Karise begins her journey
In less than a week, Karise Eden, the inaugural winner of The Voice, has finished recording her debut album, filmed a video and been on an endless chatfest to launch her career. She takes a breather to talk music and fans with Kathy Mccabe.
Q: So how did you pick the other songs such as The Weight and Hound Dog that you wanted to cover on My Journey?
A: ‘‘ What’s on it? [ she looks at my tracklisting printout] Oh yeah, some are from the actual show. With those other songs, I originally sat down and had a chat with a couple of people about it. It was Big Mama Thornton who recorded Hound Dog first, before Elvis, and I saw Macy Gray do a version of it on this concert called Lightning In A Bottle. And I’ve loved it ever since. It’s a feelgood song the way they do it, standard blues stuff.
Q: The Weight?
A: I only knew The Band’s version, I didn’t know Aretha’s version and when I heard it I thought ‘‘ wow, that’s really cool’’. It was a bit of a spur of the moment choice.
Q: And of course there’s Janis Joplin on here.
A: Move Over is Janis Joplin; you know I had to have one there. I’ve performed Bobby McGee and Mercedes Benz so many times
that I thought it would be cool to steer away from those. I do love all of her songs . . . but I thought Move Over was a good pick out of all of them. Q: You’re quite a student of music history, aren’t you?
A: I always imagined it [ was] because I haven’t been at school since I was 12. If you get a kid and teach him maths every day for seven years and no other subjects, he’s going to be pretty smart about maths. It’s like with me. I learnt every day about music and my Uncle Frank knows a lot about the history of music. When he first started teaching me how to play, I was playing traditional folk and bluegrass, and now I play the double bass and I’m learning the banjo. I have a banjo but because of the show I haven’t had much of a chance to keep going with it. I read about music all the time, biographies, internet searches . . . even throughout the show. That song Nothing’s Real But Love, I didn’t know that song, or who sang it, so as soon as I got told I was singing that song, I’d type her name [ Rebecca Ferguson] in to find out who she was, how it all happened, I’m interested in that sort of stuff.
Q: How did you go about making the covers your own?
A: I just like imagining all the colours [ of a song], that it’s a movie and I can see the environment I’m standing in. It’s like my safe haven. Everybody does their own thing [ to get through] trauma and that may be one of them that I do. I get really involved in imagining the wallpaper and what era, what time am I in. At the end of the day, my voice still sounds the same, I’m still my own singer with my own sound but certain bits of it may change because I have been so heavily influenced by so many people. I’ve had a lot of comments from people that ‘‘ I talk like this’’ and ‘‘ sing like that’’, so is it put on? No, it’s actually because the tone, where I sing in my voice, is similar to when you’re about to cry. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I put my head down a bit, not that I want to cry, to use those same sort of muscles in my throat.
Q: You didn’t have much time to become acquainted with your debut single You Won’t Let Me before releasing it, did you?
A: Well it is really easy to relate to, very easy that song so I guess that’s all I really need. Even love songs, I’ve never been in love or all that sort of stuff, so you sing it from the hope of what it’s going to be like when it does come.
Q: This week you get to sing it to the fans, as you called them in your winner’s acceptance speech.
A: I’m never going to live that down, am I? I think it’s going to be really cool. It’s the most important thing. They’re the ones who like you, who feel what you sang. It’s the best thing to be out there face to face. I love getting feedback. I’ve said it before that when the show was on, I didn’t want to Tweet and Facebook about voting but when I had the chance, I would go out and see people and never say no to a photo because I think that’s mean if you did. I’m a face- to- face person anyway, I’m a bit awkward over the phone.