Karise Eden's come­back

A baby and time-out have given tal­ent show win­ner the strength to sing again, writes Kathy McCabe

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - kathy.mccabe@news.com.au Twit­ter: @McCabeRadar Karise Eden, Things I’ve Done tour, NSW dates July 1-July 18 (Syd­ney July 17-18). For all lo­ca­tions, see karisee­den.com.au

Karise Eden is hav­ing a lit­tle trou­ble with her voice — the voice that pro­voked goose­bumps ev­ery time she un­leashed it on the tele­vi­sion tal­ent show that launched the shy, awk­ward young woman into Aus­tralian house­holds.

One of the un­ex­pected out­comes of be­com­ing a mum five months ago was that her voice grew deeper. As she pre­pares to head out on her first ma­jor na­tional tour, in sup­port of her record Things I’ve Done, in June, Eden is re­train­ing it to get the high notes back.

She has no doubt she will re­claim her range.

“My voice is a lit­tle lower — it’s just a nat­u­ral thing that hap­pens as your body changes — so now I have to re­train the higher reg­is­ter,” she says.

“Why on earth did I record an al­bum with all those high notes be­fore I gave birth? I want to push my­self to get back up there again.”

As she keeps half an eye on her baby boy, Blay­den, who is be­ing minded by her fi­ance, Ja­son, as she talks, it is blind­ingly ob­vi­ous this is a very dif­fer­ent woman to the one who dis­ap­peared from the spot­light only months af­ter win­ning the in­au­gu­ral sea­son of The Voice.

Things I’ve Done was Eden’s labour of love, a col­lec­tion of orig­i­nal songs she penned both here and over­seas when she called time-out on tour­ing and pro­mo­tional com­mit­ments.

She is beam­ing with ex­cite­ment at the prospect of fi­nally be­ing able to in­tro­duce th­ese songs to fans.

“It’s nerve-rack­ing when I imag­ine it but I’m a lot more com­fort­able singing in front of strangers than I am in front of loved ones,” she says, laugh­ing. “I’ve put blood, sweat and tears into what I’ve cre­ated and peo­ple are buy­ing tick­ets to see my orig­i­nal work. “It means so much to know I am an artist now, a song­writer.”

Con­fi­dent, and ex­ud­ing a steely de­ter­mi­na­tion to pur­sue her mu­si­cal dreams on her own terms, Eden says she re­mains grate­ful for the op­por­tu­ni­ties the tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion af­forded her.

But with the ben­e­fit of hind­sight, she says the de­mands of an artis­tic ca­reer and the va­garies of fame were too much when she was 19.

“It was life-al­ter­ing and stress­ful and I just wasn’t ready,” she says. “There are other 19-year-olds who could take all of that in their stride and carry on, but for me, per­son­ally, I couldn’t. “Now I’m ready.” Eden re­calls with baf­fled in­credulity the crazy months af­ter The Voice ended, as if they had hap­pened to some­one else. There was the day she started with break­fast in Bris­bane, had lunch in Ade­laide and fin­ished with din­ner in Perth. And the time the mod­er­ate drinker — who en­joys “a cou­ple of bour­bons” and re­quests cola as her preshow bev­er­age — was of­fered some­thing en­tirely dif­fer­ent be­fore one gig.

“I don’t d do drugs. I’ve never done drugs — mum and dad met in re­hab and I might write a song about that one day — and artists have been do­ing them since the ’60s, ’70, ’80s, maybe be­cause that’s just how it is,” she says.

“I re­mem­ber ask­ing a woman back­stage at one gig if I could have some coke and she said she knew where I could get some. I meant Co­caCola; it’s what I al­ways have on my rider.”

Baby Blay­den will be head­ing out with his mum on the Things I’ve Done na­tional tour in June and July.

“I was al­ready en­vi­sion­ing my life be­fore he was born and it’s sim­ple. He’s com­ing, he will be there,” she says. “He’s so con­tent with mu­sic. He ab­so­lutely loves it.”

Blay­den was just weeks from be­ing born in De­cem­ber last year when Eden recorded the fi­nal vo­cals for the al­bum, her first orig­i­nal ma­te­rial since win­ning the The Voice in 2012.

“He def­i­nitely knows my voice. He falls asleep in my arms while I am full-tilt belt­ing out the whole Amy Wine­house al­bum Back To Black,” she says.

“When I stop singing, he wakes up and starts cry­ing.”

Eden has 23 city and re­gional con­certs booked around Australia, kick­ing off in Whyalla, South Australia on J June 4, with ticket s sales for the city shows demon­strat­ing her fan­base re­mains strong de­spite her ab­sence. And this p pow­er­house singer is e ex­cited to be given a an­other chance to im­press the fans who stayed loyal while she f found her feet.

“I like per­form­ing on a more per­sonal level — s smaller venues, get­ting to know th­ese peo­ple and hav­ing a yarn af­ter t the show un­til 2am,” she s says. “This is a big come­back for me and I want to be the best I can be, build things up nice and slow over the next cou­ple of years. I think I know to take my time with it.”

Karise Eden (main) is back with a new al­bum and a na­tional tour; (inset) as a shy 19-year-old on The Voice in 2012. Main pic­ture: Adam Yip

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