Casey has that ol’ soul feel­ing

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - WHAT’S ON -

WHEN she was 14, Casey Dono­van had never heard of Ste­vie Won­der, but now she’s tak­ing to the stage to sing soul classics in the Women of Soul show. It’s not the first time ei­ther. In 2009, five years af­ter win­ning Aus­tralian Idol, Dono­van was first in­volved in Women of Soul. ‘‘I had that crav­ing to get back on stage,’’ she says. Dono­van says she ac­tu­ally didn’t know some of the songs back then, ad­mit­ting she’s a late con­vert to soul mu­sic. But that was only be­cause it didn’t hit her ears un­til later in life. ‘‘The Dono­van fam­ily were kind of born and bred into coun­try mu­sic and I guess once I was away from that side of the fam­ily for a lit­tle while and with my mum and step­dad, they just lis­tened to the ra­dio, so that’s how I learnt about mu­sic,’’ she says. ‘‘I didn’t even know who Ste­vie Won­der was at the age of 14 so I’ve had to teach my­self a lot.’’ She says she can still re­mem­ber the first time she heard Aretha Franklin. ‘‘I was watch­ing Ma­jor Payne and they were run­ning around do­ing their thing and I think Re­spect came on and I was like: ‘This. Is Amaz­ing’.’’ Dono­van will play two shows at the in­au­gu­ral Boomerang Fes­ti­val, a new world in­dige­nous fes­ti­val at the By­ron Bay Blues­fest site in Oc­to­ber, be­fore she joins the Women of Soul team again in the Trib­ute to Soul Di­vas show. Star­ring Mindy Kwan­ten and Evie J Wil­lie, Dono­van will be a spe­cial guest per­former along with Deni Hines and The X Fac­tor fi­nal­ist An­gel Tu­pai. She says each of them has a dif­fer­ent sound. ‘‘Evie and An­gel have that re­ally soul In­dia Arie voice while Min and Deni have that Aretha Franklin growly, raspy, high-notey en­ergy about their voices,’’ she says. ‘‘And I slot in there some­where.’’ Dono­van says there’s a few Aretha num­bers that she’s got her eye on, but they’ve yet to start re­hearsals, so what’s in store might change. How­ever she says it will no doubt be a fun night and a chance for peo­ple to sing along with their favourite tunes. And as for her per­sonal favourite? ‘‘I love In­dia Arie,’’ she says. ‘‘I sung a song back in the Idol days called Beau­ti­ful, so fin­gers crossed I can sneak that one in there.’’

Casey Dono­van plays Boomerang, at Tya­garah Tea Tree Farm, on Oc­to­ber 5-6. The fes­ti­val runs from Oc­to­ber 4-6. Visit boomerangfes­ti­ for de­tails.

Vo­cal pow­er­house Casey Dono­van.

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