take 10

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - INTERVIEW - An­thony Mars­den An­thony Mars­den is at the Black Box, Belfast on June 6 at 8pm. For de­tails, visit www.black­box­belfast.com

The 26-year-old ris­ing jazz star from Magher­alin, who has per­formed at the Royal Al­bert Hall in Lon­don, has just been awarded a place at the pres­ti­gious Man­hat­tan School of Mu­sic, New York, to study for a Mas­ters in jazz voice. He sings at the Black Box in Belfast next month What is your ear­li­est mem­ory?

It’s quite hard to place my first mem­ory ... but I re­mem­ber quite early on pick­ing pota­toes with my fa­ther. I didn’t like get­ting my hands dirty. They knew then that I wasn’t des­tined to be a farmer. I also re­mem­ber one Christ­mas get­ting a toy jun­gle from Santa. On Christ­mas morn­ing I lamented that I didn’t get the toy cheetah I had specif­i­cally re­quested. A few days later we no­ticed some­thing stuck in the chim­ney, it was the cheetah! It must have got stuck on Santa’s way down. My faith in him has never wa­vered since.

Who is the most im­por­tant per­son in your life?

There are a lot of peo­ple who are im­por­tant to me. I have friends, fam­ily and col­leagues, all of whom in­spire me in dif­fer­ent ways. The idea of a co-de­pen­dent life doesn’t ap­peal to me par­tic­u­larly. I heard Whoopi Gold­berg say that if some­one tells you ‘you com­plete me’, run! I think that might be good advice. There isn’t one per­son at the cen­tre of my uni­verse, at least for now.

Shock us — tell us some­thing sur­pris­ing about your­self.

Peo­ple are pretty hard to shock nowa­days. I’m sure I could make a good ef­fort, but I don’t give away those kinds of se­crets so eas­ily.

What is your great­est fear?

Los­ing my voice. Singers get a bad rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing overly pre­cious about their in­stru­ment. But the pos­si­bil­ity is real and frus­trat­ingly the list of things to avoid reads like a what’s what of life’s sim­ple plea­sures.

What makes you most happy?

Singing. Cre­at­ing great mu­sic re­quires you to del­i­cately bal­ance a range of dif­fer­ent vari­ables. But when you get the recipe right: the best mu­si­cians, the right en­vi­ron­ment, an easy state of mind, a se­cure tech­nique, then it can be in­tox­i­cat­ing.

And your big­gest re­gret?

I’m sure I have done lots of stupid things, but I don’t re­gret any of them.

How do you chill out?

I am the most chilled per­son you’ve ever met. I could chill for years and years and do noth­ing, there’s no trick, it’s not dif­fi­cult. Weirdly it’s when I want to get stuff done that I need to med­i­tate or do some yoga to cen­tre my­self.

What’s the most im­por­tant les­son you have learned in your life?

That hap­pi­ness takes a lit­tle bit of hard work.

The book, the song and the film that means the most to you and why?

I must ad­mit, I’m not a vo­ra­cious reader. But I was in­trigued by Bil­lie Hol­i­day’s au­to­bi­og­ra­phy Lady Sings the Blues. Ap­par­ently it is rid­dled with ex­ag­ger­a­tions and un­truths, but I think that re­veals a lot about her and her life ex­pe­ri­ence. You can’t ask a singer to pick a favourite song, it’s im­pos­si­ble. The Flower of Magher­ally is a song that my fa­ther sang a lot. The lyrics are beau­ti­fully con­structed. Also Gersh­win’s Some­one to Watch Over Me will al­ways be im­por­tant to me. Amy Wine­house’s ren­di­tion is the rea­son I started singing jazz. I watched Call Me By Your Name last year and was over­whelmed. It is unashamedly beau­ti­ful and sen­sual. I saw it three times. The mu­sic is stun­ning.

If you could change one thing about your­self, what would it be and why?

I think you’ve got to work to change the things that you can and ac­cept the things you can’t. I want to strive to be health­ier, fit­ter, bet­ter at mu­sic, but we have to come to terms with our lim­i­ta­tions too.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.