The power of her pipes rather than her pins is on dis­play in Ricki-Lee Coul­ter’s lat­est re­lease, which is meant to re­mind fans she’s unique

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE & LOUD - KATHY MCCABE

Ricki-Lee Coul­ter jokes she felt more naked per­form­ing in front of in­dus­try tastemak­ers than she did sit­ting on a horse Lady Go­diva-style for her last hit sin­gle.

Eight months af­ter that in­fa­mous video for Come and Get In Trou­ble With Me, Coul­ter is pre­par­ing to re­lease her All We Need Is Love EP.

The EP is an­other ex­per­i­ment in rein­ven­tion for this gifted Gold Coast-reared singer un­earthed on the sec­ond sea­son of Aus­tralian Idol a decade ago.

So the nerves were more like ram­pag­ing rhi­nos than but­ter­flies in her stomach when she sat on a stool to per­form a se­lec­tion of new tunes with Paul Mac on piano in an in­ner-city pop-up restau­rant.

A few sips of cham­pagne steeled her re­solve as she closed her eyes and fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing the sin­gle she hopes will re­turn her to the top 10.

She didn’t shirk a note, im­pressed with the power of those pipes and, at the very least, won the re­spect of the din­ner guests.

“I have spent the past 18 months in stu­dios writ­ing these songs, pro­duc­ing them and fine­tun­ing ev­ery de­tail. That is why I was so ner­vous,” she says.

“The stu­dio is a safety zone; it’s just you and the head­phones and your singing.

“Play­ing the songs to the record la­bel is scary, but when you play them live for the first time, in front of you lot, that is re­ally, re­ally scary.”

Per­haps the jit­ters may have to do with her de­tour from dance pop fare.

Rain­ing Di­a­monds, Do It Like That, Crazy and Come & Get In Trou­ble With Me found Coul­ter com­pet­ing with Amer­i­can su­per­stars in­clud­ing Bey­once, Ri­hanna and Pink for air­play and at­ten­tion. She spent a for­tune on tightly chore­ographed dancers, ex­cel­lent play­ers and state-ofthe art pro­duc­tion and light­ing.

If Fear And Free­dom was her state­ment that she could match it with the world’s best, then All We Need Is Love is about re­mind­ing fans – and her­self – what makes her unique.

“Fear and Free­dom was about me be­ing happy for the first time in my life and about be­ing a fighter and a sur­vivor,” she says.

“The chal­lenge was to write songs about be­ing happy, about hav­ing the great­est part­ner and best friend, and not sound beige.”

A strong anti-bul­ly­ing cam­paigner, Coul­ter chose All We Need Is Love to mir­ror her ad­vo­cacy on so­cial me­dia.

When a fan let her know she had in­spired him to fi­nally come out to his fam­ily, he in­flu­enced the song’s lyrics and helped de­fine her fourth solo record.

“I pride my­self that I have a voice and can con­nect with people and that I am not afraid to be out­spo­ken,” she says.

“Then to find that that has helped in­spire and mo­ti­vate people, it brings it full cir­cle and I am so thank­ful.”

The spot­light will be on her pipes in­stead of her pins.

“It doesn’t all have to be cos­tumes and dancing.”

EP is out to­mor­row. Ricki-Lee opens for Ja­son Derulo at the Bris­bane En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre on Satur­day.

Ricki-Lee Coul­ter

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