Noth­ing can hold Ricki-lee down

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

ID of the dead weight that threat­ened to sink her pop ca­reer, Ricki-Lee Coul­ter is fi­nally in con­trol of her destiny.

The singer was forced to part ways with friends, fam­ily, a for­mer record com­pany and her ex-hus­band in re­cent times for fear of be­ing held back.

Eight years af­ter be­com­ing a house­hold name on Aus­tralian Idol, Coul­ter is call­ing the shots with the re­lease of her third al­bum Fear & Free­dom.

‘‘It re­ally is a cel­e­bra­tion of the free­dom and hap­pi­ness I never had be­fore,’’ Coul­ter, 26, says of the al­bum.

‘‘I’ve had to fight and over­come a lot of hur­dles and set­back to get to this point in my life. It’s such a pow­er­ful feel­ing be­cause I now truly feel like I could do any­thing now. I feel a bit like a su­per­hero who could go out­side and turn a car on its head if I wanted to.’’

The fresh con­fi­dence run­ning through Coul­ter is a far cry from bouts of de­pres­sion she suf­fered in the five years since her last al­bum, Brand New Day. She claims she was con­trolled by other peo­ple, in­clud­ing friends and fam­ily, and was forced to con­front her life with painful con­se­quences.

‘‘I al­ways tried to please ev­ery­one else and some­times when you’re so busy mak­ing ev­ery­one else happy you for­get to please your­self,’’ she says.

‘‘You look in the mir­ror one day and re­alise that you’re mis­er­able and that’s a hor­ri­ble thing.’’

The most heart-wrench­ing life edit was di­vorc­ing then hus­band Jamie Bab­bing­ton in 2008 af­ter their seven-year re­la­tion­ship.

Lyri­cal mes­sages run­ning through Fear & Free­dom touch on the idea of fol­low­ing an in­ner voice, some­thing Coul­ter learned first hand.

‘‘Get­ting di­vorced was the first of many of these things in my life that I’ve had to con­front and over­come,’’ she says. ‘‘I got mar­ried and look­ing back I knew it wasn’t right but I still went through with it be­cause I was afraid and I didn’t know any­thing else.’’

Scratch­ing an­other seven-year itch, Coul­ter ditched her record com­pany, Shock, af­ter ex­ec­u­tives at the la­bel were left luke­warm by some songs on Fear & Free­dom.

Af­ter they threat­ened to slash her bud­get by more than half, Coul­ter made the leap to go it alone, be­liev­ing the new songs to be the best of her ca­reer.

‘‘I took a huge risk in leav­ing and I was so scared be­cause it could have been ca­reer sui­cide and these songs might never have seen the light of day,’’ she says.

‘‘But I had that thing deep down inside that said ‘no, you’ve got to do this’.’’

Coul­ter was quickly snapped up by EMI, who re­leased the come­back hits Rain­ing Di­a­monds and Do It Like That and her cur­rent sin­gle, Crazy.

The pop songstress has also found new man­age­ment with her af­fairs now be­ing looked af­ter by her part­ner Richard Har­ri­son.

Coul­ter be­lieves all 10 songs on Fear & Free­dom have the po­ten­tial to be hits, with the em­pow­er­ing Burn It Down likely to be the next sin­gle.

Hav­ing pre­vi­ously been hung up on criticism and dented by her haters, there is a new sense of be­lief wrapped around her will­ing­ness to let go.

‘‘I’m at peace with who I am and I don’t com­pro­mise that for any­one now. I’ve got a team who en­cour­age me and I feel so lucky,’’ Coul­ter says.

is due out on Au­gust 17. Ricki-Lee Coul­ter plays West­field Cherm­side, Bris­bane, on Au­gust 17 at 3.30pm (free show ) and Fam­ily Night­club, in Bris­bane, on Septem­ber 9 (tick­ets $15).

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