena Jesele is – thank god – no cocky diva, as you can see in this Q&A.
She seems to be well reflected about the (lacking?) future of the music industry – and how hard it is to sell physical albums, but still she choose to record albums the old way – analogue – with real music by real people. For music listeners who enjoys a good album, with a classic love story, that can be played from start to end without getting boring!