Avril Lavigne shares why her current tour is billed as blackstar, which has to do with her previous stint in Malaysia.
Avril Lavigne is set to perform in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 18 as part of her Blackstar tour. The Canadian rocker speaks to Star2 in an exclusive interview.
it is simply amazing how international celebrity Avril Lavigne manages to sound so perky and energetic even on the telephone.
Candid and forthright, the singersongwriter was a delight to talk to as she spoke about her illustrious musical career, as well as her current world tour.
“Black Star is more of an intimate show,” Lavigne said spiritedly, speaking in a phone interview from Los Angeles, California. “It won’t have many big, produced numbers, but will mostly focus on me and my band’s music.”
The 27-year-old singing sensation, who hails from Ontario, Canada, will be performing in Malaysia for the second time this Feb 18 as part of her Black Star tour, which has so far taken her through 20 countries in four continents.
Pop superstar Lavigne has certainly come a long way: making her music debut in 2002, the young singer-songwriter rapidly shot to global stardom after her debut album Let Go went platinum six times, and received diamond certification from the Canadian Recording Industry Association. Over the course of her four albums ( Let Go, Under My Skin, The Next Best Thing and Goodbye Lullaby), Lavigne scored a string of international hit singles, including Complicated, Sk8er Boi, Don’t Tell Me, My Happy Ending and Nobody’s Home, and contributed songs to the soundtracks of films such as Eragon and Alice In Wonderland.
Among other accolades, the singer has earned eight Grammy Award nominations, won 11 Canadian Juno Awards, and sold more than 30 million albums and nearly 20 million tracks worldwide over the past eight years.
And Lavigne is not just a great performer: the gal is also an extremely successful entrepreneur, creating a well-received fashion and lifestyle brand (Abbey Dawn), as well as releasing three fragrances (Black Star, Forbidden Rose and Wild Rose). She has also branched out into film work ( Over The Hedge, The Flock, Fast Food Nation), been featured in a graphic novel ( Avril Lavigne’s Make 5 Wishes) and established The Avril Lavigne Foundation, which works in partnership with leading charitable organisations to design and deliver programmes, raise awareness, and mobilise support for children and youth living with serious illnesses or disabilities.
How does the star manage to balance her time between all these activities, especially with her busy schedule?
“The music ties everything together,” Lavigne said earnestly.
Despite her many triumphs and legions of fans, however, Lavigne said she still manages to remain grounded.
“I’ve gained a lot of experiences, and learnt many things throughout this whole journey,” Lavigne said, adding that she never thought she would one day reach such amazing levels of success. “But I think I’m still the same person I was when I first started all of this.”
Of all the many critically-acclaimed songs she’s written and performed over the course of her impressive career, Lavigne admitted she still has a soft spot for one of her older hits, I’m With You, from her debut album.
“It’s a beautifully complex ballad,” Lavigne said about the song, which was recently sampled on fellow pop star Rihanna’s smash hit Cheers (Drink To That). “Its one of my favourites to perform.”
Asked about the name of her current tour, Black Star, which shares the name of her first fragrance, Lavigne replied it was a tribute to her favourite things, as she had always been fond of stars, as well as the colour black.
“I wanted my fragrance bottle to have a star shape,” she explained. “Black Star is about being unique, reaching for the stars, and dar- ing to follow your dreams!”
Black Star is also the name of the first track on her most recent album, Goodbye Lullaby, which unbeknownst to many, actually has Malaysian origins!
Lavigne originally composed Black Star as a theme tune for a TV spot for her fragrance during her previous stint in Malaysia, and eventually developed it into a full-fledged song for her album.
“I’m surprised you know that!” Lavigne laughed. “Yes, I was in my hotel room, jetlagged and unable to sleep when I wrote the song, a cappella. I didn’t even have my guitar at the time!”
Goodbye Lullaby, released in March last year, features 14 songs, all of which were written and composed by Lavigne. While the album features many catchy, up-tempo songs (chiefly, the incredibly infectious singles What The Hell and Smile), most of the songs on the album are heartfelt and emotional, notably the tracks Goodbye, Push and Wish You Were Here.
The album also features several songs writ- ten by Lavigne at an earlier age, for example Darlin’, which she wrote when she was 14.
In a previous press release, Lavigne, who is divorced from Deryck Whibley, 31, frontman of Canadian rock band Sum 41, after a threeyear marriage that ended in October 2009, said that overall, the album’s theme was about how everyone had to go through difficult experiences, such as ending a relationship, or losing a job, and how we had to get through these times and grow.
Asked about her favourite song on the album, Lavigne said she was fond of the introspective piano-based ballad Goodbye, which served as the inspiration for the album’s title. “It’s one of the most personal songs I’ve ever written,” she said.
She added that she was looking forward to performing these new songs, as well as her classic hits, when she comes down to Kuala Lumpur.
Lavigne previously performed in Malaysia three years ago, as part of her Best Damn Tour. Her concert, which took place at Stadium Merdeka, KL, turned out to be a smash hit, attracting a large crowd of around 15,000 fans, despite protests by minority groups against the concert at the time.
“The concert is definitely going to be a treat for all my Malaysian fans, who I really want to thank for being so supportive,” Lavigne enthused.
Until Feb 18, however, all fans can do is Smile and Wish You Were Here, Ms Lavigne. Here’s hoping that the concert will be Hot, Anything But Ordinary, and prove to be The Best Damn Thing we can enjoy! n Avril Lavigne performs live at Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday, Feb 18 at 8.30pm. Tickets are available at Rock Corner, Victoria Music and The Guitar Store outlets in the Klang Valley, and are priced at RM298 (Tune Talk Zone); RM198 (Rock Zone); or RM98 (Regular). For enquiries, call Ticketpro at 03-7880 7999 or get your tickets online via ticketpro.com.my. For more info on Avril Lavigne Black Star Tour Live In Malaysia, visit jsconcert.com or facebook.com/ Jsconcertproductions.
avril Lavigne at her debut concert in Malaysia in august 2008. The Canadian riot girl is slated to return for a more intimate show when she plays Stadium Merdeka, KL, on Feb 18.