<<Entrevistamos a la galesa Judith Owen que va a presentar su nuevo álbum «Both Things Are True». Judith Owen es una intérprete cuyo rango estilístico abarca desde el rock, pop, clásico, blues y jazz al teatro musical, Owen también es una actriz cómica y una excelente narradora de historias.El próximo álbum de Judith Owen ‘Both Things Are True’, previsto para más adelante en este año 2021, presenta sus canciones originales I Still Dream of America y Second Hand Sexbot además de las versiones de Hold My Hand (Jess Glynne) y September (Earth Wind & Fire), entre otras.>>
Who is Judith Owen for those who don’t know your music?
R: I’m a singer, pianist, composer, soulstress, addicted to music. I write, play and sing passionate music from the heart, about the things we all go through in life. It’s all about connection and the shared experience. I want to take the listener/audience on a journey, that makes them feel the tears and the joy. It soothes and liberates us all!
Your career started in 2005 with «Lost and Found». What memories do you have of that álbum?
R: It started before that with ‘Emotions on a postcard’, but ‘Lost and Found’ was an important album for me, working for the first time with my long-time collaborator and fellow New Orleans based friend, the amazing John Fischbach. We’d been friends for 2 years before I realized that he’d engineered the most inspirational pop album of my young life- Stevie Wonders’s ‘Songs on the Key of life’. That album got me through a lot of personal loss and pain and remains one of my all-time favorite works. So, working with john was a dream come true, and L& F was the beginning of our incredible work together, culminating in the songs I’m recording and mixing with him now in Nola. It’s also a special album for me as the cover photography was done by a total legend- Herman Leonard. If you’ve seen any classic jazz images from the 50’s (Sinatra, Ella, Billie, Duke), chances are they’re Herman’s. He was yet another jazz-loving soul who was drawn to the musical richness of New Orleans, and I count myself incredibly blessed to have met and worked with such a era-defining talent.
This was followed by several albums such as «Twelve Arrows», «“Here”, and “Happy This Way”. What messages were you conveying with these records?
R: With every album, I’m charting my life, my struggles, my wins, my losses, and most. Importantly my search for mental and emotional well-being, and that’s really what you hear in each album! I’m very honest about my vulnerabilities, I even called one album ‘The Beautiful Damage’, because that’s how I see myself and all of us- flawed and incredibly human because of our flaws, more endearing for them. With each project my compassion for what we all go through grows, It’s the way I learn to feel it for myself. That’s why my audiences understand my songs, my words and feel like I’m talking about them.
When I made ‘Happy This Way’ I’d got to a point in my life where I was able to remember joyful things from my past and not just the trauma, and in doing so was able to feel acceptance for myself and began to shut down those internal voices- the soundtrack that self-criticizes and undermines us all
«Somebody‘s Child» are your latest works. What were you telling us with these albums?
R: «SC» was all about looking outside of myself and seeing what was going on in the world all around me- the polluting of our planet, homelessness and our lack of care for the most vulnerable people in society, our abuse of the animal kingdom, our ever-growing addiction to machines and the loneliness that stems from that. I voiced my opinions with seriousness and wit- that’s my favorite way of getting a point across- by dressing truths up in a catchy and memorable song!
«redisCOVERed», was my fist collection of covers reimagined as my own life stories. I love taking famous songs and turning them on their heads, shining new light and meaning through them. It’s a thrill re-discovering them for me and the audience and something I’ve become known and appreciated for doing by my fans and the original artists/writers.
In fact my latest single is a very different version of Joan Osborne’s hit ‘One of Us’, and it’s writer-Eric Bazilian is a huge fan of my version. That’s really as good as it gets!
You have collaborated with Ian Shaw, Cassandra Wilson, Quantic, Richard Thompson among others How were these experiences?
R: I’m very fortunate with the incredible artists I’ve collaborated with. I think we all have something in common- the absolute love of music and desire to be artists for life. When you work with the best you become better that’s what I know and live by. They’re also some of the most fun people to be with and that’s incredibly important to me Laughter is medicine just like music!
In 2019 you introduced us to topics such as “I still Dream of America” and “Second-hand Sexbot? What can you tell us about these songs?
R: They’re the farthest apart, yet closest in some ways!
I think both deal with the mess we’ve got ourselves into- the estrangement, the loneliness, the isolation and the things that are REALLY important in life- equality, community, compassion.
“I Still Dream of America” is about dreams. What do you think about dream worlds?
R: Dreams are what we aspire to and live for. The often fail but it’s the fight for them that counts. It’s a good thing to dream of a better world, even if the majority fight you. That’s what a brain is for- to imagine change.
In 2020 we get hit by a a global pandemic. How have you been dealing with it?
R: By working harder than ever with a twice weekly streamed show FFS! It’s literally saved my life, created a worldwide community, and allowed me and my fans to keep our sanity!
What do you think of the restrictions affecting Culture?
R: I think you do what you must – to stop a pandemic. Everyone I know in the arts is suffering right now and mental illness is at an all-time high, but there’s a bigger threat here, and our future depends in it
People like Van Morrison should feel ashamed of themselves for promoting anti vaccine/mask beliefs in their music, just so they can get back to playing live.
In 2020, you also presented other singles, such as «Hold My Hand» and «The Here & Now«. The latter is an EP. How was it to present it on social networks?
R: It was the only way I could and I felt I had to express what it felt like being in the US and watching Covid, Trump, George Floyd & BLM, the storming of the Capitol, Karen’s and white supremacists and thankfully Biden come to the fore
It was the most incredible and nerve-wracking year of all our lives and being able to write music for the weekly shows and be that timely and topical was incredibly powerful
In 2021, Judith now presents the song (What If Good Was) One of Us. How it come about?
R: I’ve always loved that song and after meeting Eric in Sweden swore, I’d cover it
Easter seemed the right time to release such an existential song about god being in all of us and in the here and now NOT the hereafter.
I’ve always loved that song and after meeting Eric in Sweden swore, I’d cover it
Would you like to present and play your new album in Spain?
R: I’ve loved performing in Spain in the past, as I think you “ get” my passion, as it matches yours! So I can’t wait to come back to your glorious country, eat your beautiful food and see your gorgeous faces again!
What can we expect of a concert of yours?
R: Love, laughter, passion, tears, hope, strength and a highly theatrical evening of shared experiences and community
And finally, Judith, what can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
R: Next will be a mix of covers and originals -‘Both things Are True’ It’s a phrase I use a lot and it sums up life for me – exquisite and cruel
It’s the ride we’re all on and it’s the truth that I sing about….
<<Para finalizar la entrevista, desde AfondaresCultura damos las gracias a «Judith Owen» por su tiempo y dedicación y sobre todo disfrutar de esos temas de <<Both Things Are True>> las mezclas de temas que está haciendo junto con las originales.>>